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Ten weeks after I had come to the firmest and most realistic of decisions I had yet made regarding my future career—the decision to become a primary school teacher--the film Dr. Zhivago was released. During my pre-adult life(1963-1944), I had wanted to be a bricklayer, a fireman and a professional baseball player--in that order. My career as a primary school teacher also proved unrealistic and was short-lived, although it proved to be much more realistic than those other three alternatives mentioned above, all of which were early life enthusiasms born of childhood and adolescent play and dreams.

On 22 December 1965, the day that the film Dr. Zhivago was released, I was on my way to a Baha’i youth winter school at the University of Waterloo campus in Waterloo Ontario. The film was shot in the previous months while my father lay dying in Dundas Ontario, while my mother was finishing her working life and retiring and while I was majoring in history, philosophy and sociology at McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario. In the first year(22/12/65-22/12/66) of the release of Dr. Zhivago, a film that became one of the most popular 20th century movies, I moved to Windsor to study under Dr. Jameson Bond, an anthropologist at the University of Windsor and a Baha’i who had lived in the high Arctic for a dozen years; I also began my teacher training and started a relationship with Miss Judy Gower whom I married in August 1967.

After pondering with some anxiety for eight months(12/65-8/66) the decision to teach school in the Canadian Arctic and after finishing my degree; after selling ice-cream for the Good Humour Company for three summer months and after attending a one week Baha’i youth training institute in Michigan, I left my home town, family and friends and started teaching career on Baffin Island among the Inuit. -Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs, 30 March 2008.

I knew nothing of Dr. Zhivago
until years later and little of the
Russian revolution or communism,
for that matter, although I had studied
Marx’s Economic and Philosophical
Manuscripts.1 I had discovered my
own romance not unlike Zhivago’s in
a revolution of quite another order in a
snow-bound world of quite another time.

With tragedy and a new high-seriousness
built into my daily life and with decisions
made---the enterprize all came to naught:
the north, the Arctic, the Eskimos, health,
marriage, career and, like Zhivago, I found
an inner poetic beauty, a new life and--like
Zhivago--I created one with my own Lara2
and life went on and on toward my own
mysterious end which has not yet come.

1 Written by Karl Marx in the summer of 1844.
2 While married, but separated from my first wife, I formed a relationship with a woman who became my second wife in December 1975.

Ron Price
30 March 2008


  1. mtpspur's Avatar
    Very elegantly put. Even though I was very aware of Dr. Zhivago the movie (all the high school girls were in love with him) I have never seen the entire film and caught the last half hour or so while channel hoping one night a few months back. Hope to see it again when TCM gives it another go,
  2. B-Mental's Avatar
    Very interesting. I come from a long line of teachers and entertainers. My Maternal Grandmother, Father, several aunts and uncles, both of my Sister-in-Laws, myself...the list goes on. Anyways, there is a Bement Normal School also... no immediate connection. Always nice to meet a fellow teacher. B