updated 2023 June 7th
created 2023 March 13th
L A S T          L E C T U R E     
2023 June 6th Tuesday
Markham Campus, Seneca College, time: 4pm -...whenever
room G40 (the auditorium)

Zoom Meeting     
Meeting ID: .................
16475.......9# Canada

make sure you are standing up straight and tall when this song is playing W. Tim G. Richardson full-time Professor  at Seneca College  (1998 to present)
CeMC, B.A., B.A.(Hons), B.Ed., M.Ed., PhD(CWO)
youtube.com/user/profwitigerTim's profileformer students' groupFB page for students connectingpersonal FB pageRichardson's Twitter account for students
click for bio, lies, tall tales and other questionable legends
Seneca College 1998 - 2023
University of Toronto, Mississauga 2004 - 2017
University of Toronto, Scarborough, 2000 - 2015
Centennial College 1997 - 2004
25 years
13 years
15 years
7 years
It 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. 
  • Disclosure - 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.
I was 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 my class. 
For 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.
. Thinking about the "total sum" of the courses I had taught at the largest university in Canada, and concurrently at the largest college, 
I 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, 
So, 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. 
And, 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". 
I also felt very moved by the story of Prof. 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.
Additionally, 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.
Tim and his father I never wanted to be a teacher.

The 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 taught engineering 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 the pitch.

The 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. click to go to Queen's - unless you have a 90 average in grade 12, this is the only way to get there
Tim was the 4th generation in his family to graduate from Queen's.
So, 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.

I taught 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 bu".

While 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 at Mitsubishi.
As 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.
One 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."
Essentially, 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?
Sometimes 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

Black Hornet Drone
 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 ? - YES
Recorded - yes, We will do it live on Zoom, and record it, and later put it on WTGR's YouTube channel