Robe, If You Want To

Posted in Personal on September 30th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

.: 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.

Wearing The Robes – A Little Pomp and Circumstance is a Good Thing

Posted in Personal on September 19th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

.: I have made progress in writing the draft of my first column for IRSQ. I spent most of today in my office, and a couple hours this evening, working on the column. Writing for me is a painfully slow process, having never studied it formally, and I often feel like I am in way over my head. Relief will be the felt when the essay is ready for submission, because it will be one less thing to do before leaving for NYC on Oct 7. I am still working on four presentations, three of which will be delivered next week, and one on Oct 17, the day after I return from NYC. That day, I will be attending the first of two conferences over a five-date period, but will come to campus to deliver a lecture to fourth-year chemical engineering design students in the afternoon.

On Sunday, I will be attending the Installation Ceremony for our new University President, Dr Indira Samarasekera. Because librarians at the University of Alberta are academic staff, we are eligible to wear academic apparel, i.e., the cap and gown, at functions such as convocation. University staff members were invited to attend the installation ceremony, and I accepted. I also accepted the invitation to participate in the academic procession, meaning I will be in academic dress appropriate for my degree (Master of Library Science), and will enter and sit with other faculty in a designated area in the Jubilee Auditorium during the ceremony.

I believe in the celebration of an accomplishment. A little pomp and circumstance, an acknowledgement of an achievement, is deserved and good for the soul. I missed the convocation ceremony for each of my two degrees, one in 1975 (BSc, U Manitoba) and one in 1978 (MLS, U Alberta.) When I am in academic gown at the President’s installation on Sunday, it will be in her honour that I am doing so, and I will be proud to be there on her behalf. On a personal level, it will also be an quiet opportunity to gently honour myself for six years of university education between1971 and 1978, which have brought me to where I am at this very second. Here’s to me. Finally.

Speaking of work, I recorded my first podcast. It’s called the iPod Walking Tour – Main Floor Services, of the Cameron Science and Technology Library. BTW, it’s the English version. 😉


Posted in Miscellaneous on September 12th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

.: I’ve been busy on two fronts: work, where I am preparing lectures on various aspects of research and information gathering skills for four different classes, three in mechanical engineering, and one in chemical engineering. As well, I am now a column editor for the journal, Internet Reference Services Quarterly, and need to compose my first submission before leaving for NYC on October 7th. Best working title for the column so far is Digital Musings.

At home, I’ve been working on the main floor bathroom renovations: painting as much of the walls as I can before having the toilet removed to finish the job (so to speak), and installing vinyl tile on the floor. I hope to have this finished by the end of the month, but will need help from friends to complete the work.

A New Term Begins

Posted in Miscellaneous on September 5th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

.: Another new term begins this week at universities and colleges around the world. Tomorrow, I teach my first research skills class to ~175 second-year students in chemical and materials engineering. I have more classes later this month, for which I need to prepare new presentations or revise older ones. I look forward to it all with a mix of excitement and trepidation, with the campus about to increase in population by about 35,000, as the students descend upon us once again.

This is the time of year when summer seems to recede each day with a little more urgency. The leaves on some of the trees in my cul-de-sac have turned yellow or red, and are beginning to fall, and you can feel the cool evening air each night. It was a relaxed Labour Day weekend for the most part, mixed in with my usual anxieties. I didn’t get a bike ride in this weekend, despite encouragement from Tony, who has had better luck with MT 3.2 than did I. I saw The Constant Gardener on Sunday, one of the two best movies I’ve seen this year, the other being Crash. I also had dinner on Saturday night and tonight, at the homes of good friends.

I’m exhausted, all the time. There is always too much to do, with not enough time to do it. The only constant is the number of hours in the day. In the past two weeks, I wasted spent too much time wrestling with Movable Type 3.2. One reason I switched to WordPress (for now, anyway), is that our internal blogs at work have migrated to WP as well. It is open source, which my colleagues support in a big way, and so far, it’s working fine.

Sleep now, I think.


Posted in WordPress on September 1st 2005 by Randy Reichardt

.: As I continue working on a new site format, I have been viewing quite a few WordPress themes on this site. The current theme at the moment is Wuhan Black Letterhead

Eventually, I will migrate the previous PBD entries.


Posted in WordPress on September 1st 2005 by Administrator

A migration from Movable Type 3.2 is taking place, albeit slowly. Please be patient with me. 🙂

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