Opening Statement



Friday, 20 March 2015

A Spring Blog Update!

Updated March 24th!



Hello cyber-landers!

Please note: Some possible relief! In more ways than one! This blog is mostly for those of you who aren't just interested in the teacher contract postings! Plus, after the longest, coldest winter on record, spring finally arrives as of 6:45 pm EST today! Whew! It will be great to finally emerge from hibernating in my man cave here in Toronto Canada. And so, some notes on my future directions in blogging at this site, that is; where are we headed next?

Recently, I've focused a lot on the Ontario teacher contract negotiations. There's my blog on Free Speech and Grass Root Renewal [Here]. The initial contract offers [OECTA][OCSTA][OPSBA]. More info will definitely follow, including a new Spring Contract Guide blog!

I've highlighted the concerns with OECTA AGM 2015 [AGM]. Unfortunately, the members political bed has been made. Now you must sleep in it. Quite frankly, OECTA is royally screwed as far as being a member based organization goes. There really is no nice way to put it! However, if you have that much trust and confidence in OECTA's ability to still negotiate your next contract, then so be it. Ditto the other affiliates if they still feel the love

It's beyond me how OECTA's union practices can be tolerated, considering the track record past and present, especially with all that is now at stake but -good luck! The new generation of teachers have no idea of what's been lost, in more ways than one! However, this debacle is no longer my fight. Fortunately I am retired. Deal with it or don't! Your Comments are always welcome! But my own focus and energy are moving on ..... this is just too depressing!



Go snow! Go!

My monthly all affiliate Teacher Free Speech News and Views blogs [Jan] [Feb] [March] remain very popular and well read. They will continue as a "catch all" location for teacher, school, union, party politics, national and world news and entertainment etc. etc. etc. from a progressive, Canadian perspective. There will still, of course, also be separate blogs on different issues of interest. However, there's much, much more of interest than OECTA, OECTA, OECTA ..... and teacher contracts! But if you have another interesting teacher perspective that we should consider, well, guest blogs of course, are always welcome! [Here]

In Other News: This blogsite will very shortly reach 600,000 reader visits. During the past year, there has been about a 50% turnover in my readership. About 55% are male. Most readers are between 20 to 55 years old, the largest group being aged 20-35. A large proportion are now from the US and Europe with an interest in our union movement; it's organization, media and political strategy. In many ways we have done quite well. However, a lot of the reader interest also seems to be on the many other regular features on my site. Here are some topics you can look forward to:

The 2015 Federal Election: Prime Minister Harper's neo cons have got to go! [HereI plan on working the next election, with blogs to follow. Canada heads to the polls in October, though there are some rumours that the election might be called earlier than that. More details forthcoming. Stay tuned!



Back to Cuba!

Cuba, Cuba and more Cuba: Why oh why did I come back early from the warmth of the sun, sand and sea to the dead cold of a Canadian winter?!? [Last Trip] Alas. Retirement is still new too me. Perhaps with time I will eventually better get my timing right. 

There will be the promised update on the Cuban schools. [CSP] Also a report on the reactions I've encountered there toward the much touted normalization of relations with the US, and so on. I've decided to return to Cuba very soon. Just to hang out in Santiago de Cuba. Visit the teachers. The schools. Enjoy some sun by the pool. The fiestas at night. Then I can tell you more. Important work, so someones got to do it! Might as well be me!

With so much time on my hands and so little reason to go outside this winter, I finally managed to clean out the deepest corners of my closet. As you might guess, I found a whole box of stories, poems, journals, photos, memorabilia from my past travels to Cuba, mostly from the 1990's. So far I have published two short stories here; Christmas In Cuba [Here] and On the Road In Cuba [Here] about the early days of the Cuban School Project. Cuba and the Night is still being posted.[#1][#2][#3] There is still a lot more, including a short novel, A La Habana! [Excerpt], which I might work on at the trailer over the summer. 


Cuba seems to be of great timely, topical interest as of late. It's strange to cannibalize my own writing. Whats still good? How to frame it? The story, in my mind, is still all about "engagement", a major difference in how Canada, unlike the US has approached Cuba. In my experience that's been through the Cuban School Project which I started and continue to direct. I will try to be careful not to get too long in the tooth. Cuba truly is an enigma. I want to show both the pros and the cons of what has and still is happening to try to provide some meaningful insights and to do the story any justice!

I am considering adding a "donations link" for my Cuban School Project [CSP] but so far have resisted any commercialization whatsoever on my site. The focus of the education relief work has always been "Made in Cuba". It is carried out in a direct hands on manner, by myself working with the Cuban teachers and students sans any outside influences, so as to maintain it's integrity. Fortunately, it has proven very successful, against all odds and the work is still ongoing. It's very professionally rewarding, much more so than even my teaching career here in Canada. I want to keep it that way, so I still haven't decided how I will proceed with fund raising. Any tips on possible donations or grants would be much appreciated!

BTW: OECTA TSU recently donated $400 to the "Toronto Friendship School" and the next edition of our Ingles Para Ti  workbook. Many thanks from the students and staffs at the Cuban schools! As educators, we can make a difference!



You might've noticed that "Kulture Kult Ink" is the url for my site, not "tsu3rdvp" anymore. It reflects my current interests and reality in the broadest sense. Bob Marley and the Beatles are still on tap. Expect a lot more music, movie, television reviews etc. etc. etc. I am toying with the idea of also setting up an online radio and a t.v. station, if you will, for more of an audio visual experience. The internet has made "Manufacturing Dis-consent" a very viable option to challenge our political, social, cultural and economic assumptions and the staus quo. I will want to explore that a lot further in the daze ahead beyond just the union scope.

My Twitter account [davidchiarelli] continues to provide frequent new links and the like. Kulture Kults Klassik Lp o' the Day is a new feature with lots of music and video links to brighten up your day. I will keep it esoteric. Never a dull moment. Subscribe! Check that out too!

Remember, you can Comment below each blog in our open forum discussions. And your Teacher Free Speech News Link Archive 2011-15 is located for your convenience at the top left column on your screen. I dare say it's become quite an interesting and worthwhile research tool. My tweets direct you to backgrounder links of current interest. You might also want to just go take a gander and explore the archive yourself.

In Solidarity!

David C


COMMENTS:

5 comments:

Alyson Kirkwood said...

I don't understand why people make such strong comments but won't attach their names to the their comments. If you are willing to say it, you should be willing to claim it. Anonymity has gone too far!

David Chiarelli said...

You make a point! I always attach mine, and of course my credentials are also posted etc. However, I often respect anonyminity because alot of the teachers have been attacked and bullied for speaking their minds by both their boards + union. Thanks for your including your name Alyson. It is preferable, but alas we live in dangerous times.

Cheers!

David C

Anonymous said...

What comments are you talking about Ms. Alyson?

Anonymous said...

Maybe when Alyson starts getting threatening letters she`ll change her mind.
Former Idealist

David Chiarelli said...

Regretful, neither boards nor unions have proven themselves to to be big fans of teacher free speech. The threats and bullying are legion. We are well educated professionals, the situation intolerable. However, until we can get a handle on this, a lot of readers are pretty shook up around here. Sad.

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