REMEMBERING THE GOOD OLE DAYS
Attending the cake-cutting celebration of Dept. of Geography's 50th Anniversary
in the John Tyman Map Room during the Brandon University 2012 Homecoming
brought back a flood of memories. I enrolled in Brandon College back in
1961. My first courses were in physics, chemistry and math, since these
had been the required courses in high school. I found the college versions
of these courses with their long lab periods to be far too specialized
to hold my interest, however, so I looked forward to the geography courses
offered in the 1962 year.
Dr. John Tyman, a young prof from England spearheaded the formation
of the new Geography Department. I eagerly attended his first class, but
since it was scheduled for noon I soon ran into a conflict. I was
booked to play guitar on the daily Noon Show over at the CKX
Television Studios. Professor Tyman made a special effort to accomodate
me in this. . . allowing me to miss classes and to provide me with extra
help in the course. This was the start of what soon developed into a deep
respect for the man and a passion for geography which served me well for
my next 40 years of teaching.
Interestingly, a year later, while performing on the same TV broadcast,
our show was interrupted with a news flash that US President Kennedy had
been shot. We completed the show and then ran to the teletype room where
we stayed for much of the afternoon watching the news reports come in over
the wire. My partner on these TV shows was a fellow Brandon College student,
Barry Forman. And for one
of the seasons Larry Clark played drums for us. Larry later went on to
teach courses at BU before making a career change to become a forest ranger.
Both these friends played on a series of our later recording
sessions in the '70s.
took many more geography courses and in 1971 I became the first geography-major
student to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography along with a
silver medal. I also earned my B. Ed. in 1971 - a pretty important year.
John Tyman escorted me to U of M to set up a Masters Degree programme in
Geography but family and career pressures got in the way and I had to put
such plans on hold. Years later I returned BU to take many more geography
courses as part of a pre-Masters, 4-Year Programme after which I went on
to complete a B. Ed. in one year while still teaching high school full
time at Strathclair Collegiate. Around that time I wrote a chapter for
the university text book: The
Geography of Manitoba edited by John Welsted, John
Everitt and Christoph Stadel. After taking early retirement in
1997 I was drafted by the Faculty of Education to serve as a full-time
Assistant Professor. I had come full cycle and was back where I began.
John Tyman served as BU Dean of Science in 1974 and 1975 after
which he moved to Australia to become Head of the Division of Humanities
at the Brisbane College of Advanced Education. The short
bio on his Website makes for a very interesting read. He is now retired
but still spends much time in the field. We re-established contact
about ten years ago and since that time John has shared thousands of amazing
photos and videos which we have converted into a series of Webpages:
Cultures in Context. Over
the years John has lived with and researched exotic cultures all over the
world. The time he has spent with these peoples has resulted in photo journals
on cultures in the Arctic,
New Guinea, Kenya,
and Nepal. This material
has become a valuable resource for educators worldwide.