Concordia Convocation on Rememberance Day
On this day to remember the million and one reasons not to engage in violence in order to solve conflict, Concordia University also held the Winter 2007 Convocation Ceremonies for about 400 of us. It was pretty cool to see some of my cohort (pictured at left with me: Michael Lithgow now at Carleton, and Rebecca Reeve now climbing the corporate ladder with an eye for communication in San Francisco) and some of my profs. The ceremony, awkwardly but also somehow fittingly, held on Remembrance Day, was short and sweet. Highlights included Fernando and Yassin walking off stage through the emergency exit, a muted, puppet University president with no credentials save for rabid anti-union tendencies, live bagpipes, free wine and a keynote from honorary doctrate Heather Menzies.
Menzies has been a candidate for this position for four years, and apparently profs in the Communication Studies department were getting worried there was a conspiracy brewing to keep her out. But they kept plying and so there she was this morning, standing at the podium, adding a bit of zest to an otherwise culturally “problematic” ceremony. Menzies caused some bum-shuffling and throat-clearing at a few key points in her speech, not the least of which was when she offered a nuanced criticism of Canada’s transgression from peacekeeper to war-maker in Afghanistan. Her ultimate message of slowing down, turning off our electric devices (woops!), reflecting, critically thinking and story-telling capped off a degree in the best damn department in Concordia and maybe Canada: Concordia Communication Studies, I’ll miss you!! (but Carleton isn’t so bad so far…)