Letter: Benevolence!

By Dr. Penny Hawe

Editor, the Gauntlet,

I was due to give a plenary address to the Student Conference of the Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics at 1:40 p.m. Monday, May 27. I don’t have a car, so I took a taxi over to the MacEwan conference Centre, arriving at 1:20 p.m.

Much to my horror, the site was practically deserted. Someone finally was able to tell me that while the main conference was starting at the MacEwan the next day, the student conference was being held at the faculty of medicine, at the Foothills campus-back where I started! I had no time to walk there, and with only 15 minutes to go at this point, I had little hope for a taxi to collect and take me there in time either.

Now, you must understand, academics don’t really ever have “emergencies.” But I figured that not showing up for a plenary address for the first time in a 20-year career was one, so I had to do the only thing a half-crazed professor about-to-miss-their-talk could do: I flagged down a car and asked if they would help me!

So a big thank you to the student in the english department who was driving a Honda Civic sedan and kindly agreed to drive me across to my conference. I got there in time, loaded my Powerpoint talk, and all went well.

I am sorry that I fled before I got her name, but I want to thank her for her willingness to help a stranger. It’s a kindness I won’t forget.

Dr. Penny Hawe
Department of
Community Health Sciences

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