Today, my daughter, Julie graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education, achieved “with honours.” The U of T’s program in Kinesiology is a challenging one – challenging to be admitted in the first place, and challenging to sustain through four gruelling years. Beyond the physiology, anatomy, and other more obvious aspects of subject matter, much of the focus of the program, especially in the latter years, are on the social responsibility of those who undertake a practice of health and wellbeing in contemporary society. To this end, Julie augmented her education with a minor in Women and Gender Studies, and again concentrated on issues of equity, social justice, and a nuanced understanding of power dynamics. (As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!)
In addition to her diligence when it came to her studies, she also did internships with a professional sports team, and with OPHEA, the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association, an organization that “works in partnership with school boards, public health, government, non-government organizations, and private sector organizations to develop groundbreaking programs and services that support healthy active schools and communities.” And, to top it all off, through her undergrad years, Julie co-founded and produces Glamour Puss Burlesque, a successful burlesque troupe, retrieving a time-honoured art form with modern sass and sensibility.
Julie, your mother and I are tremendously proud of you. May you go from strength to strength, and from success to success!