Summit Day 1

The conference today started at 3pm, so there isn’t a great deal of events to cover, but there have still been so many amazing experiences already.

 

 

First off, Rozanski Hall, beautiful as it is already, was transformed with the help of hundreds of beautiful spring flowers adorning the Atrium and main lecture hall. It really did smell entirely of tulips the minute you walked in. After registration, we were all given a re-usable Guelph bag filled with goodies – Smarties, an itinerary, travel mugs, cool pens, notepaper, and various reading materials to supplement the weekend.

After waiting for the arrival of the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, the President’s Dialogue started. Michaelle Jean opened, followed by an American Ambassador, which was quite impressive. The Panel, filled with internationally recognized politicians, diplomats, journalists, researchers and our own President then engaged in discussing topics relating to the central theme of world hunger and poverty. Audience questions somehow disappointed me – it seemed like it was mostly students and other attendees stating facts and their own opinions rather than questions. One delegate from Latin America even took the question opportunity to insult the American Ambassador, quite tactlessly, and without any evidence, I must add. That was definitely a surprise. I’m all for people having their own opinions and living up to them, but that really shouldn’t get in the way of common courtesy and human decency by insulting someone over a microphone in front of hundreds of people without giving them a chance to respond of defend themselves. Oh well, such is life.

The Dialogue was then closed with the presentation of a Doctorate of Law to R.H. Michaelle Jean, which was quite wonderful and lovely to watch such an impressive, yet humble, woman receive such great recognition for her work.

We then moved venues to begin the Reception and Dinner. Our group of ten delegates (me and the fellow sponsored delegates from Guelph) someone got split up at dinner, so four of us girls ended up at a table alone while waiters carried out delicious appetizers from table to table. However, we were lucky in that we were then joined by six delegates from Auburn College in Alabama. They were such great people, very bubbly and outgoing, as well as genuinely interested in Canada, and Guelph. We all quickly and easily carried conversation through the amazing five-course meal. I will only touch upon the highlights of the meal: the salad, with wild greens and cooked apples, pork, applesauce, roast potatoes and carrots, and a dessert of some sort of wonderful pie, followed by the best tea I’ve had in a long time. All food served complied with the 100 Mile Diet, and was certified organic. Needless to say, we were all incredibly satisfied and grateful for such a fun night at the end of the meal. We’d all made some new friends, and us Guelph students learned about the fraternities, football season and rivalries of Alabama, while they gained some knowledge on our cannon painting traditions, the weather and that we definitely have the coolest university president possibly in the world.

Notable mention goes to eating dinner in the same room as such distinguished guests, including Michaelle Jean, sitting just a few metres away. The tables were filled not only with students, but also professors, deans, business owners, corporate sectors as well as any other members of the world community that have signed up for this conference. There were people from all over the world, from all areas of academia. Unfortunately, 140 delegates have yet to arrive due to poor weather conditions at airports where they are currently stranded.

Tomorrow we start bright and early and I am eager to participate in a day full of analysis and opportunities, as well as the further chance to meet more amazing people and create new friendships.

Well, that’s all for now, I need to get to sleep asap or I’ll be relying much too heavily on coffee all day tomorrow. I’ll be sure to include some more notes on materials and thoughts presented.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: