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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

  • Cast gambles on a multimedia play
  • Education expert gives Pascal Lectures
  • You'll find Waterloo in 27 locations
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Two winners, exultant; two losers, despondent]
Cast gambles on a multimedia play

A new multimedia production, “Dissocia”, will have its first performance tonight in the Humanities building, directed by drama professor Andy Houston and staged by students in the department of drama.

The play, written by Adam Cowart, “has emerged from the research undertaken by a group of dramaturgy students at the University of Waterloo,” says publicity assistant Katherine Ronzio. It’s “dramaturged by Lisa O’Connell and Erica Robinson, with film and video design by Mark Walton, music and sound by Nancy Tam, and scenography and design by Scott Spidell.” Stars of the show include (left to right in photo) Tallen Kay, Tarci Dow, Tom Duff, and Brittany Leite.

She explains that “Dissocia examines the role that addiction plays in the ‘performance’ of everyday consumerism. The title refers to dissociative states of being and what happens when a person compartmentalizes his or her life into various activities so that addictive, abusive or other unethical activity is effectively concealed from the person's sense of self in the other compartments.

“This is what happens when people become addicted to gambling, shopping, sex, exercise, drugs, alcohol, work, and other activities that become diversions from self-awareness.

“The show focuses on digital gambling addiction, but it approaches this issue through the idea that gambling as an exploitative business is not unlike other businesses that claim to provide entertainment — for a price.”

The creators’ publicity release says that they “wish to acknowledge the generous support and guidance of Dr. Kevin Harrigan and the Problem Gambling Research Team” in Waterloo’s department of psychology.

More about the show: “Through the use of digital imagery and sound, the play becomes part reality, part reality TV and part mythology. We see the stories of a casino owner and his son, two daughters of a gambler, and a woman who commits suicide in the washroom of the casino while a staff member tries to 'help'. There is a pronounced focus here on the root cause of addictive behaviour, mostly in the absence of loved ones or other traumatic rupture, such as the loss of a family member.

“One of the most traumatic betrayals, based in part on a true story, is that of a father whose gambling addiction leads him to exploit his youngest daughter in order to serve his addiction.

“This play examines how our society is slowly becoming addicted to immediate gratification, delivered digitally to us in so many forms.”

Seating is limited, because the play is being presented in the cozy Studio 180, not the full Humanities Theatre. Performances are tonight through Saturday at 8:00, and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00. The Humanities box office, 519-888-4908, has tickets.

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Education expert gives Pascal Lectures

Educational reformer Mary Poplin will discuss how religion coexists with the secular world during the annual Pascal Lectures on Christianity and the University, to be given tomorrow and Friday.

The first of two public lectures by Poplin, author of Finding Calcutta and Voices from the Inside: A Report on Schooling from Inside the Classroom, is titled “Christianity: How the Religious Worldview Became a Secret” and takes place Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Humanities Theatre. She will talk about how she came to understand the issues of faith when attempting to write her first book, about her two-month experience working with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta in the spring of 1996. As well, she will discuss the history behind the loss of the Christian worldview in academia.

[Poplin]On Friday, Poplin (left) will hold a discussion with students entitled “Is Anything Sacred?”, starting at 12:30 p.m. in Hagey Hall room 1104.

Her second public lecture, “Secularism: Diminishing the Marketplace of Ideas”, is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m., again in the Humanities Theatre. She will talk about the competing worldviews (naturalism, humanism and pantheism) and the results of the loss of the Christian worldview in the western academy.

"We are very fortunate to have a speaker of Dr. Poplin's stature visit the University of Waterloo," says John North, professor of English language and literature and chair of this year's Pascal lecture series. "We are keen to hear Dr. Poplin's views on the academy, Christianity, worldviews and her time with Mother Teresa."

A native of Texas, Poplin earned her PhD in education from the University of Texas. She began her career teaching elementary school and special education. She is currently a professor at Claremont Graduate University in California where she has been director of the teacher-education master’s program and dean of the school of educational studies.

Poplin's most recent work has been a five-year study of 31 highly effective teachers in nine low performing K-12 urban schools in Los Angeles. The first summary of the study is published this month in Kappan magazine, which offers articles on issues, trends and policy in K-12 education.

Simultaneously, Poplin has begun to work on the intellectual and spiritual principles of the Judeo-Christian worldview as it could inform higher education.

The Pascal lecture series was established to create a forum for Christian issues in an academic environment by inviting outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves in both an area of scholarly endeavour and of Christian thought or life. Donations and royalties from published lectures support the series financially. The series is named after Blaise Pascal (1632-1662), a French academic and Christian, best remembered as a forerunner of Newton in the establishment of Calculus. Pascal was also the author of his Christian meditations, Les Pensées. The lectures are open to the public and admission is free.

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You'll find Waterloo in 27 locations

The University of Waterloo “campus” that lies between University Avenue and Bearinger Road, occupied by academic buildings, residences, the Research and Technology Park and an environmental reserve, is the biggest swath of university property but by no means the only one, a report to the board of governors shows.

As part of the agenda material for last week’s meeting, the board received a two-page report from its building and properties committee: page one listing eight pieces of land owned by the university, page two itemizing 19 places where the university leases real estate.

The total: 1,111 acres (449 hectares) of land and 7.2 million square feet (666,000 square metres) of indoor space.

Of course the main campus in Waterloo includes most of that land and most of the floor space. Traditionally divided into “south” and “north” campuses by Columbia Street, the main campus has a total of 961 acres (389 ha) or about 1.5 square miles of land. It’s home to about 50 “major buildings”, depending on your definition of “major”, with 6.7 million square feet of interior space, not counting the R&T Park buildings that are occupied by entities other than the university.

But the university owns seven other pieces of land, all within a 45-minute drive of the ring road:

  • An ecological reserve at Rockwood Gorge near Guelph, 18 acres set aside for environmental research.
  • An ecological reserve at Spongey Lake near Baden, west of Kitchener, 79 acres also used for environmental work.
  • The Tri-University Library Facility or “annex” in Guelph.
  • A 41-acre property near Aberfoyle, south of Guelph, set aside for research but currently leased out.
  • The Architecture building in downtown Cambridge.
  • A three-acre property on Victoria Street in Kitchener, acquired in 2005 when the downtown health sciences campus was being planned.
  • The health sciences campus itself, four acres with two buildings at the corner of King and Victoria Streets.

The land and space that the university leases is even more diverse, and is located in four countries. That’s not even including the United Arab Emirates, where Waterloo uses, but doesn’t lease, space provided by the UAE Higher Colleges of Technology authority, or space used by Waterloo at the Sino-Canadian College at China's Nanjing University. A quick summary of locations that do appear:

  • In Waterloo: the Waterloo Tennis Club courts; parking lot E on Seagram Drive; office space at 145 Columbia Street; the Fire Research Facility at the regional landfill site on Erb Street; the Pavement and Transport Technology Facility, also at the landfill site; office space in the Accelerator building, 295 Hagey Boulevard, which in a complicated twist is built on the university’s own land.
  • In Kitchener: 335 Gage Street, the home of the Centre for Extended Learning; the Artery Gallery at 158 King Street West; medical space in the historic downtown Victoria School; office space in the old PUC building at 191-195 King Street West; space in the Museum building at 10 King Street West.
  • Elsewhere in Ontario: the Architecture annex at 7 Grad Avenue in Cambridge; [Piazza in the snow]the Architecture building parking lot; a twelfth-floor suite in the MaRS building on Bay Street in downtown Toronto; office space at 6 Wellington Street in Stratford; the Summit Centre for the Environment on Forbes Hill Drive in Huntsville.
  • Outside Canada: studio and office space in Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere (photo), home to the architecture school’s Rome program; office space at 55 Broad Street in New York; a suite in an office building in Shanghai.


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Link of the day

Hey ugly!

When and where

Employer interviews for spring term co-op jobs (“main” group of students) through February 16. Ranking opens February 16 at 1 p.m., closes February 18 2 p.m., results available 4 p.m. Details.

Class enrolment appointments on Quest to choose spring term courses, through Saturday. Open enrolment begins February 14. Details.

Federation of Students annual election, polls open through Thursday 9 p.m. Details.

Library workshop: “Calculating Your Academic Footprint: Making Citation Tracking Easy” 10:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Free noon concert: “Emily, a One-Act Opera”, Ramona Carmelly (soprano) and Joe Ferretti (piano), 12:30, Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Career workshop: “Successfully Negotiating Job Offers” 2:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Engineering coffee house 8 p.m., Engineering 5 atrium.

Centre for Teaching Excellence offices closed Thursday for professional development.

Blood donor clinic at Student Life Centre, Thursday 10 to 4, Friday 9 to 3; appointments, call 1-888-2DONATE.

Paralympic movement: David Willsie of Canadian national wheelchair rugby team speaks on “Changing Minds, Changing Lives: Rehabilitation Through Sport” Thursday 1:00, Sun Life Financial Auditorium, Lyle Hallman Institute.

Library workshop: “Demystifying the Statistics Canada Website” Thursday 1:30, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation presents Brian Arthur, Santa Fe Institute, “How Does Technological Innovation Happen?” Thursday 2:00, Perimeter Institute theatre.

Career workshops Thursday: “The Power of LinkedIn” 2:30, Tatham Centre room 2218; “Thinking about Med School? Perspectives of a Waterloo Grad” 6:00, Tatham room 1208. Details.

Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation conversation with Brian Arthur (Santa Fe Institute, pioneer of studying positive feedbacks in the economy) with Lee Smolin (Perimeter Institute), Frances Westley (Waterloo social innovation) and Thomas Homer-Dixon (Balsillie School), Thursday 4:00 to 6:00, Perimeter lecture theatre. Reservations.

School of Computer Science distinguished lecture: Gilles Brassard, Université de Montréal, “Quantum Magic in Secret Communication” Thursday 4:30, Davis Centre room 1302.

Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology information session Thursday 5:00, 295 Hagey Boulevard. Details.

Tobogganing with International Student Connection, Thursday 5:00 to 7:00, beside Columbia Icefield (meet 4:30 at Student Life Centre room 3107).

Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Registered Student (Amit and Meena Chakma Award) nominations due Friday. Details.

Mobile Internet: ‘Materialities and Imaginaries’ conference sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University, Friday-Sunday at Communitech Hub, Kitchener. Details.

Organizational and Human Development speaker event: Dan Heath, “Switch, How to Change Things When Change Is Hard” Friday 8:30 a.m., Humanities Theatre. Details.

St. Jerome’s University lecture: Mary Jo Leddy, “Justice Has a Face” Friday 7:30, Siegfried Hall.

2011 Sawatsky Lecture: Donald Kraybill, Elizabethtown College, “Forgiveness in the Face of Tragedy: Amish Grace at Nickel Mines” Friday 7:30, Conrad Grebel UC great hall.

‘Showcase Your Roots’ celebration of black culture, organized by Black Association for Student Expression and other groups, Sunday 6:00, Humanities Theatre.

Treat-a-gram delivery in support of Keystone Campaign, delivery on Valentine’s Day, February 14. Details.

‘Life After the U’ panel of retirees, sponsored by UW Recreation Committee, Tuesday 12:00, Math and Computer room 5158.

WatPD elective course information session, Tuesday 4:00, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

School of Accounting and Finance Sun Life Financial Lecture: Deborah Moor, president, Lloyd’s Canada, “The Aftermath of the Financial Crisis” Tuesday 4:30, Hagey Hall room 1101, reception follows. Register.

Lois Claxton, secretary of the university, farewell reception February 17, 4:00, University Club, RSVP ext. 36125 by February 11.

Dragons’ Den auditions for CBC television program, February 18, 11:00 to 6:00, CBET, 295 Hagey Boulevard. Details.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department, viewable through myHRinfo:

• Information technology specialist, civil and environmental engineering, USG 9/10
• Assistant director, student and faculty relations, co-operative education and career services, USG 12 (one-year secondment or contract)

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