Future, Past

Was teaching at Algonquin College during the summer of 1992. Both administering and developing a distance education course in Commercial Law. Thought I was also in a classroom, but can’t remember.

What is remembered is walking past the computer lab, on more than one occasion. Standard being stand alone computers at the time. Seeing all these students, whose first language was other than English or French, trying to teach each other computer skills, in English or French.

Cooperative spirit in the interest of collective betterment. That was one image.

People coming to a common point of reference, in this case a linguistic point of reference, in the interest of collective betterment. That was another image.

No cultural silos. That was yet another image.

Posted in Education - Post-Secondary, Ottawa Reflections | Leave a comment


Gabrielle, “Give Me A Little More Time“:

Live, with the horns:


1995 song, written by Gabrielle Bobb, Ben Barson, Ben Wolff and Andy Dean.

Nothing deep
Deep beat

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Thug Leadership

Leadership by threat, assuming it can be called leadership at all. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. You don’t scratch my back, and I will tear yours apart. You complain about the shredding, and I will liquefy you.

From Megan Twohey, Jodi Kantor, Susan Dominus, Jim Rutenberg and Steve Eder, “Weinstein’s Complicity Machine“. New York Times, December 6, 2017:

He commanded enablers, silencers and spies, warning others who discovered his secrets to say nothing. He courted those who could provide the money or prestige to enhance his reputation as well as his power to intimidate…

…how he operated for more than three decades: by trying to turn others into instruments or shields for his behavior…Almost everyone had incentives to look the other way or reasons to stay silent…

Minutes before The New York Times published the first allegations about Mr. Weinstein this fall, he called the reporters who wrote it. Swinging between flattery and threats, he said that he had ways of knowing who had cooperated with the investigation and the means to undermine it.

“I am a man who has great resources,” he warned…

…Mr. Weinstein threatened: “You’re not so clean either — I have stuff on you,” he said…“His modus operandi was always to try to find something on someone else”…

After years of support for Mr. Weinstein, most of the board members have now quit, while publicly staying silent…

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Double Breakfast

Mother on bus speaking with acquaintance as to how her son has two breakfasts, every day. One at home, and then one at the breakfast program at school. OK by her. Plus OK that the program exists, since otherwise, as she said “there would be a lot of Children’s Aid Society involvement” with respect to children coming to school without breakfast.

Though isn’t that the point? If a parent can’t get his or her act together in the morning to at least feed a child a bowl of cereal, isn’t there something meriting further investigation?

On the other hand, since one can never be more guilty

Yet back in the day

To institutionalize a school breakfast program would seem to relieve parents of an essential obligation towards children, yet one that should be able to be addressed without assistance, by any parent of whatever means.

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Hero, Demon; Pardon of The Scandalized


Bishop Michael Francis Fallon, (1867-1931), 1920
Source: Southwestern Ontario Digital Archive

In relation to Michael Francis Fallon, the English Catholic Bishop who wanted to keep the French “in their place”, in terms of restrictions on French language education in Ontario.

Issue once again of the dysfunction of the involvement of religious leaders in politics, where absolutist positions have little space, if no place.

How he is later seen:

His achievements were many: new parishes, new schools, establishing St. Peter’s Seminary in 1912, and founding Brescia Hall as a college for girls. He supported Irish home rule and labour’s right to collective bargaining. In 1910, he strongly criticized education standards in the bilingual schools of his diocese. This touched off a painful controversy with francophone groups that dragged on for many years. In 1912, the Ontario Department of Education issued Regulation 17 to entrench English as the language of instruction in Ontario schools. Endorsed by Fallon, this regulation stirred deep opposition among French Canadians. Fallon publicly supported the Union Government formed in 1917, which was an anathema to Quebec. Though a devout Catholic and a man of good works, he was also an Ontarian living in a troubled time and should be understood in this context.

Fallon is buried in the crypt of St. Peter’s Seminary. In his will, he affirmed his faith and begged the pardon of all whom he might have “offended or scandalized.”

Aye, the Home Rule

Posted in Education - Primary and Secondary, French-English, Ontario | Leave a comment

Really How To LIve It

Life teaches you really how to live it, if you live long enough.

Tony Bennett, in Amy, expressing regret that he did not have the opportunity to advise Amy Winehouse to slow down.

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Rewarding Past and Future

Came across article in The Fulcrum, University of Ottawa student newspaper, in relation to Alex Trebek Leadership Award.

Article by Ellie Sabourin, “Faculty of Education graduate gets first Alex Trebek Leadership Award“, August 30, 2017.

In terms of the purpose of the award:


Allocate an award at convocation to recognize the academic and community involvement achievements of an outstanding undergraduate student who has earned the citation of summa cum laude.

$10,000 award. So it is a reward for someone on graduation, to help such person in the first steps after graduation. Seems like a unique concept. Helping the futures of those who are among the academic best, but where such academic excellence is complemented by community involvement. In terms of the community involvement of the first recipient of the award, Hunter Kelly:

Kelly was recognized for her local volunteer work with foster children in the Ottawa community and her international volunteer work in Uganda this past April.

“For the past nine years, I have worked with five foster teens,” Kelly said. “We do activities together and I take on a mentor and parental role for them.”

In addition to her volunteer work with foster teens, Kelly travelled to Uganda this past April to teach at a Boys and Girls Club for two weeks. The trip, which was organized through the U of O’s Faculty of Education, comprised of Kelly and two other student volunteers who raised $8,000 for the Agnes Zabali Boys and Girls Club, along with school supplies.

And Alex Trebek has two philosophy degrees from the University of Ottawa…

Some notion of enhancement of future potential, where the potential has already been demonstrated.

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