Archive for School

“pure capitalist intent”

This tweet by Kwantlen Polytechnic University colleague and marketing instructor @AndreaNiosi is my April favourite:

Showing my students the dark side of marketing. Cultural appropriation, mis- & under-representation, stereotypes, & the pure capitalist intent lurking behind (some) cause marketing campaigns. I’m now writing an open book to go as deep as I can into this.

Kwantlen students helping Syrian refugees in BC

For their practicum, several former students of mine in KPU’s Bachelor of Business in Marketing Management program have formed C.A.R.E. (Community Aid & Relief Efforts) Kits,

a student run endeavour eager to aid the Syrian refugees settling in British Columbia. As fourth-year marketing students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University entering into practicum, we wanted to help make a difference in our community.

Our amazing team has put together care packages, also known as “kits”, filled with basic necessities that families and children will need once they arrive in Canada. Each kit that is sold will be delivered and stored with a partnering community outreach program here in Surrey. Once our new neighbours arrive, our kits will be distributed by our partnering organization. And because we are all about giving back, our entire proceeds made from all kits sold will be given back to Kwantlen’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing Management (BBAMM) Scholarship Fund.

I know five of the six students running this project very well. They’re tops.

KPU’s Scholarship Fund has long been close to my heart. I’ve seen first-hand how it helps students – many of whom are immigrants themselves – stay in school, pay the rent, and lessen their debt load. (I’ve been funding two scholarships – The Maureen and George Basil Award and The John Reiss Award in Journalism – for many years.)

Please consider supporting this wonderful project.

My Favourite End-of-Year List

The Ten Worst (and 5 Best) Free-Range Kids Moments of 2015. With this nifty Catholic School entry: Six-Year Old [at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School] Suspended for Playing with Imaginary Bow and Arrow.

Elementary

The source of my greatest anguish, St. Paul’s School, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, closed down this year. I found out yesterday. Part of me felt relief. A bigger part felt ill. The biggest part felt anger, that the school died before I could get even (so to speak).

My “shadow CV”

Steinway Upright

Regarding Devoney Looser’s ‘Chronicle of Higher Education’ article “Me and My Shadow CV: What would my vita look like if it recorded not just the success of my professional life but also the many, many rejections?” my friend Jonathan Mayhew writes,

Nobody cares about your list of rejections and failures. When I first saw the title of this essay I thought it would be about something much more interesting: the parts of the scholarly formation that seem less scholarly but that somehow affect one’s writing: my study of jazz and percussion, my obsession with prosody: all the things I never wrote about but that are essential to who I am: for my friends, it could be their work as zen masters, or being in a band: the translations someone has worked on but not published.

The point the article is trying to make is that we see a cv loaded with stuff but don’t see the rejections and failures that everyone experiences. The longer the cv, the longer the shadow cv too, because someone more active will also have more opportunity not to get grants they apply for. Everyone knows this, so it’s supposed to be great for younger people to see that these successful people have also failed. I get the point, but it is a stupid article because it is not the one I would have written with this title. (Sorry.)

My shadow CV would certainly include a long section on hitchhiking, an obsession of mine for several years during which I learned how to talk with many different kinds of people. (When I graduated from SUNY/Buffalo no one – friend, family, or foe – believed me when I told them, with the exception of my then-future, now-former wife, because I seemed to have spent more time on the road than on campus – or in New York state, for that matter.)

Also on my shadow CV would be my study of the piano (thank you, Mom and Dad, for the lessons and for the summer music camps). I feel my devotion to that instrument pouring into my palms as I type this. After I broke the pinky of my right hand in a stupid fight when I was in eleventh grade – it was poorly reset – my repertoire and record collection for several years thereafter focused almost exclusively on jazz. (I named my son after Miles Davis.) Now I play all kinds of things – this week it’s Arvo Pärt, some old hymns, always some Bach, and some easy & winsome pieces by a fellow named Charles Koechlin.

A third section would have to describe my study of radical politics and conspiracy theories, to which I was introduced, as most of us are, I would guess, in our young university years. It became an interest, and then a hobby, while I was on the road riding shotgun and listening to drivers talk about UFOs, the Illuminati, the CIA, JFK, Jonestown, and lizard people, and those secret and super-powerful, super-rich cabals controlled by Mormon or Catholic or Jewish magnates (or by the British Royal family!). When the drivers got tired of talking, we’d listen to the radio and learn even more. I went from hobbyist to serious amateur while putting together my book on the New Age movement. My correspondence with people in far out religious movements tended to be very vivid, to say the least, and I treasure it to this day. I never became a believer in the conspiracies, or in the religions, alas – not that I ever wanted to – though I do prefer the grand verbal edifices they produce to fictions like novels, and by a wide margin. (My favourite “researcher” is Dave Emory.)

 

She’s still in diapers!

A post from basil.CA’s third year:

27 February 04: On Tuesdays and Fridays I have a long commute from the West End of Vancouver to the pastoral town of Langley, where I teach university part-time.  I pick up my first bus at 5:42AM, switch to the Skytrain downtown, then zip off to Langley from the Surrey Station in a bus that’s getting less and less quiet. With the sun rising earlier, I’m enjoying the trip more, listening in to conversations. Tuesday:

“My son said ‘motherfucker’ yesterday.  He’s three years old!  Monique told me I should put hot sauce on his tongue every time he swears.”

“Won’t work,” said a cherubic toughie whose lips held an unlit cigarette for the entire trip.  “I tried it once, and the next day I came into the kitchen and my little girl was drinking hot sauce from the fucking bottle. It’s beyond hope.  Last week we’re in the car and we hear a siren, and she goes, ‘Shit!  Cops!’  She’s still in diapers!”


Free textbooks and academic journals …

… are a good idea.