uOttawa: A Hug Story

Monday, August 20, 2012

vines growing on the pillars of Tabaret

Welcome to the University of Ottawa. You can't imagine how happy we are to have you with us here on campus. I think you will really like what we have here to offer you, but secretly we are just as excited about what you are going to give us.

It is hard for me to sum up the campus in just a few words so you are going to have to bare with me. This is a wonderful place to learn and grow. The people are friendly, the greenery is deep, and the buildings echo with  history. The people here are very proud and very vocal. The community is a mix of French and English Canadians, with a dash of international students from all around. So don't be surprised if you hear the songs of peoples from around the globe as they whiz past you.

Here you will find knowledge and a community willing to discuss it. And as the years go by, as you grow taller and as you grow wiser. You will come to know the cycles of the campus. You will see rambunctious youth crowd onto the streets and sing songs of camaraderie. You will see seasoned scholars debate the merits of various theories as they stroll through the campus. Remember to branch out my little friend. There is so much to learn and so much to experience that if truth be told, I am a little jealous of you.

Now I won't lie to you. Things are not always rosy here and you will need to be ready to feel the cold sting of winter (both literally and figuratively). You are likely going to be ignored by many people; taken for granted as it were. Not because they don't care about you but because there are so many busy people with busy lives running about. Some people are going to treat you as a means and not as an end. It is hard to get established and set up a network. You will feel disconnected and misunderstood at times. You will long for the company of your childhood friends and family. Be strong little one, you must be strong.

And although you may not always feel as though you are getting all the support you would like, and you may find it difficult to cling to the memory of the warmth from the occasional person who will come by and hug just for who you are... you have to know that we are all rooting for you. You are our strength, you are the symbol of everything that is right with our community. And with your help we will make this campus a better place.
Welcome to the University of Ottawa #1572.

A tree highlighted on campus

In the wake of the Emerald Ash Borer, dozens of trees were removed from the campus. #1572 was planted at the start of the summer near the Lamoureux building.
~ jon -campus sustainability manager
- photo credit - jonathan rausseo

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