.: As mentioned earlier, it was my intention to attend the installation ceremony of the new president of the University of Alberta last Sunday, September 25th, and to participate in the academic procession into the Jubilee Auditorium, joining other faculty members for the event. This meant donning the academic dress of my degree, Master of Library Science. I arrived at the Jubilee and joined other faculty members, some of whom were being helped into their gowns by convocation staff. My gown had been misplaced, so I had to wait until it was found. I confess that I felt very special when the gown and hood were placed on me. The view from behind highlights the hood. I was not able to attend either of my convocations in the 70s. Now, twenty-eight years after graduating with my MLS degree, I was afforded a golden opportunity to wear the gown while participating in a ceremony important to my University.
The ceremony was glorious. Our new president, Dr Indira V Samarasekera, is, to be blunt, amazing. Her installation address was powerful, heartfelt and very moving. I urge you to read it, and to share in her vision for our campus. (Audio and video versions are also available.) I have worked at the U of A for 22 years, and look forward to a few more under her leadership. She is relatively young with energy and enthusiasm to spare, unpretentious, accessible, humble, and inspiring. One of my proudest moments as an employee of the University of Alberta was while listening to her speak of what lies ahead, her goals and visions, and of the University’s burgeoning potential.
But I digress. 🙂 A week from today I will be in NYC. A number of activities are already in place. On Saturday, friends from New Haven will come to Manhattan on the train, and meet me at a Dean and DeLuca’s somewhere near NYU. We’ll spend the day doing whatever, and try to see a Broadway show in the evening. On Monday night, ny friend Noella and I will see the Les Paul Trio at the Iridium Club. Les Paul is one of the electric guitar pioneers, having worked on prototypes and ideas in the 1940s. The legendary Gibson Les Paul model first appeared in 1952. On many a previous trip to NYC I have wanted to see Les Paul perform; now in his 90th year, I will finally make that happen.
The next night, Oct 11, my Baltimore-based friend Mary and I have tickets to see some band called U2 at Madison Square Garden. The seats are behind the stage, but whattheheck, it’s U2, and I can share the experience with a good friend. Wednesday night I’m off to Brooklyn for dinner with very special friends, Leo and Diane Dillon, whose latest illustrations appear in the new book, Earth Mother, which will be released in a few days. I hope to have a few copies for them to sign for me, along with other recent titles. Saturday I’ll attend Jessica‘s wedding in Summit NJ, with Noella if she can make it. The rest of the trip will fill in itself as the days progress: movies, maybe another play, walking, photography, visit with my friend Sekeena, two or three visits to the Strand, and on.
Tomorrow and Sunday I’m volunteering at the Edmonton International Film Festival.