Jerry Seinfeld in Peterborough. Peterborough?

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Comedy at the Memorial Centre

Jerry Seinfeld and Mario Joyner performed in Peterborough April 26

Not that there is anything wrong with that, but why would Jerry Seinfeld do a show in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada?

Jerry Seinfeld is one of the world’s most rich and successful comedians of all time. For 9 years his TV show “about nothing” dominated television with its self centred characters and focus on trivial matters blown out of proportion. The TV show changed society and North American culture. Reruns are readily available and still get high ratings. People are always talking about classic episodes of the show and a possible reunion. Yada, yada, yada.

But Jerry Seinfeld put on a very different kind of show in Peterborough Saturday night April 26, 2014. It was one of only two shows in Ontario on a major American tour with the other show in Kitchener the night before. Why Peterborough? That question was never really answered. He made the point in a question. “Do you know how long I’ve been wanting to come to Peterborough?” His answer “Never! Yet it’s a pleasure”. And it was a pleasure to see and listen to Jerry Seinfeld on the stage talking about life and death and relationships in a show that thrilled the packed Peterborough Memorial Centre. He suggested the audience was there because they had nothing else to do. “That’s why I’m here too. I had nothing else to do.”

The warm-up comic act to Seinfeld was Mario Joiner, a black comedian known for his work doing stand-up comedy and collaboration with both Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock. Mario was quick to note the lack of ethnic diversity in Peterborough in saying how friendly a town it was. “I met the black community, all ten of them” he quipped. He joked about Canada’s culture being dominated by Tim Horton’s not Starbucks and how he was directed by Canada Customs to go to Tim’s as a necessary thing to do in Canada before he would be allowed to leave. He said he was staying at the Holiday Inn, “Peterborough’s best 4 star hotel”. He suggested that it was scary there having male maids banging on the door early to wake him up and get him out of the room so they could clean it. He talked of hockey, which of course, is something important in Peterborough. Jerry Seinfeld also spoke of hockey and that it was the main thing at the “Memorial Auditorium”. He suggested that he could not get them to remove the ice for his show “but when Elton John was here it was a rider in his contract to remove the ice”. Jerry joked about how far north Peterborough is, but he made the faux pas of referring in one fat joke to “donut holes” which went dead on the Canadian audience, which only knows the fattening treat as Tim Bits.

Both Seinfeld and Joiner spoke about what it is like getting older. Mario Joiner is 52 and Jerry Seinfeld was about to turn 60 three days after the Peterborough show. Joiner spoke of how people tell him “ you look good for your age.” He questioned “why can’t they just say I look good?” Jerry Seinfeld talked about his own life marrying for the first time at 45 and then having three children. Much of his humour was about marriage, relationships and children. He joked about women’s complex brains and superiority over men. He compared men’s simple brains to the minds of dogs, which explains why the dog is “Man’s best friend”. He spoke of how women can’t be pleased and the need for men to simply avoid conflict and be careful what they say. “Marriage is a chess game. It’s not checkers.” He spoke of life and death (burial versus cremation) and how humans evolved to standing up. “Now we just want to sit down and we look for a chair to sit down on every time we enter a room”. The only thing better is a bed “Why get out of bed to do anything?” He spoke of hydration and dehydration. “Once you are thirsty it is too late you are already dehydrated”. He spoke of energy drinks. “Why would anyone want a 5 hour energy drink” since nobody works a five-hour shift. “Why don’t they just go to bed?’

Everything we have turns to garbage including some day the “Memorial Auditorium”. He went on an on praising Ebay as a way we can send our garbage to other people who want it. That skit was reminiscent of George Carlin’s infamous skit about “stuff” but was cleaner. There was of course some toilet humour where Jerry criticized the poor design of public toilet cubicles and also about the effects of coffee. He made fun of the people who carry around giant coffee cups and also the people who have stick people versions of their families pictured on their vans.

The crowd was enthusiastic about both comedians and their energetic performances. After an hour and a half show with no intermission everyone seemed content and happy to leave the “Auditorium” without demanding an encore. It was a great day for Peterborough, when Jerry Seinfeld came to town.

Trent University Celebrating 50 Years

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Trent University Campus

Trent University campus – A River runs through it

Peterborough is very proud of its university located in the north end of the City of Peterborough on the Otonabee River.  Community leaders dreamed of a university in the early 1960s and with the leadership of Professor Tom Symons and generous community support and land donations in the Nassau Mills area from General Electric, Trent university started in 1963 and officially opened in 1964 with downtown facilities.  Trent began as a small liberal arts school which featured small group teaching and a tutorial system with a residential college system.  For the first decade everybody knew everybody else and there was much interaction between “Town and Gown” with activities in the city which housed two of the university’s colleges, Peter Robinson College for male students (now closed) and Catherine Parr Traill College for female students (now the home of graduate studies).  The administration was located in Rubidge Hall in town in the early days and now is located on the Nassau Mills campus in the still beautiful Bata library on the west bank of the river.  Trent now has more diverse programs and the science area has grown greatly with new buildings on the east bank.  Champlain College opened for male students in 1967 and Lady Eaton College for female students opened in 1968.  The two colleges and the library were the centrepieces of the brilliant campus architecture of Ronald Thom, which integrated nature with university buildings, in harmony.  Within a few years society had changed and the gender divisions were removed from the colleges.  The campus added co-ed Otonabee College in 1972 and Peter Gzowski College in 2003.  The college system was and still is a major part of the Trent system and values. There is now a student residence across the road from the west bank campus and it is not associated with a College.

With over 8,000 full time students Trent is now a medium sized university with 50 years of loyal alumni.  Trent has become a leading institution for Canadian studies, environment, indigenous studies and even has a nursing programme. Trent has changed with the times but retains the values and vision of its founding president Tom Symons pictured below then and now:

 

Trent's Founding President

Young President Symons

Tom Symons now

Retired Tom Symons

Trent has big plans for the coming year with 50th Anniversary celebrations and hopes to involve many people in reunions and commemorative events.  There is an Alumni Reunion Weekend in early August featuring a Blue Rodeo concert and many other activities.  On October 17 there will be a Gala Dinner and a Parade on October 18th. For other events and more specific information visit the university website: Trentu.ca

 

Head of the Trent Best Photos 2013

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View from a bridge

Head of the Trent

Many people have Tweeted photos from the 43rd annual Head of the Trent 2013 with @Ptbodotorg and #Ptbo #HOTT2013. We have posted the best rowing photos here starting with our own above, taken with an Iphone 5 just before noon October 5, 2013 looking down from the Reginald Faryon Bridge. Photos below are all from Twitter. The Head of the Trent is the largest one day rowing regatta held in North America and draws over 1200 rowers from over 50 clubs and schools.  Despite non-ideal weather the turnout was huge and a good time was had.

@BranksomeHall

Branksome Hall Rowers

@TrentUniversity

Rower

@marilynburns

On the Bridge

@marilynburns

Rowers

 

@vinceb

Rowing in the wrong direction