Little Tibet


I would describe myself as a computer user of moderate ability. I have a few blogs, an instagram account, and a facebook account or two.  While I consider this a big deal, most of my students can rhyme off a hundred other apps or sites that are must haves.  They use their computers and smart phones for far more than I do.  What I wonder is, why didn’t they Google Toronto or Canada before they got here?

Before you start to worry, this isn’t a ranting video. To understand Today’s Perfect Moment, you need the above back-story to understand where I am coming from.

Rightly, or wrongly, I expect my students to have done some research on the city and the country before they get here. Before my vacations, I always check guidebooks and websites to find out information about my destination.  I want the adventure of discovering new stuff, but I don’t want to discover that I cannot charge up my phone because the power is different.  I usually research any bike shops or stamp dealers near my hotel.  I could list all the things I do, but that isn’t the point.

So today, one of my Brazilian students reveals that she is a follower of Tibetan Buddhism. This came up while we were talking about places they have visited and things they have done in an activity to practice the difference between “Me too.” and “Me neither.” Her partner said that he had been to India, and she replied, “Me too.”

As I happened to be monitoring in her general area, I went over to listen in on the rest of the conversation.

When they were done, I asked her if she had been to the Tibetan area of Toronto.  She was completely surprised.  She had no idea that Toronto had a large Tibetan population and there was quite a community.  I had been to a celebration of a child’s birth (I hesitate to use baptism or christening–because that is obviously not what I went to…) in the community about 16 or 17 years ago.  I also toured the neighbourhood after my cherry blossom walk earlier this year.  Perhaps that is why it was fresh in my mind.

I shouldn’t berate her harshly for not checking up on her interests before coming here. Her main goal was to improve her English skills, not continue her education and engagement with Tibetan Buddhism.  However, it just seems odd to me that she didn’t do it.  I guess we use the internet in different ways.

I spent a bit of time after class showing her Google Street view of Little Tibet in Toronto and Googling a few other things.  She seemed quite happy and excited to learn these things and I felt good that I could share them. Toronto is a truly multicultural city and I appreciate it when my students see that as a plus.

About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
This entry was posted in Aspirations, Reflections, Perfection, bike shop, blog posts, cherry blossoms, commuting, computers, ESL, guide book, stamp collecting, students, Tibetan Buddhism, vacation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Little Tibet

  1. leggypeggy says:

    Glad you introduced her to more of Tibet. We loved our time there.

  2. 100%. I might give her a pass on the Tibetan community in Toronto cause that’s quite a niche subject. But I fully agree with your sentiment. I’m always amazed when they tell me that Toronto is cold. No duh!

  3. capejohn says:

    I came close to visiting Toronto on Tuesday. Unfortunately, I had to book a more pressing flight to Orlando. More unfortunately, the Orlando trip got cancelled. Fortunately, I didn’t go to Toronto because I may have pulled and Anthony Bourdain, (too soon perhaps?),in my hotel room after the game I was going to attend.

  4. retrodee says:

    I Google places and study maps of towns I’ll never even get to visit just to find out more about them. So it does seem strange someone would not check out the place they’ve come to. It’s easy to do with the internet at your fingertips. But I guess everyone’s different.

  5. Hunida says:

    Sometimes I forget I can Google so many things lol & in defense of the student, sometimes, you truly think there wouldn’t be something so close to you so you just don’t even take the time to search, you know?

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