Tom learns about Eid

Posted on: July 13th, 2016 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

Tom learns about Eid

It took me a while to understand the implications of “fasting”. From sun up to sun down. Fasting between those times. No eating or drinking in front of Muslims. (I learned this quite dramatically!) After drinking a glass of water at the Toyota Service Department (where there were a number of Emirati men) the service manager ran out of his office, grabbed me by the arm, rushed me up some stairs, through a door, down a long hallway, and into a small room. “You cannot drink or eat in front Muslims during Ramadan!!!!” Steep learning curve!

With the my students’ encouragement, I chose to fast for the last two weeks of Ramadan 2006. I chose to fast as my way of showing my respect for the Muslim religion, my Muslim friends and the Muslim nation in which I was living. Over the next four years living in UAE, I fasted 2 more times for the required month each time. My Muslim friends were kind enough to invite me for Iftar many times during that month.

The following year (2007), Darwish, my friend and business partner and a Muslim originally from Palestine, suggested how I might gain an understanding of Eid.

“Tom,” he said, “on the first morning of Eid, just before sunrise, go to our office (located near a Mosque surrounded by a large field), and park in front of the door.”

Why?” I asked. “Just be there,” Darwish responded.

So the morning of the first day of Eid. I get up early, drive to the office, back in, park, and wait. No one around, just me and a dusty road.

Gradually people came walking around the side of the building, across the street opposite from me, and walking down another street; mothers, fathers, little kids of all ages, teens, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and grandparents too, walking in front of the car.

Hundreds of families walk past me on their way to the Eid celebration at the Mosque and the field surrounding it.

A feeling of peace, excitement, family, and spirituality . . .  a sight and experience I will never forget.

Tom Pattillo’s Philosophy of Teaching

Posted on: May 4th, 2016 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

My primary mission is to insure that the course topics are not just covered but become an integral part of the students’ way of being. Each class is a continuation of this mission.


I must, therefore, learn as much as possible about my students; their strengths and weaknesses, culture, attitude towards learning and their perception of themselves as learners, potential graduates and citizens.


I must, as well, understand the goals, objectives, pedagogical orientation, teaching practices and teaching tools of my employer.


I believe and attempt to constantly live by the Carl Rogers Four Characteristics of an Effective Facilitator:

1) Congruent, 2) Prize, Accept and Trust, 3) Empathic Understanding,

4) Consistent visible and verbal demonstration of the first three


I create in every class an atmosphere of trust and confidence, allowing each student, at their own rate and skill level, to achieve their potential


I have high expectations for every student and, as befits my adult education orientation, “performance of the teacher is the only measure of success” consider every student a challenge. There are no “bad” or “problem” students in my classes, there are only students whom I have not yet found a way to engage, stimulate, and inspire a desire for learning.


I believe it is not enough to “know” something; students must be able to confidently express this learning in both written, verbal, and role-playing demonstration exercises.


I believe learning, to be effective, is holistic – engaging every student physically (behaviors), psychologically, socially and spiritually.


I believe that the best learning is achieved in an atmosphere of trust, caring and confidence and that every topic can be engaging, stimulating, “non-boring” and, within the context of effective learning, fun!


I believe that 75% of the class schedule can be prepared in advance and 25% of every class will be created in response to the needs of the day.


I believe in conducting teacher evaluations once a month, and after tabulating and analyzing the data, giving the summarized data back to the students.


I believe that 10% of education is given to students, 90% must be taken by students. I consider my students and I are adults working as a team to maximize the value of our learning time together.


I believe in the “mastery” of learning concept and work diligently and constantly to insure that all my students learn, understand, and can apply all they learned with me.


I believe I am a guide, a conductor, a coach, and a catalyst to help my students learn. I am not the primary giver of “knowledge” but rather a friend and guide who creates the atmosphere that encourages students to seek out, read, understand, and apply specific topic knowledge.


I believe in staying in touch with graduates of our specific courses and our institution as whole, and finding out what parts of their learning experience has been most beneficial and what needs to be more effective.

Conservative Attack Ads: Let the lying begin!

Posted on: October 9th, 2015 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

The Conservative Context of “truth”



Climate Change

Pipeline dangers

Marijuana danger

Niqab danger

Refugee danger

Women’s Rights danger

See daily news for a multitude of Mr. Harper’s Paranoia and Narcissism

And finally:

Justin Trudeau is clueless on the economy

Now this is equivalent to the beliefs of many other “crazy” people with one idea, that they believe, if repeated enough will somehow become true:

The earth is flat

The moon is made of cheese

Measles vaccines causes autism

Elvis is still alive

There are monsters in the closet AND under the bed

Raped women can’t get pregnant

(You think of more examples, this is a really fun exercise. Remember if you don’t know why, make it up. And truthiness is like, just the best(!) thing. The bigger the lie, the easier it is to convince people to believe it.)

Rick Mercer for Prime Minister

Posted on: October 8th, 2015 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

This and many more rants.


CRA & KPMG: An erotic pairing of idiots and criminals. A match from the Harper mating service. Semen supplied.

Posted on: October 8th, 2015 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

Harper government partnered with industry group fighting CRA over KPMG case

Asinine Comment:

Any suggestion of an improper relationship between KPMG leaders and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) are patently false. KPMG representatives, along with many other business, government and community leaders periodically participate in public events and group meetings with government officials, including the PMO. We have never met privately with the PM or PMO to discuss any specific client‐related matters.

Intelligent response to Asinine Comment:

“The files show KPMG, CPA Canada and another firm met with Harper, his chief of staff Ray Novak and two other aides, though the Prime Minister’s Office won’t say what was discussed except to say it was a routine stakeholder meeting.”

A wonderful example of my concerns about the strategy of the Conservative Spin Doctor

Posted on: October 8th, 2015 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

‘No election win (is) worth pitting Canadians against Canadians’: Trudeau says of niqab debate

Asinine Comment:

I see no evidence of Canadians being pitted against Canadians, all I see is immigrant wannabees who’s only purpose for coming here, seemingly, is to try bit by bit to transform Canada into the craphole that they ran away from. And that pissant, Trudeau light, would just love to help them with that…I don’t understand why this foolishness is allowed to continue.

I told you the Conservatives would get vicious. (With dashes of sleaziness, duplicity, and farce.)

Posted on: October 8th, 2015 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

Ask yourself: why do comments supportive of Conservative “idiot” questions often have bad spelling and grammar? Why? Because this makes the replies seem to be written by those average, salt-of-the-earth Canadians who do not know the facts but sure know what they “think” (or have been told are the facts). Or is it a university trained Conservative propaganda clerk following the direction of his Australian mentor? Umm. There is no truth in these responses. They are planned, paid for, edited, and approved by the Australian Spin Doctor master mind. Please don’t be fooled, Canada is a very special place (or was and hopefully will be) but Harper’s vision is . . . well it is not my vision of Canada. Is it yours?

Cornered Rat Behavior: Watch out Liberals and all Canadians: The Conservatives are being pushed into a corner.

Posted on: October 7th, 2015 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

A cornered rat hits out, bites and scratches blindly in the fury of a desperate struggle for self-preservation.

The final days of Canada’s Federal Election will be vicious.

Cronyism: Conservative hiring principle

Posted on: October 7th, 2015 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

cronyism: the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without proper regard to their qualifications.

Cronyism rhymes with “phony-ism”

9 years


Why politicians must lie – and how selling ice-creams is like an election campaign by Warwick Smith

Posted on: October 6th, 2015 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

It is a good read. Think of how it applies to Canada.