This term’s first big batch of grading — essays for my Canadian politics course — is due no later than Monday evening. Please wish me fortitude in getting through the last three dozen. I believe basically everyone finds grading stressful and tedious. It invalidates my ordinary procrastination flowchart, since it is always possible to devote […]


U of T may be heading for another strike: Contract academic workers at U of T vote 91% in favour of strike mandate.


This is my sixth year as a teaching assistant at U of T. While a big part of my TA duties has always been grading, for almost all the courses I have helped teach I have lead tutorials. Early on, I tried to emulate a system that was common in my small group classes in […]


On October 10th I submitted the proposed research ethics protocol for my PhD research to the University of Toronto’s Office of Research Ethics. My committee thought that the subject protection risks were minimal enough to make a delegated review adequate, but I learned today that the protocol has been escalated to the full-REB meeting on […]

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Thesis proposal reading continues to dominate my information diet, but I bought a couple of unrelated books today. Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson’s Napoleon’s Buttons — recommended by my friend Myshka — describes the influence of seventeen molecules on human history. I’m about 60 pages in and have been finding it entertaining and reminiscent […]


I was saddened to learn while watching the U.K. election that a former professor of mine — Ian Townsend-Gault — died in 2016. I studied international law with him as an undergraduate, we had many engaging conversations over the years, he encouraged one of my early publications, he edited other early pieces of writing, I […]


Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. These seemingly grim lines may be the most optimistic in modern literature: life feeds into life, change is constant, and the spring’s rain helps complete the cycle.


Most undergraduate students would really benefit from an intensive one-on-one tutoring program in writing essays. Even among third and fourth year students, it’s something most of them can’t or don’t do competently. While U of T offers some writing resources, you can’t really turn up at a writing centre with an unstructured, ungrammatical, and unconvincing […]


Ages ago I submitted a photo essay to the Canadian Labour Congress for their “Workers’ Rights and the Struggle for Social Justice” project. It was meant to be funded as part of the (at least dubious, and almost certainly offensive, given that people have lived here for many thousands of years) Canada 150 celebration. The […]


Arguably for millennia, but certainly since the industrial revolution, technological development has been driving changes in labour practices. This has been accelerated by globalization and automation and is likely speeding up as sensors and artificial intelligence improve and costs fall: Both for individuals and governments, it’s hard to discern what this means when planning for […]