This has been an incredibly dramatic week in Canadian politics…
October 24th, 2013

This has been an incredibly dramatic week in Canadian politics, with way more theatre than most of us get in an average year. A tangled set of conflicting narratives is in play in Ottawa, as the Senate confronts its own history and spending practises, many of them bad. But here at home one political party is actively imploding. Through a series of missteps and bad counter movements, the Newfoundland and Labrador NDP is effectively undermining its own integrity, credibility, and sensibility. It’s a train wreck, all right, one squarely engineered by its own members.

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So this week I am in Monterrey, Mexico…
October 22nd, 2013

So this week I am in Monterrey, Mexico, site of the annual Conference of the Americas on International Education. About 800 or so of us are here from North America, Central and South America, to do the networking, compare notes about the subject and assess our progress in the internationalization trend. It’s not just about recruitment, that’s for sure. Internationalization comprises a broad spectrum of activities involving faculty, staff, and students, and some of us are doing better at it than others.

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I flew to Toronto this week…
October 11th, 2013

I flew to Toronto this week, having been invited to participate on a panel at the TIFF Light Box. That’s the name of the building you see above, in the heart of the downtown theatre and club district. By day it doesn’t look like much from the outside, but at night it really does earn its name. More importantly, perhaps, the interior of the building is a marvel of architecture and engineering. It’s a film lover’s dream, an exquisite shrine to the moving picture. In addition to the Toronto International Film Festival offices, there are five theatres, all superbly appointed, acoustically perfect, comfortable, and warm. The lobby areas are spacious and inviting, with cosy armchairs and lounge areas for gabbing about films after you’ve seen them and need to talk. And the café scene is totally wonderful, with a first-class restaurant, café, and bar, of course. Once you’re in there you just don’t want to leave.

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This is beautiful Pest from the Buda side of the Danube…
October 4th, 2013

This is beautiful Pest from the Buda side of the Danube, from what is known as Castle Hill. Those are the impressive Parliament Buildings across the river, a most elegant site of democracy in a city that has seen more than its share of twentieth century trouble. A visit to the infamous House of Terror, where first the Nazis and then the Communists held prisoners, and tortured and killed them in the name of whatever ideology was current, is enough to put Hungary into some darker perspective.

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