To the lean go the spoils

When it comes to the corporate world, there is another good reason for shedding a few kilos: Being fit rather than fat can be career-enhancing, reported the National Post Nov. 23. Pat Bradshaw, a professor of organizational behaviour at York’s Schulich School of Business, agrees that people in the corporate world still tend to judge a book by its cover. “I’d say it’s fair to say there is discrimination based on physical appearance – even if it [discrimination] is an unconscious bias,” she says. Indeed, Bradshaw says some employers might associate a would-be job candidate who is severely overweight as being “someone who has no self-control or someone who is lazy” – attributes that are not generally coveted within the workplace.

Curtain rises on work of set designers

“Set designers come closest to the ideal ‘renaissance person’ in the way we talk about Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo,” Phillip Silver, dean of York’s Faculty of Fine Arts, told The Toronto Sun for a Nov. 23 feature. Silver has worked on more than 300 productions, including some at Ontario’s renowned Stratford Festival. An undergraduate degree in English gave him a strong foundation for theatre. “The ability to read, analyze and understand a script and to understand metaphors and historical references is valuable,” he says. “A general knowledge of history and cultures and the ability to research helps with the creative, artistic side of set design. You also work like an architect. You need to know how scenery is constructed and what materials to use.” Set designers must hone other skills as well. “You need to have visual skills, a talent for understanding how images are constructed and perceived by audiences,” Silver says. “You go back between your left brain and right brain a lot. You need to deal with deadlines and a budget. The ability to work within a team and be able to communicate your ideas and understand the ideas of others is important.”

Ranks of temporary and contract workers are growing

A York University report estimates almost 40 per cent of Canadians work as temps, part-time, on contract or are self-employed, and their numbers are growing, reported the National Post Nov. 23 in a feature about how more and more companies and not-for-profit agencies are creating contract positions with carefully defined terms rather than hiring full-time staff and paying out big bucks in benefits. Some estimates hold that by 2006 approximately one-third of the North American workforce will be temporary or contract employees.

Scholar Paul Roazen who found flaws in Freud has died

Paul Roazen, a political scientist and chronicler of the development of psychoanalysis who explored Sigmund Freud’s complex relationships with his family, students and adherents, died Nov. 3 at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 69, reported The New York Times Nov. 23. In the 1975 book Freud and His Followers (Knopf), Roazen pointed out inconsistencies in Freud’s analytical practices and drew the ire of orthodox Freudians. A professor of social and political science at York from 1971 to 1995, Roazen also developed psychological portraits of Woodrow Wilson and other political leaders. After retiring in 1995, he returned to Cambridge.

On air

  • Students Shirin Youselfi and Tatsunori Senna discussed York Dances! 2005, an annual showcase of new choreography by third-year dance majors, on CIUT’s “Evi-Dance” Nov. 20.