Monthly Archives: April 2011

Day of Silence

Today is an organized day of silence to raise awareness about bullying and harassment of LGBTQ students and other people.  The event seems to be organized for students to participate, but I taught my full 3 lessons without speaking a word.

Students were supportive and seemed to enjoy it.  One student quipped that they learned more this way because they had to ask the questions and give the answers.  I was able to answer yes/no questions, and I could write other things on the board, but students did step up (figuratively) to give longer explanations.

It was a little difficult to communicate.  Even questions like, “Do you understand?” and “Any questions?” weren’t easy, but they followed me well enough.

As a teacher, I think this was a fun way to show my support for LGBTQ rights.  They knew what it was about (I wrote it on the board for those who didn’t know beforehand), and next class I might have a discussion about it.

This might be a privilege for math teachers (having the lesson being very writing-intensive) but I would encourage others to try it if possible!



Why the Canucks deserve to win

When I noticed that Vancouver had handily won the Western Conference, but the other four teams in their division didn’t even make the playoffs, it begged the question, did Vancouver do well just by beating up on crappy teams in their division, or were they great, and teams like Calgary struggled because they had to play powerhouse Vancouver six times.

With a breakdown of record by division, it stands out that the western playoff-bound teams beat up on the Northwest division, but only Vancouver also beat up on the Pacific and Central.  Only San Jose came close to Vancouver’s record, but they didn’t hold up against the East.

Vancouver is legit.  Hopefully they can turn regular season success into a long playoff run.  Anything less than taking the conference final to 7 games should be considered a failure.  Go ‘Nucks!

Pizza chains

What do the following intersections have in common? Queen and Bathurst, Woodbine and Danforth, St Clair and Vaughan, Gerrard and Greenwood, Church and Wellesley? Answer below.

Today I learned Pizza Nova, a pizza chain based in Ontario, is family-owned and operated. They’ve been my favourite pizza place since I was a kid. There was a Pizza Pizza across the street, but of course we always chose the better pizza. The thin, crisp crust with fantastic toppings? Hell yes.

So why is Pizza Pizza evidently the most popular pizza in Ontario? They don’t have the best pizza (it’s really just all dough), they’re not the only chain that lets you order online, and they don’t have the best deals (Domino’s has much better pizza and fantastic prices). So I can’t figure it out.

Some ideas of why they’re successful:
They marketed pretty well. The 967-11-11 song was really catchy. But I preferred 4-3-9-oh-oh-oh-oh Pizza Nova any day.
I think they employ(ed) some business strategies that make their chain the default choice. Especially for large orders; it seems like everyone buys Pizza Pizza for large functions, and then it’s in people’s minds when they next order? I don’t know too much about the psychology of marketing and consumer choice.
They place their stores in great locations: the corner lot. Visible from about twice as many places, whatever it costs for a corner lot is probably worth it. Most Pizza Pizza stores I know are at corners. This is the answer to the question at the start of the post.

What I do like about Pizza Pizza:
– the dipping sauce
– when they first introduced fries to the menu, they called them Fries Fries.

What I prefer about almost every other chain:
– the pizza, i.e. the whole reason you’re getting food in the first place

Cricket and Baseball

I love Toronto.  Only in a city this diverse would I find out that India won the world cricket championship, without the media.  It was even my first guess when I stepped out of the subway and saw about 25 people cheering and waving Indian flags.

Last night I went to the Jays home opener.  I’d never been to a sellout game (or anything even close) and the crowd fever was contagious.  I was excited enough anyway.  Congrats to Robbie Alomar and Pat Gillick for their inductions into the Hall of Fame.  Now I wonder if they’ll retire Alomar’s #12.  Toronto teams don’t seem to like retiring numbers, but I like the gesture to players who contribute so much to the local sports scene.

April Fools afternoons

I’ll bet whoever started (or reintroduced) the idea that you can’t play pranks after noon on April Fools day was some spoilsport who had been tricked handily and said “Enough!!”  Enjoy it, it’s usually all in good fun. 🙂