Tag Archives: waterloo

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.


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:
The Israelis 
Greg & His Angels 
Twas A Long Night 
Beauties Of The Ball 
Persian Style 
The Dazed Lineup 
Porter Gettin' Jiggy Wit It 
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


Last night was the awesomeness. A very welcome break from homework.

GradBall was a lot like High School grad, but with more reasonable dresses, people who know how to hold their liquour, and a lot less drama. This time there were no girls crying in the washroom, no guys with puking on their suits, and no embarrassed parent picking up a retched child at the end of the night.

Dinner was good, taking pictures with everyone was awesome (my best pictures are on Flickr – please send yours my way 🙂 ), and the dancing was wicked all night long. The DJ’s mixing was perfect – a great mix of up-beat dance, slow songs, rock, 80s, and country. He even played Dance Dance by Fall Out Boy. Along with classics like the Macarena, Cotton-Eyed Joe, and the Cha-Cha-Slide. I’m not sure how it happened, but during one song I ended up leading everyone around in a conga line. By the end of the night I was tired, sore, and sweaty. So much fun.

Giant Martini Glass 
Newly Engaged Couple 
Table 22 
Camera Wars 
Temporary Replacement Date 
Chocolate Fountain 
Mr. Smooth 
The Crowd 
The Unveiling of the Tool 
60' Wrench 
Limbo Tool
Limbo Graeme 
Anoush Limbows Under the Tie 
Limber Limbo Donna 
Someone is Excited to Graduate 
Swing Your Partners Round

Birthdays, Bowling, Betting, & Butchering French (Oh…and some Vagina)

Saturday was my 23rd Birthday. I’m getting old. I celebrated in old-man fashion and did homework all day. So not much to say there.

On Thursday night, I went to see the Vagina Monologues with Erin. It was a great opportunity to explore my feminine side and feel like a dork while women laughed at inside jokes not meant for male ears. Actually I laughed along too and even found it funny. And I wasn’t the only guy there, but we were outnumbered about 10:1 which is very un-Waterloo. The best was when a guy burst out laughing at one point and was the only person laughing. I was embarassed for him.

I felt awkward going, was intimidated by the lady in the giant vagina costume at the door, and felt the need to crack dumb jokes until the play started to settle myself. But I’m glad I went. I didn’t realize women had such complicated relationships with their body parts, or at least this body part.

On Friday night, Ben, Lorrissa, Erin, and I celebrated my birthday. It was kind of a celebration of all our birthdays at once since Ben’s was in January, Lorrissa’s in February, and Erin’s is in April and this was the first time we did anything. We went to the Mongolian Grill for dinner. I stuffed myself with stir fry, then surcumed to peer pressure and ordered dessert with everyone else, then just before we got our bill the staff came out singing Happy Birthday and brought another piece of cake. We were all stuffed, but I found a way to eat most of it. I felt sick.

After dinner, we headed down to Kitchener for some Cosmic Glow Bowling. Lorrissa was a machine the first game. I think she had 5 strikes in her last 6 frames. She said her motivation was all the trash talking I did before the game. So, I really needed to step it up. The 2nd game we both started with strikes in the first 2 frames. Then she missed her third, and I went on to get 5 strikes in the first 5 frames. I was on fire, but then quickly fizzled out. I think I only had around 180 in the end, but still beat Lorrissa. The third game was the rubber match, with Ben and Erin fighting not to be last. I think Erin won by one point in the aggregate scores. Poor Ben. Beaten by 2 girls! I managed to beat Lorrissa again to reign supreme!

After bowling, we came back to rez and played poker, cribbage, and talked until 4 am. It was lots of fun. Once midnight hit and my birthday started my luck went all downhill. I got knocked out of poker, then lost in cribbage to Erin and 4 player match with Ben to Erin and Lorrissa. I now owe Lorrissa a home-made dinner and Erin and Lorrissa breakfast.

After I left Lorrissa and Erin’s and made the long trek accross the hallway back to our place, I had difficulty getting back into my room. During the night, Birthday fairies had visited and taped the door shut using Birthday streamers. I can’t be certain who it was, but it had certain resemblences to the decoration job last year at Microsoft. So thanks Greg and Sarah!

Saturday was spent doing the most tedious work on our VOIP system for Testing and butchering French using the Google Language tools to translate everything in our GUI from English to French. Worst Birthday Ever! (But the 2 nights before were fun)

I can’t wait to move to Vancouver so I can take part in pillow fights and Manhunt.

Erinn: That remixed Fall Out Boy is whacked!