That’s me, about to climb part of the Great Wall the other day
November 25th, 2011

That’s me, about to climb part of the Great Wall the other day. It was a brilliant cold blue-sky day, but I eagerly took up Mao’s challenge, inscribed on a slab of stone at the bottom of the climb: “You’re not a real man if you haven’t climbed the Great Wall.” I am sure he meant to include women, too. The part of the Wall I scaled with my colleague, Leonard Lye from the Faculty of Engineering, is a couple of hours outside the magnificent city of Beijing, well worth the Chairman’s challenge.
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I am packing my bags for China
November 18th, 2011

I am packing my bags for China. Yes, it’s the destination of choice for Canadian and US recruiters, and has been for a number of years. Enrolment figures have shot up at almost every self-respecting post-secondary ed institution on the continent in the last 5 years, largely because of the influx of Chinese students, especially graduate students.

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We had a bit of drama at the annual Canadian Association of Graduate Schools (CAGS) meetings in Vancouver last week
November 10th, 2011

We had a bit of drama at the annual Canadian Association of Graduate Schools (CAGS) meetings in Vancouver last week. Beautiful Vancouver is a hot spot right now for protest and dissent, with colorful ‘Occupy’ movement tents spread out all over the art gallery lawn just a few blocks up from where we were all staying. I walked by them on my way to a store or restaurant a couple of times during the week, wondering how anyone could survive a night out in the damp cold that had settled in on the city. A woman died in those tents soon after we had left for home. If nothing else, you have to admire the tenacity of those who are camping out in that clammy miserable air, determined to make a statement.

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Postcards From the Edge will return next week, as the Dean of Graduate Studies is out of town, and away from her computer.
November 4th, 2011