Monday, January 14, 2008

Just read about Oscar Peterson's passing (which happened in mid-December). He was Chancellor of York U when I graduated in 1991. At my convocation ceremony, I discovered to my horror that underneath my gown I was the most inappropriately dressed of my fellow grads. Everyone else was in a suit and tie, proper shoes; or in a dress gown if female. I was in a t-shirt and jeans, sneakers, and for the occasion, a light jacket. Apparently, I didn't get the memo.

As I stepped up on stage to receive my scroll, the Chancellor, seated on his throne or whatever they call that big chair reserved for the big kahuna, made eye-contact with me. His eyebrows shot up. Immediately, he rose and strode briskly over, intercepting me at the point where I had the scroll placed in my clammy, nervous hands. He gave me a firm handshake and with a broad smile on his face, returned to his seat like as if I had made his day. More likely, I won him a bet.

I think that incident had a lot to do with my educational philosophy as it stands today. Thanks, Oscar. We made contact for just a second or two, but I'll miss you.

The music in heaven has just got better! Yahoo! video clip here.

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