Friday, October 11, 2002

Today's posts are being made from Sturgis, MI....over a 16.8 kps dialup connection, no less!

I'm happy to report that I was able to visit both the registrar and my academic adviser -- Dr Robert McLean -- at OISE/UT while in Toronto. While I still have some work to do and obstacles to overcome, at least now I have hope that I'll be able to complete degree requirements for my M.Ed. in Curriculum with a specialization in Computer Applications via online studies.

I'm also happy that I was able to meet with Dr. McLean to discuss my proposal for the "major research project" I need to complete to satisfy degree requirements. As always, watch this space for developments.

While at the registrar's office, I learned that students typically enroll for courses in both semesters of the following academic year as soon as course lists are released in March of each year. I mentioned to the registrar that they might do well to mention this to distance students and these same "distance" (i.e., online) students should be given "first right of refusal" on these courses given that they do not have access to face-to-face courses.

Bottom line -- get in there to register as soon as courses become available -- even if it is nearly a full year before classes begin!

OK -- for those of you reading the Oct 8th entry and saying:

"Duh! Why didn't you [me] take public transit and avoid the traffic?" On the 9th, I tried.

In the process I learned that parking is at a premium in public transportation lots between Burlington and Toronto. I stopped in lots in Burlington (Aldershot actually -- this is where the problems started -- silly me, I'd driven past the "Burlington" sign expecting just that).

There was all the parking you'd ever want but the train was at the next stop -- Burlington. I jumped in the car and head for the next stop -- Oakville. I circled this lot looking for a parking spot long enough to see the train entering the station.

My next stop in search of "park and ride" parking was at the Islingtion subway station. No luck there either. I made my way back to the Gardiner expressway to continue the drive into Toronto and was into the city about the same time as the train. I saw it again just before the Union Station stop.

Suffice it to say that my trip west to Hamilton at the end of the day -- unlike the trip east during "non rush-hour" took longer than it would have on the train ;)

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Another post from Hamilton, ON.

Today we finished up at the World Workplace tradeshow in Toronto. The show ended at 1400 hrs and I managed to get on the road to Hamilton shortly after 1430 hrs. Once again, I was amazed at the traffic I encountered, especially so given the time of day (i.e., well before rush hour).

I can't imagine what it's like to subject one's self to this type of fray day after day by commuting in and around Toronto -- if the traffic itself doesn't kill you, the wear and tear on your heart will.

I guess the fact that the on-ramp I took to enter the Gardiner Expressway (part the Queen Elizabeth Way -- a four-lane freeway that tracks along the northern shore of Lake Ontario) had a sign indicating that the ramp closes weekdays at 1500 hrs, should have been a clue to what awaited me on the "expressway."

While there is no question that there are benefits to living in the "big city," traffic congestion surely isn't one of them.

Monday, October 07, 2002

A post from Toronto, ON.

I'm here working the World Workplace tradeshow. It's been a number of years since I've been in Toronto (I completed my undergrad at the University of Toronto in 1990) and the city has changed. Maybe it hasn't changed that much -- it may be more that I'm not used to the congestion in traffic and what seems to be limitless road construction.

I attended Homecoming festivities at the University of Toronto on Saturday and had the good fortune to attend a lecture given by Dr. Kim Vicentes on "human factors" as they relate to computers. I'm intrigued by the work being done by Dr. Vicentes and his colleagues. I'll post more information here in the days to come.

While in Toronto this week I hope to be able to visit OISE and resolve the registration problems I'm having regarding the courses I need to complete my M.Ed. While I welcome this opportunity, I'm disappointed that a "face-to-face" visit to the school seems required.

I'd truly hoped that I'd be able to complete my degree entirely online, and still hope to complete coursework online, I'm disappointed that I have to "resort" to visiting the campus to resolve the problems I'm having.