2023 June 7th
2023 March 13th
A S T L E C T U R
June 6th Tuesday
Campus, Seneca College, time: 4pm -...whenever
G40 (the auditorium)
College 1998 - 2023
of Toronto, Mississauga 2004 - 2017
of Toronto, Scarborough, 2000 - 2015
College 1997 - 2004
occurred to me the other day (2023 March 10th, Friday) that as I was updating
my online lecture notes for Monday's class, that the end of the term was
coming up pretty quickly. Full-time college profs in Canada get 2 months
off in the summer and every 4 years they get all 4 months off (with pay),
and, this coming May, June, July, August 2023 I would have the whole summer
off to reflect on two and a half decades of teaching, and whether or not
I would come back in September.
also thinking about the students I taught 15, 20..25 years ago who might
not have been able to receive the benefit of my more experienced teaching
and the topics I was able to develop years after these students where in
- Ten years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson's (as a result of multiple
concussions in a combat sport
I trained, in Japan many years ago + add in a couple of motorcycle
accidents). By Q4 of 2022 the Parkinson's had been advancing slowly
but by Q1 2023 I definitely felt things "eroding" at a faster pace and
I started to think about "getting my affairs in order" in light of the
forthcoming limitations that I had witnessed in some acquaintances who
are in Stage 4.
example, I'd love to speak to the internet marketing and e-commerce students
at UTSC and UTM and say "heh, forget all that stuff I just said you should
put on the website's splash page about META description tags and linking
in and out - just focus on Inbound marketing - which you will be taught
when we get to 2015. Or look up a former student named Dev Basu who will
found a company in 2009 named poweredbysearch.com
and get a job there.
about the "total sum" of the courses I had taught at the largest university
in Canada, and concurrently at the largest college,
wanted to have a chance to compile a list of my "greatest hits" from the
various topics I had focused on, such as contingency planning,
I have been thinking of doing a "Last Lecture", partly to help the older
students "catch up", as well as document a list of some of the best topics
since they didn't all get delivered in every class because many of my courses
were quite different than each other.
I wanted to do the "Last Lecture" now in Q2 2023 while my voice is still
fairly clear and my mental abilities are still strong enough to compile
together something for my students that will be "useful and interesting".
also felt very moved by the story of
Randy Pausch , the now famous computer science prof at Carnegie Mellon
who learned he had cancer in 2007 and died in 2008 and was the "originator"
of the concept of the "Last Lecture". Additionally, I witnessed, on a day
to day basis, because his desk was right across from mine, the emotional
strength of a close friend and colleague, Prof.
Robert (Bob) Charles Carroll (R.I.P. 1957 - 2018) who died rather unexpectedly
from a fierce battle with cancer.
I also wanted to show my respect to two Seneca professors who are fighting
cancer right now, and are themselves great examples of being a "great prof".
S.K. and A.K., "big up yaself, nuff respect"; both these men are examples
of people who go above and beyond to help students, even though they are
suffering great pain they teach their courses with all the attention that
is required, and still have time to coach OCMC and meet with students to
help them with job hunting etc.
never wanted to be a teacher.
idea of teaching came about in a very circuitous way. My grandfather taught
at Queen's. My father, W. George Richardson, CD, OBM (1933 - 2019) after
a distinguished career as an officer in the RCHA
history at Queen's for 3 decades. I admired my Dad's accomplishments
and was genuinely interested in the subject he taught, but the idea of
teaching was abhorrent. I just didn't like being in the classroom. I always
caught myself peering out the windows of the ancient limestone buildings
to watch the guys playing pick-up soccer and wished I could just be outside
in the sun all day yelling "send it" as I ran up the right hand side of
reason I am telling you this story of my original opinion of teaching is
to give you some comfort if you are struggling with thinking about what
profession you may ultimately end up - some people know what they want
to do in mid high school and totally focus on that goal. Having a specific
future goal at a young age can be comforting because you can make "life
decisions" based on whether the future goal can be met by doing, or not
doing, some opportunity that comes along. Other people, particularly
very smart people, are often interested in many things, and find it hard
to focus on one specific "profession" .. these people need to have life
"happen" such that they become informed about something they never knew
of before - or cupid strikes, and they fall in love with somebody and during
that relationship they learn new things which can have a deep impact on
various career choices.
Tim was the 4th generation
in his family to graduate from Queen's.
if I didn't want to be a teacher, why did I do a B.Ed. right after I finished
my B.A. Hon. at Queen's? Answer, I had just earned my black belt in traditional
Japanese karate and wanted to go and live in Japan and train at the global
headquarters of the federation.(Shorinjiryu
Kenkokan Karatedo). Doing the B.Ed. with the additional qualification
of TESL would allow me to have a more competitive resume when applying
to teach english in Japan - which worked, because I was able to get a job,
by postal correspondence alone, compared to most other North Americans
who just went to Japan and 'showed up' at various ESL schools hoping to
get hired simply because they were a native speaker of English.
ESL for a large firm that contracted instructors to teach "conversational
English" to mid career Japanese execs with medium and large sized companies.
After half a year, one of the large Japanese banks ended up recruiting
me to work in their international HQ in the Otemachi district of Tokyo
and I became immersed in the fast world of the sogoshosha and "kokusai
I did learn to speak some nihongo at the bank job, the most interesting
thing was learning about Japanese business culture, from the "inside".
For example, learning that a mid level manager at Mitsubishi Sogoshosha
could pay the bill at a restaurant by simply signing his name on the back
of his business card and the restaurant would send the bill to his dept
John Lennon said " Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans";
and so it was that I left Japan in 1985 and returned to Canada , based
on the news from my father that my mother had become very sick with
cancer. While experiencing the sadness of a parent dying when I was only
in my late 20's, at the same time my period spent in Japan was of
great interest to certain government departments that deal with international
things as well as some trade associations and Canadian exporters. My undergrad
study at Queen's did not include a single course in business or marketing,
rather I had done a 3 yr BA in History and a 4 yr BA Hons in Politics -
thinking I might go to law school like many of my relatives. However, the
lack of a North American business education had no impediments to making
a living in the community of Canadian companies newly exporting to Japan,
and government agencies seeking to have in their ranks people who could
help them deal with the consequences of a fast growing Japanese economy.
of the circumstances I wanted to point out for my former students is that
opportunities often arrive in clusters. In my case, it wasn't just Japan,
but also South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines. The
pic to the right is me with three Majors at the PMA Philippines Military
Academy. If someone had said to me in 1983 that not only would I have spent
time in Tokyo, but also do things in several other Asian countries, I would
have found it challenging to contemplate. Basically, you can apply the
quote by famous baseball coach Yogi Berra who said "When you come to
a fork in the road, take it."
what I am saying is while you are making plans for some "known Goal", some
other opportunity comes along. Your job is to recognize it as an opportunity
and learn about it. Is it something difficult to understand? but
if you learn about it, you can teach it, or make money consulting
about it? Are there any other technical advancements parallel to this "thing"
that you could learn about - for example..everybody has a smart phone and
can take basic wedding and grad pics, but do many people really know how
to unlock the phone's full range of photography techniques?
what helps us gauge the impact of a new technology, or a new way of using
an existing technology, is to compare it to similar events that happened
in the recent past. Example? forecasting the future uses and applications
of small sized drones can be revealing by looking at the progression
of phones. see witiger.com/ecommerce/drones.htm
other misc things
that may be launched by questions from students
AI ???? = knowing about SEO
in 2005 - position your self to know , more than most, about some of the
new technologies "coming up"
At the same you understand
new technologies may be temporary
It's not always the Early
Bird gets the worm, consider also the 2nd Mouse gets the cheese (example
Yahoo vs Google)
Can I bring my friend ?
Recorded - yes, We will
do it live on Zoom, and record it, and later put it on WTGR's YouTube channel