Spring Convocation 2010

Monday was the official convocation of the undergraduate students from the Faculty of Health Sciences.  It was also my very first convocation as a professor.  I actually didn’t know what to do.  In fact, I didn’t even have my own doctoral gowns, since I’d eschewed buying them from the school that gave me my Ph.D., largely out of spite.  However, now that a decade had passed, I figured it was time to acquire my own gowns.  So I bought a used set from a fellow in the Maritimes, who had graduated in the 1970s.  Even used, they were still pricey.

Totally worth it, though.  Dig the following pic of me posing with two of my students, Sareda and Sandra:

And since that pose was so productive, I did it again with Jonathan, who was kind enough to crouch so as not to reveal my remarkable shortness:

I was such a convocation virgin, in fact, that I didn’t even know how to wear my regalia properly.  So I checked out this site.  Seems I didn’t really have to, though, since the University provides handlers (or wranglers) for helping we soft-brained pointy-heads into our opulent robes.  As one student would later ask, “What are you, the Merchant of Venice?”

For a taste of what some of the other robes looked like, here’s a pic of me with my UWO robes, alongside a colleague, Tracey O’Sullivan, in her Queens robes, the University Chancellor in her official robes, and two students, Samuel and Mai, in their undergrad robes:

Yes, I know we all look like refugees from a Shiner’s convention.  Or a renaissance fair.

On stage, I didn’t realize I was so visible in the back row.  Some students actually caught me fiddling with my smartphone, and one even sent me a Facebook message during the event!  But, honestly, I was only taking a photo!  Really!  Here it is, the view from the stage at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa:

Pretty cool, huh?  Here are some more pics of me mugging with my (former) students.  Here’s one with Felicia:

And here’s one with Myriam:

There are many more, but those photos have yet to make it into my possession!

Overall, I had a stupendously fun time, and couldn’t stop smiling throughout the entire event.  You’d think having to sit through the calling of a few hundred names would get boring; but for we professors it’s actually very rewarding and exciting.  I even enjoyed it when a random mother approached me afterwards to complain that her son didn’t get into medical school because he’s a “white male”.  I guess she couldn’t see my decidedly non-White complexion through the haze of Tudor puce emanating from my blinding robes.

Congratulations to all my beautiful and brilliant students.  It was truly a joy.