15 March 2004

Discho seminar

The Discrimination and Harassment Office (Discho) is inviting the UCT community to host free lunch-hour staff seminars on preventing domestic violence.

Director Francois Botha said: "We have seen an increase in cases recently and thought it might be a good idea to start addressing the issue from an information-giving/empowerment point of view."

The workshops, presented by Discho staff, will look at definitions of domestic violence and how the law responds to it, as well as how to stop the cycle of violence.

Other topics include rehabilitation for perpetrators; court realities (such as understanding protection order applications, return dates, violations and trials); and where to get help.

Botha recommends that anyone who has been a victim of or witnessed abuse, or who knows someone who is in a domestic violent relationship and wants to help will benefit from the workshops. They will also be helpful to those who wish to prevent it in their lives.

"The workshop will also expand your knowledge and understanding of violence against women in South Africa," added Botha.

To organize a date and venue, contact clinical social worker Pam Ningiza or Francois Botha at 650 3530, or e-mail or

Nominate a distinguished teacher

Students and academic staff have been invited to nominate candidates for the annual Distinguished Teacher Awards. All members of staff who teach students are eligible for the award. As implied, the accolade acknowledges the important role of teaching and learning in the university's academic endeavours.

Regarded a singular honour, the awards are formally announced at the December graduation ceremonies. A citation recognising each recipient is set out in the appropriate programme and awardees receive a purse of R10 000. The Distinguished Teacher Award Selection Committee may recommend up to four recipients. Last year they were Dr Peter Berman (chemical pathology), Dr David Gammon (chemistry), Associate Professor Brad Liebl (College of Music) and Associate Professor Graham Louw (anatomy and cell biology).

Outstanding "junior" lecturers may also be nominated, provided they have been teaching for a minimum of three years. However, the committee will find it difficult to make an award to such candidates as it is intended to recognise a continued record of teaching excellence.

Recognition in the form of a Vice-Chancellor's Medal will be awarded to a nominee who stands out clearly above the rest for their exceptional teaching abilities. This form of recognition will be awarded to one of the four DTA awardees from time to time, at the discretion of the committee.

Certificates of Teaching Merit will be awarded to nominees who have not been awarded a DTA but who nevertheless deserve recognition for their outstanding contribution to teaching.

Nominations must consist of a detailed statement making the case for the award. Where possible, evidence of excellence in teaching over a number of years should be included as well as some detail about the nominee's approach to teaching - for example, whether the teacher's strengths lie in lecturing to large classes, in laboratory instruction, in less formal teaching activities outside the classroom, in some innovative teaching technique, and so on.

Nominations should reach the Senate Officer, Room 110, Bremner Building, by Friday April 2, 2004, marked "Confidential", for the attention of Ms BE Grant.

(Please note that it is not necessary to provide all the supporting documents by the deadline date for nominations.)

Poetry from a physicist

This week we feature the poetry of Mecit Yaman, a doctoral student doing research on visualisation methods to improve our understanding of materials. He's working in a "rather relaxed" research group called STRESS, named and headed by Associate Professor Margit Härting of the physics department. Besides staring at the colour visuals of stress tensors on his screen, he says he spends much of his time leisurely looking out at the mountain view from his office window.

Passion of research quest after the red sulphur
scribed with mist into silence
bathed deep into a sea of dreams

pure reason, stripped from senses, is to go astray
passive surveillance is no better anyway
this beautiful fairy, is too sly an adversary
to reveal her most treasured secrets
to any fool
she, cannot be taken in her own land,
must be tricked into showing her hand,
to a gesture of a master's hand.

what I have learned from the Master?
to strip the beauty naked of her fancy garment
usher her to a room of square carpets
when she does too quickly move
and you can't follow
to slow her down to a pleasant calm
don't cry watching her out of the window
take her as she reveals herself
try a rough sketch of her figure!

She is more than an accurate picture,
if you can, behold the secret,
by exploring its most remote corners.

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