Conversation Cafe - Winter/Spring 2014

Conversation Cafe - Winter/Spring 2014

 

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Apprenticeships, University and College: What do we think about the differences?

Society holds ideas and misconceptions about the value, differences,
benefits, and goals of college, apprenticeship, and university educations.
Some people think you can get a better job with a university degree
compared to a college diploma once you graduate. Others believe that
college or apprenticeships are the place to go for active and hands-on
learning. In this conversation we discuss preconceptions about
apprenticeships, university and college, and our various paths through the
education system to a career. What has your experience been, what do you
wish you had known, and what do you wish you had done differently?

Tuesday, Jan. 28
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café
St. Catharines, ON

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Can there be a world without war?

World peace is an ideal of freedom and happiness between all nations and people, but is it realistic? In this conversation we dig deeply into the meaning and consequences of war and peace. We will consider questions like: Would it ever be possible to be without war? What would this look like? Is war ever justified? What exactly does "world peace" mean? What is the price of peace? And as long as personal conflict exists, could there ever be world peace?

Tuesday, Feb. 4
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café
St. Catharines, ON

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What makes talking about spirituality so uncomfortable?

“Never discuss politics or religion” is a common adage. Etiquette
holds that religion, especially another person’s religion, should be
treated with deference or, better still, silence by non-believers. In this conversation we ask why we can’t talk about religion. Is it possible to live among contrasting beliefs? Is it realistic to not discuss religion and belief systems in an increasingly interdependent world? And finally, if we should be able to talk about spirituality among people with differing views, how can we have fruitful and enlightening dialogue?

Tuesday, Feb. 11
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café
St. Catharines, ON

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What does gender equality mean in the 21st century?

Long-term, sustainable development will only be possible when women and men enjoy equal opportunity to rise to their potential. But today, women continue to face disadvantages, and there is also a rising concern that boys are falling behind in education. In this conversation we explore participants’ experiences of equality, different ideas of what gender equality means, and consider what needs to be done to make gender equality a reality in the 21st century.

Tuesday, Feb. 25
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café
St. Catharines, ON

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What are the pros and cons of "helicopter" parenting?

Helicopter parents hover over every aspect of their children's lives in an attempt to make sure everything goes well. Chances are you've seen a helicopter parent in action, you may know one, or even be one yourself. Some believe that helicopter parents cause more harm than good. Others cannot imagine parenting any other way. The truth is — most parents struggle from time to time with the thin line between helping too little and helping too much.In this conversation we discuss the benefits and ramifications of
helicopter parenting today.

Tuesday, Mar. 4
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café
St. Catharines, ON

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How do you restart your life when you’re stuck?

Whether it is a relationship that’s no longer working, a job that has lost its excitement, a change in life stage, or a lack of meaningful leisure time… the feeling of being stuck is familiar to most of us. Even though our lives seem to be in constant motion, sometimes it can feel like that motion is not moving us forward. Why is it so easy for us to lose life's flow? What is it about the way we live our lives that makes us feel "stuck", and how can we best regain control and move forward meaningfully?

Tuesday, Mar. 11
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café
St. Catharines, ON

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Why do so many people hate their jobs?

Sometimes it seems that the most noteworthy aspect of work is that hardly anyone likes it. Recent studies have shown that the majority of people are dissatisfied with their jobs. Why do we live in a society where so few people enjoy what they do? Not all jobs are good, and some will do something they’re not thrilled about—but all the same, does the situation need to be as bad as it is? Why don’t more people find meaning in their work? Is the issue that we work too much? Or that we were discouraged from following our passions? In this conversation we ask; is employment the curse of the working class, or a human's opportunity to find happiness and meaning?

Tuesday, Mar. 18
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café
St. Catharines, ON

 

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What is beauty and does it matter?

Beauty: it’s something we all know and are drawn to. And yet what is it that makes something beautiful? In this conversation we explore the meaning of beauty. Are there objective standards of beauty? Or is beauty in the eye of the beholder? Must art be beautiful to be great art? Can we argue rationally about whether something is beautiful? Would the world be better if everyone agreed on what is beautiful? What can we learn about ourselves from what we find beautiful? Is natural beauty better than constructed beauty, such as in art or music? Do beauty and happiness go together? What is the relationship between beauty and the sublime? There is a saying that truth is beauty and beauty is truth, but is that correct?

Tuesday, Mar. 25
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café
St. Catharines, ON

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Is it time to give restorative justice a try?

How should we be thinking about punishing wrong-doing? One advantage of restorative justice is that the offender gets to see the consequences of his/her actions, accepts responsibility for them, and is given assistance to reintegrate into society. A criticism is that it fails to provide adequate protection for individual rights, and that the system puts undue pressure on the victim. For some, restorative justice is just not enough. Others feel that it is a more healthy approach. But does it fit all crimes, or just certain ones? Who should have a stake in carrying out restoration?

Tuesday, April 1
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café
St. Catharines, ON

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Why is there an epidemic of youth mental illness?

There's no question that children are being diagnosed with mental illness in record numbers these days. Studies indicate that 1 in 5 Ontarian’s under the age of 17 have a mental health disorder causing significant distress. Mental health problems continue to grow among children and youth, and are predicted to increase by over 50% internationally by the year 2020. In this conversation we explore experiences and implications of mental illness. Are the occurrences of these mental illnesses truly on the rise or is our definition of normal simply too restrictive to be reasonably expected from a diverse human population?

Tuesday, April 8
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café
St. Catharines, ON

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What does civic pride mean and where does it come from?

What does Niagara mean to you? Do you feel pride in your region, your town or your community? Does being proud of your community mean you simply enjoy living there or do you feel compelled to make it better? As we become more insulated behind fences and inside homes are we llosing our connection to the area we live in? One often hears the words “civic pride” shortly followed by “we need to improve it,” but what does civic pride actually mean and where does it come from?

In partnership with the Niagara Community Observatory
Tuesday, April 15, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Mahtay Café, St. Catharines, ON

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Sharing insight and words of wisdom

Consider, for a second, your life. Think about all of the life lessons you've learned and the experiences you've undergone. Have you received good advice, and benefitted from positive role models along the way? In this conversation we share insight as we contemplate questions such as: What lessons have you learned in your life? What is your experience of learning from the words and lives of others? What do you wish you had known earlier? If you had it all to do again what would you do differently? And what advice would you like to give others?

Tuesday, April 22
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Anchor Pointe Retirement St.
Catharines, ON