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12 Silent Saboteurs Of Innovation In Education

November 24, 2015

“In K-12 formal learning environments there are countless factors that hinder innovation. Over the next few days we’re going to look at twelve factors that are hindering innovation in schools (we’ll release three per day, counting down backwards from 12). Some of them are conceptual, some practical, and all are obviously subjective.”

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A venture capitalist searches for the purpose of school. Here’s what he found.

November 18, 2015

In an attempt to be systematic, I decided to categorize what I observed in schools. One column for things that helped prepare kids for life. And one column for things that were irrelevant. I expected both columns to fill up quickly.


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Postcards from Somewhere in France -7- We Will Remember Them

November 11, 2015

Today we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Stop and remember those, who in the service of their country, did not return. Think too, of our current military staff who have suffered from their experience serving our country.

Will’s observations about life on the battlefield are reflected in these cards. He even honoured the enemy prisoners in his comments. It was tragic for all sides.



Somewhere in France. May 17, 1917.

This is what the ground looks like after the attackers have passed on well into Fritzs lines. At the bottom left hand corner you can see what is left of a dugout entrance.



Somewhere in France. May 17, 1917.

This card, of the tower in Ypres, shows the physical destruction of war. The horrible effects on the bodies and minds of people is unmeasurable.



Somewhere in France. May 15, 1917.

We never let Fritz prisoners come out without bringing out our wounded. The majority of the German doctors captured (as well as their Red Cross men) are very quick and clever in helping dress our wounded.

Postcards from Somewhere in France -6- Humour from the Front

November 11, 2015

Will’s postcards vary from serious to sublime. Here’s one that pokes fun at the enemy.



East Sanderling Camp. August 10, 1916.

“They have quite a number of these sort of cards about old Kaiser Bill, and they will be interesting to look and laugh over in years to come. Sadly, Will did not get a chance to muse over any of these.”


This one is as close to risqué as it gets.

30A 30B

East Sanderling. March 26th, 1916.

“I wonder if the guy in the picture is right? I suppose that is what I’ve got to put up with when I return. My heart swells with sympathy for myself!!!”


I’m sure there were some fun moments at the officers’ mess, but maybe they were few and far between.

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Somewhere in France. May 17, 1917.

“This is how we always dine out here ?!*!?

Postcards from Somewhere in France -5- My Grandmother, Gladys

November 9, 2015

My Grandmother, Gladys Violet Murray, was a wonderful lady. She came to Canada as a young girl on the Carpathia, the ship that first rescued the Titanic. She loved to entertain, and I am pretty sure that the character Hyacinth Bucket in “Keeping up Appearances” was probably based on her! Grandma’s Sunday roast beef dinners were extraordinary!

In the stack of postcards is this wonderful picture of her wearing a military uniform. I’m not sure to whom the uniform belonged, but clearly a person much taller and longer in the arms! There is nothing on the back, but you can see “Glad H” on the front above her head.


Grandma’s sister, Ivy Harmer was a WREN, a member of the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service.

Here is the birthday card that Will sent to Gladys in July of 1918.

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France July 20, 1918.

Many happy returns of the day, mon cheri. Fondly yours. Will. XXXXX

P.S. Very much rushed just now. Letter follows first opportunity.

Postcards from Somewhere in France -4- Remembrance Day Sunday

November 8, 2015


This card has no message from Will on the back. I wonder if he thought it didn’t need any comment at all? On this Remembrance Day Sunday, places of worship across Canada will read the names of their fallen from WWI, WWII and the Korean Conflict. Take a moment today, or Wednesday, November 11th, to remember them.

57A- Will

Will in his regimental kilt on the front of the card. How these were created is fascinating and is described on this interesting webpage.


Somewhere in Flanders. October 31, 1917.

“My dear Glad – no time for a letter just now. Am leaving at 6 p.m. by train for a General Course at Canadian Corps School. So have to get busy packing up. Love from yours affectionately XXO Will”

“Glad” of course, is short for Gladys, my grandmother.

Postcards from Somewhere in France -3- Death and Dying on the Battlefield

November 7, 2015

The front lines of the battlefield were no doubt a horrific place to be. Will describes it in his own words on the backs of these officially censored postcards.

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Somewhere in France. May 15, 1917

“The wounded are brought out very quickly on these trucks. A man who is wounded gets ‘dressed’ roughly by the advanced  Red Cross men then they are taken by truck to the Field Ambulance Base where they are fixed up sufficient for them to stand the trip to Blighty.”

Blighty, I learned, is a slang term from the last century, or earlier, for Britain. This Printed Photographic Postcard (PPC) above is featured on another website describing the postcard history and postcard creation during WWI. It makes for interesting reading.

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Somewhere in France. May 17, 1917.

“You wouldn’t want to carry the stretcher case out when there are only two of you carrying. As a rule we have four fellows to each stretcher. Even then it is hard work if you have to carry very far.”

38A 38B

Somewhere in France. May 15, 1917

“When possible a regular funeral is carried out by the chaplain and a big cross erected over his grave.”

I wondered, after reading these three cards, just how many friends and comrades Will had carried, how many he’d seen buried? His matter-of-fact descriptions seem to mask the terrible realities of life on the battlefield. What would he have been thinking and could not write? I’ll continue to read between the lines.

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