Friday, January 19, 2007

  • Saturday classes and other oddities
  • DVD issued for Alzheimer Month
  • ‘Voice to the world of the seamstress’
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs


Tony Leggett, 2003 Nobel Prize winner in physics and recently named to a faculty chair at UW, will give a special lecture next Friday (January 26), sponsored by the Institute for Quantum Computing. He'll address "Does the Everyday World Really Obey Quantum Mechanics?" at 2 p.m. that day in CEIT room 1015, with questions-and-answers and a reception to follow. The event is free, but reservations are suggested: e-mail

Link of the day

Robert E. Lee, 200 years

When and where

Blood donor clinic last day, 9 to 3, Student Life Centre.

Engineering Alumni Ski Day Osler Bluff Ski Club, Collingwood, details online.

Leave the Pack Behind stop-smoking program, final day of registration, 10:30 to 2:30, Student Life Centre, details online.

'Hardscrabble Road' new musical by James Gordon, Kitchener debut 8 p.m., Registry Theatre, 122 Frederick Street, sponsored by The New Quarterly and Alternatives.

Benefit concert for Amnesty International, sponsored by UW International Health Development Association, 9 p.m., Bombshelter pub, $5 advance, $6 at door.

Dinosaur mural by Peter Etril Snyder continues to develop, Waterloo Town Square, for eventual display in UW earth sciences museum. Presentation on fossils and dinosaurs Saturday 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., with free shark teeth for visitors.

Christians in arts invited to "Connect", with music, games and food, Sunday 3 to 5 p.m., multipurpose room, Student Life Centre, sponsored by Campus for Christ.

Civil engineering alumni reception during the Transportation Research Board annual meeting, Sunday 5:30 to 7:30, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC, details online.

Know Your Workplace sessions for staff on "Delivering Performance Appraisals", Monday at 11:30 and 12:30, Wednesday at 11:30 and 12:30, all in Davis Centre room 1302, no preregistration required.

Joint Health and Safety Committee Monday 1:30, Commissary room 112D.

Fit Blitz series of four free sessions with a personal trainer starts Monday, 5 to 6 p.m., Columbia Icefield fitness centre, with upper-body exercises.

Seminar on RRSPs sponsored by Education Credit Union, Tuesday 12:15, Davis Centre room 1302.

Smarter Health lecture: Jake Thiessen, school of pharmacy, "Why Not Bring Medications and Their Uses Out of the Dark Ages?" Wednesday 3 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302.

Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program information session January 24, 4:00 p.m., Needles Hall room 1101, reservations ext. 3-7167.

Mathematics Faculty Awards Banquet Thursday, January 25, 5:30, South Campus Hall, details ext. 3-6757.

Polar Jam outdoor concert beside Federation Hall, "six bands in six hours", January 26, 5 to 11 p.m., details online.

Graduate Student Research Conference April 23-26; deadline for submission of abstracts is February 2, details online.

Saturday classes and other oddities

"Some" faculty members are exercising their right to hold special class sessions tomorrow, to make up for Monday's storm cancellation, says registrar Ken Lavigne. "I gather some classes (labs, seminars, tutorials) will be held on Saturday," he said in a memo to associate deans yesterday. "You should be aware that the classes that do meet will do so at the same time and location as if it were Monday. Instructors should not change location and time."

Here's a warning that has been posted on the web site of UW's off-campus housing office: "Landlords are contacted by telephone or e-mail by 'international students or parents', asking to rent their accommodation. They are then receiving payment in the form of money orders, cashier’s cheques, or third party cheques from a business or bank usually in an amount that is much higher than what is required. Shortly thereafter they are contacted by the student or parent and asked to wire back a portion of the money. This is usually explained as airfare costs or perhaps an accident has taken place and the student will no longer be able to attend. Some landlords have sent large amounts (up to $5,000) through wire transfers back to the suspects. The landlord is subsequently informed by their bank that the money order or cheque is fraudulent. . . . The victim (landlord) is usually held financially responsible as they have passed a fraudulent money order or cheque. Since the transactions are carried out by e-mail or cell phone, out of province or country, it is extremely difficult to positively identify the individual posing as the tenant. The Off-Campus Housing Office recommends that, if you receive a request from a prospective tenant for a refund of a deposit overpayment, you contact the fraud unit of the Waterloo Regional Police Services."

Waterloo has moved into the finals of the worldwide "Intelligent Communities" competition for the second year in a row. Already listed in the top 21, Waterloo has now been promoted to the top seven cities, along with Ottawa-Gatineau, Tallinn (capital of Estonia), and four others. There are no American candidates this year. In 2006, Waterloo was a finalist along with Cleveland, but the title eventually went to Taipei, Taiwan. The honour is based on "six key capabilities: broadband infrastructure, knowledge workforce, digital inclusion, innovation and finance, marketing and leadership".

A note of interest from Roydon Fraser, president of the faculty association, on the front page of the association's Forum newsletter: "There is a trend in government contracts to ask researchers to waive their moral rights to the work they do. My very strong advice is not to waive your moral rights. Consider this: if you waive your moral rights to a report then the government can change the conclusions of the report and still keep your name on the report, or the government could use the report without attributing the work to you. A major problem is that most people do not know the implications of waiving their moral rights. Be knowledgeable on this issue."

[Best]This weekend brings the East-West Shrine Game, a major all-star event in American college football, which each year includes a pair of Canadian players too. Appearing this year will be Chris Best (left), all-Canadian lineman for UW's Warriors over the past two years, and formerly one of Duke University's Blue Devils. He's now a graduate student in mechanical engineering. The game, a fund-raiser for Shriners Hospitals for Children, will be played Saturday night at Reliant Stadium in Houston (home of this week's rare ice storm) and will be telecast on Canada's TSN network starting at 8 p.m. Best is also expected to be featured on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" program next week.

A dozen staff member and volunteers from Imprint, UW's main student newspaper, are in Vancouver this weekend and the first part of next week, attending this year's national conference of Canadian University Press. (This could be the start of something big: an early landmark in my professional career was the CUP annual conference in Vancouver in, ulp, 1967.) "We'll be blogging about our adventures and, of course, journalism in general," writes Jacqueline McKoy, treasurer of Imprint Publications. Meanwhile, I'm told that today's issue of Imprint will introduce a new feature: "Each week we will run a picture of a UW building, but not necessarily as it exists today," says Neal Moogk-Soulis of the paper's staff. "We're challenging members of the UW community to identify the building in question and send us their comments."

Megan Collings-Moore, the Anglican chaplain to UW and Renison College, advises that starting this week, there will be two services each Sunday (at 10:30 and 4:00), not just one, at St. Bede's Chapel at Renison. • The department of housing and residences is accepting applications for positions as don in fall 2007 and winter 2008 (details are online). • The latest winners in the monthly prize draw for Keystone Campaign donors have been chosen and are listed on the campaign's web site.

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DVD issued for Alzheimer Month

from the UW media relations office

The Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program is marking Alzheimer Awareness Month with the release of a research-based drama on DVD for people experiencing dementia. The play, entitled "I'm Still Here" and accompanied by a teaching-learning guide, seek to deepen understanding about dementia from the perspectives of people living with the disease and their families.

The play touches on loss, fear, sadness, hope and desire. Topics covered include concern with awareness of change, living with dementia, quality of life, bewildering absences, inventing new ways of living, slowing rhythms and cacophony, the caring experience involving mothers and daughters, the importance of caring nurses and other health-care professionals, and the power of love and respect.

"The intent of the DVD and guide is to diminish unnecessary suffering faced by persons with dementia and their families, especially the suffering that accompanies misunderstanding and stigma," says Sherry Dupuis, director of MAREP and associate professor in recreation and leisure studies at UW.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, a term used to describe a group of brain disorders that cause memory loss and a decline in mental function over time.

The play, developed by nurse researchers Gail Mitchell and Christine Jonas-Simpson and playwright Vrenia Ivonoffski, captures important aspects of dementia, from its earliest stage to the final days. While the play dramatizes various experiences, the teaching-learning guide takes viewers through the major themes and key issues.

"'I'm Still Here' is a powerful and moving production that has the potential to not only change people's images of dementia, but also impact the way we approach dementia care," says Mary Schulz of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. "The misconceptions surrounding dementia can be both harmful and isolating to people touched by the disease, and we applaud those behind 'I'm Still Here' for giving people with dementia the chance to have their voices heard."

The play draws on findings from research conducted with people living with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia (ADRD), and from daughters whose mothers were diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The studies were conducted by Jonas-Simpson and Mitchell, who have more than 20 years of nursing practice with individuals and families living with ADRD. The play was written by Ivonoffski, artistic director of ACT II Studio at Ryerson University, with assistance from Jonas-Simpson and Mitchell. It is performed by actors from ACT II.

The guide highlights the voices of people with dementia from research studies. Dupuis's contributions drew from her 20 years working with persons with dementia and their families.

The DVD version of "I'm Still Here" was funded by MAREP, a major division of the RBJ Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging in the faculty of applied health sciences. On its own, the DVD costs $55, or $40 for persons with dementia or their family members. The DVD and teaching-learning guide package costs $85.95. More information: ext. 3-6880.

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‘Voice to the world of the seamstress’

An exhibition that opened at UW's art gallery this week "brings us into the world of the working seamstress, a reality which usually remains invisible", says a publicist for the show. "Like the refuge of a mother’s skirt, the dress provides us with the security to transgress borders and enter in the unfamiliar territory of the seamstress’ interiority. In materializing the moments when the body is forgotten and thoughts take flight, Audy and Faubert have brought us a riveting portrait that gives voice to the world of the seamstress.”

The show is titled "La robe-ruche", or in English "The Hive Dress", and is a creation of Montréal artists Héloïse Audy and Julie Faubert. It's one of three exhibitions that opened officially yesterday in East Campus Hall and will continue through February 24.

Says the gallery: "Audy and Faubert’s complex and fragile installation was developed over the course of a year of studio-based research in the garment district of Montréal. Involving the interviewing of numerous immigrant women (the primary work force of the long established garment industry), the collecting and dyeing of textile fragments and the construction of an architectonic central form that alludes to both a dress and beehive (with its clear reference to the exclusively female work force of the bee colony), they have created a powerful and elegant work that traces an intimate and gripping portrait of an often-unrecognized milieu. The Hive-Dress attempts to reclaim an invisible part in the ordeal of the seamstresses, the stream of thoughts and emotions that accompany their daily work, the thought process which runs freely, while their bodies are restrained to repetitive routines.

"Audy and Faubert offer the voices of myriad individuals layered in the archaic form of handwriting on paper fragments and digital recordings imbedded in the walls the gallery, an audio-scape that echoes the groundbreaking CBC radio documentaries of the Canadian pianist/composer Glenn Gould (who was also drawn to isolated communities). The messages are a complex mixture of bluntness, poetry and song, heartfelt, commonplace and disturbing, the product of communities of labourers that can be nurturing and supportive as well as hierarchical and exclusionary.

"The Hive Dress tells a complicated, multi-faceted tale of immigrant isolation within an industry that has long been distinguished by its reliance on newcomers and a culture of exploitation. It is a project distinctly relevant to the Waterloo Region with its history of garment and textile production and significant immigrant population."

As for the artists, they "have worked collaboratively (and independently) on projects emphasizing the body, memory and isolation with a particular focus on poetic multi-media installations. They remain based in Montréal where they studied at Concordia University (Audy, MFA) and the University of Québec (Faubert, MA in Visual and Media Arts)."


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