Tag Archives: university

Christmas Greetings: A Year in Review

Hello blog readers,

Last year was my first Christmas away from Manitoba and all the family. I had a great time in Edinburgh with my friend from Shad Valley, Steven, and his family who adopted me for a week. But this year, I’m longing for perogies, crokinole tournaments, laughing relatives, giant bonfires, tobogganing, and the comfort of familiar faces.
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Random Links, Pictures, and Thoughts

Right now I’m house sitting for Joy, who left to Winnipeg on Thursday. It’s nice having the house to myself. I love the freedom of being able to walk around naked. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to get a bachelor apartment in Vancouver. I was looking at shared accomadation with randoms, but Daniel (another Waterloo grad) just started a week after me and is looking for a place too. We have appointments to see a few places on Monday. This cool Craigslist / Google Maps mashup has been useful. It isn’t able to grab all Craigslist listings because of address formating issues, but its still pretty suite. For those of you looking for places to rent in any big city, check it out.

I ran across this a while ago. I thought it was cool. Google Trends: Lets you compare popularity of things using search volume. Like Dislocated Shoulders vs Broken Arms, Vegetarian vs Atikings, or Italy vs France. Try it, it’s fun.

Some new pictures on Flickr (among many):
Toga Ben   Sun on the Face  Ben Sleeping  Baseball Diamond

And from Convocation Weekend:
Valedictory Address  The Porter Family  Christopher and Baba  The Grad and the Proud parents  Siblings  Kelsey  Porter Family  Rockstars

And from the hiking trip to Lynn Canyon on Monday with Emily:
Lynn Canyon  Iced Feet  Feet on Rock  Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

CBC carried the monthly jobless rate figures. It really bothers me that Manitoba has had the 2nd lowest jobless rate in Canada for like a year and gets no credit for it. All you ever hear about is how Alberta has this red hot economy. The jobless rate in Alberta is now at 3.5% and Manitoba is 3.6%. Although maybe that’s because people keep leaving Manitoba for Boom Town Alberta and the oil-town salaries. There’s a real skilled labour shortage in Western Canada right now.

After 2 weeks of CFL football, the home team had won every game (well except Montreal beating the lowly Ticats in Hamilton). I thought the trend would continue, but then Winnipeg had to roll into Toronto and put a licking to the Argonauts. Oh well. 🙂 I’m happy the Bombers are doing well. I wnat to see a B.C. vs Winnipeg Final.

Convocation – Our 0th Reunion

This weekend felt like our 0th reunion. Although we’ve only been out of school for 2 months, this weekend was a last chance to get together before everyone spreads across the globe in search of success. And now, after many emotional farewells, I’m on my way to Vancouver to begin the next phase of my life.

The past 2 weeks were spent relaxing, spending quality time with my family, and reconnecting with old friends in Winnipeg. I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to or spend as much time with some people as I had hoped, but it was a fulfilling two weeks. Thanks for everyone that took time to meet up. It was good to see everyone and hear about all the exciting adventures you’re going through. Congratulations Erin and Aaron on your engagement.

On Friday, I flew down to Toronto with my parents, my sisters, and Baba Coulson. I was quite impressed that they were willing to take time off work to spend a weekend with me while I received my diploma – none of them knew I was the Valedictorian. We had fun squeezing all 6 of us in a large car and driving to Waterloo – luckily we’re a skinny family.

On Friday night I decided to tell my parents I was Valedictorian. It was a carefully guarded secret and I was hoping to surprise them at the ceremony. But a few perks of giving the speech made it impossible to keep them in the dark for long. First, I was invited to the fancy Chancellor’s lunch with my parents. We got to hob-knob with the President, Provost, and Chancellor of UW. None of us like fancy dinner parties, but everyone at our table was friendly and the food was scrumptious. Sitting across from me was Sheena Luu, the Governor General’s medal winner for Engineering. I couldn’t believe it when I found out she was from Winnipeg too – Winnipeger’s Rock!

After lunch, I gowned up and went to the ceremony. Kelsey and Kerry found out I was Valedictorian when they were seated in reserved, comfy chairs in the front row of the gym. Perplexed, Baba told them to look in the program, and they saw that I was giving the Valedictory Address.

The speech went well. I’ll include a copy at the bottom of this post. The speeches before mine were boring, so that helped mine look better than it was. I was super nervous, so I talked a bit faster than I wanted too and rushed some parts, but I spoke loud and clearly and got laughs at the right points. Although sometimes the only person I could hear laughing was Baba. 🙂

After the speech I had several people congratulate me on my speech, including many I didn’t recognize. Three really hot girls came up to me and congratulated me. I should give speeches more often. 😉 I’m glad people enjoyed it.

After the ceremony, we took lots of pictures, and had a reception for the SE students. It was good to sit and chat with everyone. Other than the West Coast crowd, I’m not sure when I’ll see everyone else again.

On Sunday, we took father out for a big Father’s Day breakfast. As Dad commented, it was nice to have everyone together for Father’s Day. I’m not sure when the last time that happened was. Even when I was in Winnipeg, the past few years of Father’s Day have been spent at the Manitoba Marathon.

Sunday afternoon was spent celebrating Chris and Ayelet’s new marriage. The wedding was held in the park and involved a simple, but meaningful ceremony. It was great hearing stories about Chris and Ayelet and the speeches from the parents were all really good. I especially enjoyed Chris’s mom’s speech when she talked about the day Chris was born. It was also nice to hang out with so many university friends – kind of like an extension of the graduation from the day before.

Graeme kindly gave me a ride to Markham after the wedding and I spent the late evening talking with Erin and her family. We had a great time sitting on the deck and chatting. This morning, Erin’s mom cooked up some fabulous omelets and hash browns and we played cards until Erin had to drive me to the airport. I always have a great time hanging out with Erin and her mom.

Valedictorian Speech

I’m Finished And Off In Search of Bigger Things

School is officially done. I finished my last exam on Thursday, shipped my meager possessions back home, and moved out of residence on Friday. Marks have started appearing on Quest and so-far-so-good. But the scary courses have yet to report (Testing and Component-Based SE).

Ben and I have been spending the weekend at Erin’s – preparing for our trip and feasting on our last home-cooked meals that we’re likely to enjoy for a while.

Tonight we leave to Europe. Our flight leaves at 22:50 and we arrive in London around noon tomorrow. Then we’re set for 35 days of fun, sun, backpacking, and crazy European adventures. Our itinerary right now has us in London -> Paris -> Nice (& Monaco) -> Cinque Terre -> Florence -> Rome -> Venice -> Milan -> Interlaken -> Munich -> Prague -> Berlin -> Amsterdam -> Frankfurt -> Toronto.

If I have time to hit an internet cafe on the trip, I’ll make some updates here, but otherwise I’ll be back posting when I get home in June.

It seems everyone is heading on a trip somewhere. I hope we all have exciting, memorable, and not-too-dangerous fun.

Procrastination

Because I really should be studying for my CS 370 final tomorrow, but can’t seem to muster any enthusiasm, I bring you a collection of websites that have wasted my time today:

Baba LuhowyBaba Luhowy

On a sadder note, my great-grandmother, Baba Luhowy, passed away today. She was 97 and lived a very active life. I’ve never met anyone as strong, independent, or witty as her. She’ll be missed. I’m flying back to Winnipeg for the funeral on Monday, so I won’t be able to attend the amazing Wasik Easter festivities.

More GradBall pictures

Memories from GradBall keep coming in. Lisa and Ben have both posted quick memories from GradBall. And Ben has his pictures on Flickr.

Some of my favourites:
Waltzing 
The Israelis 
Greg & His Angels 
Twas A Long Night 
Beauties Of The Ball 
Persian Style 
Priceless
The Dazed Lineup 
Porter Gettin' Jiggy Wit It 
Limbo 
Anoush, the Limbo Queen 
Software's First Couple 
Lisa & I 
Greg & Guest
Porter & Guest 
Anoush & I 
Software's Second Couple 
Through The Martini Glass 
Narges & I 
Show 'Em How It's Done 
The Tool's Entrance

Update: Bennymotto has a Flickr set from GradBall too. Some of my favourite pictures (including a few with softies and me leading the conga line!):
An Eve of Indulgence 
Hue, and ALOT of alcohol 
Conga Line 
The 500 engineer macarena 
Jeff Francis Ken Peter Nhat 
Our very own bottles 

Update #2: A few more pictures:
My Hot Date 
Getting a Lift 
Soft Eng Meets the Tool 
Nick and I