Convocation connections

By Antonia Di Paola-Belliveau

Convocation tent

Convocation preparations.

Walking onto campus this morning I noticed that the flooring for the convocation tent was being set up.  It felt like someone just punched me in the stomach and tears came to my eyes.  It hit me then and there that one of my own was going to walk across that stage and take her place as one the Science graduates of this great University.  I had been there before watching my husband Tom receive his PhD in Chemistry, my sister Giuseppa and her husband Tony both receiving their PhD in Chemistry and many friends and students that I have been blessed to meet during my time here at McGill. Now my daughter Janet will be starting on her road with a BSc in Chemistry.  Who would have thought oh so many years back when I first started at McGill that this day would come to pass.  On May 30th she and her classmates will take that walk from Redpath Hall to the convocation tent and across that stage in front of many family and friends to receive their diploma as a reward for their hard work and dedication.  To the McGill 2011 graduating class and to all their families I send my congratulations for a job well done!!

Love you Janet!

Antonia Di Paola-Belliveau works in the Faculty of Science as Assistant to the Dean (2003-), but has deep connections with the Department of Chemistry, where she worked as a research technician for Bernard Belleau (1976-1986) and Robert Marchessault (1986-2003)

Spring Convocation ceremonies for the Faculty of Science take place Monday, May 30, 2011. See www.mcgill.ca/students/graduation/convocation for details.

The Fermi paradox and a revolution in the head

Cupcakes in the shape of orange extra-terrestrials. These may not be a fully accurate representation of aliens.

Today, like on most days, I walked to work.  Walking is a funny thing.  While walking, one kind of falls forward while pushing backwards against the planet Earth with one’s feet in an intricate two-step dance. The Earth pushes back, and one is propelled forward in a sort of lurching way.  It is kind of clumsy, and takes babies a while to learn it.  But, like everyone else, I did not think about this while walking, I thought about my work for the day, my family and friends, and some things about science.  It was kind of a semi-related jumble of thoughts as I tried to figure various things out, particularly my thoughts about something odd that has confused me for a long time about life elsewhere in the universe. (more…)

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