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Thursday, June 3, 2004

  • East meets west in Renison garden
  • Architecture lecture series resumes
  • Pixels in the big picture
Chris Redmond

Perigean spring tides

[Five people, two shovels]

At the first planting day for the new garden: Larry Lamb of environmental studies, Susan Hodges Bryant, and others involved in the project.

East meets west in Renison garden

Work has started on a new garden at Renison College, with the official opening scheduled for November during the college's annual East Asian Festival. Renison English professor Susan Hodges Bryant tells more:

"In 2003, Renison College linked its two buildings together with a new residence and main office. In linking the two buildings, a space for a special garden was created.

"The idea of a special garden at Renison is as old as the plans for the building link. The link between the two original Renison buildings creates the perfect setting for a garden -- a kind of quadrangle area that is the geographical center of the Renison community.

"When the construction of the link was finished, that area was had been turned into a muddy mess littered with Tim Horton's cups and debris, and people knew it was time to take action. At the college, creating Eden out of chaos meant forming a committee. Larry Lamb, a garden and native plant expert who teaches in environmental studies, volunteered, very generously, to advise the committee.

"The concept for the garden was his idea. He knew about the growing East Asian studies program at the College, and suggested a garden that symbolizes part of Renison's identity as a North American institution with a specialty in East Asian culture. He suggested a double garden -- one that features native North American species and their Asian counterparts. In other words, it would have, for example, a Japanese flowering dogwood and a North American dogwood, a native magnolia and an Asian magnolia, and so on. The overall flavour of the garden would be Asian. Larry tells us that such a garden is unique in North America -- not only a beautiful and appropriate centerpiece for the College, but also of great interest to garden specialists.

"One of the most fortunate aspects in planning this project is that Larry Lamb just happened to have a senior student in environmental studies, Emily Smit, who was looking for a garden research project. Emily agreed to do the research and design for the garden.

"Renison has been receiving donations to support the purchase of plants and materials for the growing garden and is also interested in receiving donations of plants and garden species from a list of needed plantings.

"In the Western tradition, during the Renaissance, art was defined as an imitation of nature, with two purposes -- to delight and to educate. The Renison garden, like every garden, is a place where nature meets art in a complex, dynamic relationship that is continually growing and changing. It will always be a work in progress and this is just the beginning. The late Michael Bird would certainly remind us that a garden is a sacred space, a place that inspires visions. Imagine sitting on a stone bench in the garden talking with a friend, under the cherry blossoms. Imagine an evening of poetry or music there -- about flowers, or about Spring -- that includes poetry and music from Japan, China and Canada. Imagine wedding pictures taken on the half-moon bridge. The possibilities for education and delight in the East Meets West Garden are limitless."

She adds that anyone interested in making a donation to the East Meets West Garden, or who would like to receive a list of the plantings that are still needed, can contact Caroline Woerns, Renison's director of development, at 884-4404 ext. 605.

  • 'Watershed workshop' sponsored by UW-based agency
  • Student voices opposition to development in west Waterloo
  • UW librarian tells of running Ottawa marathon
  • Interview with the UW graduate who almost became Miss Universe
  • New lobby group for Québec researchers
  • 'Politicians should go for tech gold' (Crane, Star)
  • Dramatic new academic building at MIT
  • Expansion plans at Britain's older universities
  • South African universities concerned about funding
  • Architecture lecture series resumes -- from the UW media relations office

    Some of the most important figures in the field of design and environment will be coming to speak in Waterloo. The University of Waterloo School of Architecture announces the latest speakers in the new Arriscraft Visiting Lecture Series.

    The series brings leading national and international architects, scholars and artists to speak on issues in contemporary design, arts and culture. Each talk is illustrated with projected images that make the presentations as visually stimulating as they are intellectually provocative.

    "The Arriscraft Lectures are a highlight of the creative environment of the School of Architecture, one that we are delighted to share with the rest of the university and the entire community," said Rick Haldenby, school director.

    Tonight, Konrad Frey of Graz, Austria will speak about "Usefulness and Delight in Architecture". On June 10, Ernst Giselbrecht, also of Graz, will speak about "Architecture as Cultural Commitment."

    Then on June 17, Jean Beaudoin of Montréal will talk about "Resonance/Interdisciplinary Design Approach," and on June 29, Brian Lilley of Halifax lectures on "Of Colour, Codes and Ecology: The building of GSW-HQ in Berlin."

    The lectures take place in the "green room", Environmental Studies II room 286, starting at 7 p.m.

    Technical speaker competition for engineering students, sponsored by Sandford Fleming Foundation, faculty-wide competition, 10 a.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2534.

    'Selling Your Skills' career development workshop, 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208.

    UW Drum Circle performs at Peacefest, Kitchener City Hall, Friday, 7 p.m. "Drumming for Peace" is part of the continuing conflict resolution conference. Saturday performance by the Drum Circle in Victoria Park has been cancelled.

    President's Golf Tournament, fund-raiser for department of athletics, Monday, Rebel Creek Golf Club, details online.

    [Hair left in a V shape]

    The clippers can do wondrous things, and will be in action tonight at 6:00 in the Carl Pollock Hall foyer. Head-shaving is a now traditional feature of cancer fund-raising, because of the notorious balding effect of chemotherapy. "We've raised over $11,500 and over 100 engineers have shaved their heads," writes Karim Lallani, charities director of the Engineering Society. He says at least one faculty member has agreed to lose his locks (and beard) tonight. More donations can be made in the CPH foyer between 11:30 and 1:30, or 3:30 and 4:30. Tonight's event includes refreshments, Lallani adds. It's a memorial to student Vincent Fazari, who died in March.

    Pixels in the big picture

    A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 this morning for James Kay, long-time faculty member in environment and resource studies, who died Sunday at the Lisaard House hospice. The service takes place in Siegfried Hall at St. Jerome's University, the meeting-place of the University Catholic Community, which is a full-fledged Roman Catholic congregation. A reception follows the service. Kay is survived by his wife, Michelle, and a daughter and a son. Memorial donations to Lisaard House or TransCanada Trail are suggested.

    Writing yesterday about Hannah Wilson and two courses that she taught, I called her a "teaching assistant". That term isn't appropriate, I'm reminded, when a graduate student is the full-fledged instructor for a course. Wilson, of UW's geography department, was fully responsible for two courses, one at UW and one at Wilfrid Laurier University. A report on her use of oral midterm exams in those courses appears in the current issue of the Teaching Matters newsletter.

    The Davis Centre "will be quite noisy" today, as it was yesterday, the library's renovation website warns. Major work is continuing on the Davis library, which is closed until September, and this week "trenches for wires and mobile shelving are being cut in the main floor and lower floor respectively. They are cutting through concrete. Pieces of the circulation and reference desks and the entrance/exit wall of the Davis Library are enroute to a dumpster." The site includes some photos of the work as it progresses: "You can see we found the time capsule buried in 1986 (construction worker with envelope in his hand). It was buried under the Reference Desk. We are working on a new one."

    The second annual Waterloo Catholic Youth Leadership Conference is taking place today through Saturday, divided between St. Jerome's University and St. Mary's High School. It's aimed at student council members and similar leaders in Catholic schools, and addresses topics from time management to violence prevention. "Motivational speakers" include Mano Watsa, former Warrior basketball star and recently announced as the new coach of the women Warriors, and Craig Kielburger, the well-known youthful crusader against child slavery. Details of the conference are on the web site of the Waterloo Region Catholic Schools Foundation.


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