Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What this fellow has been up to

Equestrian Statue of King Edward VII at Queen's Park
It's been some time since I've posted about fellowship activities. Things are puttering away at a somewhat frenetic pace as we approach the end of the fall term. This includes re-writing a paper for one of my courses (seems I wasn't paying close enough attention to what was required) and prepping for the submission of the end-of-term paper in the same couse -- hence the photo of the statue of good ol' King Edward VII. That class (Battle over history education) continues to be a source of some frustration and immense reward as we discuss our readings every week. It has continually reminded me of the reason why I'm here despite how it makes my brain hurt some weeks.
The journalism fellows are about 10 days away from our first international travel. The German foreign ministry and the Goethe Institut are bringing us to Berlin from Dec. 4-11 for a packed itinerary. Some of the highlights:
  • Meeting with architects to discuss city design and planning.
  • Visiting a cultural media festival.
  • Taking in an opera, a philharmonic or both.
  • A better-than-tourist tour of the Reichstag.
  • A visit to, hopefully, Humboldt university.
  • Visits to museums-- history, Jewish and others.
  • Spending some time with a Berlin food critic, as well as at Der Speigel.
After our official itinerary in Berlin is complete, myself and two of the fellows are off to Prague for three nights. Following which, they return to home soil and I travel to visit family in Portugal from Dec. 15-21.
With all this excitement it's very easy to skip over the amazing things that have been happening at Massey in the last month. We had the Feast for the Founding Master this past Saturday, honouring Robertson Davies, one of the three people (with former Gov.-Gen. Vincent Massey and the U of T president of the day) who founded Massey College in 1962-3. The Massey printshop always does a fantastic job with printing keepsakes for the extra-special high tables, and this was no exception with a Davies' quote.
Pretense is wonderfully stimulating to the artistic mind which is why some people lie for fun rather than from necessity! -- A Mixture of Frailties
The dinner was followed by the reading of a Massey College ghost story penned by Davies in his fifth year as master of this college.
As usual, we've had our Thursday guests for lunch with the journalism fellows and selected Massey junior fellows. The lunches are off-the-record chats over good food and beverage and the guests this fall have been:
  • Matt Thompson
  • Charles Pascal
  • Christopher Hedges
  • Stephen Jenkinson
  • Kim Echlin
  • Abraham Rotstein
  • Kevin Stolarick
  • Sabine Sparwasser
  • Michael MacMillan / Alison Loat
  • Austin Clarkson
The past weeks have also been an opportunity to shore up some options for the winter-term courses I hope to audit. I've already lined up a joint-program course on the latest evolutions of urban form, an interdisciplinary course on mobile-phone application design and, of course, thinking about what OISE stuff I'll loiter in.
The blog may be a bit quiet as a result (more so than it already has been) in the next month or so.