Sunday, September 21, 2008

When do you collect stories : Back to School 4

Computer systems, the name still elicits excitement. An analyst at York tells this story in January 1987 "Yorklore". He was flying about 25 thousand feet over the Great Lakes on his way back from a business trip. His fellow passenger was reading a copy of the National Enquirer and as much as he scoffed at this [source] he started reading it over his seat mate's shoulder.

This is what caught his eye, “York University, Youngest undergraduate”. He found himself reading on. After all only this news print would make up a story about an 11 year old undergraduate. It wasn’t until he returned to his job at York that he discovered the horrible truth. There was a new student enrolled, Jason Levy was his name, making the Enquirer correct.

The moral of this story, never judge an article while on board an aircraft flying 25 thousand feet!

The computer analyst loves this story and the telling of it.

All you need is an interested party.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

When to collect stories : School Days 3

"YORKLORE", the name sounds elusive and yet those tellers who contributed some of their memories shared these stories with a special feeling for York University. It was collected over 19 years ago and these stories still bring me
closer to that special place and time.

Storytellers come every shape and size, they are young, less young and some are quite mature. All have one thing in common, they have a story to tell that makes them feel alive. Such a person deserves to be heard, let's call him Bob,

Professor Bob tells of the unexpected confrontation with two teaching assistants.

Working as a team they requested time off giving very little notice to the Department. Somewhat dismayed with the lack of professionalism
on the part of these TAs, Bob felt he had no choice but to give them the time requested. This was after all a humanistic environment and although they had not given any reason for the urgency, the time was granted. It was several days later then Professor Bob received a telephone call informing him that his team had just had a baby.

Asked if he had not noticed anything, Bob smiled and walked away still amused by the incident with York's humanistic center intact.

Listen, record and remember. The telling comes naturally. Each time a story is shared it receives its just moment in time, validating and enriching our present.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

When to collect stories : School Days 2

"YorkLore" includes 26 stories from staff, faculty and students at York University. The stories were all shared in the fall and winter of 1986; the tellers were recounting a moment in time that impacted on them in some way.

This next story reminds those of us who have stood in the registration line up in September waiting to get your classes selected.

Atkinson College 1977: Registration
This was the setting for an onslaught
of profane language directed towards the staff.
A student speaking in an aggressive tone
used foul four letter words bellowed out clear and loud.
The Administrative Assistant took it upon herself
to call out the Registrar for aid in the disturbance.
Now our Registrar was known to possess a thorough
knowledge of slurs, insults and
four letter words held no mystery for her.
With steely confidence she approached the counter
and addressed the perpetrator,

"Young man, I don't use that kind of language.
The ladies in this office are members of my staff
and they will not be subjected to this ugly discourse.
You will now leave !"

Our highly indignant intruder was no match for this
valiant College Registrar and left.

The staff in Registration still today appreciate
the irony of the story as well as the support
rendered them by their Registrar.

It is often said that "No good deed goes unpunished". But respect in the workplace is forever, pass it on,