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Gwen Tuinman

Novelist

First Art Piece

I read an essay recently in which the writer reflects on the first piece of art she’d ever bought as a young woman. The purchase of this large gaudy painting, she declared years later, made no sense then or now. She deemed the colours too bright, and the subject matter unaligned with her cultural identity. By the final paragraph, however, she concludes that the painting reflected her mood at the time of purchase.

It got me to thinking about the first art I’d purchased. It’s become such a part of my environ that I haven’t considered it for some time. The piece is a stone sculpture by George Henry. I acquired it around 1978 at the gallery in Whetung Ojibwa Centre of Curve Lake, Ontario.

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Women’s Farming Activist: Georgina Binnie-Clark (1871-1947)

In the early 1900s, Georgina Binnie-Clark lobbied for women farmers’ equal right to claim government land grants and she educated new generations of women agriculturalists. Her story is particularly interesting in light of the present-day women’s farming movement and also because she campaigned for justice during an era that disapproved of outspoken women.

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Choose to Challenge

When I was nearing the end of high school in 1981, a forward-thinking teacher challenged one of my classes with this riddle.

A father and son were in a car accident in which the father was killed. The ambulance brought the son to the hospital. He needed immediate surgery. In the operating room, a doctor came in, looked at the boy and said, “I can’t operate. He is my son.”

Who was the doctor?

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