I think three bikes would comfortably fit in the garage with room to work. I’m hoping I can find an insurance deal that lets me run more than one bike without insurance doubling each time. If I were to go with three, these would be my poor man/middle class man/rich man choices:
Three of a kind: the low budget option
Keep the current ’07 Kawasaki Ninja 650r. I’ve already cleaned it up and it’s got tons of life left in it. It’s the obvious choice for a sport/track day bike. I’ve still got a lot to learn from it as far as sport riding goes.
This ’86 Kawasaki Concours caught my eye last summer. It’s up for sale again on Kijiji. For only two and a half grand I’d have a capable touring bike that would comfortably carry two up over long distances. It has a lot of miles on it, but it looks like it has been meticulously maintained. If I could swing it, I’d get it.
I just stumbled across this ’02 KLR650 on Kijiji. The price isn’t listed, but with any luck I could pick it up for about what the Concours above cost. It’s fuggly, but if it would be a simple matter to strip it and repaint it. I should be able to pick up both bikes for under five grand. They all happen to be Kawasakis, three of a kind. Total cost: ~$5000
Shopping for favourites: the reasonable budget choices
I’d probably still hang on to the Ninja in this scenario, but I like the look of naked street bikes more than the fully faired sport bikes. if I were to go for an athletic street bike I’d consider the FZ-09 from Yamaha. It’s surprisingly affordable, super light, and looks great in Orange.
The touring option would get three wheel funky at this level. I’d go for a Royal Enfield Classic 500 with a sidecar. As a way to share riding with my son, it’s a fun way to putter around. We’d have to get some vintage style helmets with googles. ~$12000
Total: ~$31500 (taxes included) or $20733 if I keep the Ninja
Big spender: the cost no-option choices
I keep hearing about how utterly awesome the Triumph Street Triple is, so if money weren’t an option this would be my naked/sport choice, the top-of-the-line R version. ~$13800 If nothing else the Triumph Configurator is fun to play with. The Explorer below is an excellent two up bike, so it could do the job, but if cost is no problem I’d consider a Soviet style Ural sidecar outfit. The Ural Gear-Up is an on-demand 2-wheel drive no-nonsense rig with classic military styling. It could also handle off road duties when needed. ~$16553
For the dual sport option I’d be looking to Triumph again. Either the Triumph Tiger 800XC or the big Triumph Tiger Explorer XC. Since the big bike actually gets the same mileage as the little one, I think I’d go with the distance machine. It’s big, but I’d train off road and ease into using it that way. I’m a big guy, I’ll manage it. ~$22000 Total $52353 (taxes included) You gotta love motorbikes, even the rich-man option that gets you three distinct imports costs less than a Volvo SUV.
Notes for next round of work on the Honda. Doing it for myself so I can follow what I’m doing on the laptop in the garage, but might help out other ’90s Honda Fireblade CBR900 restorers too.
Missing tank mounting hardware: BOLT, FLANGE (6X40) (missing bolts for front of gas tank) COLLAR C6.3, MOUNTING
Throttle cable running under the right side of the centre triple fork
Vacuum routing – but not particularly helpful – air vent tubes probably connect to bottom of air cleaner box…
Upper and lower throttle cables are clear in this – they are over the handlebars now (wrong) – and like a burk, I put them together backwards, so you have to throttle off to throttle on – remove carb, remove cables, reroute and confirm on this before reattaching.
I tried a replacement LED in the neutral light – no joy – try reversing it? Light receiving voltage when in neutral. Confirm that? Trace that neutral switch wire?
Double check choke cable – seems good the way I had it, but bike’s in a choke right now, so no movement of front wheel to check routing when the handlebars are turned.
The weather is fairly crap, but there are signs of spring as the sun returns more and more each day. All done with the Canon T6i. Macros are done with the 18-35mm kit lens, the birds are using the ‘kit’ 55-250mm long lens.
Watching broadcast media, one of the giants birthed of industrialization in the Twentieth Century, struggle with the recent Olympics was enjoyable.
Early on, CTV’s London desk was showing video of a flash mob at Wimbledon. The broadcast anchor said, “I don’t get this at all, why would people do this? What a waste of time.”
He doesn’t get why people would do back flips to get on mainstream media? Dude, your entire career is predicated on what they are doing… did you enjoy getting made up for your camera time today? Does your agent do what those people are doing all the time just to get your mug in front of more cameras? Do you throw a fit when they bring you the wrong tie?
The ‘let them eat cake’ distance that the corporate broadcast media has from a bunch of sweaty fools having a good time on a hill at Wimbledon underlines how truly out of touch they are.
Technology has miniaturized and communications have become a widely distributed two-way medium, yet the corporate broadcast media cling to their unidirectional economic model, frantically milking it for all it’s worth before the weight of inevitability forces change. I’m not saying there won’t be a place for professionally created media, but technology is allowing for smaller, niche groups to make what they want, how they want, and do it well while still making a living selling to niche audiences. The days of centrally controlled media are ending because the need for expensive corporate backing are no longer a technical necessity.
Where once an artist had to gather the corporate power of a massive enterprise behind them in order to get their hands on the technology needed to broadcast their story, they now find themselves increasingly able to create their vision and distribute it themselves, assuming the wallowing dinosaur doesn’t have a room of lawyers on hand, which they do. Deinnovation by legislation. Deinnovation by lawsuit.
A couple of years ago I came across Quinn Norton’s brilliant column in MaximumPC on the calamity that was Nina Paley’s attempt to express her own miserable breakup using a complex mash up of Flash animation, Annette Hanshaw’s blues, and The Ramayana. To call this copyright theft is ridiculous… this mash up is insane (and brilliant – I use it every year teaching media arts). Yet Paley was run out of business by copyright trolls (lawyers) who look for out of date art, copyright it, then lay in wait, hoping to squeeze money out of something they purchased from other copyright lawyers – an open market of dead artist’s work being held to prevent new art from forming.
If that isn’t an example of the desperation of the broadcast media system, I don’t know what is. They are so intellectually bankrupt that they can only recycle and steal other ideas. The corporate media machine continually pumps out near identical films at virtually the same time, desperately trying to tap into cultural memes that they aren’t agile enough to keep up with. Indy and social media media create far more current, personalized and pertinent media in the early 21st Century, and younger viewers are cottoning on to it, even while everyone tries to dodge the wallowing dinosaur’s departments of lawyers.
There will always be money to be made in a good bit of story telling, and digital media is nothing if not a good bit of story telling (even the news). What we’re seeing now is a slow, painful adjustment as the habits we invented around expensive, industrially driven broadcasting give way to cheaper, individualized, technology supported media. Professional media isn’t dead, but we don’t require millions in corporate backing to produce it any more. Don’t expect an industry worth more than two trillion dollars to give up on squeezing it though.
I’d hope that instead of trying to cobble together another massive production, corporate mega-media would be trying to spin off divisions that support small, agile groups feeding niche markets, but I don’t imagine that’s the case. The problem with really big animals that are ideally suited to a specific environment is that they are horrible at adapting. They’re great while the ecosystem stays the same, but the minute the social media asteroid appears, they just keep trying to do what they’ve always done, thrashing around, hoping to hold off the inevitable, until they are extinct.
Note: thanks to Quinn & Nina, Sita will be shown again in the middle of our Flash animation unit this year. I’m looking forward to another year of grade tens wrestling with who owns what, what art is, how no one is free from influence, how The Beatles could steal other people’s musical influences and then lock down their own for ever, what is appropriation of voice, and the future of media art. That one little column led me to a wonderful teaching piece that is still raising hard questions for hundreds of students years later. Thanks!
As a family we attended a blacksmithing day at Happy Knife Forge last weekend. Highly recommended, it’s money well spent. Jason will not only show you the basics, but is keen to get you up and running as a blacksmith. My granddad was a coal merchant back in the old country and the smell of coke burning on the forge prompted a sense memory from the crib; it smelled like home.
I’ve ruminated on fabrication and micro-manufacturing on TMD before from a digital perspective using the latest techniques. Given the space and tools I’d quite happily spend my time designing and creating using everything from medieval blacksmithing through 20th Century metal working and on into 21st Century digital manufacturing techniques. Connecting these processes separated by time but with the same intent would produce some genuinely interesting and bespoke combinations.
I’ve had the itch to get back into welding for some time, but a lack of space and gear means I’m not while I’m where I’m at. The blacksmithing experience has me wanting to expand my metal working beyond just welding, which means even more space and kit getting added to the wish list. You can do a lot in a tight space, and I am, but when it comes to storing the chemicals and managing the heat in some of these processes, there is no substitute for space.
A property with an old industrial building on it would make for a fantastic restoration leading to a multi-millenial foundry covering everything from blacksmithing to digital design!
Given the time and resources I’d hit an intensive welding program, then set up my multi-millenial forge/shop/maker space with everything from blacksmithing tools through metal working and mechanical to 21st Century 3d scanning, digital modelling and printing. The forge would be in the corner of a repurposed, old brick building that also includes space for metalwork, all very fireproof. Across the floor in the same open concept.would be space for a paint booth/shot blasting station and plenty of mechanical workspace. Upstairs (open concept, with just a railing) would be digital design and manufacturing in a cleaner workspace. If I could walk out to that every morning to create, restore and repair, I’d hardly care if there were pandemics or anything else. Put it near some good riding roads (ie: not in Southern Ontario), and it’d be just about perfect.
I’ve been thinking about a digital workshop for a while now, but the blacksmithing experience has me thinking old school as well.
The future-garage scene in Big Hero 6 gets the digital side of it right.
In January the president of the Ontario Association for Mathematics Educators (OAME) sent me an email after seeing our online activity around game development and coding and asked if I might present at their conference in May. If you’d have told high school me that I’d one day present at a maths conference I would have thought you’re having me on. For me, maths and science were the hammers that the education system used to teach me that I wasn’t good enough, but I’m rethinking that egotistical framing.
One of my co-presenters also didn’t have a positive maths experience in high school and we were both worried that it would be like being back in class again. That’s where the teacher would single you out and make sure everyone in the room knew that you didn’t know what you were doing, then they’d fail you, usually with a caustic remark about how ‘this isn’t for you’. I’d internalized the idea that maths (and science) went out of their way to make me feel stupid, but after doing our presentation (everyone was lovely, of course), I’m reconsidering my failures in maths and science from another angle.
We immigrated to Canada when I was eight years old. A lack of research had us moving to Montreal right after Bill 101 came in, which wasn’t great for a little kid from rural England. By 1980 we’d moved to Streetsville on the edge of Mississauga and that’s where I grew up. Various calamities happened both financially and emotionally while I was in high school. I didn’t play school sports because I worked every day after school from the age of 12 on. School sports, like maths and science, are for those privileged children of leisure who have the time and money to participate – that’s why we shape entire school cultures around them.
In senior high school my dad was in a near fatal car accident that had him hospitalized for months. During that time I was working as well as doing all the home things that he usually did. This meant that the hours of homework meted out by maths and science teachers didn’t get the attention it demanded. The tedious and repetitive/rote nature of S&M homework didn’t help either. Before grade 11 science I was daydreaming of becoming an astronomer. After I failed it, not so much. High school accommodated my lack of socio-economic clout by guidancing me to go find a job that Canadians don’t like doing – like a good immigrant should.
I dropped out of grade 13, worked as a night security guard (full time) while trying to attend Sheridan College for visual arts. I dropped out of Sheridan when I couldn’t get to class after not sleeping every night before class. Eventually I found my way into a millwright apprenticeship which offered me the economic stability I needed to finish high school, which I did at the age of 22. I eventually left millwrighting and went to university, finally settling on English and philosophy degrees, but even there my maths trauma haunted me.
A requirement for my philosophy degree was to take the symbolic logic course. My first time through it was run by a computer science prof who didn’t like how big the class was so he used every rotten maths trick in the book (surprise tests, undifferentiated instruction, sudden changes in direction, etc) to shake out the ‘arts’ students who needed it for their degree. That course could also be used as an ‘arts’ credit for the STEM types who took it as a bird course. That prof succeeded in chasing out all the philosophy students from that philosophy course. The next semester I tried again, this time with a philosophy prof. I told her of my fear of maths and she went out of her way to differentiate both instruction and assessment. I ended up getting an ‘A’ on the mandatory course I thought I’d never finish. I can do maths and complex logic, just not when it’s weaponized against me.
As a millwright I never had a problem tackling applied maths when I needed it. When I transitioned into information technology, again no issues using applied maths as I needed it to do my job. It appeared that I wasn’t as bad as maths as the education system had repeatedly told me I was, though I still carried that luggage with me.
My anxiety was high as I got ready for this presentation. Alanna made a comment that resonated though. If you work in a secondary classroom you’ve probably heard teens talking about how this or that teacher ‘hates’ them. Alanna reminded me that this is a great example of everything-is-about-me teenage egotism. My maths and science teachers didn’t hate me and weren’t vindictively attacking me for my failures; no student matters that much. Having done this teaching thing for over two decades now, I can assure you that ‘hate’ isn’t something most teachers feel. To be honest, when we’re not at work even the most difficult students aren’t on our minds. For the teachers who do feel hate for students, you need to find another career.
Looking past the teen-egoism of my own mathematical inferiority complex, I got along with my STEM teachers pretty well. I certainly wasn’t a classroom management headache. In retrospect, what happened to me in class wasn’t vindictive on their part, it was a result of my lowly socio-economic status. Had I been a stable, well off, multi-generational settler whose ancestors were given whole swarths of Canada for free, I’m sure we’d have gotten along just fine. Were I not in the middle of family trauma, perhaps I would have stuck it out. Had I been a student of a less creative nature who thrived in structure and repetition, I imagine I’d have found a place in STEM even without the financial means – I did eventually embrace my technical skills despite the system’s best efforts to alienate me from myself.
Last week one of our maths teachers emailed the entire building asking how she could punish students who are skipping tests in order to give themselves more time to prepare for them. Our principal emailed all reminding everyone of Growing Success, but this didn’t stop a science teacher from jumping in with our written-in-the-1950s student handbook which still contains escalating penalties (including handing out zeroes) for late or missing work, even if that is directly contrary to Ministry direction.
In my last round of IT testing for my grade 10s I left each chapter test available for three tries, and students could take it open book if they wished. When you finished the test it would even review it for you and tell you what the correct answers were and why, if you could be bothered to do that. Ample class time was provided to review the material both on screen and hands-on. You could not design a more equitable and differentiated approach to learning computer technology. Our class average on these three tries/open book tests/wildly-differentiated and in-class supported tests? 11.07/20 – that’s a 55% class average. Even when you differentiate and build in equity to support assessment in COVID-world classes, many students won’t bother doing any of it anyway, and this is in an optional subject they chose to take! I turned down the weight of those results, not because I think my subject doesn’t matter, but because the COVID malaise on students is real (it’s real on staff too, not that anyone cares) and holding them to pre-pandemic standards is neither compassionate nor pedagogically correct.
If someone wants to skip a period to get more study time in, let ’em. What would be even better is having open and honest communications with your students to the point where they can simply ask for extra time rather than feeling like they have to skip because they know you won’t give give it to them They probably won’t use their extra time anyway and the result will be what it is. Clinging to schedules and testing that only examines rote memorization (another issue in STEM that produces A+ students who don’t know how to apply what they know), is the kind of undifferentiated and tedious ‘learning’ that made me despise maths and science in high school.
After COVID swept through our family recently, my son returned to class only to get no lunches for days on end (while still recovering from the virus) as he took test after missed maths test. When he didn’t do well on them we had to intervene and ask for some compassion. Why do S&M subject teachers believe that curriculum comes before differentiation based on circumstances (especially IEPs!), or even basic wellness? We’re all in exceptional circumstances. I suspect these teachers believe that this ‘rigour’ makes them a credible and serious discipline of study. I’m not sure how you change that rigid culture founded on privilege, conformity and exclusion.
My maths trauma in high school sent me on a crooked path before I was finally able to come to terms with my intelligence and abilities; it made me doubt myself and misaim my expectations. I’d hope public education would do the opposite of that, but it still doesn’t. We’ve got too many classes still predicating success on hours of homework using undifferentiated and repetitive rote learning under the assumption that everyone has the time and inclination to find success in that. It’s even worse now two years into a pandemic. During quadmesters it was particularly acute with students in S&M heavy quads telling me they were expected to do 4+ hours of homework EVERY DAY – even as the working ones were forced to take on extra hours as ‘heroic’ front line workers.
In my classroom I aim to find every students’ talents and help them find digital pathways that will support them in our technology driven economy. My senior classes are supposed to be ‘M’ level post-secondary bound students (which is why they cap me at 31 like an academic calculus class), but in actuality the majority of my students do not attend university and good percentage go straight into the workplace. We also frequently have essential level and special needs students finding their way in our program because we differentiate even when the system holds us all back with an inequitable distribution of resources. My stuffed classes serving all pathways help make grade 12 academic physics classes with a dozen students in them happen because those very special kids need that credit for university.
In order to find student strengths I focus on foundational skills like practicing an effective engineering design process, which is more about organization and self-direction than it is about technical details. I could drill them on tests about technical specifics and fail the ones who skip rote memorizing reams of facts for a variety of reasons (they can’t afford the time, their IEP doesn’t allow them learn like that, etc), but then I’d be doing exactly what was done to me in high school. That’d be a jerk move.
“You! Yes, you! Stand still laddy!”
When we grew up and went to school
There were certain teachers who would
Hurt the children any way they could
By pouring their derision
Upon anything we did
And exposing every weakness
However carefully hidden by the kids”
We don’t need no education, but we all need direction to help find our strengths… especially in STEM.
Faster (2003) is a fast paced documentary with fantastic inside access to MotoGP. With long-form interviews with all the major names in the sport in the early 2000s, it offers you an accessible look at the sport.
I’ve been a Formula One fan since the early 1990s when I saw a rookie Michael Schumacher astonish in an inferior car. His race in the rain in Spain with only one gear cemented me as a fan. While I’ve always enjoyed the technology in F1 it’s the driving that really gets my attention. I’d much rather watch a Senna or a Villeneuve than a Prost or pretty much any of the modern crop of scientists at the wheel. I long for rain in a race not for accidents, but to see who can actually drive.
Faster showed me a sport where the human being is still the main element in creating speed. At one point one of the many interviewees said, “in MotoGP the rider is 80% of the equation and the bike is 20%, in Formula 1 it’s the other way round.”
After watching the last couple of seasons of Formula 1 I’m tempted to agree. Engineers practically drive the cars from the pits. Given the top car any one of the drivers would win with it. I’m no fan of Alonso, but he is a once in a generation talent, like Schumacher, or Senna, and he seldom lands anywhere on the grid except where his engineers place him. I’d love to see F1 with no live telemetry or radio contact, no driver aids and more open engineering options, but it’ll never happen. The F1 circus is on its way to Nascar – just a staged media event.
That 80/20 split is of much more interest to me as someone interested in how human beings and machines can combine into something magical. I really have no interest in seeing how quickly robots can travel around a track, it’s the human expression through machinery that fascinates me. It’s as apparent in comparing MotoGP to F1 as it is in driving a car or riding a bike on the road.
Maybe that’s the magic of this that I haven’t been able to articulate: motorcycling is complicated, challenging and offers you, the operator, a much more expressive means of interacting with your machine.
The other day I tried a variation on the on-bike 360° photography I’ve previously done. Rather than mount the camera on a flexible tripod on the front of the bike, I attached a carbon monopod to the rear top-box rack, extended it and put the camera on top.
The bottom part of the monopod had a screw in point. With that removed I could bolt this very light weight, carbon fibre monopod to the rear luggage rack (which itself is attached to the frame) very securely. In almost an hour of riding on typically lousy rural Ontario roads both the camera and monopod were very secure and the photos showed no evidence of wobble or blur.
With the camera over a metre above and behind my head, the three-sixty degree pinched perspective makes the bike and I look quite far away:
After doing a round at full extension (the monopod extends to just over five feet or 160cms), I reduced the bottom leg. I couldn’t see the results of the shots until I got back and I was worried that the full extended monopod would produce wobble and blur or be structurally stressed (it didn’t and it wasn’t). The monopod only weighs a couple of hundred grams and can hold 10 kilos or 22 pounds of gear – the Theta weighs less than a hundred grams.
With the camera reset closer to four feet above the back deck of the bike I did some more miles, including riding over some very rough roads. Even in those circumstances the rig was solid, unmoving and took sharp photos, even in the relatively poor light (it had been heavily overcast, foggy and raining on and off all day).
The pavement leading up to the West Montrose Covered Bridge is particularly rough, but even then the photos were clear and sharp.
Good horizons on such a tall camera mount, and this is at the lower setting.
With the camera set so much higher, corners don’t seem as dramatic. When the camera is mounted on the rear view mirror it turns with the handlebars, amplifying the lean effect.
Perhaps the best example of the camera’s lack of wobble was the shot from inside the covered bridge. On an overcast, dim day in a poorly lit environment with the bike bouncing over rough pavement, the sharpness is still surprisingly good. This was so dim that I had to raise the sun visor in the helmet:
I’d call this a successful test. Setting up this kind of monopod on a Givi tail mount for a top box works really well. The monopod base fits snuggly in the tail mount, which is a very solid, over engineering piece of kit designed to carry potentially heavy luggage. The monopod takes a big quarter inch bolt. I used a big washer on the bottom and a smaller one that fit perfectly inside the lattice on the top of the rack. With the monopod tightened down with a ratchet it was extremely secure.
The camera didn’t wobble on full extension, but with the monopod retracted one level (the shortest, narrowest one at the bottom) the monopod rubber met the top of the luggage lattice and it was even stronger. With the camera on the shortened tripod, the photos still offered a surprisingly distant perspective:
With the monopod shortened one level it’s still well above six feet off the deck (I’m 6’3″).
It’s another unique perspective to pursue with 360° on-motorcycle photography, but I have to say, I think it feels a bit alienating because everything is so distant and you can’t see the rider’s face. Short of flying a drone perilously close to a rider, there is no other way you could get this perspective though…
One of the few sunny moments on the ride – you can see the monopod’s shadow on the road.
Something like this might look really cool on a bike doing a wheelie, or someone knee down in a canyon. It also does a nice job of capturing the surroundings, but unless I’m looking for shots that are more about the scenery than the ride, I doubt I’ll be doing it again. I prefer the more intimate and exciting angles you get from mounting the camera closer and in front of the rider:
I’ve been assisting with the Ontario Literacy test this week at school. Watching students have to put phones away in a system that allows full access all the time is like watching a long distance runner getting a foot amputated before having to run a marathon. Students didn’t understand the instructions and many ignored them and had to be individually assisted in unplugging themselves from their devices. They then looked disorientated and confused, and then we hit ’em with a high stakes literacy test!
The threats and fear generated by the test are also part of this wonderful experience. “You can’t graduate without this” is the most common refrain. I’ve been wondering why it’s all stick and no carrot with the literacy test, and then I got one of those ‘support education’ emails that’ll send the email an organization wrote in your name to your members of parliament.
We have a provincial election approaching and the stakes are high. My problem is that no one has any vision for Ontario’s public education system that would actually improve it or make it sustainable into an uncertain future. Liberals are entirely invested in keeping things as they are (they’re also the main reason why things are the way they are), and the conservatives aren’t interested in improving it at all as they collect supporters intent on privatizing it.
Rather than send off someone else’s words to my representatives, I sent a suggestion for a leaner, diversity-of-pathways honouring system that might also be greener, but no one in Ontario politics has a vision for public education beyond either keeping it as it is or selling it of to their donors. Ontario students deserve better…
I’m going to cut out the form letter and speak frankly. After years of Liberal stewardship, the public education system in Ontario wasn’t in the best shape and needed an overhaul.
As a teacher in the system, I believe the entrenched political entities (councils, unions, colleges etc) have become more fixated on their own continued status quo than they have in an education system focused on student needs.
I had hoped that the current government would go about the serious business of fixing it, but they seem entirely focused on dismantling it for private benefit, which isn’t going to help anyone.
Ontario’s education system was broken by the 2006 learning to 18 amendment to the education act. There are many pathways and learning should be a lifelong commitment; schools do not own the concept of learning. Forcing students to stay in public schools until 18 has done irreparable harm to students and the system itself, though none of the many groups with a vested interest in a bloated public system will want you to address this.
A lean and individually responsive education system (that is also more fiscally responsible) could be achieved if we shelved this legislation and opened up pathways by allowing students who have demonstrated sufficient literacy and numeracy skills to move on if they wish. In this way our high-stakes and expensive OSSLT would offer an opportunity rather than being a purely punitive experience. If students were able to graduate at the end of grade 10 with a basic Ontario diploma which would allow them to pursue pathways directly into the workplace or into alternate learning situations like apprenticeships, our senior classrooms would no long be daycare centres for students who don’t want to be there. The students in senior high school would be there with intent and the system would be able to align their limited resources to serve students who are learning with the intent to continue on into post-secondary.
This change would drastically reduce our overages on building maintenance by reducing the number of buildings needed. It might also offer an opportunity where schools can amalgamate beyond the rigid elementary/secondary system we run now, offering hyper local schooling that drastically reduces busing costs. In a world where fuel prices are skyrocketing and supply chains are stretched to breaking, this seems like an inevitability. Moving towards a digitally enhanced, hyper-local future now would mean it doesn’t come as a violent upheaval later.
With strong digital/remote skills and effective leverage of emerging technologies, we could create a leaner, greener and more individually responsive public school system in Ontario. Academic teaching in classrooms works for students who understand that they need what’s being taught in order to prepare for post-secondary, but for many Ontario students who aren’t on that pathway, these final years are torture for them and for front line education staff trying to deal with them with ever shrinking resources.
No one will consider options like this because there are far too many organizations committed to the way things are for their own benefit. Conservatives won’t do it because their private school friends won’t like them taking away customers. The Liberals are so entwined with unions and other educational groups that they too won’t touch this. I hope someone can see the light here and make moves to create a more student responsive, less bloated and more environmentally responsible education system. In such an Ontario, redundancies like multiple education systems serving the same region would also end, but no political party will touch that either for fear of upsetting status quo religious privilege.
Our public education system wasn’t in great shape before the last four years beat it to a pulp. If Doug doesn’t win again this June, whoever does will give us half of what was stripped away back and we’ll be told by the various colleges/unions/councils they’re aligned with that we should thank them for it. I don’t want things to go back to the way they were, I want them to respect the many pathways students choose and honour those choices by not forcing students to remain in classrooms that aren’t aligned with their learning needs until they are eighteen. Does anyone in Ontario politics have anything like this kind of vision?