Some time during my undergrad, I read Emile Zola’s “Germinal”, a novel about class struggle in a coal mining town. Even though I’d grown up in a factory town, I never really understood what working as a labourer for a large corporation did to one’s psyche. I grew up on the white collar side of the tracks, so to speak. I didn’t understand the sense of powerlessness that one feels when his life is inextricably tied to the whims and fortunes of the corporation.

Although our modern lives are far less desperate than those depicted in Zola’s novel, the theme of struggle and exploitation resonates today… more and more, it seems.

I’m a teacher, husband and father. I live in the real world: the world of family and struggle – the world where people live paycheck to paycheck – the imperfect, dysfunctional, glorious world of those who struggle in the Coal Mine.

8 thoughts on “About”

  1. What a fascinating blog I look forward to reading more of your work. Want to read about the deep south from a transplanted Yankee’s point of view? Check out my blogs, “My World & Welcome to it.

  2. I did a course at UBC on the 19th Century French Novel (in French) and read Germinal. I wrote a lengthy paper on it and closed with the lyrics to “Dirty Business” by the New Rides Of The Purple Sage. It seemed appropriate in a somewhat interdisciplinary way. I don’t think the good folks in the French Department saw it that way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJdq0OcRK3o
    Great blog. Just finished reading about the legal implications of the Premier and her accomplices in relation to contracts. Stern stuff.

  3. Thank you so much for posting your well-written, heartfelt blogs for all of us to share. As a teacher, my life is reflected in your words.

  4. Your picture is the largest lead-zinc smelter in the world at Trail, BC, not a coal mine.

    1. That’s correct. I lived there through my school years. My Dad was a VP there. I found the photo online, and love it. It was taken before the “New Bridge” was built. Must have been around WWII?

      The Coal Mine is just a metaphor that I borrowed from Emile Zola, but there are many parallels that can be drawn between life in Trail and life in a coal mining town.

      If you’ve recognized the Cominco skyline, then you may enjoy some of the stories in my rather eclectic blog. Cheers.

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