A Canadian in Oxford

canada flagIn a recent job application, the form asked me to list all positions I had held since graduating from secondary school. Yikes! Considering that was over 30 years ago, and that I’m on my third career now, I thought that might lead the interviewer to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up.

In the lead-up to putting in the application, I decided that it was time to update my résumé or CV, as they call it here in England. At first glance, those three careers seem to have taken me in all manner of directions; 5 years in TV Broadcasting, where I worked Master Control, editor, and studio cameraman at a rural Alberta TV station, then on to a job at a satellite TV uplink in Edmonton doing editing and promos.

That job was followed by 17 years installing telephone and data systems in the Hamilton/Niagara area while taking night courses towards a degree at Mac. My third and current career has me here in England, where I started out teaching secondary school history and ICT before moving on to middle school Special Needs – specifically work with Autistic students.

monkey - bob houghton teachingDo these three careers since graduating from Mohawk have anything in common? I pondered that long and winding road for a while and reflected on what they all had in common. As it turns out, they have a lot in common – they all relate to some form of communication.

So then, what would I have to say is the bedrock that brought me to what I’m doing at the moment? If I had to choose anything, it would be my training at Mohawk. It prepared me for my work at the TV station, with the electronic aspects helping me get into communications technology. In teaching, the ability to imagine, create, and present lessons designed for students who are growing up surrounded by television and visual media is ideal for someone who has studied and worked in that field.

My TV studies also gave me a noticeable edge when I was studying at Mac, especially as my majors were Film Studies and History. Many of my papers had comments noting that I must have had technical training in film or television, which generally led to good grades as well as interesting discussions at the campus pub after classes.

While at Mohawk I was also involved with the Players’ Guild theatre company down on Queen Street – a recommended hobby for anyone pursuing a career in broadcasting. While there I did quite a bit of backstage work and also acted in several children’s plays.  Theatre work is very similar to television – as the majority of people work behind the scenes.  Through theatre I learned many tricks on how to build sets, set up lighting and sound, and consider the needs of my audience.

Since I came to England at the end of 2009, I have continued in amateur video, making short productions which I post on my LumiereCdn YouTube channel for all the folks back home.

Check out my recent tour of medieval Oxford, the city where I live these days.

See you at the pub,


Bob Houghton– Bob Houghton
Broadcasting – Television & Communications Media, ’81

One thought on “A Canadian in Oxford

  1. […] you read my last entry, you’ll know that after a decade of working in the television industry (which is what I trained […]

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