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Ex-Lemmingworks. ##.

Education Forum: “The Star spoke with Jason Nolan, an assistant professor at the School of Early Childhood Education at Ryerson University, about educational blogging and learning with technology.”

[This was in the print version of the star last month, but didn’t get online.]

jason: jason (Default)

Ex-Lemmingworks. ##.

Two things funny about this article. The first is that I don’t get half of it because it is so completely ‘mercian. Oh, and I just don’t care about half of them. Here are the interesting ones, as far as I’m concerned. Remember I have 120 frost I’m meeting next week. Inside Higher Ed :: What Your Freshmen Don’t Know

1. The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.

2. They have known only two presidents.

3. For most of their lives, major U.S. airlines have been bankrupt.

6. There has always been only one Germany.

9. A stained blue dress is as famous to their generation as a third-rate burglary was to their parents’.

11. A coffee has always taken longer to make than a milkshake.

12. Smoking has never been permitted on U.S. airlines.

16. DNA fingerprinting has always been admissible evidence in court.

19. “Google” has always been a verb.

22. Mr. Rogers, not Walter Cronkite, has always been the most trusted man in America.

25. Phantom of the Opera has always been on Broadway.

30. Non-denominational mega-churches have always been the fastest growing. religious organizations in the U.S.

36. They have rarely mailed anything using a stamp.

39. “So” as in “Sooooo New York,” has always been a drawn-out adjective modifying a proper noun, which in turn modifies something else.

41. They have always been able to watch wars and revolutions live on television.

46. Public school officials have always had the right to censor school newspapers.

49. They have always been searching for “Waldo”.

51. Michael Moore has always been showing up uninvited.

54. There have always been live organ donors.

58. Bad behavior has always been getting captured on amateur videos.

67. Disposable contact lenses have always been available.

68. “Outing” has always been a threat.

70. They have always “dissed” what they don’t like.

71. The U.S. has always been studying global warming to confirm its existence.

74. Ringo Starr has always been clean and sober.

75. Professional athletes have always competed in the Olympics.

jason: jason (Default)

Ex-Lemmingworks. ##.

Just had a chat with someone from The Canadian Press. It was a phone interview on the educational uses of blogging in higher education. Got to mention alex, Rochelle and Roger regarding their blog work, as well as the development of blogging tools at Ryerson. Relatively painless, and good to get Ryerson on the map.

jason: jason (Default)

Ex-Lemmingworks. ##.

I wasn’t able to post all this earlier, and perhaps that was for the best, as I’ve been able to get a bit more perspective on things. Most of you heard that Somerville was getting an Honorary Doctorate at Ryerson, and that many faculty members felt that it was unfortunate that the university would want to be seen as honouring her views on gay marriage. The internal discussions between faculty on our internal email list was truly amazing. It was so clear that the issue was not one of academic freedom, and that most all agreed that she have the right to her opinion, but should we at Ryerson be seen as honouring these views. The discussion was university wide, and the position was pretty much universal. We don’t want to be seen as faculty who honour somone whose views, as reflected in her public statements, are taken to be anti-gay marriage. To me, and I’m no expert on her work, they also seem to oppose any marriage union that does not lead to children. Furthermore, to have this honouring during Pride Week in Toronto is just insensitive. The discussion left me with the feeling that I’ve come to the right place to work, and that there is a great faculty community here.

I got permission from Judy to post the following letter she sent to the Globe and Mail. I’m not sure if it got printed:

To the Editor,

Ryerson awarding an honourary degree to Dr. Margaret Somerville has nothing to do with academic freedom. If Dr. Somerville had been invited to speak at Ryerson, there would have been no protest. The uproar among a large part of the faculty and students is that Ryerson is honouring an active opponent of same sex marriage just at the moment that Stephen Harper proposes to reopen the debate. The courts have declared that gays and lesbians have the right to marry and to adopt children. Dr. Somerville seeks to have those rights taken away. Freedom of speech is a right and so is freedom from discrimination. There is no right to get an honourary degree.

Dr. Somerville is a master of using academic language to cover what are very traditional views in favour of heterosexual reproduction and marriage. She is an active campaigner against same sex marriage and gay adoption. Ryerson’s original decision to honour her and its reaffirmation, however lame, is a slap in the face not only to gay and lesbian students and faculty but to the community in which we live.

I have worked at Ryerson for four years and have never before seen this degree of agreement among the faculty. The Ryerson community does not want to honour Margaret Somerville.

Judy Rebick
CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy
Ryerson University

Printed with permission.

Here are some links posted related to the issue:

For what it is worth here is a link where you can find an audio interview with Somerville conducted by CBC in Montreal. Direct Link to the audio file:

The following link provides another editorial from Globe and Mail on the issue.

And here are some pictures of the protest

And from the Star: Honouree faces down heckler:

Some faculty members wore rainbow-coloured buttons, others unfurled banners as she began speaking.

jason: jason (Default)

Ex-Lemmingworks. ##.

Rochelle and I have a new web site and blog, and such. Head on over to Metaphorica.net and check out the podcast of our conference presentation today: Podcast of our STHLE Presentation

jason: jason (Default)

Ex-Lemmingworks. ##.

TheStar.com - Ryerson to honour gay-marriage critic

Degree to come at start of Pride WeekEthicist says she’s pro-child, not anti-gay… Margaret Somerville is a well-known Montreal ethicist who holds a slew of honorary degrees — and strong opinions against same-sex marriage. Her views have generated controversy, enraged gay-rights activists, attracted hate mail and even prompted protests during her classes at McGill University.

What is making me happy is the back-channel discussion going on among faculty at Ryerson, and their work to bring this to a reasonable conclusion. I hope that the administration is listening to the debate, which is very one-sided, and remember that Ryerson has taken upon itself to be a university of the city, and that there’s no reason why we can’t foster open debate on controversial issues while at the same time honour those who reflect and support our community values.

jason: jason (Default)

Originally published at .... You can comment here or there.

ifoAppleStore - News and information about Apple Computer’s retail stores lists all the new apple stores going in in Canada. There are two new ones going in in Toronto, one opening next month in the Ryerson area, between my office and the new business school building, in the good ol’ Eaton Centre. At present I have to walk past 3 stores that sell Apple products on my way to work. Life if tough.

October 2013

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