pedal to the medal

Posted by Daniela Elza on Jun 16 2012

Last month I got a call on my cell while driving to the FBCW AGM in Richmond. The person said they are calling from SFU. I asked: what is this concerning because I am driving? They said: you might want to pull over. I have some good news for you. At the time I was also giving a ride to two people, one of whom I had just met. They were both kindly giving me directions. This is how I found out about the Dean’s Convocation Medal.

This is the front of the medal. Or maybe it is the back?

To mark the occasion on the 14th of June I was invited to the Chancellor’s Dinner at the Diamond Alumni Centre.

I did not have to worry how I will find it. The bagpiper piped us in.

I was immediately drawn to the breathtaking view. Wine in hand, I headed for the patio.

Cheers! To being here. To this view. To my Dethe who was taking this photo, but should have been in it instead. To learning how to enjoy the little steps in life. And Thank You, SFU.

The view. The people who received honorary degrees gave speeches at this dinner. One of them was Yosef Wosk. He started his speech with silence, 20 seconds of it. He asked us to look outside at the view. Loved that. Yosef Wosk supports the art/poetry initiative at the Jewish Community Centre in which I take part sometimes. He also started the Philosophers Cafe and edowed the Poet Laureate position in Vancouver. His involvement in the community are too many and numerous to list here. Here is an article in the Vancouver Sun with more information and a recap of the speech he gave at the convocation ceremony.

My spot at table 2. A window table close to the view (how did they know I love window seats?). The wine I had was Red Rooster Chardonnay, BC VQA. (I just got back from Penticton where the red Rooster winery is located. And I slept in a house just up the road from the winery. Red Rooster was also the wine we celebrated with after the book launch/reading in Kelowna). I knew one of the servers at the dinner. A musician form the community. These little details (including the one I mentioned about the JCC above) invited to the dinner aspects of my life outside of the university.

The next day we were invited to a Convocation Lunch Reception. I revved the car up Burnaby mountain to be there at noon.

I went with a friend.

Then the convocation ceremony at 2:30. In between all the details of regalia, and parchments, and lineups and walking down the stairs behind the bag pipes to the convocation mall. I was at the head of the line. I do not know if I can ever get used to the hat.

After the ceremony was the reception for the Education Department. Here I reconnected with a few people who were part of my graduation last year. Above is Robin, who was chair at my defence last April. Armed with his timer, he allowed me to attempt to stop time.

Here are Karen (left) and Mauvereen (right) who work in the graduate office. These ladies helped me maneuver all the many details and paperwork around the dissertation and completion. Helped all sorts of applications for conference travel, for fellowships etc. Also cheered me on.

Great to see Charles Scott again. He himself deserves a medal. The blue box I am holding is where the medal is hiding. There are a couple of compartments: one for the medal, one for the pouch to put it in when it wants to travel light.

What it says on the back of the medal. Or maybe that is the front? Here are the convocation medal winners this year. Congratulations to all.
Thank you SFU. My only regret is that my senior supervisor and dear friend Heesoon Bai had to rush off to teach at the Surrey SFU campus. So I do not have a photo with her from yesterday. We will make a special date to meet. Thank you Heesoon, for believing in me and supporting my work and for all you do, for all the births you facilitate. You are a midwife, birthing being.

Here is the letter I got form the Dean of the faculty of Education, Kris Magnusson. We had a good time and a good many laughs at the Chancellor’s dinner.

Click here for the press release yesterday from SFU which is pretty much what was read out at the Awards Ceremony. And thank you BC BookWorld for updating my BC BookWorld profile.

7 Responses to “pedal to the medal”

  1. Bonnie Nish Says:

    You are so deserving dear friend.

  2. Rob Taylor Says:

    Congratulations, again!

  3. Strange Places » of rejections, acceptances and other celebrations Says:

    […] of course there was that medal earlier in the […]

  4. Strange Places » Poetry Is/As/In/For Inquiry Says:

    […] Monica Miller and thank you SFU for my profile on your website as well. I have to admit- finally the medal is beginning to sink in. That is a good thing, […]

  5. Strange Places » 2012 in review::welcome 2013 Says:

    […] this time to receive a The Dean’s Convocation Medal for my doctorate thesis at SFU. Here are more details and photos on that. Thank you SFU. Took part in the Words and Music Festival with musicians Clyde Reed and Jared […]

  6. Nicole T Says:

    Wow!!! This is great Daniela. And so well deserved as you continue to forge the frontier of poesis off the mountain and everywhere you go.

  7. Daniela Elza Says:

    Thank you Ms Nicole. :-)

    Hard to believe it is done and over. It probably took a year to sink in that I was done with the doctorate.

    What have you been up to these days? You, traveler in uncharted territories, you!