Best choice I have made


Attending Simon Fraser University was a career choice I made after the 1982 recession. It proved to be the best choice I have made as far as career/income/interests are concerned. During the Professional Development Program (PDP) I attended a course with Selma Wassermann, and while feeling a bit over my head at the beginning, I found that her methodologies and actions suited me very well. Throughout my career, those methodologies and ideas generally brought me into conflict with the school system (I taught mostly Grade 7) and administrators, yet enhanced the learning of my students greatly.

I was and remain a “jack of all trades” with no real strength in any discipline, other than that of teaching. The rewards for the latter have all been derived over the years, and continue today after retirement, from comments from former students, parents, and even students who were not in my class.

Beyond the teaching, I have always advocated for environmental, anti-war, and anti-corporate interests. During my term with Selma Wassermann, I worked with Sandi Kalmikoff, who I understand went on to greater things within the educational field. Her interests as advocate were very similar to mine.

I have always followed current events, but not until post 9/11 did I really dig into my own research concerning the Middle East and the U.S. empire. I have never fully believed the mainstream media message nor the messages from governments, and after decades of reading hundreds of books from many different perspectives, and thousands of various views on the internet, that belief has only strengthened.

I began writing about what I had learned and had my first online article published in Palestine Chronicle in 2003. Since then, my articles have appeared globally on alternate websites, with my main focus being as always environmental, anti-war, and anti-corporate. More recently I began writing periodical open letters to all the members of Canada’s parliament. That has morphed into “The Miles Report” (what else!?) and is up to number 64 as of a few days ago. This as well is distributed globally on alternate websites. 

While it makes me feel good to write the reports, I doubt their efficacy. The MPs have never actually contacted me about any of the comments I have made, and it is probably only my own ego thinking that sometimes I hear a comment or two on CPAC that sounds familiar - probably more coincidence than influence!

In general however, I lead a rather private life, a rather normal life apart from the writing mentioned above, again little of which I believe has any real influence.

Jim Miles
PDP 1984, BGS 1985

Read all the stories from the 1980s