Sunday, November 23, 2008

Winterizing the Garden in -5 Deg Celcius

This Sunday, though the sun shone bright, the temperatures were well below zero. We pruned some rose bushes and the cherry trees. There had been a snowfall a few days back and you can still see some snow on the grass. The same tree which is now bare (pic below) can be seen with a bright yellow plumage in the top picture. We spent a good part of the morning racking leaves and tending to the yard

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Univ of Western Ontario

This weekend we went to London. No, we did not cross the Atlantic --- all we did was drive 2.5hrs to London, ON, where the Univ of Western Ontario is located. The weather was really crappy as it rained all day and though the roads were empty the drive was a bit slow due to the slippery roads. (Aayush's pic on top had to be taken in the rain and I had to persuade him to stand in the rain before i could take the snap-- hence the grumpy face.) At Western we visited the Richard Ivey School of Business where they run the much reputed HBA ( Hons Business Admin)program. A Harvard educated dean gave us an introductory lecture and succeeded in impressing us. We did get a feel of the richness and the highly interactive nature of the program. Another wonderful option we found was the ability of engg students to graduate after 5 years with a degree in Engg and an HBA. As parents who want the best for their kids we obviously wanted to grab the opportunity but I feel we need to exercise caution at these seemingly "fabulous" opportunities.We fail to take into account the load on the kids as they attempt to grapple with two majors.

We also had the good fortune to meet up with Gureet and Buneet while we were there. Gureet gave us some sagely advise on the way we should prioritize the universities for Engg & business. Given the way the Univs market their own it was nice to get a first hand info from Gureet who was uniquely positioned being an alumni of Queens and a current student at Westen.

The engg program at Western also offered a common first year for all disciplines where students could confirm what they actually wanted to persue as against the "gut" feel option that they are forced to adopt in most other places of learning.
After a quick tour of the Spencer Engg building, we were very thankful to Gureet, who dropped us off to the parking lot and saved us a walk in the torrential rain.

I am not sure which univ Aayush will eventually make it to, but as a parent who has been involved with the process I feel most Canadian Univs are "almost" the same. It does not really matter -- what matters is that the course & location he selects "fits" in well with his aptitude and aspirations. Time alone will tell what is in store for our son Aayush.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Queen's Univ Open House

This week was the open house at Queen's Univ in Kingston. We woke up early to make the 3.5hrs drive down to Kingston and having bundled a sleepy Aayush along with some food ( aloo parathas) and drink we hit 401 E. The drive has always been something that I look forward to and today was no exception. The 401 was traffic free, it being a weekend and we were there in approx 3 hrs. The first thing about Queen's is that it looks like you are in England because all buildings are built like English castles. Later in the day when we found it was a Scottish Univ with an Eastern campus located across the Atlantic in UK, it sort of all fell in place. We found the staff and the students extremely friendly and in fact the introductory lecture was hilarious( in a good way and may have given me some ideas for my Toastmasters lectures). We took the campus tour and visited the Commerce and Engg faculties. I was educated by a 4th year student of the difference between Commerce and economics which my education thus far had equated as synonyms. The commerce faculty is quite revered and I believe a sought after course for many a high school grad. Aayush is quite likely to apply for the commerce course at Queens

Aayush drove us back from Kingston in 3 hrs and though he kept telling us to relax and take a nap while he drove -- both Anita and me we were wide awake :) we still consider him a new driver!

I forgot to mention the univ is beautiful and lends itself to photography. I had to implore Anita and Aayush to sit on a bench while I captured the pic above..

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Univ Of Waterloo

This weekend we drove to Univ of Waterloo. The aim was to show / get any additional info that was needed to help to Aayush make a decision on his Univ selection next year. We attended the Engineering and the Science open houses where we focuesd on the Mechatronics and the Business and Science options. Later we drove to Antrix's room at Cambridge to stock up his fridge. Here (above) you can see him in his room stowing away all the food. Antrix stays on his own and is managing an individual existence. The difference from the time almost 30 years back when I did my engineering is vast.

Driving to the Waterloo and back is scenic and one realizes that the winter is almost on us. Last week we had a few flurries and it seems that the "white stuff" will be coming down very soon.

Here is late afternoon pic from just outside our home and one taken on the Diwali weekend-- ( shows you the conditions under which we played Diwali)