Troubled by perfectionism

The impossible focus on perfectionistic standards is showing up at ever younger ages, which worries experts like Gordon Flett, a psychology professor in York’s Faculty of Arts and one of the leading authorities on perfectionism, reported the National Post Nov. 16. The Post sought Flett’s expert opinion for the second instalment – about how we define success in childhood – of an ongoing series on the journey from cradle to grave. Flett oversaw a study that documented the reactions of three- and four-year-olds at a computer camp when they encountered a situation designed to fail – those children who said they wanted things to be absolutely perfect demonstrated as intense a negative reaction as university students put through similar experiments. “I find it alarming when you find such a perfectionistic focus so early on in children,” said Flett. “What’s troubling is the idea that there’s a perfectionistic norm – there’s this continuing message that in order to be a worthy person you have to do everything perfectly.”

Miller urges bus-route solution

With a major new sports stadium due to start construction next year at York University, there is some pressure on the Toronto Transit Commission and York University to agree and get started on a bus-only route, reported Metro News Nov. 16. Mayor David Miller, who sits on the TTC’s board, has counselled co-operation. “It’s really clear that it is in Toronto’s interest and York’s interest to make this busway happen,” he told the subway newspaper. “It’s in our interest because it’s a gateway to the 905. And it’s the only way we can provide the kind of rapid transit that’s needed to York or the 905 until the subway extension is built. I’ve spoken to TTC staff, Chair Harold Moscoe and York University and asked them all to work together very strongly to find a routing that produces buses not driving in mixed traffic on Keele,” he said. “That’s the key. Whether it’s on the York campus or not is a side point. You need buses to be operating on their own, so they’re not delayed by mixed traffic – otherwise there’s no point in building a busway.”

Asked if the temporary bus lanes could put off construction of a rail link from Downsview station, the mayor said, “I’d be delighted if we could start the subway soon.” However, he cautions that an extension “is not going to be built until the provincial and federal governments are able to fund the TTC’s state of good repair, [and] its ridership growth strategy. Then we’ll be able to find the $1.4 billion after that” to build the subway.

Grey Cup chance fuels Argos excitement

Argo owners David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski have had a profound impact on building a sense of excitement in Toronto and will continue to do so with their plans to build a new football stadium at York University, in the city’s north end, reported The Globe and Mail Nov. 16. With the greater good in mind, Cynamon said just getting to the Grey Cup has repositioned the Argos on Toronto’s ever-crowded sports scene and boosted the Canadian Football League’s image.

Following the Toronto Argonauts win over the Montreal Lions, sports reports cooed about the team’s rosy future. The Toronto Star said the Argos owners agreed that advancing to the Grey Cup will help their hopes of increasing their season-tickets base and the crowds at SkyDome next season, likely their last at the dome before moving to a new stadium at York University. The Ottawa Citizen reported that the Argonauts actually created a buzz in the Centre of the Universe for the first time in years, attracting three crowds in excess of 30,000 to SkyDome just months after the team was bankrupt with a fledgling future. A new stadium at York University is coming in 2006 and this was viewed as a season that needed to generate momentum for the club heading into its new digs. Global TV’s “Global News” also highlighted the team’s victory, resurgent fan support and future new stadium at York University.

On air

  • Richard Leblanc, contract faculty with York’s School of Administrative Studies, discussed the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s suit against Conrad Black, on “CTV National News” Nov. 15.
  • Alan Middleton, marketing professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, commented on a price war among beer producers, on CBC TV’s “CBC News and Current Affairs” Nov. 15. The two big breweries have each introduced cheap brands, he noted. “Where Labatt and Molson could really blunder is if they overreact to that market,” he said. “Albeit it looks threatening, [it’s] less than 10 per cent – [if] they overreact too much on price, they threaten the main business.”