Gerry Turcotte

Gerry Turcotte

Gerry Turcotte is the president at St. Mary's University in Calgary.

Every year, as my children got older, the return-to-school routine got less exciting.

I am not a gardener. In fact, I moved into a house with a large garden a decade ago and I joke that I have killed off one species of plant each year. Except that it’s not a joke.

When I was growing up it was popular to mock a film made in the 1950s to prepare children to survive a nuclear war. Older folks will remember this odd cross between animated and live action footage featuring a bow-tied Bert the Turtle who could “duck and cover” at the sign of danger.

It wasn’t so long ago that many of us were using the COVID-19 virus to argue that our world was more interconnected than we care to admit. Divisions are commonplace and people move through their lives erecting barriers between the haves and have-nots, between the East and the West, between the good and the bad.

I have been plagued by cats almost my entire adult life. (OK, maybe I like them just a little.) Dogs, I feel I understand. They’re reasonably straightforward. You know when they’re happy, when they’re guilty of chewing your favourite shoe and when they’re sulking.

I had promised myself that I wouldn’t write a COVID-19 column.

In June we celebrate St. Vitus’ Day, a time that honours an unusual saint whose influence was seen throughout Europe generally and in Germany in particular.

As I was driving to work this week, I saw a sign outside a neighbourhood church. It read: “Prayer is the original wireless form of communication.”

A good friend of mine, a fellow scotch aficionado, sent me a story which is an adaptation of a well-known leadership story, popularized by Stephen Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

This new year my resolution was to be less punctual. Why? Because punctuality has always been both my obsession and my curse. 

Page 1 of 3