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Awaiting field of dreams

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It’s been a while since we brought you word that Gordon Bell High School would finally get its athletic field/green space on the site of the old car dealership on Portage Avenue.

And that field will be ready as, um......

Winnipeg School Division says it’s currently holding meetings to develop the consultation process, so there you have it, an update chock-a-block with hard facts and breaking news.

Yes, I’ll keep bugging WSD......

And on another fieldish topic.......

I checked with U of M about one of the aspects of the new football stadium that’s gotten scant attention, but one vital to intramurals and a healthy student body. The soccer pitches, tennis courts and green space now on the stadium site will be relocated, possibly to space behind the existing stadium, though final plans are yet to be made.

I’m really pinning down the news definitively today.

And in other stuff......

I watched Duke-Butler hoops on an American HD channel the other night, a rarity in that these are two American universities whose jocks actually go to class, and one commercial came on that I first thought was a skit on The Daily Show. Then I realized it was for real, some convenience store chain of which I’d never heard.

It was a mother with her far-too-fit-looking munchkins, challenging them to put together a lunch in this store in 60 seconds or less. Message there for harried parents, one assumes.

And these kids, who in real life would be beyond obese with lunches like this, zip around the store throwing together cheese dogs doused with half a jug of ketchup, chips, chocolate bars, and sugar-packed fizzy dye-and-shaved-ice fountain drinks. Quick, economical, far less work than roast chicken on whole wheat, an apple, raw veggie sticks, and juice or two per cent milk.


This was just way beyond awkward and embarrassing. I was at the business school at U of M, waiting for the dean’s town hall on proposed massive tuition increases, and this really young guy in jeans was helping set up, and distributing information sheets at the dean’s behest. And I asked if he was the senior stick, which is like the head of the student council within the faculty, and he looks at me weird, and tells me he’s a professor.


Meanwhile, I’ve been getting calls from a teacher who’s coming to the comedy festival and wants me to interview him. Says he does a standup routine about the stuff that goes on in the classrooms and schools where he subs.

Alas, he teaches in Toronto, and I’m like so totally parochial.

Too bad — everyone knows what wonderful senses of humour our local superintendents have about teachers who breach the privacy rules.

And on yet another topic.......

Am I the only one on the planet who doesn’t care how Tiger Woods’ golf game goes? I am SO FED UP with every medium full of analysis of his every utterance, every nuance of his body language and facial movement discussed....the other night I saw that utterly bizarre and disgusting commercial, in which a contrite and oh-so-sincere Woods stares straight ahead, while we hear the voice of his late father talking about profoundly unrelated matters, taken completely out of context.


For all you university students reading this blog: get back to work! Hit the books! Exams start next week!

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About Nick Martin

Nick Martin is the old bearded guy at the back of the newsroom, the most experienced reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, having started his career in Ontario in 1971.

He’s been covering education for the Free Press since the spring of 1997, after decades primarily covering municipal politics, including a four-year stint at the Ontario legislature for the London Free Press.

Nick moved to Manitoba in 1988 with his Winnipeg-born wife, who is a professor at the University of Manitoba. They have two kids, both of whom graduated from Grant Park High School: son Chris and daughter Gillian.

Nick has won a national journalism award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, two Manitoba Human Rights Journalism awards, and the Ontario Reporters Association investigative award.

Nick is a long-distance runner, having finished and survived 18 marathons and 15 half-marathons and 30-kilometre races, and having (barely) survived 10 years as an outdoor and indoor soccer coach.

Nick became a soccer referee in 2007, delighting in his 60s in outrunning 16-year-olds and keeping his distance from obstreperous coaches and parents.

Nick and his wife have discovered a mutual love for kayaking at their Whiteshell cottage, and are both regulars at the Reh-Fit Centre. They hold season tickets to both the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Warehouse, and as empty nesters, have rediscovered the joys of an active winter vacation.

A native of Jarrow-on-Tyne, England, Nick is a member of the Toon Army as a Newcastle United supporter, and a proud citizen of Leafs Nation.

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