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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

  • Kitchener commits $30 million for campus
  • French dictionary conference this fall
  • Marking Canada's 137th birthday
Chris Redmond

Friendship Festival, Buffalo and Fort Erie

[Thousands on the field]

It's free and the forecast is for a high of 26 -- what could be better for Canada Day? At UW's annual celebration on the north campus, the music goes from 2 to 10 p.m., there are cupcakes at 4:45 and happy-birthday speeches at 6:00, more than 20 creators will take part in the arts and crafts fair, and the children's games will be as lively as ever. In traditional fashion, the event winds up with fireworks over Columbia Lake at 10 p.m. Parking is free (enter campus via University Avenue) and food is for sale. The photo of last year's celebration is by Martin Pei.

Kitchener commits $30 million for campus -- by Avvey Peters

A downtown Kitchener campus for UW is one step closer to reality, following last night's vote by Kitchener city council to commit $30 million for construction.

Six of seven councillors present spoke strongly in favour of the proposal and the benefits of developing a health sciences campus, anchored by a school of pharmacy, and the council vote was 6-1 in favour. It's a definite commitment following up the approval in principle that came from council two weeks ago.

[Silver parcel, brick wall]

Winding up seven years as dean of environmental studies, Geoff McBoyle (right) was guest of honour at a reception last week in the ES I courtyard. Geoff Wall of the department of geography makes the gift presentation. McBoyle's term of office ends today. Photo by Chris Hughes, Graphics Photo/Imaging.

The campus is planned for development on a piece of land known as the Epton site -- 8.27 acres at the corner of King and Victoria Streets. Also under the resolution passed last night, the city will facilitate the transfer of the Epton site from a private owner to UW.

Accompanied by a delegation from the university, president David Johnston spoke briefly at the meeting, underscoring the benefits of the proposed partnership to both UW and the city. He finished by asking for council's continued support for a downtown health sciences campus, saying, "Our enthusiasm continues not only unabated, but accelerated; this will be an extraordinary boost to the economic and civic life of this community." Mayor Carl Zehr agreed, saying that this partnership with UW is "a significant step in the history of this community -- not just the downtown, but the community as a whole."

According to a news release from the city, the proposed health sciences campus is part of Kitchener's strategy "to build on the strong education and knowledge creation cluster that exists in the region. According to the Downtown Campus business plan, the education and knowledge creation sector is second only to the automotive sector for employment creation in this area."

More from the release: "The Downtown Kitchener Campus business case was endorsed by Council at the June 14 Council meeting. It demonstrates that a downtown Health Sciences Campus would attract more health professionals including doctors to the area, further the region's position as a global biotechnology centre, and revitalize Kitchener's downtown core.

"The development is also a key step in the creation of a pharmaceutical and biotechnology research cluster in the Region. This will attract $6-10 million in new research dollars per year, and lead to the creation of spin-off companies.

"If approved by other levels of government, the School of Pharmacy could be under construction by 2006, with the first students arriving in 2007."

The health sciences campus still needs to be approved by the Ontario ministry of training, colleges, and universities and the ministry of health and long-term care. UW officials will be continuing their discussions with both ministries over the course of the summer. A meeting with Mary Anne Chambers, minister of TCU, is scheduled for July 7.

Positions available

There are just a couple of jobs on this week's list from the human resources department:

  • Customer service assistant, distance and continuing education, USG 4
  • Research associate, kernel/systems programmer, computer science, USG 11/12

    Longer descriptions are available on the HR web site.

  • French dictionary conference this fall

    If reading a dictionary ever struck you as dull, it couldn't be further from the truth for Gerardo Acerenza of the department of French and Italian at St. Jerome's University. In fact he's organizing a conference this fall to address issues of dictionaries of French and -- not the same thing -- French-Canadian.

    Italian-born, Acerenza came to Canada a decade ago to study Italian-Canadian writers in Montréal, and ended up working on other Québec literature as well. In particular, he began reading Jacques Ferron, and found the French in his novels very different -- a mixture of literary French, archaisms, quebecisms and anglicisms. In fact, he says, "Québec writers never know what sort of language to write in. "If the action is in Québec, the characters should speak Québécois, but this is not normative French. But if the characters speak a high level of French, they're not believable." So writers struggle with how to manage the linguistic reality of their characters and maintain some level of literary French in their work.

    The time came when he was invited to give a paper at a conference on French and Canadian dictionaries, and chose to speak on the role of dictionaries in Québec novels. He began to find numerous examples of characters in novels comparing their French to the "norm", that norm being the French dictionary Robert. One character in a Michel Tremblay novel goes on a trip to France and buys a French dictionary to take with him in case he needs to speak to the French. Another character (in Maryse by Francine Noël) says to his friend André Breton, "if the word is not in a rhyming dictionary, in a French dictionary, it doesn't exist for you."

    In fact, Acerenza says, Robert can be an enemy to the Québec author. If Robert has not put a Québec variation in a definition of a word, the writer feels it can't be used in a novel that he hopes to sell outside of the province.

    This phenomenon isn't confined to the literary world either, he says. He noticed it among the French tourists in Montréal who couldn't resist commenting on the archaisms in the local French. Many Québecers wish to travel to France as well, to discover the country of their ancestors, but return frustrated because people don't understand them. Even those setting out to emulate the French are identified as Québecers and told they don't speak proper French.

    Then there's the daily war against the use of anglicisms in French. Acerenza studied the Radio-Canada program "Capsules linguistiques" and discovered that one battle is against French words used with English syntax, for example 'Je vais prendre une marche' which would be corrected to 'Je fais une promenade' (I'm going for a walk). But what if this comes out of the mouth of a character in a novel?

    The influence of French dictionaries in French Canadian writing will be fully explored in the conference Acerenza is organizing for November 11-13. The influence of French Canadian literature on dictionaries will also be examined to see to what extent they are represented in them, and whether this amounts to an appreciation of French Canadian literature, legitimization of language, or merely a notation of stylistic differences.

    Is there enrichment in either direction? Are there dictionary fanatics? "Nothing has been done in this field," he says. "It will be interesting to discover if this phenomenon is large, or if only a few examples exist, as I have explored in my own papers."

    Marking Canada's 137th birthday

    Probably everybody knows by now that tomorrow, Thursday, July 1, is Canada Day and a holiday. UW offices and most services will be closed, and classes will not be held. The Dana Porter Library will be open from noon to 6 p.m. tomorrow, and UW's museums will be welcoming Canada Day visitors. Open 24 hours a day as always: the Student Life Centre, the UW police (888-4911), and the central plant, where emergency maintenance calls can be directed if necessary (ext. 3793).

    Dick Aldridge, Warrior football and basketball star 1960-65, funeral service 1 p.m., Rod Abrams Funeral Home, Tottenham, Ontario.

    'Selling Your Skills', career workshop, 3:30, Tatham Centre room 1208.

    'The History and Technology of Glass', Wilhelm Nassau speaks at Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Caroline Street, 7:00, tickets $20.

    Grand River Baroque Festival, concerts Thursday-Sunday south of New Dundee, details online.

    However, here's a reminder that Friday, July 2, is not a university holiday. Classes will be held as usual, and it's back to work for staff in academic and non-academic areas alike. However, my sense is that many people are taking Friday as a day of holiday, and there will be reduced service in various places on campus. For example, the Carbon Copy duplicating centre in the CEIT building will be closed Friday. And several food services outlets will be shut for the day. Options for something to eat, or a cup of coffee, on Friday are pretty much limited to Bookends (South Campus Hall), Tim Horton's in the Davis Centre, Browsers in Dana Porter Library, Brubakers in the Student Life Centre, and of course Mudie's cafeteria in Village I.

    The student accounts centre ("cashiers' office") in Needles Hall will close at 3:00 today, remain closed Friday and reopen Monday morning following some renovations.

    A group of about two dozen students from Britain's Oxford Brookes University have arrived to spend three weeks at Waterloo. They're living in Ron Eydt Village. A web site explains: "In July of most years, students in the Oxford Town and Country Planning Program will be spending three weeks at the University of Waterloo as part of an on-going exchange between our two planning programs. Their studies here will relate to The Theory and Practice of Planning in Canada" and will focus on urban, rural and resource issues. Waterloo students intending to participate in PLAN 480 the following year can take this opportunity to meet the British students and establish links."

    Carol Vogt writes from the information systems and technology department: "The rollout of Bookit, the replacement for Synchronize as the campus calendaring system, has begun. IST and several other departments have begun using Bookit, and now all other groups are being invited to get their departments set up for Bookit use. Complete details can be found online. Until rollout is complete, this page will be updated on a weekly basis."

    A retiring professor has dropped off 34 cartons of history books and articles at the Federation used book store in the Student Life Centre, where they're for sale at 25 cents apiece. . . . Jeff Shallit in UW's computer science department says he has a supply of the form that American citizens need to fill out in order to register to vote in this fall's election. . . . The team behind UW's Midnight Sun solar car is planning to take the tour on a 40-day tour of North America starting August 7 -- watch for much more about that high-profile event. . . .


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