Mpls native Tim Torkildson fired from Utah school for blogging about homophones

TimTorkildsonNew.jpg
Tim Torkildson photo via Facebook
Tim Torkildson was born in Minneapolis and lived here through his mid-20s, save for a stint working as a circus clown in Florida. (Seriously.) In fact, he even spent three semesters at the University of Minnesota.

After that, Torkildson bounced around, including stints in Thailand working both as a missionary and an English teacher. Back in the U.S., he got his teaching English as a foreign language certification, and earlier this year, that led to a job as a social media specialist and blogger with Nomen Global, a school in Provo, Utah that bills itself as "America's English Language School."

See also:
Jeff Dubay, Sean Barnard wage social media war after Dubay's abrupt termination

But that came to an end earlier this month after Torkildson published a post on the school's blog about homophones.

No, not homophobes. Homophones. You know, these:

homophone.jpg

(You can read the original post that landed Torkildson in hot water for yourself at the end of this piece, but suffice it to say he wrote about homophones in an academic, snark-less manner.)

A few days after his post was published, Torkildson was suddenly summoned into a meeting with his boss, Nomen owner Clarke Woodger.

Here's how Torkildson describes what happened next on his personal blog:
"I'm letting you go because I can't trust you" said Clarke Woodger, my boss and the owner of Nomen Global Language Center. "This blog about homophones was the last straw. Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality."

I said nothing, stunned into silence.

"I had to look up the word" he continued, "because I didn't know what the hell you were talking about. We don't teach this kind of advanced stuff to our students, and it's extremely inappropriate. Can you have your desk cleaned out by eleven this morning? I'll have your check ready."

I nodded, mute.

"Good. You've done a good job on most things, but you're just not reliable enough. I never have any idea what you're going to do next. I can't run my business that way. You'd probably make a great college professor, but since you don't have a degree you'll never get that kind of work. I would advise you to try something clerical, where you'll be closely supervised and have immediate goals at all times. That's the only kind of job you'll ever succeed at. I'll be happy to give you a good reference. Good-bye, and good luck."

He rose, shook my hand, and left the conference room where we had been sitting.

We touched based with Torkildson yesterday and asked if he had any idea the homophones post might cost him his job when he was putting it together.

(For more, click to page two.)


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64 comments
charlieheinz57
charlieheinz57

This guy is the poster boy for a pure, unadulterated queer asshole! He is 100 percent phony. His funky ass name says it all! 


The school boss was right it booting his faggot butt.

Brian Herb
Brian Herb

And the moron who fired him runs a school that specializes in teaching English AND had to look up the definition of "homophones".

Jimmy Eason
Jimmy Eason

Yes let's punish people who use a wide vocabulary

Dayna Anokye
Dayna Anokye

Double checking to be sure this isn't an Onion headline. Because it should be.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

These fools in their militant ignorance parody themselves.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Most of the neo-cons who regularly troll this site have major problems with their homophones as well. There two dumb too no better. 

Casey Quinn
Casey Quinn

Finally! Couldn't believe no one posted it!!!!

Tasha Carlson
Tasha Carlson

Kaia Rubin- I instantly had that song in my head after reading the title of the article. We could all learn more from Veggie Tales! LoL!!

KeithGunderson
KeithGunderson

This is the longest story on the site.

It is about a guy in Utah.

Sara Tabor
Sara Tabor

HOMOPHONES JUST GOT RUPAR'D. cc: Tony

Ginny Albrecht
Ginny Albrecht

How does he still have a job at a school when he doesn't know what a homophone is? And who cares if you're associated with homosexuality?!! Jeez

Dustin Skaalerud
Dustin Skaalerud

Another case where ignorant sensitivity trumps truth...day by day, i hope less and less...

Jeanne Griffin
Jeanne Griffin

Maybe next time City Pages can keep it to 140 characters so you don't have to read so much.

Keith Heiberg
Keith Heiberg

This is what happens when people who don't read are put in charge of people who do.

Jim Bjerke
Jim Bjerke

I don't know, I think it's a bit creepy to post the "pretty" students photos with odd captions but either way, pretty sure there's way more to this story. Pretty sure the owner of a language school knows what a homophone is. Although if you're in to just reading 15 second headlines, this guy is an ass for sure.

Cara Flora
Cara Flora

WTF? that is ridiculous. absurd!

Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer

I wonder what the Owner of the school thinks about homogenized milk. Or Homo Sapiens.

Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

I'm thinking they're tired of his clown like shenanigans.

Waffle Brown
Waffle Brown

How does a guy who runs an English school not know what a homophone is? And then has the balls to criticize the blogger for not having a degree.

Dreyke Boone
Dreyke Boone

Come on, you guys have never been in school? Teachers will take photos to post on their Facebook/school page all the time. Calling here Brazilian bombshell is pushing it, but not all that bad. If it was, we'd be reading a different news story. Guy is better off somewhere else if the English School doesn't know English.

morgan.b
morgan.b

Why is this story spread out over four pages?

David Gustafson
David Gustafson

Yes. This story may not really have any "good guys" in it..

Jack B Smith
Jack B Smith

Doesn't say much for his (Woodger's) faith in others' abilities to "look it up"

Kaia Rubin
Kaia Rubin

VeggieTales: School House Polka - Silly Song: http://youtu.be/K0J-T2lr0Ms He should of just posted this instead since that's about what education level his boss has from the looks of it.

Vanessa Grausam
Vanessa Grausam

Does anyone else find it inappropriate that he posted pictures of his good looking female student with the caption "check out our Brazilian bombshell"? I feel like there is more to this guys past than is being covered by this article.

katherinea214
katherinea214

Maybe his boss IS stupid, but this man is also creepy. 


"'There were other posts [Woodger] decided he did not like on Facebook,' Torkildson says. 'For instance, Nomen Global has students from all over, including a student, very pretty, from Brazil. And so I snapped a picture of her, and with her permission, gave her name and wrote, 'We'd like to introduce you to our Brazilian Bombshell.'"


'That sounds perfectly inoffensive, and she didn't mind either, but [Woodger] said, 'Get that off,' and so I learned from that that he doesn't want that kind of verbiage on Facebook,' Torkildson continues. 'I featured lots of the pretty students because that got us more likes than anything else, but I just kept it real low-key -- 'This is Maria from Guatemala, if you'd like to say hi to her like this post' -- but [Woodger] didn't feel he needed the trouble.'"


This school serves people as young as 17. Generally, although it was hard to find specifics online, they seem to be college-aged, young adults (not discounting that there can be adults of all ages attending college). Torkildson was their teacher, and picking the "pretty students" to get likes does not sound appropriate.

Matthew Martin
Matthew Martin

There's a joke about "ducking" in here, I know it.

Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer

He was fired by an institution that teaches the English language? He's probably better off not working there.

Onan
Onan

Don't call me "Shirley."

xxxerocool
xxxerocool

It sounds like you are an ass, you are just going to assume he's guilty of SOMETHING.

Onan
Onan

Homo Erectus?

/Jocko Homo!

Onan
Onan

@katherinea214 - Appropriate or not, according to one of the stories, it seemed to work to drive their FB page.

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