Sunday, June 29, 2008

Regina: Round About the Lake

I'm going to jump away from the nice, linear narrative for a minute and talk a bit about The Lake. The University of Regina is located in (so we were told) the second largest urban park in Canada. It is indeed big -- and the result is that the university is rather isolated from the rest of town. But it is in the middle of a very big and very pretty wilderness area, so for me at least it evened out.

The first weekend we were there, myself and some friendly Australians headed out for a walk to (and around) Lake Wascana. The lake is formed by damming Wascana Creek, which is actually a pretty dinky little creek. The lake is big enough for some good kayaking, though, and that's what we set out to do on Saturday. We rented kayaks at a local place and spent a fun hour getting battered by the high winds, being sprayed by waves, avoiding time-testing crew teams, and herding geese.

The next day, we took a walk around good old Lake Wascana. The lake is dammed and dredged, which means it's kinda swampy and gunky. It was also filled with ducks, geese, and (best for me) lots of pelicans! I didn't bring my long lens, or else I would have gotten some photos of them in flight -- they're really amazing.

There are nice paved bike / jogging paths around most of the lake. The first thing we came to was this interesting bit of sculpture. At the time, I had no clue what it was supposed to represent. (Yes, that's me hanging off of it.) I got a better idea when we walked a bit farther around and came to this amazing building:

This is the First Nations University, which is somehow associated with the University of Regina, and dedicated to (essentially) aboriginal studies. I love this building. Notice how the entryway is shaped like a tipi! Care to guess what that previous sculpture was? Yup, it's four giant bows and arrows, pointed in each of the four directions. Later, we came back the same way and found a nice little information kiosk just behind the sculpture (which of course we'd missed on the way in) explaining all of that.

This post is getting long, so I'll continue with a second installment in a couple days. We found plenty more cool stuff around the lake, and of course I haven't even started talking about math camp itself yet!

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