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University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Wednesday, April 26, 2000

  • High schoolers write French contest
  • Young writers converge on Renison
  • Pixels in the big picture

[She's got her red hat]
A fire drill drove staff out of Needles Hall late yesterday morning, giving Nancy Heide of the community relations office (standing beside Bob Truman of institutional analysis and planning) a chance to model her red fire marshal's hat. Fire drills continue today across campus. Morning: HS, PAC, GSC, ECH, 156 Columbia, BFG. Afternoon: LIB, PHY, DC, C2, MC, ESC, B1 and B2.

High schoolers write French contest

The department of French studies will hold its 27th annual French Contest today, with some 210 participants from 70 high schools in southwestern Ontario.

The students will be on campus to spend three hours on the exam, which includes an oral interview, a dictation, reading and listening comprehension and a written language test. Volunteer students, faculty and staff from the department of French studies, along with numerous teachers from participating high schools, will conduct the interviews and mark the exam.

The contest has grown steadily; last year there were 54 schools involved and this year there are 70, from ten school boards, says contest organizer Pat Aplevich.

The overall winner will enjoy a two-week home stay in France (valued at $900) donated by Red Leaf Tours and a return flight to France funded by donations. Second prize is a cash award of $500. Third prize is $250.

Some 30 top-scoring students will go home with other cash prizes, plaques and dictionaries, donated by various firms and organizations including UW's St. Paul's United College. Says Aplevich: "We also thank numerous high school teachers and school boards that have contributed to the contest, providing the $5,000 worth of prizes to be awarded on May 18 at the 27th Annual Awards Banquet."

Young writers converge on Renison -- from the UW news bureau

Lots of us struggle with handwritten notes, searching for the right words to offer condolences, say thanks or congratulate a friend. So we can appreciate the achievement of about 200 local high school English students who excel in the elegance of expression. They will take the University of Waterloo's Renison College "hostage" on Wednesday, quipped Prof. Judith Miller, of English at Renison College.

These young aspiring writers -- future Margaret Atwoods, Nino Riccis and Dionne Brands -- will participate in a one-day workshop leading up to the 22nd annual Waterloo County High School English Awards.

Said Miller: "Renison has been hosting the workshop for over 10 years, as well as sponsoring the junior poetry award." Initially invited to be a workshop leader several years ago, Miller has been involved in the event ever since.

Not only will the students get a taste of campus life, but also they will make literary connections outside their own schools. "During the workshop at Renison, their creativity is really given a chance to blossom because they're in a community of people who appreciate what they can give to it," Miller said.

Local high school teacher Barbara Carter, who has organized the workshop for several years, said: "The Waterloo County High School English Awards involve more than anything else a celebration of the arts for young people in all of the high schools in the area." Carter, who stepped down from her position this year, has passed the responsibility for the workshop to co-worker Shelley Blom.

The contest, which is sponsored by high school English teachers of Waterloo County, is open to all Waterloo region high school students. It is considered to be unique in Canada, offering secondary school students an opportunity to show their excellence in writing. This year's reception and awards presentation will be held at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School on May 17 at 7 p.m.

Special achievements will be recognized in drama, film (Charlie Awards), playwriting, newspaper journalism, yearbook production, children's literature and illustration, junior and senior poetry, short story, informal prose and debating.

Jean Little will grace the event as guest speaker. A member of the Order of Canada, she is also a Governor-General's Award nominee and a winner of the Little, Brown Children's Book Award.

Some of this year's adjudicators are from the New Quarterly, an award-winning literary magazine devoted to new Canadian writing published under the auspices of the University of Waterloo.

Pixels in the big picture

There's one more place on campus that you can get something to eat during this in-between week, writes Bill Bishop, president of the Graduate Student Association: "The Graduate House is open for both lunch and dinner as well. The Graduate House offers a menu of affordable daily specials, salads and pub grub. The 2nd floor patio has been quite busy this week. New speakers have recently been installed in the Graduate House and several other improvements are planned over the summer term. Arts, Engineering, Environmental Studies and Science have purchased group memberships that allow members of their staff and faculty to enjoy the privileges of membership to the Graduate House. Those members of the UW Community who do not belong to a group with a Graduate House membership may purchase an individual membership for a fee of $15 per term."

Today's a Wednesday, but there is no Gazette issue today, which means that the weekly Positions Available list is being circulated on paper to department offices, as well as appearing on the Web. This week's list has two regular positions to offer:

And there are three temporary positions: The Positions Available list, in print or on the web, has fuller descriptions, and more information is available from the human resources department at ext. 2524.

the Kitchener-Waterloo Record reported yesterday that the hot high-tech company Research in Motion (RIM) has bought five office buildings next to UW's campus. RIM becomes the owner of the three buildings at University Business Park between the ring road and Phillip Street, just south of Columbia Street, and the two buildings of the Technology Business Park across Columbia Street from there (not including 156 Columbia Street, which is rented to UW by another owner). RIM had previously been leasing part of UBP for its headquarters.

The staff association has announced the names of staff members appointed to a number of UW committees, thus: Tim Ireland (library) and Rita Cherkewski (psychology) to the staff grievance committee; Karen Gallant (distance and continuing education) to the staff training and development committee; Paul Snyder (information systems and technology) to the staff relations committee; John Debrone (architecture) to the joint health and safety committee; Sandra Shantz (co-op education and career services) to the president's advisory committee on traffic and parking; Luanne McGinley (religious studies) to the personal safety committee; Steve Cook (purchasing services) and Christine Gillis Bilton (finance) to the finance review committee.

Mary Varcoe, coordinator of the Arts Computer Experience day camp for kids, says ACE is in need of CITs, Counsellors in Training, for this summer. "We are looking for volunteers age 13 and up to assist counsellors in leading groups of 7-to-12-year-old children. It's an excellent way to gain experience and it can be put toward the community service requirement for high-school students. The minimum commitment is one two-week session. Additional information can be obtained by contacting me via e-mail (mevarcoe@artsmail) or telephone (ext. 5939). We have extended our deadline until May 15."

And the registrar's office reminds spring term students that tuition fees are due May 1, which is this coming Monday, the day term begins.


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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