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Using a water fountain 101

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I was in the Duckworth Centre the other day for an interview, and noticed a spiffy large sign above the drinking fountain in the lobby.

Yes, my life is such that things like this pique my interest.

The large, professional-looking sign was encased in clear plastic, and included an image of gurgling water, and read:

You of W
Water
Bottle
Refill
Station

Yes, seriously.

I know what you're thinking, students who could meet Lloyd's high academic standards could maybe be expected to figure out the purpose of a drinking fountain... though maybe their major is leaning to theoretical, rather than applied.

But I was thinking, I'd really be intrigued to see what kind of instructional signs U of W has in the washrooms.

Speaking of U of W, it's a while since I whined and ranted about the transparency of the university's governance. Faithful readers will recall that U of W's board of regents stopped making agendas available at meetings back in the days when they were buying out former president Connie Rooke's contract. That was also when the regents in their wisdom also decided that they would only release agendas of public meetings after several days of vetting by the senior administrators.

That got relaxed several years ago when, for a very brief period, I was able to get the same sort of thick agenda packages I get from UM board of governors and senate, and BU board of governors, chock full of information.

Then U of W decided to stop distributing agenda packages, and put 'everything' on-line.

So here's what the latest available on-line board of regent's report looks like, Oct. 5, and all the news it contains:

1. Approval of Agenda
D. Radi tabled the Agenda. On a motion by M. Bayer and seconded by G. Salmon:
RESOLVED THAT the Agenda is approved.
Carried.

2. Approval of Minutes of the Meeting of September 21, 2009
D. Radi tabled the Minutes of the Meeting of September 21, 2009, and requested a motion for the approval of same. On a motion by J. Penner, and seconded by L. Kakegamic:
RESOLVED THAT the Minutes of the Meeting of September 21, 2009 be approved.
Carried.

3. Remarks of the Chair
D. Radi welcomed the new Regents to the Board, and extended a special welcome to the new Chancellor of the University, R. Silver, who is to be officially installed as Chancellor at the October 18, 2009 Fall Convocation.
She requested that if any Regents had not yet signed their confidentiality and conflict of interest agreements, to please do so.

4. Reports
(a) Report of the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University
L. Axworthy gave a brief report on enrollment statistics for the fall semester.

5. In Camera Discussion

6. Adjournment
As there was no further business to come before the meeting, on a motion by M. Bayer:
RESOLVED THAT the meeting be terminated.
Carried.

Doesn't that tell you absolutely everything you want to know about how a major Manitoba institution is being run?

Meanwhile......

The annual Ed Fair at U of M's faculty of education goes Feb. 1 to 3, with graduating education students being recruited by school divisions throughout Manitoba, across Canada, and internationally.

So far, not that many have committed to coming. There's Sunrise School Division, which usually gives away frisbees, Red River Valley S.D., Seine River S. D., Lord Selkirk S.D., St. James-Assiniboia S.D., and Seven Oaks S.D.

Also coming are Linden Christian School, Gava Educational of Mexico, Saskatoon public schools, and an outfit called Impact Teachers, which is presumably an overseas placement service.

That's a few dozen short of the usual turnout.

I remember the year we had a huge story about the schools in LA coming here to recruit teachers, and offering comparable salaries but in U.S. dollars back when our buck was worth maybe 66 cents American. The recruiter, who I recall had moved to California from Winnipeg, was like so totally eager to be interviewed. And afterward, checking to see how many teachers he signed here, I called, and I called, and I called, always getting voice mail and never hearing back from him.

And no, I'm afraid there's no sign yet of Morden-based Western S.D., which always lays out enormous slabs of apple pie.

Meanwhile, I know I've ranted about this before, but since they're back on TV again, those smug, smirking guys doing the slow hand-clap to accept some new member into the Society of Uncompromising Men... seriously, uncompromising, guys who sully a fine whiskey with ice? Why not put some pop in it too, while you're at it?

Sigh.

Yes, I want to see Avatar, though it looks as though it will attract far more than just the nerd crowd. But speaking of maintaining my geek status, those Daybreakers trailers look really awesome -- a world run by vampires, and the handful of humans organizing resistance. Cool.

On to another topic... you may have to call me Dr. after the holidays. I received an email from a group offering to help me get a PhD simply by clicking on a link. It wasn't signed -- maybe they just want to help people, without asking for any glory in return, really selfless giving from the heart. Gosh, do you think I'll have to, you know, like send along a few dollars?

Total change of topic, but it's looking pretty official, Leafs Nation is smitten with The Monster.

Finally, counting the hours until the kids come home from university for Yule.

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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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