equivocality — Jeff Ngan's collection of thoughts, experiences, and projects, inspired by pretty much everything
19 Feb 07

The Many Faces of Bronwen

Bronwen is my orig­i­nal muse. We hap­pened to meet shortly after I got my SLR cam­era, and ever since, she’s my pri­mary model when doing pho­to­graphic tests and experiments.

These were taken over the course of about a year. From before we started dat­ing to passed the break-up.

Every angle cap­tures a dif­fer­ent side of someone.

Thumbnail: Dark and brooding
Thumbnail: The hoodie attitude.
Thumbnail: Against the wall
Thumbnail: Classy cleavage
Thumbnail: Cute mode
Thumbnail: Emo.
Thumbnail: The trustworthy companion look.
Thumbnail: The innocent look
Thumbnail: Bronwen revolution.
Thumbnail: The porcelain doll look.
Thumbnail: The cozy look.
Thumbnail: Trusting

Looking back on these reminds me of how much I miss it when she had red hair, which she dyed for me (but didn’t like to admit it). Too bad I can’t con­vince her now to do it again.

16 Feb 07

The Old Boys of '99: Providing Ignorance as Bliss

I decided to pri­va­tize the pro­files in my “Old Boys of ’99″ series from now on. Much like this blog, the series was meant to be a sort of mem­oir, a way for me to rem­i­nisce about the past. A low-key deal.

One of my fel­low Old Boys found out, and it appears that word-of-mouth is spread­ing like wild-fire. Visits have increased con­sid­er­ably as links are being e-mailed back and forth.

Funny that my hum­ble opin­ions and obser­va­tions have gen­er­ated such an interest.

I never thought that I made any kind of impres­sion on any­one at Upper Canada College, or that any­one I went to school with would actu­ally care to see what I wrote. Evidence of this fact is that I only keep in touch with two peo­ple from those days in high-school.

This is a first for me. There were a few times that I con­sid­ered pass­word pro­tect­ing my posts, sim­ply because I thought cer­tain things would be too embar­rass­ing to admit or talk about, but I’ve always forced myself to be hon­est and open.

This series, on the other hand, is where I’m hon­est about other peo­ple. Some of them took offense to what they read in one entry. They lashed out at me, because they didn’t like what was being said.

It’s hard for some to accept the truth.

They’d rather live in denial, or stay obliv­i­ous about what other peo­ple think of them, and can only cover it up with anger. I’ve made the deci­sion that it’s best for them not to know.

Those who know me well will know the pass­word. Those who don’t may apply.

The Old Boys of '99 Series

  1. Introduction
  2. Another Perspective
  3. Seeto and Bunston
  4. Mungovan and King
  5. Providing Ignorance as Bliss
  6. My Perspective
16 Feb 07

Protected: The Old Boys of '99: Mungovan and King

This con­tent is pass­word pro­tected. To view it please enter your pass­word below:

12 Feb 07

A Change Of Tea

So I wasn’t being com­pletely hon­est when I said no more tea. I’d sim­ply switched from black to orange tea. Even that didn’t work though, and a mild panic attack had me down to even lighter, Chinese tea.

A warm, relax­ing mug can be rather addicting.

Thumbnail: Green tea
Thumbnail: Longjing
Thumbnail: Rose green tea
Thumbnail: Green tea mug
Thumbnail: Leaves macro

The great thing about tea is that it doesn’t just taste good, it serves a pur­pose. Cleanses the palette. Aids diges­tion. Combats the Yang of greasy foods with Yin. Green tea in the morn­ing serves to awaken the senses. Longjing calms the mind at night.

The steep­ing process is beau­ti­ful. Green tea is espe­cially prone to scorch­ing, so the water can’t be too hot, or the tea will turn bit­ter. Not hot enough, and the leaves won’t fully release their flavour.

Note: Each frame of the video is a dif­fer­ent pho­to­graph, taken five sec­onds apart. About thirty min­utes in total.

09 Feb 07

To Eat And To Forgive

It’s Friday. Pizza day. At Louise’s house, the par­ents don’t feel like cook­ing, and the kids get a treat.

The slices are out. The salad’s in the serv­ing bowl. Everyone has an accom­mo­dat­ing fork, nap­kin, and slice. I see Eric move a hand to his face in the cor­ner of my eye, and assume that he’s started eating.

As the guest, this means I’m allowed to eat too. I take a bite out of my slice, but before I can even chew, I real­ize that Eric was just scratch­ing his beard. With a smile on his face, he says “Don’t for­get about grace, Jeff”.

It’s a dou­ble whammy.

Not only am I a rude guest, mis­tak­enly eat­ing first, but I’m a hea­then too, dis­re­spect­ful of their religion.

It reminded me of some­thing that hap­pened when I was a teenager. Matt was over. Pizza night. As the guest, Matt got the first slice. He waited while the rest were being handed out, but my dad, with­out any sense of for­mal­ity, took a bite as soon as he had one. Neither of my par­ents noticed, but there was a star­tled look on Matt’s face. He quickly closed his eyes, held a fist to his face (not a clenched one, but as if hold­ing the beads of a Rosary), and said a prayer in his head.

I always imag­ined that it went, “ThankyouGodforthispizzaandformygracioushosts”, because he was done so quickly.

It made me won­der, what was in that look? What do those who ask thanks of their meal think of those who don’t? What do Christians think of those who don’t say grace? What do Muslims think of those who don’t fast? Are we unap­pre­cia­tive? Do we take our food for granted?

Eric’s tone is kind though, not con­de­scend­ing or judg­men­tal, as if to say, “We only ask you to do this for the sake of our kids”.

Louise asks Sarah if she’d like to say grace. She sings a song that bears a strik­ing — excuse the pun — resem­blance to the melody of the Westminster quar­ters (along with choreography).

Hark to the chimes (arms held upwards and open)
Come bow your head (hands together in prayer)
We thank thee lord (arms upward again)
For this good bread (hands together again)

But as a seven-year-old, Sarah doesn’t know the right words. She says “heart” instead of “hark”. “You” instead of “thee”.

No one men­tions it though. Not every­one is per­fect. One can be forgiven.

Even me, I hope.

05 Feb 07

A Few Updates

Wide angle fun

Thumbnail: Wide angle me.
Thumbnail: Wide angle Bronwen.
Thumbnail: 15mm boots
Thumbnail: Wide angle computers.

The Canon 15mm proves to be a com­pli­cated addi­tion to the lens arse­nal. As a pho­tog­ra­pher, you really have to under­stand how to han­dle the dis­tor­tions, even when it’s on a 1.6 FOVCF body. It’s obvi­ously not meant for por­traits; faces end up being com­i­cally dis­pro­por­tion­ate. It’s great for con­text shots though, when the sur­round­ings say more than the subject.

Contract

I got a con­tract under my per­sonal busi­ness, my first. It’s made my sched­ule rather busy. There isn’t much time to just laze around on the week­ends any­more. I have to plan my fun.

Tai Chi break

Tai Chi classes have been sus­pended indef­i­nitely, as the teacher’s wife has just been diag­nosed with can­cer. While I miss the relax­ing two-hour ses­sions, I don’t miss wak­ing up at 5:30 in the morn­ing on Saturday to make class. With the extra time, I flirted with the idea of pick­ing up piano lessons again, but I’ve decided that it would too much of a com­mit­ment right now. I still need some form of phys­i­cal activ­ity, in addi­tion to the Tai Chi Yang form prac­tice on my own, so I’ll prob­a­bly be going to table ten­nis again.

Nail in the coffin

I’m off to New Hampshire for two weeks next month, for indus­try job train­ing. I had to find my pass­port, issued five years ago for my trip to Hong Kong/China/Macau, with my dorky glasses and hair parted down the mid­dle. In addi­tion to my old address, my mom was listed as con­tact in case of emer­gency, but I changed it to Pat. It would have been John if he wasn’t so far away. Pat’s also a good per­son to go to in a cri­sis; he’s the one who always keeps it together.

I miss my music source

Ever since Trolley moved out, I don’t get intro­duced to awe­some new music any­more. The lat­est find (on Jeff’s recommendation) is Wicked Wisdom, fea­tur­ing Jada Pinkett Smith as the front­woman. I never would have believed a band with Will Smith’s wife would be so good.

02 Feb 07

Jealousy As Insecurity As Love

Hey Pat,

I don’t know how seri­ous you thought I was about being the best man or MC if you ever get mar­ried. I know it may sound crazy, but you get­ting mar­ried is as impor­tant to me as it is to you. I love you, and I know I don’t tell you that enough. You are a true friend to me, and you know that I don’t have many.

I see this as a great oppor­tu­nity to do some­thing for you, because you’ve already done so much for me. Let me take on the respon­si­bil­ity and sup­port you, to be there for you on one of the most impor­tant days of your life. I eas­ily put aside the dif­fer­ences I’ve had with any poten­tial peo­ple you may invite (I think that we’re smart enough to be open and dis­cuss this), because it’s about you, not me.

These things are usu­ally planned pretty well in advance though, so I won’t be sur­prised if you have some­one else in mind. I under­stand that we’re talk­ing about YOUR big day, so you should have the peo­ple YOU want involved in YOUR wed­ding. To be hon­est, I’ll be happy with what­ever deci­sion you make, because I’m happy if you’re happy. Bottom line.

In any case, let me know when you pop the ques­tion, and WE WILL FEAST.

  —Jeff

I wrote this two years ago.

Pat pro­posed to Jen a cou­ple of months later. Several months after that, they bought a house, delay­ing the wed­ding until this year.

Last week, Pat asked me to be a grooms­man and co–MC.

When I found out that Jason would be best man (as well as the other MC) there was a tinge of jeal­ousy in my heart, fol­lowed by an over­whelm­ing sense of guilt about this jealousy.

To feel this way was a bit of a sur­prise. Jealously has never been one of my promi­nent emo­tions. It made me real­ize that I’m a lit­tle inse­cure in my rela­tion­ship with Pat. There’s so much good in him, com­pared to the hatred, dark­ness, and weak­ness in me. He’s not my oppo­site, but he’s the per­son I’m con­stantly striv­ing to become. Just being around him makes me feel elated and relaxed.

The frus­trat­ing thing is that I know it’s his wed­ding. He should be able to do what­ever he wants. There’s no rivalry between Jason and me. As studier of peo­ple, I have every bit of faith in Pat’s deci­sion. The logic has finally kicked in, and I feel a sense of warmth and secu­rity about being up there with Pat, a group exclu­sive to a hand­ful of peo­ple out of a seem­ingly end­less number.

It’s only now that I real­ize how self­ish and inap­pro­pri­ate it was of me to ask. Running around, mak­ing sure every­one is hav­ing a good time, giv­ing toasts, host­ing games, the duty of MC isn’t even some­thing I nor­mally want to do. I only asked because it was a way that I could show how much Pat has done for me, a respon­si­bil­ity I’d take on gladly.

I’m scared that I made him feel obliged, and I’m ashamed of being jeal­ous for that split-second.

Maybe that’s what love is.

Unfounded inse­cu­rity. Jealousy with­out reason.

A feel­ing that over­whelms logic.

29 Jan 07

An Assortment of Messages

I never used to answer my phone.

Part of it was because I was being stalked by a crazy girl for a while. Somehow she got my num­ber and called a few times, but Trolley picked up and was able to warn me.

The other rea­son was because I used to be stoned almost every minute off work. Dealing with peo­ple in the out­side world was an instant buzz kill.

It’s only recently that I’ve started tak­ing calls again. The lan­guid process of reha­bil­i­tat­ing my social skills has been rather slow. Sometimes I get so busy that I don’t have time to check my mes­sages, and they build up into strange archives like this, circa last month.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (ver­sion 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the lat­est ver­sion here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

0:22

John gives me the fun­ni­est advice some­times. I never did call the girl. Anyone who comes on that strong is usu­ally trouble.

1:13

Dan is eas­ily the most loqua­cious per­son that I know, yet he’s per­fectly suc­cinct when leav­ing mes­sages. I find it funny that he always leaves his num­ber at the end. I guess we don’t see each other enough for him to be sure that I haven’t lost it. Last time was November. I should give him a call.

1:25

One time, Pat asked me for my birth date. He told me that he wrote down the date and stuck it to his fridge, so he would be reminded every time he went to grab some­thing to eat. Apparently, he’s ter­ri­ble at remem­ber­ing birth­days, so for him to remem­ber mine was quite a gesture.

1:42

My dad left me two mes­sages. They’re rather short, so I’ll give a quick trans­la­tion. First call: “Jeff, it’s Daddy. Just call­ing to talk. I’m guess­ing you went out. I’ll call you later, bye bye.” Second call: “Hi Jeff, it’s Daddy. Daddy moved, so there’s a new address and num­ber. I’ll call you later. Bye bye.” The first two words he says are are my Chinese name, and “Daddy” doesn’t need to be translated.

2:08

This is the creepi­est mes­sage I’ve ever received. I have no idea who it is, but they know my name. I can’t even tell if they’re male or female. I tried to do a reverse lookup on the num­ber, and called it even, but it’s not in ser­vice. The only words I can make out are “Hi Jeff, this is Emily…had to fight for your number…maybe you want to chill some time”.

2:33

Even though we already broke up, Bronwen has no prob­lem telling me that she loves me, then call­ing me a loser. To this day, our rela­tion­ship is defined by this very repartee.

26 Jan 07

Protected: The Old Boys of '99: Seeto and Bunston

This con­tent is pass­word pro­tected. To view it please enter your pass­word below:

24 Jan 07

The Cutest Thing

At the Tai Chi stu­dio, bath­rooms are shared with an account­ing office in the same building.

Yesterday I found out that the keys aren’t labeled “Men” and “Women”, they say Yin and Yang.

22 Jan 07

Connor, Warrior Fish

So I got a fish.

Thumbnail: Connor side-view

A Siamese fight­ing fish, or Betta, named Connor to be exact. I wanted some­thing lively in my room, since I spend so much time in it. When I went to the store with Pat and Jen, they noticed that one fish was con­stantly flar­ing and swim­ming in cir­cles, almost like he was pac­ing. The fish in the cup next to him (to keep them sep­a­rate or they fight to the death) kept set­ting him off, so nat­u­rally, he was the one. As a clown­tail vari­ant, his fins are extended long like a comb.

I also got some live plants with which came a tiny snail, so small that he was trans­par­ent at first. After a few weeks, he grew con­sid­er­ably big­ger, and sur­vived a cou­ple hours out of water while I was clean­ing out the tank. Bronwen named him Humphrey, but he has since died, found dried up at the top of the tank one morning.

Bettas are funny crea­tures. Supposedly, they have per­son­al­i­ties (for fish), but I can never tell with pets I can’t touch. Sure, he swims towards me every time I turns on the lights or enter the room, but for all I know he could think of me as food. I can only tell that he’s very aggres­sive, flar­ing out his body and swim­ming back and forth when­ever some­thing gets near enough. It’s like he’s a caged glad­i­a­tor, rest­less about his next bat­tle. Dolly likes to sit in my chair and watch him go.

Thumbnail: Connor flares
Thumbnail: Connor flares
Thumbnail: Connor macro
Thumbnail: Pale Connor

I named him Connor, after the immor­tal Connor MacLeod from Highlander, because THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE (Betta in a bowl at a time).

19 Jan 07

The Old Boys of '99: Another Perspective

Note: I asked John, as a guest writer, to give his opin­ion. It’s funny to read his writ­ing; the style is com­pletely dif­fer­ent. It’s obvi­ous that years of law school have changed him.

When Jeff asked me to write about the “Old Boy sys­tem” at UCC, the first thing I asked was, “what sys­tem”? To me, “sys­tem” implies some order or plan or orga­ni­za­tion, and the alumni of UCC have no spe­cial kin­ship or bond. An “Old Boy sys­tem” con­notes one that is dif­fer­ent from the ones that exist in every grad­u­at­ing class from every school I know of.

I had men­tioned to him that one of our class­mates is in my year at law school and Jeff won­dered aloud whether I would have men­tioned it, or noticed it per­haps, if that class­mate and I had not gone to UCC. I replied that I would have noticed him notwith­stand­ing our atten­dance at UCC, as long as we’d been a part of the same high school class as I’m sure most peo­ple would.

My per­spec­tive on the “sys­tem” is that there isn’t one.

I find it inter­est­ing that many peo­ple seem to think that one exists, and note that the main evi­dence used to prove their case is the seem­ing preva­lence of UCC alumni in the halls of power in this coun­try. In response, I would point out that the two things, atten­dance at UCC and later pro­fes­sional suc­cess, more likely have the same root cause — money, fam­ily con­nec­tions, or dare I say it, intel­li­gence.

The like­li­hood of those things being the cause of one’s pro­fes­sional advance­ment is greater than or equal to the like­li­hood that some sys­tem of quid pro quos or school ties. Ockham’s Razor is a prin­ci­ple that I would bring up in this con­text to dis­suade those who would claim that any sys­tem is behind the rise of Old Boys in their occu­pa­tions, the tenet of that prin­ci­ple being that the sim­plest expla­na­tion is more often than not the accu­rate one, and in this case which expla­na­tion is the sim­plest and most elegant.

That Old Boys get together in some nefar­i­ous Cabal to chart the course of the coun­try and select from amongst their num­ber the cho­sen to lead it is a myth.

Or is it sim­pler to say that chaos reigns supreme and indi­vid­ual old boys make their own way in the world, with­out the kind of help that the phrase “Old Boy sys­tem” connotes?

The peo­ple sin­gled out in Fitzgerald’s book are just that — sin­gled out. There are, if I’m not mis­taken, 71 old boys pro­filed in the book who grad­u­ated from the 1920’s to the 1990’s. In that time more than 5000 boys have grad­u­ated. The idea that 1.4% of those grad­u­ates are some­how a reli­able and rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­ple is ludi­crous. Such a sam­ple should not be used to draw any con­clu­sions or to make any generalizations.

The Old Boys of '99 Series

  1. Introduction
  2. Another Perspective
  3. Seeto and Bunston
  4. Mungovan and King
  5. Providing Ignorance as Bliss
  6. My Perspective
17 Jan 07

Kilted Groomsmen

You’re the per­fect woman.”

She real­izes this as she writes down my chest, waist, and hip size, then asks rhetor­i­cally, “What are the typ­i­cally ideal measurements?”.

Aaron and I could only look at each other, as we had no idea.

36–26–36.”

Wow, so you’re a really hot chick!”, says Aaron.

Hi-LAR-ious. Years of con­fi­dence I’ve gained, girl­friends con­vinc­ing me that I’m not too skinny, gone.

Reduced to a male fan­tasy, I’m my own dream girl.

And how much do you weigh?”

(Pause)…113″.

After he’s had a buf­fet”, Aaron adds. My friend the come­dian. To con­sole me, he says, “It’s okay. Remember, you’ll be paired up with Jenn in the party”.

My coun­ter­part. The tini­est girl I know.

Thumbnail: Aaron's wedding band

In the last few years I’ve been to wed­dings for other friends, but Aaron’s the first out of my core group to get mar­ried (although Pat got engaged before him). To pay trib­ute to his cul­ture, he wants the wed­ding to be a bit Scottish — some­thing his Popa is espe­cially pleased about.

As a grooms­man, I’ll be wear­ing a kilt. As a Chinese guy, I’ll be feel­ing a lit­tle out-of-place.

Thumbnail: Matching the sporran and kilt colours
Thumbnail: Comparing sporrans
Thumbnail: Ghillie Brogues
Thumbnail: Ghillie Brogues

He asked me to give him a hand in shop­ping for the regalia. What a cul­ture shock. Looking through cat­a­logues of claid­heamh, sporrans, Sgian Dubhs, Ghillies Brogues. I can’t even pro­nounce the names. My tongue wasn’t made for these kinds of inflections.

It’ll take you guys longer to get dressed than the bride”.

Before we leave I remem­ber to ask, “Can we go tra­di­tional?”, with Aaron adding, “My Popa would be pretty upset if we didn’t”.

Traditional. The euphemism for com­mando. The euphemism for bear-ass naked.

Don’t worry, every­thing is dry-cleaned”, say the woman reassuringly.

It’s only after we leave that I real­ize every­thing but the shirt is made of wool.

I’ll be scratch­ing my balls through the whole service.

15 Jan 07

The Bias of Insecurity

I like to think that humans are, in gen­eral, cere­bral beings, unaf­fected by bias or emotion.

But every time I’m met with a bigot, who has noth­ing to cling to but the strength of their opin­ions, I lose this hope.

The more they speak, the more they prove them­selves as inca­pable of accept­ing any­thing but their own beliefs. Added to this is a lack of self-awareness, caus­ing them believe that they’re not closed-minded, they’re just right.

Often it betrays an inse­cu­rity. You can tell that under­neath their words, they har­bour a sub­con­scious feel­ing that they’re wrong. To make up for this, they express them­selves strongly enough to con­vince them­selves that they’re right.

As log­i­cally as you explain things, step-by-step, premise to con­clu­sion, they won’t under­stand. They’ll never be able to accept the truth, and remain com­pletely ignorant.

It’s impos­si­ble to have a dis­cus­sion with some­one like this.

The dis­cus­sion is super­fi­cial, and the issue lies within the per­son themselves.

12 Jan 07

The Old Boys of '99: Introduction

An old boy net­work or soci­ety can refer to social and busi­ness asso­ci­a­tions among for­mer pupils of top male-only pub­lic schools (inde­pen­dent sec­ondary schools)…and indi­rectly to preser­va­tion of social elites over time with­out regard to merit.

—Wikipedia

My high-school, Upper Canada College, is often touted as one of the best schools to attend in Canada. Someone once said that it pro­vides Canada with a dis­pro­por­tion­ate num­ber of lead­ers, of whom include a Governor General, five Lieutenant-Governors, 24 Rhodes Scholars, and nine Olympic medallists.

Thumbnail: Survivors
Thumbnail: The flag hug
Thumbnail: Rugby and cricket players
Thumbnail: Trombone trio
Thumbnail: Rowing on Lake Ontario
Thumbnail: Football game
Thumbnail: English department
Thumbnail: Hockey team
Thumbnail: School spirit
Thumbnail: Away game

The fac­ulty was excep­tional. A pas­sion­ate, charis­matic group, some of them for­mer pro­fes­sors, notable busi­ness­men, intel­lec­tu­als. The facil­i­ties were top notch; foot­ball fields, base­ball dia­monds, ten­nis courts, indoor/outdoor pools, squash courts. Even the bands and the­atre groups had access to exotic instru­ments and props. I remem­ber for a pro­duc­tion of Hamlet they hired a fight chore­o­g­ra­pher to lend his exper­tise in orches­trat­ing the final fight scene.

School isn’t just about the edu­ca­tion though. It’s as much about the expe­ri­ence. The class­mates. The con­nec­tions. The Old Boy net­work.

When I first started at the prep at age seven, I was cycling along a bridge with another lit­tle seven year old UCC chap. He said to me, ‘My mother is so happy that we are friends because you are going to be able to do so much for me in later life.’ I remem­ber think­ing, ‘I won­der what it is that I am going to be able to do for this chap?’ Then I grew up and real­ized, ‘So that’s the way it is. That is what peo­ple expect.’

—Lord David Thomson (1964–1967, 1970–1975), Chairman of Thomson cor­po­ra­tion, Canada’s wealth­i­est man, sixth wealth­i­est in the world

The influ­ence of the elite legacy of the Old Boys is far-reaching. Compounding this is the age of the school, and per­haps a degree of nepo­tism. A related male at the school sig­nif­i­cantly increased the chances of get­ting in.

Like his grand­fa­ther, John was in McHugh’s house. If had a brother or a son, they would belong to Jackson’s.

Years later, I insisted that my sons, Hugh and Stafford, go to UCC sim­ply because I knew from my own expe­ri­ence that once a boy had gone to Upper Canada, he would never again be in awe of great fam­ily names, money, power or social stand­ing. He would know that although a good pri­vate school like UCC can pro­duce the best, it can also pro­duce the worst.

—Conn Smythe (1908–1910), founder, Maple Leaf Gardens

It was only when James Fitzgerald, an Old Boy him­self, pub­lished his best-selling book Old Boys: The Powerful Legacy of Upper Canada College in 1994 (from where these quotes are taken) that the blem­ishes of UCC came to light.

Beneath the veneer of of navy blue blaz­ers and pol­ished shoes were issues like any other school. There were drugs (though much higher-classed because of bet­ter fund­ing). There were sadis­tic head­mas­ters who looked for an excuse to cane their pupils. There were teach­ers who molested — or seduced — their students.

I learned to be a sex­ual masochist at Upper Canada. I’m not kid­ding. Whenever the house­mas­ter caught me mas­tur­bat­ing, his way of deal­ing with it was to cane me. Caning is a rot­ten method of teach­ing any­thing. What it taught me, of course, was the erotic con­nec­tions of can­ing. They are still with me to this day.

—John Gartshore (1935–1943), musician

A cou­ple months ago, I received a copy of Old Times, the semi-annual pub­li­ca­tion for alumni. In a sec­tion called “Class Notes”, they bring oth­ers up to speed on their class­mates. In the last issue, for exam­ple, they men­tion that Michael Ignatieff, class of ’65, had just joined the race for the lead­er­ship of the Liberal Party of Canada.

There are updates start­ing from the grad­u­ates of 1941, includ­ing my grad­u­at­ing class, the class of ’99. Out of curios­ity, I looked back on my year­book, The College Times, Canada’s old­est stu­dent pub­li­ca­tion. I had to won­der just how much the pres­tige of the school had helped them. To com­pare my idea of where I believed my fel­low class­mates would be, with what they’re doing now.

The mem­o­ries I had didn’t always match up with their cur­rent achievements.

The Old Boys of '99 Series

  1. Introduction
  2. Another Perspective
  3. Seeto and Bunston
  4. Mungovan and King
  5. Providing Ignorance as Bliss
  6. My Perspective