Archive for September, 2021

Leader

Aly Raisman.

A plan without a plan

Last week’s assault on a Manhattan restaurant hostess by a group of Texans, who were angry they were asked for proof of vaccination, was of course galling and disgusting. Alas, the city’s plan for dealing with this type of conflict has been baffling. From Mother Jones: “New York City provided restaurants with conflict resolution training in recent weeks, and we’ll continue doing everything we can to help them adjust to this program safely and smoothly.”

As my friend @bfwriter notes: “Conflict resolution training only works with reasonable people and resolvable conflicts. This is. . . something else.”

There are two overall kinds of conflict resolution: Two-sided, where the two antagonists can come to a resolution together on their own, and three-sided, where they can’t come to a resolution on their own and require a third party. Examples of three-sided conflict resolution include mediation and arbitration as well as litigation and police intervention. The only possible resolution choice here – when patrons are volatile and emphatic – is police intervention, it seems to me, but even that choice is not really feasible most of the time.

In British Columbia,

Premier John Horgan has said police could be called if patrons refuse to show businesses their vaccine cards, but [restaurant owners] and police representatives say that may not be realistic. …

Tom Stamatakis, the president of the Canadian Police Association, said placing the burden of enforcement on police will stretch resources and potentially affect responses to other calls. “We have a huge government infrastructure around, for example, the operation of licensed premises,” he said. “My view would be we should be looking to those agencies and resources in the first instance when it comes to enforcement.

“Police will obviously be available to assist in those circumstances or cases where it might escalate. The default should not be the police.” (from CBC)

I don’t know what the answer is.

Salut, Kwantlen!

My university‘s beer-brewing program gets another accolade. From the Aldergrove Star:

Student brewers at Langley’s Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) campus have tied for second place overall in the top brewing schools in North America. KPU also won one gold, two silver and one bronze medal in the 2021 U.S. Open College Beer Championship (USOCBC) this month.

Competing against 11 other colleges and universities from Canada and the United States, KPU won gold in the American Amber/Red Ale category for Birra Rossa, brewed by then first-year students Michael Hodgson, Peter Bartnik, and Donghwan Chang.

The two silver medals were awarded for KPU’s Noble Steed Coconut Porter brewed by second-year students and now graduates Emily Comeau, Rebecca Deil, and Alex Paul in the Hybrids Coconut category; and for the Pale Ale in the American Strong Pale Ale category brewed by then first-year students Jacob Wideman, Colton Yakabuski, and Donghwan Chang. KPU won bronze for the Helles Lager brewed by Kayla Gibson, Wakana Sakurai, Philip Chrinko, and Kevin Reid during their first year of study. …

Alex Paul, a recent KPU brewing grad now working at Mariner Brewing in Coquitlam said their team was “blown away” to win a medal for their signature recipe beer, Noble Steed. “This was our capstone brewing project, so Rebecca, Emily and I were fully responsible for creating the recipe, brewing, analysis, and quality control, as well as being involved with marketing and sales of our beer,” says Paul. “It’s so cool that it won an award and we really appreciate all the amazing support of our instructors to help us get to where we are.”

Norm Macdonald

A marvellous Canadian who cracked me up every single time.

The Washington Post has a fine obituary, with lots of links to edifying and profoundly funny stories.

Fall semester!

Classes at Kwantlen Polytechnic University start this week. One of my three courses was going to be face to face. Unaccountably, though, the province required that students be vaccinated to enter any room on campus EXCEPT the classrooms, so I moved that class to an online platform for everybody’s peace of mind and safety (the administration gave a green light to all faculty for that). I was truly hoping to step into a classroom again. (I am a lot funnier in person – I try to graft Johnny Carson onto Professor Kingsfield while talking about not necessarily enchanting topics.)

At any rate, I’m looking forward to meeting my new students in our online environment. I am very grateful I have this blessed gig.

7 Sept. – New guidance from my university today: “Individuals can remove their masks while actively consuming food or drink when seated in classrooms.” Pot luck time!