Teaching

Land acknowledgements — in which people recognize the traditional territory of indigenous peoples on which they are assembled — are an important part of decolonization and indigenous reconciliation. This year, I included one in my handout for tutorial students. There is not, however, a definitive recognition for downtown Toronto or the U of T area. […]

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The Economist recently printed an article about free speech on university campuses in the U.S.. In particular, they contrast thedemands.org which they say “lists speech-curbing demands from students at 72 institutions” and the Chicago Statement which argues that “[c]oncerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as justification for closing off discussion of […]

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When I see people out walking dogs, I like reaching a hand out to the creatures and seeing their reactions. Usually the humans are happy about this and volunteer information about the dog’s name and breed. Occasionally, there are people who pointedly ignore me and yank hard on the leash to punish the dog for […]

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This is going to be my busiest year yet on the teaching and (especially) the grading side. I am working as a teaching assistant for the same second year Canadian politics course which I taught last year. This time the professor has decided to structure the tutorials as debates on topics like whether to change […]

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Anonymous threats of violence against women and feminists at the University of Toronto have appeared online recently. In response, the women’s caucus of CUPE 3902 organized a demonstration against gendered violence.

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With a couple lost to the CUPE 3902 strike, I taught twelve sets of tutorials this year. The histogram below shows how many students attended more than any particular number of tutorials: Any thoughts on the distribution? It looks approximately unimodal and symmetrical, with the largest number of students having attended six to nine of […]

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Grading is an intellectually and morally challenging process. A task that will affect how people are judged in the future and what their life prospects will be isn’t simply a commercial transaction, even if grading is your job. No single essay or exam grade determines how a student’s transcript ends up, or what consequences that […]

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I am at Convocation Hall for a meeting of the members of CUPE3902 Unit 1 – the union for teaching assistants at the University of Toronto. We are discussing a tentative agreement which the bargaining team reached with the administration late last night. To me, the proposed deal looks deeply inadequate. They are proposing wage […]

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The union that represents me as a teaching assistant at the University of Toronto is holding a strike vote. They are calling for more generous funding packages for TAs, increased health and childcare benefits, and a few other things. U of T is especially stingy when it comes to graduate funding packages. The standard package […]

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I just received my teaching assistant appointment for next year: POL203Y1Y L5101 U.S. Government and Politics with Dr. Ryan Hurl. I was hoping to get something other than international relations (which I feel like I have done to death), so I am glad about this.

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