Before I open my gift, I must acknowledge today’s somber anniversary that affects Montreal, women in engineering, and people, in general. My daughter, my middle child, was 10 months old. I remember sitting on the couch watching the news – my husband was on the floor playing with our oldest son. It was just after 6 pm, a beautiful winter night. The snow was falling gently. But behind the doors of the Ecole Polytechnique, part of the University of Montreal, was terror.
Thirty-three years ago, a man went to the school and entered an engineering class and separated the women from the men, telling the men to leave. He killed the women and moved through the halls killing others. Fourteen young women died that night. Thirteen more were injured. The gunman took his own life. One of the police officers, a media officer, who responded found that one of the victims was his daughter. This is a news report from last year.
Today is a grey and gloomy day here. Fitting for the feeling of the day. Every year, I take time to think of what these women might have done with their lives.
Ok, now to the Christmas box gift opening. Despite the gloominess of the day – both physically and mentally – there is still joy and beauty in this world. Maybe we can take a moment and do something to make someone smile. Compliment a stranger in the grocery store on their nice sweater, tell someone that you love their hair, send an e-card to someone you haven’t spoken to for a while – because when we do nice things for others, we feel good about ourselves too.