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Tuesday, April 9, 2002

  • Caution: aggressive geese nesting
  • More teaching technology workshops
  • Power shutdown set for April 27
  • The campus in a spring rain
Chris Redmond

Look what daffodils do: from the Cancer Society


Still life: It's a sculpture by Tamara Izsak, one of two students whose Master of Fine Arts work is on display this week in the East Campus Hall gallery. Traditionally "still life" means artwork depicting fruit or flowers. Izsak's work plays with these words: "Real tulips are repeatedly dipped in wax as a means of preservation, but in trying to 'still' them, this process of preservation distorts them and they become something else," says the artist. "Recently the attempt to play with nature's processes is a hot topic in the media, whether it is stem cell research, genetically modified foods or human cloning. My work is an expression of the anxiety I share with many over the unforeseen consequences." Also on display through April 19 is work by Scott Sawtell. Two more MFA artists, In-Sun Kim and Wojciech Olejnick, take over the gallery April 22 through May 3.

Caution: aggressive geese nesting

A female student was taken to the health services clinic yesterday afternoon after she was attacked by a Canada goose, or rather gander, in the Carl Pollock Hall courtyard.

A pair of geese are nesting there, says Bill Pudifin of the dean of engineering office, and "the male stands in the middle of the walkway next to DWE and challenges/chases almost everyone who tries to walk through. It's pretty funny at times when unsuspecting people all of a sudden find a Canada Goose charging at them. One person when challenged by the goose must have walked about 30 feet to one side just to make sure to give the thing enough clearance."

It stopped being funny when an actual attack happened, though: "The goose struck her in the head and she was bleeding. One of the plant ops fellows was nearby with his truck and took her to health services. Security was notified."

Sergeant Wayne Shortt of the UW police said there were several more calls before the day was over, "regarding aggressive geese in the area of the engineering quad, specifically the back of Poets Pub. A number of agencies were contacted, which all reported that the goose is a migratory bird and a protected species. They should not or cannot be disturbed during nesting.

"It is spring time and birds are nesting. This makes them very aggressive. We made arrangements with the grounds department to erect barricades and post the area as a caution. The sign reads, 'Caution, Aggressive Geese Nesting'. Hopefully this will give everyone advance notice of the situation and we will not have a repeat of yesterday."

More teaching technology workshops

"We've just completed a very successful faculty series," says Peter Goldsworthy of the Cemtre for Learning and Teaching Through Technology, "and we have another one we would like to announce as well as a special support staff session."

[Profs at laptops] The workshop series, under the title Redesign for Learning: Engaging Students with Online Activities, has been run twice in the past year -- one session in November, the second in March -- and the 40 professors who took part (left) have said good things about it, according to Goldsworthy. "Open discussions were both interesting and enlightening," one faculty member said. And another: "I now know how I can put more of my activities and projects online." That was the whole idea.

The professors involved, from a variety of disciplines including engineering, accounting, biology, mathematics, languages and environmental studies, "are now adding an online component to their courses to expand the time and space for learning", says Goldsworthy's announcement. "The focus of the workshop is on the design and online delivery of learning tasks and feedback using the T-5 model of delivering online activities. Faculty are able to customize the online template to suit individual course objectives."

The next offering of the three-session series begins May 29. "Space is limited and early registration is advised so that the LT3 centre can prepare a template for your course before the session begins." The sessions are held in the "flex lab" in the Dana Porter Library from 1 to 4 p.. on May 29, June 5 and June 12.

In addition to the full series for faculty, a two-hour information session will be held on April 19 at 10:30 a.m. This session, says LT3, is designed for support staff working with faculty who are developing instructional material online. "We will describe the T-5 model and how the model is used in designing and developing online activities and also demonstrate the T-5 Editor and show how it is used to develop and deliver online activities."

More information on either session is available from Diane Salter in LT3, dianesalter@lt3, phone ext. 6832.

Power shutdown set for April 27

Most of the university will be dark and silent on April 27. It would be quiet day anyway, being the Saturday between the end of winter term exams and the arrival of spring term students, but there's an extra factor this year. The plant operations department says electrical power will be shut off in most buildings all that day.

As a result, the libraries -- one of the few places action might be found on a weekend between terms -- will be closed that day, and so will most other things.

The Davis Centre and Math and Computer building are not part of the power shutdown, so some computer networks will continue to operate. But buildings around the south and west sides of campus will be in the dark, including Carl Pollock Hall and Engineering I, II and III, all the arts buildings, Environmental Studies I and II, Biology I and II, Earth Sciences and Chemistry, Physics and south Campus Hall. The blackout starts at 6 a.m. and is scheduled to run to 11 p.m. Cooling and heating are affected as well as electrical power. "It is recommended that computers are shut down on Friday, April 26," a memo from plant operations says.

Rick Zalagenas of plant ops explains the reason for the shutdown: "The campus high voltage distribution system consists of looped feeds (distribution feeders which allow two sources of supply) and radial feeders (single sources of supply).

Speaking of hydro . . .

Waterloo North Hydro will hold a "customer information meeting" Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Waterloo Recreation Complex (on Father David Bauer Drive in central Waterloo). The issue is Ontario's plan for competition in the sale of electricity, which begins May 1. The effect of deregulated sales, on customers large and small, is uncertain -- but UW has budgeted for a $600,000 increase in its utility bills in the coming year, and officials at one large institution, Queen's University, are saying the university will have to "think about our electrical usage in a new way" as prices spike at times of high demand.
"A new substation has been constructed at the Physics building whose purpose is two-fold. It eliminates a radial feed which supplied several of the Engineering buildings, Physics and the CIM and replaces it with a loop, which improves reliability and offers the ability to do future maintenance without extensive shutdowns. At the same time, this lets us rebalance the existing loads on the system in order to adequately feed the current expansions in the Science and Engineering areas, the co-op building and allows some potential for future load growth.

"The feed to the CEIT building is another issue, and will require another shutdown later. However, we are doing what we can at this time in order to minimize the area affected and duration of the work involved with the future connection."

Linda Teather of the library's systems department says there was no point trying to provide any library service on the 27th: "Even though the Davis Library will have power, it will not be possible to provide any computer services since Porter will be without power and all of our network services are provided from Porter." The University Map and Design Library was already scheduled to be closed that Saturday, while Davis and Porter had between-terms abbreviated hours scheduled.

She noted that the shutdown will not affect access to the Trellis computer system for remote users.

The campus in a spring rain

Winter term exams continue, but a few other things are happening as well. . . .

A special lecture starts at 12:30 today in the school of optometry, given by Kathryn Murphy of the department of psychology at McMaster University. She'll speak about "Seeing the Light: Optical Imaging of Function in the Visual Cortex". Location: Optometry room 347.

For a peek at what the next generation of scientists and engineers will be doing, the 29th annual Waterloo-Wellington Science and Engineering Fair takes place today at Bingeman Park in Kitchener. An open house from 5:30 to 7 p.m. is followed by the awards ceremony. UW is one of the sponsors of this event, in which some 200 students, from grade 7 through the last year of high school, show off projects in biotechnology, earth sciences, engineering, life science and physical science. Winners will head to the national science fair in Saskatoon next month.

Brenda Denomme of UW's student awards office sends word of a scholarship that's just been announced and that needs special publicity: "it is for 1B students and most of them are about to leave campus." Here are the details:

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited Scholarship Program: Several scholarships, valued at $5,000 each, are offered to academically deserving students with financial need. Full-time undergraduate students who are completing the first-year of a degree program and have financial need and a strong academic record are invited to apply. Candidates must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and must be returning to UW in September 2002. This is a national award and UW may nominate two students for the final competition. Applications are available in the Student Awards Office and must be returned by May 15, 2002.
Usually, scholarships are announced only on the student awards web site -- so those in search of funding are well advised to keep checking it out.

Here's a reminder that the annual used book sale sponsored by the local Canadian Federation of University Women will be held this Friday (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at First United Church in central Waterloo. Anybody with books to donate at the last minute can drop them off at First United on Thursday.

And . . . the staff association is announcing a bus trip to Casino Rama on Saturday, May 1, leaving UW at 10 a.m. and returning in early evening. The price is $5 for staff association members, $8 for others, and that includes a "$15 (free) lunch", which sounds like a bargain. "We need to get 40 people to sign up," says Luanne McGinley of the association's social committee. She'd like to hear from anybody interested, at ext. 3497, no later than this Friday.



April 9, 1996: St. Jerome's College breaks ground for its new "community centre".

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