EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Teen chats with DON CHERRY and loses job

Billy Steele, 17, was a volunteer cameraman at General Motors Place in Oshawa ON until he spoke to Don Cherry, the host of the popular CBC program Coach's Corner during an event at the centre on January 14, according to the Toronto Star.

By speaking to Cherry, Billy broke the 'no talk' to a celebrity rule in place for employees at the centre. Now Billy has been banned by the arena operator Global Spectrum from working on Rogers TV broadcasts there, the Star reports.

To his credit, Cherry tried to intervene on Billy's behalf but apparently to no avail. Billy is out.

In a world that I often think is on the verge of madness, this incident ranks up there with the worst examples of corporate ineptitude I have seen in ages. You fire a 17-year-old teen, who is really a volunteer with a huge media organization, who speaks to the best known figure in hockey in Canada. And Cherry loves talking to kids.

When I was 17, I sure as hell would have spoken to one of the hockey idols of the day if he had shown up in the old Chapleau Memorial Community Arena.

The Oshawa Civic Centre is actually owned by the city of Oshawa and I encourage you to send an email to the mayor expressing outrage at this incident. He is Mayor John Gray and his email is Email: jgray@oshawa.ca His office phone is 905 436 5600.

Click here for the Toronto Star article
Leave comments or email me at mj.morris@live.ca

The Oshawa Express in an editorial today calls for cooler heads to prevail in the dispute over the firing of Billy Steele, 17, a volunteer cameraman ot Oshawa's GM Place who lost hbis job because he broke a 'no talk' to celebrities rule and chatted with hockey icon Don Cherry.Here is the link to the editorial.http://www.oshawaexpress.ca/story1489.htmlCongrats to the Oshawa Express

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I disagree with friend and former student Robert Fife of CTV News!

With all respect to my good friend and former student Robert Fife, I disagree with his recent statement that by letting Newfoundland and Labrador MPs vote against the Harper government budget, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff is "marching to the drumbeat" of Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams and the Liberal MPs from the province.

Bob, The Ottawa bureau chief of CTV News added that Ignatieff opened the door to any of his members of parliament being able to vote against the Liberal Party position if that's the view of their premier or their province.

Premier Williams is in a squabble with the Harper government over equalization payments.

Au contraire Bob to your view, and I still consider you one of the best reporters in Canada, Ignatieff is showing himself to be a master strategist by giving his Newfoundland and Labrador MPs the freedom to break caucus discipline on an issue very close to their constituents; likely keeping the province Liberal in the next election; firing a shot across the bow at Stephen Harper that the report cards on the stimulus package better be good or next time all his MPs may vote to bring down the government, and sending a clear signal that it is not politics as usual with him at the helm.

What's so wrong with giving MPs from certain parts of the country a modified free vote on issues that are of great concern to the people they represent. To those entrenched in the Ottawa way, it is more than time to shake up how national politics is played in Canada.

Sure Ignatieff has opened a new door, and let's hope it is a breath of fresh air for Canada!

Final Point ... Just today President Barack Obama nominated another Republican to join his cabinet, this time as commerce secretary,. That makes three now. No coalition, no need to join the Democratic party, just a desire to serve the best interests of the United States!

My email mj.morris@live.ca or post comments

Sunday, February 1, 2009

All children are special with needs!

"MOM" Muriel E (Hunt) Morris
When I was an editor at the Chatham Daily News more than 40 years ago, my mother decided to come from Chapleau and spend the summer with me. To keep herself busy during the day, she decided to take a summer course in education.

The times they were a changing in the late sixties in more ways than one, and education was included. Mom, who had taught school for 34 years at the time became increasingly frustrated with the new thinking in education being set out by the professor.

One day the professor said in effect that teachers must "account for individual differences" in children, and used some other trendy words in his lecture. Mom, who had not said a word in class all summer, raised her hand to ask him a question.

"Don't you mean that all children are special with needs?," she asked. I don't recall his reply to Mom, but I do know the rest of the class agreed with her. After spending her entire teaching career treating each and every child as special with needs, Mom retired two years later after teaching at Chapleau Public School and at Kekabeka Falls, shortly after I returned home to teach. My mother was Muriel E Morris.

Mom taught elementary school and emphasized the child before the subject content always.

Obviously she had no use for the labelling of children, or anyone else for that matter.

Let me give you an example that involved me. I was teaching economics at Chapleau High School, and almost all the students in my class failed a test. I was having coffee with Mom and pontificating against my class in typical teacher fashion. Mom stopped my little rant, made some suggestions including that maybe I scrap the course content as I had prepared it, and start over. She also suggested I might want to think about finding another career.

"Start where the students are, not where you are," she recommended, adding that she didn't have the foggiest notion what I was talking about when I tried to explain the material on the test.

I took her advice and we started over. In fact, as Junior "B" hockey was very big in Chapleau at the time, I used a hockey rink to teach the factors of production.

Some years later, a school board member, on a tour of the school, stuck his head in Room 104 and asked me, "Is there where they teach hockey?" I replied yes it was and offered to demonstrate. He didn't take me up on the offer.

Today, more than ever, I believe my mother was right, and I was so fortunate to finish my teaching career at College of the Rockies where I helped found a grad program in new media communications which was very student centred. I will always be indebted to Dr. Wm. Berry Calder, the president of COTR, who believed that the future is now in 1994 and supported me as we pioneered web based communications when many told me that email would never really catch on.

The advances in internet technology since I retired in 2000 have been phenomenal, and today I think of the possibilities for a real student centred education system where it is accepted that each child is special with needs.

I would be most interested to hear from you. Please comment or email me at mj.morris@live.ca

Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
MJ with Buckwheat (1989-2009) Photo by Leo Ouimet


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Following the American Dream from Chapleau. CLICK ON IMAGE