Thursday 28 November 2013


This morning I was looking for a backpack for my grandson and getting keys cut. For while there, in the toy aisle of Canadian Tire, I thought about writing down the names of the various Barbies but decided, at Vampire Barbie, not to.
The topic of Barbies had come up in one of my classes. I'm all for such a conversation, but this morning in the toy aisle of Canadian Tire, I got tired of Barbies.
Later back in the classroom I mentioned the toys. And Possibilitree, the wooden Christmas tree builders I'd read about in this morning's Globe. Why the name Sport Chek didn't come up--well, you'll just have to ask it. I did note their slogan: your better is here, or something, better as noun.
I've also worked up a routine on menswear, the story of a word like that. Not much of a story, just what's up with the mens?
This is a blog entry I won't be able to make when I quit teaching.
And today I heard a story teachers love.

Thursday 21 November 2013


I'd been poo-pooing the Riders over their inflated sense
of entitlement. Today I showed up wearing a jacket zipped to the neck and waited a minute. When it got too hot I said so and whipped off the jacket, revealing a Rider jersey. The class stirred to acclaim. But right away I ripped down to the next layer, a Leaf jersey. An hour later, 48 hours before kick-off, Go Leafs I was shouting.

Wednesday 20 November 2013


I can't explain the lag between posts, but I've been teaching. And I'm not sure why this time in the semester brings me out grumpy. This is what I put to my first-year class yesterday:
How many people are present in your group right now?
How many phones are visible?
How many in your group had all three of your journal, Beauty Tips and “Sentence Combining Nov.18” sheet on the table in front of you before I began speaking?
          Reasons this was not done:
How many in your group checked URCourses for this class since Monday?
          Reasons this was not done:
How many in your group completed the “Sentence Combining Nov.18” (which means all 6 sentences) homework for today?
          Reasons this was not done:
How many in your group completed the other homework assignment for today: read (which means think about and prepare questions and observations for) the rest of the “Road to Dawn” chapter of Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw?
          Reasons this was not done:
How many in your group can I count on to have read (which means thought about, printed out, and prepared questions and observations for) poem #19 for Friday?
I meant it. They've been a good bunch but had let their standards drop. I tallied the results for each question. The numbers showed very good performance, except for those confused.
We moved on to something else. In the end, I thought I'd made my piont without the usual rant 'n rave.