Our second online graduation happened yesterday afternoon, and was a proper delight. Great to see students in their mortarboards, some together on patios, some at their day jobs, all laughing and celebrating together. Especially proud of Krysta Sutton who was nominated by her MES peers to be valedictorian. She and Megan Fuller, MREM valedictorian, did us absolutely proud, leaving us feeling both cockle-warmed and chuckle-full. Bless Brenda and her Powerpoint skills for a silly and sweet event all around.
Every year, the first snow takes us by surprise here in Halifax. Today’s commute was an interesting one, thanks to a forecast of 30% chance of snow, and my choice of puffy vest, sneakers and short socks. Those without snow tires were similarly caught out. Happy to be home.
Bookending this week with pictures of my daily commute, which is quite a pleasure these days. It’s not just the lower traffic with people working at home, though that is nice, it’s that I’ve finally been able to get back to commuting on foot. The Halifax Regional Municipality changed the buffer distance for students to qualify for bussing this year down to 1.6 kms this year – we are 1.7 km from the school. So instead of spending 80 minutes in the car a day, waiting in long lineups to get through the bottlenecks at the Armdale Rotary and feeling like part of the problem, I’m spending 80 minutes walking, in part along the lovely and narrow Northwest Arm. The above is a view of the Arm from that self-same Rotary, harder to appreciate when jockeying traffic. I wonder how many other families could be using more active transportation if bussing were more widely available?
An interesting way to spend Canada Day morning is tuning into a Dam Removal webinar for practitioners from Dam Removal Europe. The real draw for me was the fact that they are crossing regularly to a live dam removal happening on the Marieberg Power Plant in the Mörrumsån river, Sweden. The removal is a collaboration with a power company, Uniper. Great panelists from the UK, France, US, Sweden as well as from the US where there is such a long history of dam removal. Good to see some discussion of sometimes contrasting cultural values as well as generous sharing of errors that advocates have learned along the way.
The last week saw a bunch of firsts that showed me that we’re all getting pretty good at this online thing. An online graduation ceremony was held this afternoon for our amazing SRES graduates (MREM and MES); what a delight to see everyone again. A three-day retreat held last week for ResNet was similarly effective and downright fun. While the transition wasn’t easy, and of course the reason a real drag, I feel like we may have found some new ways of doing things that have some real benefits.