International

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I dabbled on eBay decades ago – back in the “wild west” era. It was fun and frustrating, but a great experience. One of the things that would amuse/irritate/confuse me was the idea that when you were on the site you were either American or International. Everything was seen through the eyes of our cousins in the USA. We’d try to point out that they were International to the rest of the world but never got very far.

The internet has moved on (mostly) from that mindset. Oh you still see people posting on Twitter that “This is America. Speak English!” (no you toadstool, it’s Twitter) but most have accepted that this is a big world and it comes together online. Real Life is still composed of individual political units. The issue remains perspective and whose eyes are doing the perspecting. 🙂

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I told you that we just had School Spring Break in this Province – classes resumed on Monday. Many students, teachers, and staff took vacations outside of Canada. Some of them returned in time for the first official day back. Others didn’t.

On Monday night a letter was issued by the Provincial Ministry of Education which said Students and chaperones who have returned or will return from international travel must avoid public schools for two weeks from the date of their return. This was to apply to those returning after March 8. The emphasis on “international” is mine. You wouldn’t think clarification would be needed, however everybody was thinking “Wait! Does that include the US?”. The answer is a definite yes.

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Some families went to the Caribbean, others went to Florida or Boston or San Diego. If they didn’t get back before Monday they get an extra two weeks at home from the date they do return.

The question then became “Uh, what about Campobello?”. Teachers drive through Maine everyday just to get here. Students and families travel across the border constantly for gas or groceries or to reach the rest of Canada. How is that going to work? The question was asked (thankfully) by the District School Superintendent on a conference call with the Minister yesterday.

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The answer is that Campobello, St. Stephen and immediate area are recognized as having a special situation. Because we’re all used to very frequent travel across the border that can continue without students/staff/teachers having to self-isolate every time they set foot on American soil.

However, he said, don’t go spend the weekend in Bangor without planning to stay away from classes for two weeks once you’re back.

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I spoke to a Teacher here and the school is determined to make sure the kids stuck at home keep up with their work. This is good because some of them will have been off for a month before they can go back in the building.

I live on a rock stuck out in the middle of nowhere except for a bridge tethering it to the American mainland. We’re so used to considering that nation as part of our daily lives we forget (even with all the time spent at border crossings) that it’s a foreign land. And yes, that lump in the background of the next shot is that International territory. I understand many of them are friendly. 🙂

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