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Tuesday, January 15, 2002

  • To Germany, Spain, England, and Italy
  • No background? You adapt to the job
  • And a little of this and that
Chris Redmond

Tamils mark Thai Pongal amid hopes for peace


Bob Gillham of UW's department of earth sciences was named a Member of the Order of Canada yesterday -- one of 96 people across Canada given the country's highest honours. Gillham is scientific director of the Canadian Water Network, based at UW.

To Germany, Spain, England, and Italy -- by Barbara Elve

UW study tours do more than scratch the cultural surface. For those who prefer to do their learning en route, in-depth expeditions will transport travelers this year to Renaissance churches in Italy, the remains of the Berlin Wall, Spanish fishing villages, and the Yorkshire dales -- with the option of earning a credit along the way.

[Unter den Linden]

Solang noch Unter den Linden die alte Bäume blühen, Berlin, du bleibst Berlin. See for yourself. . . .

Historian and political scientist Jacques Pauwels will lead two tours -- one in April to Berlin, and another in August that will trace the steps of medieval pilgrims from the heart of France to the tomb of St. James in Compostela, Spain.

From April 5 to 14, the not-for-credit trip to Berlin will include visits to the Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden Boulevard, the recently renovated Reichstag, Potsdam, and the site of the 1936 Olympic Games, as well as forays to a host of museums, art galleries and a classical music concert. To learn more about the $1,895 tour of Berlin, contact Maureen Jones at ext. 4876.

The fine arts department will again offer its popular study tour of England from April 22 to May 9. A credit for either a studio or art history course is available to those visiting "the old and new England." The tour will be divided between visits to the south of England and the north country, with four days in London in between. Among the highlights: Roman ruins, cathedrals, country houses, museums and contemporary galleries. The cost is $2,400; details from Joan Coutu at jmcoutu@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 2671.

Archaeological sites and museums visits are also on the itinerary for a tour of Italy May 5 to 22 led by Maria Liston, an archaeologist in the departments of classical studies and anthropology. Students visiting the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, Circus Maximus, Vatican Museums, Ostia, Hadrian's Villa, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Etruscan Cerveteri and Tarquinia, and the Greek colony of Paestrum can audit or earn a credit for CLAS 390 (Classical Studies Abroad). The estimated cost of the tour is $3,500, not including tuition. For more information, Liston can be reached at mliston@watarts.uwaterloo.ca or ext. 2553.

"The Pilgrim's Road to Compostela" is the title of "a fascinating 18-day 'pilgrimage' along the legendary 'Road to Saint James'," led by Pauwels from August 12 to 29. "Unlike their medieval colleagues, our modern-day pilgrims will be permitted to partake of material pleasures such as fine food, wine and comfortable accommodations," for interest or credit. As well, there will be a program of lectures, informal group discussion and visits to historic sites focusing on myth, religion, medieval history and culture. Major themes of study will include "Spain between Myth and Reality in Classical Antiquity", "Orthodoxy and Heresy in Christianity from Constantine to the Inquisition", "Medieval Monasticism", and "Food, Wine, and Everyday Life in the Middle Ages". The cost of the tour from Toronto is $4,395; from Vancouver, $4,695. To register or learn more, contact the continuing education office at conted@uwaterloo.ca or phone ext. 4002.


Liberal MP Andrew Telegdi will be at UW today to "announce Canadian funding to support environmental management in China", says the Canadian International Development Agency. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. in Environmental Studies I.

No background? You adapt to the job -- by Ellen Schappert, from the UW Recruiter newsletter for co-op employers

Co-op employers can be reluctant to hire students whose course work isn't plainly related to the openings they want to fill -- despite the fact that many people hold full-time jobs unconnected to their university degrees. For those in doubt, a story from North York's Emery Collegiate Institute confirms a second fact: employees with unconventional backgrounds supply surprisingly valuable skills.

[Legacy] Last winter, Emery Collegiate wanted to expand the role of the Emery Centre for CyberScience, a state-of-the-art computer lab, in its curriculum. Jim Robertson, program leader for math and science, and Neil Walsh, the high school's vice-principal, advertised at the University of Waterloo. The duo was on the lookout for a hardware-handy co-op student who could set up the lab and suggest ways to use it as a learning tool. In the end, they chose Crystal Legacy (left), a second-year environment and resource studies major. Oddly, Legacy's computer help desk experience was limited. "When I was hired for the job," she recounts, "I thought it was all computer-based... I have no computer background. I actually told them: 'I don't know why you hired me,'" she confesses, "'but I'm really excited and I'm willing to learn if someone will teach me.'"

What convinced Emery to offer Legacy this co-op position? Walsh and Robertson sensed that, computer lab or no computer lab, the bubbly, energetic student could do more for their high school than an IT whiz. "[Legacy's] résumé was not exactly a direct match," Robertson concedes. "But what she had is this: she's an excellent communicator, and that was a really big part of the job. She had great interpersonal skills. "And she's dynamic." He and Walsh revised Legacy's job description to take advantage of these strengths.

During her work term, the Waterloo novice arranged co-op and volunteer opportunities for Emery students through contacts with local businesses and non-profit groups. She also planned and co-ordinated field trips and guest speakers: for example, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority asked a grade ten science class from Emery to do water quality testing for a pond clean-up project. Walsh and Robertson can congratulate themselves on a decision well-made. In four months at Emery, Legacy established eighteen partnerships between the high school and organizations ranging from Bell Canada to SENES Consultants. In addition, Walsh relates, Legacy was instrumental in securing a sizeable grant for Emery from the Ontario Ministry of Science & Technology.

Concludes Robertson, "Crystal is a walking testimony for not just applying for jobs that you're a perfect match for. She did an excellent job for us because she was diverse and could adapt, and that was what it took."

Engineering Lecture Hall

From above: "Digital orthoimages" of the city of Waterloo are now available in the University Map and Design library, joining photos of Kitchener and Cambridge that were acquired last year, says the library's on-line newsletter. This photo shows what's now the J. R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall, before the current construction work started. It was taken in late April 2000, when Global Remote Sensing Inc. did detailed airphoto coverage of all three cities "at a nominal scale of 1:8,000", the newsletter says. "These black and white images have a ground resolution of 10 cm, which means that features as narrow as highway centrelines and curbs show up clearly. Clients can view the images in the UMD Library using ArcView software or MrSID viewer software."

And a little of this and that

Prime minister Jean Chrétien will reveal his new cabinet this morning, and one thing for sure is that there will be a new minister of industry. That's the post of special concern to universities these days, as Industry Canada provides the funding for research megaprojects and high-technology development. Brian Tobin, minister for the past couple of years, announced yesterday, with no advance warning, that he was leaving politics "for personal reasons". The CBC added last night that "Tobin was considered the big loser in the December budget when his pet project was barely mentioned." That project would be the Canada-wide broadband Internet infrastructure that had been recommended by a task force chaired by UW's president, David Johnston.

Back here on campus, the co-op job interview process for the spring term is about to get rolling. Students who will be taking part in interviews should pick up the master copy of their co-op record in Needles Hall today (after 10:00). Career development workshops on "letter writing" and "résumé writing" are scheduled today, at 10:30 and 11:30 respectively. And the first batch of job descriptions will be posted tomorrow at noon.

A talk by Judith Miller of Renison College is scheduled for noon today, sponsored by the Employee Assistance Program. Says the flyer introducing the program:

Writers have always known that putting words down on the page helps to clarify life. "How do I know what I think/believe/feel/experienced until I see what I wrote?" is an old question. Recently, psychologists doing empirical studies have come to similar conclusions. Professor Judith Miller, from Renison College, will introduce a recent book by Canadian artist Mary Pratt: A Personal Calligraphy, a particularly beautiful book illustrated with reproductions of her light-filled paintings. How did Pratt discover her own painting and writing style? How might we learn from her example? These are questions which Prof. Miller will explore with participants in this lecture/workshop. (Bring a pen.)
The talk will be given in Davis Centre room 1302.

Robert A. Milton, president of the beleaguered Air Canada, will speak this afternoon at Wilfrid Laurier University, giving the first talk in a new "TD Bank Financial Group Speaker Series". He'll speak on "The Global Airline Industry in the Wake of September 11"; the talk starts at 4 p.m. in WLU's Theatre Auditorium.

A meeting is scheduled for tonight as something called the K-W Solidarity Network tries to get organized. Actually it's the second such meeting -- the first one, according to a news release, was held on campus on Sunday night, though it wasn't announced in advance. Anyway, tonight's meeting is at 7:30 (preceded by 6:00 "social time") at the Working Centre, 43 Queen Street South in Kitchener. Explanation: "Some activists in the K-W area are interested in pooling resources among the various groups that are working for social change. Currently dubbed the 'K-W Solidarity Network', this fledgling group wants to do joint promotion and fundraising, reach out to more diverse groups, develop more skills, and have more fun than any group could alone."

On a more frivolous note, graduate student are invited to Games Night at Campus Cove, in the Student Life Centre, starting at 8:00 this evening. Tickets ($2 for grads, $5 for guests) are available at the Graduate House.

Advance note: The annual "Pre-Optometry Night" organized by UW Optometry Students Society is being held Thursday January 17 at 7 p.m. in room 347 of the Optometry building. Anyone interested in the Doctor of Optometry program and the graduate studies program in vision science is encouraged to attend. Optometry students, graduate students and faculty will be present to answer your questions and give tours of the school and the clinic. Refreshments will also be served."

Registration is now open for the second offering of the faculty workshop series "Redesign for Learning". Says Diane Salter of the LT3 learning centre: "This series is designed for instructors interested in enhancing learning with online activities. No prior technology expertise is required. Upon completion faculty will have a customized template for using online tasks in their course. The focus is to help faculty determine how online tasks can be designed to suit their course objectives. Two parallel morning sessions will be held on Monday and Thursday mornings for three consecutive weeks starting on March 4." For more information, Salter can be reached at ext. 6832.

Nominations are still being accepted for positions on students' council and the Federation of Students executive for the coming year; the deadline is Friday. "Please visit the Fed office for details," advertisements say.

Also continuing -- running all through the winter term, in fact -- is the Cross Canada Challenge organized by the campus recreation program. "Stay active and see Canada!" is the enticement, although the "Canada" participants will see is a bulletin board in the Physical Activities Complex. "Each week, you will be moved along according to the hours you were active . . . after completing the entire route, you will be given a prize."

Final note: fire trucks came roaring onto campus about 8:00 this morning and headed for the J. R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall. No real fire, the UW police report: the fire alarms were set off by welders' torches.


January 15, 1955: Elsie Fischer (later Dodds) joins the staff of Waterloo College as manager of its little bookstore; when UW is created, she'll move to the new institution and manage its store for more than 25 years.

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