Thursday, December 8, 2011

Seasons Greetings & Good Luck

HEY UTSC!

Keep an eye out for potential holiday posts from the blog team, but the regular blogging schedule will resume in the new year, starting January 9th.

The success of our new UTSC Pulse Blog belongs to the dedicated readers like you, throughout this semester.  Thank you for your time, comments and feedback.  Good luck during exams and have a safe and happy holidays!

 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Interview with Gillian the Study Abroad Ambassador

1. Tell me and the readers who you are.
My name is Gillian & I'm a 3rd year student!

2. First off, tell me where you went for study abroad?
I went to Oxford University, England. It was one of the first universities in the world, so it was a gorgeous campus and had major historical/academic integrity

3. What interested you in study abroad?
I've always wanted to go to England (it's 3/4 of my heritage) and wanted to study at Oxford University, so this was the prefect opportunity for me. I thought spending a month there would be perfect, but it still wasn't long enough! But for those who have never been away from their home town, this is perfect!

4. What was the most challenging aspect of study abroad?
The first day was tough, I missed home/friends/family and I didn't think I would make any friends, but I made tons of friends and didn't want to come back.

5. Did you face any hardships or encounter things that you didn't
agree with or understand? If so, what were they & how did you deal
with them?
The locals were way more informative than the customer services employees, I felt much more comfortable asking a local for advice than an employee at a train station for example. I'm not used to be talked down to by an employee anywhere, especially when I am obviously a tourist(without the English accent, y'know?)

6. What was the most memorable part of your experience? Is there
anything you wish you done differently?
I went to London a lot, and visited family whom I had never met before which was amazing for me. I went out every night. I was super tired for class every morning, but it really was worth it. I wish I had travelled more abroad more with classmates, but I am content in meeting my long-lost family members :)

7. If you could say one thing to a student who was interested in study
abroad what would you tell them?
I know the price may seem a lot, and you don't know if the debt is worth it but trust me, it really is. I did not qualify for OSAP and I am $10,000 in the hole from this experience but it was completely worth it. Every single penny was worth it. It is something you will never ge to experience anywhere else, especially for summer abroad you still get to study with U of T students and profs so you get taught the way you are used to being taught, but you get to be taught in such a significant institution historically.

8. Why should someone get involved with study abroad?
For utsc specifically; experience more than Scarborough has to offer, as well make friends from UTSG and UTM: they're not all obsessed with putting utsc down ;) For others, like I said before, it is a once in a life time experience. 4-6 weeks away from home for those who are afraid of getting homesick. You (usually) get one credit for 4 weeks in class; SUCH a good deal!

9. If you didn't go to England, where would you have gone?
I would have loved to go anywhere in Europe. The Central Europe or Italy program. With central Europe you get to travel to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and Poland; and Italy..it's Italy - why wouldn't I want to go there?!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Too Much Studying!!! ARRGGHHH!

Last day of classes has come and gone. Friday is here and as usual, the library is packed with studying students, willing to come to school on a winter day because for some reason it is too noisy and distracting to study at home. Exam week has officially started, and every single UTSC student is either studying or cramming for their exams.

The wierd thing is, I am not one of these people, crammers I mean. I don't like to study too much or overwhelm myself with last minute studying. Let me get one thing straight with you guys. I LOVE TO SLEEP. Unlike our Wednesday blogger E.A.P., I am not an insomniac. I am what you call a hypersomniac. If you are sleepy and drink coffee to keep yourself awake in order to studying, you end up wasting time and energy doing POOR studying because not all your senses are alert. I would much rather sleep early, get a good night's rest, wake up great in the morning, and be more productive. You can do this too, if you follow my 3 steps to STUDY SUCCESS. Follow the 3 P's. Plan, Prioritize, and Play.

      First thing's first -Plan.  University is all about good time management. 
You have to plan accordingly before starting to study.
Next to Prioritize, now this step is easy for me because I like to stay organized. Basically, you need to check when your exams are, the day and time. Please-- make sure you know the ROOM FOR YOUR EXAM!  Once you know the order of your exams, begin to study in that order.
The last step is to Play. Now this step might be a little surprising to most because finals are just around the corner, but trust me, a well deserved break from studying is just what some of our exam crammers need. It's no good to study for 3 hours straight without taking a break in between, after every hour or so, stretch and every 3 hours, make sure you eat and drink to keep hydrated, because our brain works the best when our stomach is happy and full. 

Let me give you guys an example, on Wednesday I did some stress studying relief by playing video games. Shout-out goes to the club "VGS" for keeping the tradition of "Child's Play" alive, bringing out video games, and controllers on Nov 30th. This is just one example have how to "take a break" I suppose.

So, there you are guys, some tips on how to study smarter, not harder. And if you still need an extra boost, check the Intranet study sessions available on our campus.  Happy studying, and see you guys later!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

mmmmmmmmmmm FOOD.........

It’s almost exam time, for us UofT students that might mean days and days of straight studying more or less. Looking for something to look forward to after exam season? HOW ABOUT THE NBA SEASON? 
Yes, this week the players and owners of the NBA came to an agreement and the 2011-2012 NBA season will start on Christmas day!! Talk about an early Christmas present right? Anyway, my blog this week wasn’t about how excited I was about the NBA season starting again. This week it’s all about food choices and the UTSC study "diet". 

As you all may know, there are not a lot of mega-healthy food options at UTSC. Let me bring out the psychic in me and guess what most of your diet at UTSC consists of. We can start off with the usual one can of Arizona a day. I swear if everyone in UTSC was deprived of their blood it’d be okay because we’d have Arizona to replace it. 

After Arizona we have… yes, you guessed it, Subway! I swear there was a time this semester when I started having a sub for breakfast and lunch… good times! Then we have the oh-so-popular Tim Horton's. You know a business is doing well when there needs to be two of them, in the SAME building, only a 30 second walk away from each other! The thing about Tim’s is that you can go there at any time of the day, for any meal or snack or beverage, and of course the price is student friendly!  I think that’s the big three:  Arizona, Subway and Tim Hortons. OH, and how could I forget Nasser! The UTSC famous hot dog man! He’s actually the nicest guy I’ve ever met; sometimes I just want to buy a hot dog just to re-meet him again haha! 

If you guys are getting tired of eating the same things over and over at school, I have good news for you! As you guys already know, next semester SCSU is going to adding to our food choices by opening a Hero Burger in the Student Centre! If you guys haven’t had Hero Burger before it is actually quality fast food! So if you’re into healthy food choices, it’d be a perfect change up from that Subway you’re so use to getting.  Also expected to open up in the Student Centre is KFC and Taco Bell! YES, THAT’S RIGHT! Heaven will be located in the Student Centre next semester guys. I know this is not exactly healthy BUT who else is as amped as me?
 
Anyway, if you guys want to read up on these new additions check out: http://thevarsity.ca/articles/50188 for more details!
Until we meet again, readers.
Peace and Love.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We're all a bunch of insomniacs


Insomnia as defined by the Oxford Dictionary "Inability to sleep; sleeplessness"

Insomnia as defined by Urban Dictionary "The state of sleep loss. No matter how much you desire dreamland, it refuses you entry. You stand at the gates, whining, crying, but stuck in the world of buzzing activity." (The first sentence needs a syntax evaluation...Sorry, English Major Pet Peeves)

I personally like the urban dictionary definition more, because well...it makes sense. I feel really bad, I was in one of my many last lectures (YES!!!!) and I fell a sleep. I couldn't even see the words straight. I just remember this...(Let me put it in a cute narrative)

The prof said "please turn to page 104 in your textbooks." I remember flipping to the pages. I remember the title. And then the text started to fade, maybe the font was too small for me to care. Maybe I need to reposition my head. I will read this text by lying my head on the table. You're heart starts to beat slowly. The voices are fading, but they're not completely silent. You can hear them in the back of your head like a distant cacophony. You can feel yourself sleeping, but you're not actually sleeping. I hope I don't snore. Damn! I think I just did. You, like a wave, fade in and out of consciousness. Sleep teases you and says "Come with me!" You say "I can't! It's the last lecture...maybe tonight?" The chair squeaks and drags, the bags shuffle and the binders open and close. Class ends and there's a wet spot on the page I was "supposedly" reading. I dozed off...again.Does anyone else have horrendously dark eye bags? Does anyone else look like the picture above? Like when I actually want to sleep, it doesn't come. It's like the sleep fairy comes at the most inconvenient times (Didn't you get my schedule??).

I was going to offer advice on how to avoid looking like a zombie and to sleep better, but I can't because I'm just as tired as you. Damn these exams. The worst part is, after you've had yourself a decent nap, your cognition process is a bit murky, you say random things that don't make sense...and well you look like #&*@! I remember my boss telling me I look like I hadn't slept for days and that I, "had the eye bags of a fourth year student."

Stick it out til' the end, yes? I feel like it's not JUST us first year kids, it's EVERYONE! Go ask you're friends at Ryerson or York. I'm sure they're all saying the same thing. I bet my life on it! I take that back...it's a rather risky price.

Just a few words of advice:
Good Luck on the exams! (I use that word loosely because luck and praying won't get you the grades, you have to ACTUALLY work for it.)

Epic Quote of the Week: I really wanted this to be the first November where it didn't snow the entire month, thanks to global warming. But DAMN! Mother Nature likes to screw with us. It's on the last day too! :( -Fatima Wahid


Epic Song of the Week:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Balancing the busy life

Hey everyone, Jessica here!

Along with Monday blogger Ranziba, it seems all nighters are a common pattern nowadays. It's been a full day of school and my evenings are shot with homework and playing sports. I notice many UTSC athletes are having a hard time balancing both. 

For example, at hockey practice only five or six girls would show up. The coach said everyone else was writing essays, finishing up labs, or other various school projects. It's not fun nor productive having a fraction of the players show up for practice, especially with semi-finals and finals fast approaching. 

If you know how to do it properly, balancing school and sports is simple.

I was lucky at a young age to have experienced the balancing act and compiled my top five list on how to keep an even scale.

1. Know your schedule

You should write down and know by heart all your due dates, practice, and game times. This is common sense. If you know you have an assignment due Thursday, but you have a game every Wednesday night - you should know to schedule your time accordingly. Word of advice, get your work done before you play. Two reasons. One, you won't be stressing about it at the game and two, when you get home, you can sleep peacefully once you walk in the door knowing your work is already finished.

2. Time management

If I could I'd bold this statement, make it 100 size font, and underline it in red at least 500 times - I would. This is the most important lesson in balancing a busy life. Everyone manages their time differently, here's how I do it. I know it sounds nerdy and a lot of work, but every day I plan out what I'm doing at every hour. This method has helped me for years because I know I don't have time to procrastinate. No time to slack. It keeps me focused and I always get my work done on time. Truth.

3. Don't stress

Balancing school and sports can be tough, but it doesn't have to take over your life. Of course most of your time will be dedicated to either of the two, but you should always make time for friends and family. Make sure you leave at least one hour in your day to just sit back and watch TV or go out with a friend. You deserve to. Just because you're busy, doesn't mean you need to sacrifice your social life.

4. Eat right

You need energy to keep going throughout the day! Duh! I know I shouldn't remind you, but it seems I keep reminding myself I need to eat properly. If I want to have the energy to play a sport, I need to eat food that will keep me going. Next week I will (possibly) post what you should and should not eat during exam time. According to a UTSC nutritionist of course. Stay tuned.

5. Have fun

Yadda, yadda, yadda, you've heard it all before. But, how can you have fun when you have a zillion things on your plate? Easy, develop a routine that's right for you. Once you get into the swing of things, you'll realize your stress levels will lessen and you'll actually have time to enjoy both school and sports simultaneously. Well, sports at least. Regardless, you should rarely sacrifice one or the other. These balancing skills are transferable. When you get into the real world, you'll be thankful you're one step ahead of the game.


Here's a fun fact: Back in the day, I was the prize you got in your Frosted Flakes.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Exams Schmexams! Looking on the brighter side of exam season :)

Hello blogosphere! Ranziba here, blogging to you from the dead of night (no, I'm not a vampire, just a regular student pulling an all-nighter), and hoping your Monday goes smoothly!

So my party people... are you getting excited yet?

You're asking me, about what? You're asking me, why should we be excited that exams are coming up? And you're asking me why I'm talking to myself? Well, the answer to all those questions is just one big (slightly creepy) smile.

Yes, yes, I know I might sound like a loony. But I'm a loony that's excited about exams coming my way. I know everyone is busy with exams and no one has time for more reading, so I'll make this one short and sweet folks. Literally!

I, like all of you, am pretty much dead from sleep deprivation, homework overload and hours of reading. BUT, I, unlike most of you (or at least I'm guessing) am also super duper excited to write those exams. Why? One word: freedom.


Imagine this: You're on a beach somewhere, with the calm summer breeze caressing your face and a cold drink in your hand. You're staring out at the ocean without a worry in your mind and ...well if you're actually seeing this vision, chances are that you've fallen asleep at your study carrol. But this could be you in just a few short weeks (wow did I just sound like a Bowflex ad?).


Once exams are done and dusted, you will have plenty of time to turn your dreams into a reality. The university closes for the Winter Break on Dec. 21st. and most of you lucky people will be done your exams by then and well on your way to your personal paradise - wherever that may be!

So in the spirit of positive thinking, I made a list of things to look forward to after exams:

-the holidays (presents, relation, warmth and food... does it get any better?)
-sleep all day
-no lectures, no tutorials, no assignments
-seeing your family (the jury is still out on this one)
-getting to hangout with friends
-curling up in bed and catching up on TV/movies
-seeing daylight (might not happen if you overdo the previous list item)
-having time to explore our beautiful city
-traveling out of the city, province, country
-no more concrete.. at least for a while!

So in this last week of classes and the next few weeks of torture, remember to look on the positive side of things, the light at the end of the tunnel the cake after the workout. And know that we're all in the same boat (headed towards graduationl). Also, in a few short weeks, the whole thing will start all over again. So cherish your time before you have to run in the crazy rat race that is life... or less cheesily, before you're back to being your regular ol' nocturnal, caffeine junkie of a U of T student!

In the meantime, take a study break and let me know in the comments below if you have things you're excited about doing after exams! Tweet me with your winter break plans @rantothezebra.

Until then, best of luck with you exams! There will always be a silver lining if you look for it. Happy holidays! :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Students Party for a Cause!

Last Thursday November 24th UTSC students capped off Movember fundraising at the 4th annual Black & White Affair. The idea behind the event is simple – have a good time while doing something good for the world. This idea has seemed to have really resonated with students as it is one of the most anticipated events of the year. With that being said, the buzz around the Black & White Affair this year was unprecedented and unexpected to say the least. The buzz wasn’t without merit – the event was oversold at around 430 tickets, making it the first one to be sold out!

Everyone who attended looked fantastically chic and stylish in their black and white attire and DJ Armokidd and DJ Duo Good Times Sound provided the perfect sonic backdrop to the event and had everyone dancing till the end. The mix of groovy Top40, bouncy house music & powerful Reggae, Soca & Dancehall was the perfect musical concoction for smashing the dance floor. Overall, the event went smoothly but no event is complete without some hick-ups and setbacks.

The setbacks that caused the most grievances were the long wait times to get in due to a backlogged coat check. Some party goers were waiting outside in the cold for over 2 hours. Although organizing staff did as much as they could; it seemed futile to remedy any of the situations. As part of the organizing team I stayed outside with everyone stuck in line. Despite the setbacks, however bad they were, it seemed that once everyone got inside they were having a good time. I hope that attendees are not still disgruntled over the setbacks. The next event will be better because of the lessons learned, I promise.

Lastly, on behalf of the organizing team, I want to say thank you to everyone who attend the Black & White Affair and made it a success. Pictures will be uploaded soon and a link to them will be posted here, on my Twitter (@malcolmwong1), on the event page and various places on facebook. Keep an eye out for your glamour shots from the event! Till next time! J

Friday, November 25, 2011

OH NOES ASSIGNMENTS!?!

Okay guys, its me again Raphael back for Friday dose of weekly tips. As the Fall semester is coming to a close and exams are just around the corner, all the professors are trying to squeeze all the final assignments they can in their courses. And as every student in university is trying to finish their last minute assignments I feel that some tips are in need for those of us who don't know what to do. So here I am to the rescue!

1. Start early!
I'm serious, dead serious. Do not procrastinate. If you are a first year student reading this be aware! This is not high school anymore, this is university. No more pulling off all nighters, doing last minute, or copying from a friend. If your assignment is not a group assignment, you cannot rely on someone else to do the assignment for you. Just do little by little each day, separating the assignments into manageable chunks to avoid cramming and being stressed out like this kid in this picture. (I understand we only have a week left, but even starting a week before the due date is much better than last minute).


2. Seek help!
There are plenty of resources to help you get started. If you are working on a paper, book an appointment with the writing center at AC221 (but be early to book, as these spots are limited and fill up fast!). But if you can't seem to book an appointment, just drop in at around 12-2pm, and I am sure that someone there would be able to help you. If you are working on a math assignment, the math and stats center located at room AC312. And if you just need a quick question about an assignment, just e-mail your prof using your UTOR Webmail from portal. Make sure you use you .utoronto mail address or your e-mail may be sent to the junk mail of your professor. (Most students are actually afraid to e-mail their prof, but this may be the easiest and fastest way to get help without going through the hassle of going to their office hours. Fast and Easy, just don't be afraid, you're professors are there to help you!)


3. Work with others!
The best way to do well on your assignments is to work with other students in your class. This is a no-brainer because all of the students have the same assignment at hand, and any of your questions, chances are, your classmates know the answer to them. This is a great way to make new friends, and get a better mark in your course.

Work with others, and if my "google images" photos are not getting the message across, just take advantage of what the campus offers for you! (Also you don't have to study outside like the students above, but their smiles are proof that studying with others works!)

So because this week and next week are our last weeks of school before Christmas Break, make sure to get started early with your assignments, so STOP reading and GET to work! (just joking... but seriously don't procrastinate, I'm speaking from experience take my word for it.) So have a great weekend everyone, oh and work on your assignments!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

...Truth causes peace

WAGWAN GUYS! You already know it’s Pulse Blog’s Thursday blogger, Moiz coming at you on this brisk fall (feeling like winter) day. So this week, I was reading the news and I stumbled upon something that flat out disgusted me. It wasn’t the first time I had read something like it. In fact, I was getting fed up from reading so many similar stories that I was actually cheeeeeesed.

Alright so, what I read was the case of the Shafia sisters. If you don’t know the story I’ll give you guys a breakdown of what it’s about. A man named Shafia, his wife and their son have all been accused for four counts of first-degree murder against their three daughters and his other wife. Shafia called his daughters “treacherous” because one of his daughters had been seeing another guy secretly for quite some time. The other two daughters had done nothing wrong, but Shafia believed that if one could do something like that, the others were bound to do the same. Basically, they were murdered because they dishonoured the family name according to Shafia.

The first problem here for me is that I have read different forms of this story way too many times. Most people would think that honour killing is only a problem in third world countries, but most of the recent stories I’ve read were stories from North America and the U.K!

The second problem is that it is the freaking 21st CENTURY! Why this is still happening around the world makes no sense to me. I mean, I understand if your culture/religion doesn’t allow serious relationships until you’re older but there’s a certain line that one just cannot cross. Going back to the Shafia story, the youngest daughter once reported to the police that she wanted to be removed from her home because her father often threatened to kill them. She also told police that one day after they came home late from shopping, he hit her and pulled her hair, and her brother punched her in the eye. This is exactly my point, I understand that they were late and there should obviously be a consequence for that. But violence, making death threats and eventually following up on those threats CANNOT be justified in anyway. NOTHING gives any person a right to take someone else’s life away. Nothing can ever justify taking someone’s life away, whether it be culture, religion, “ruining the family’s name”, NOTHING!

The third thing that bothers me is (please don’t get me wrong on this, I am not putting down any religion in this post; so read the whole post before you form an opinion) how in most cases, people use religion to justify their actions. Now when the media realize this they’re always quick to mention it and the people who don’t know better end up forming an opinion of a WHOLE religion based on ONE person’s perspective of it (this one person’s perspective is normally wrong and doesn’t represent the view of an entire population at all). This sparks a chain reaction of more and more people misunderstanding the actual beauty behind EVERY belief.

Well that marks the end of this rant. Do you agree or disagree? Let me know where you stand in all of this in the comment box below.
Until next week readers.
Peace and Love.
Moiz’s quote of the week: A misunderstanding causes war, the truth causes peace.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Stumped. I need a musical pick me up!

Hey Guys,
It's E.A.P and right now I'm in a weird blank state of mind where everything comes but nothing stays.  I didn't think it was possible but my mind literally feels empty!
Is it that end-of-semester worn out feeling?

I thought I'd make this post about happy songs.
These are the songs I like to listen to when I'm down:











And finally...


What do you listen to when you're down? Comment below and let me know :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Personal training at UTSC

Whether you need improvement in blood pressure levels, flexibility, agility, nutrition, or need a post-rehab specialist - UTSC athletics department has what you need to avoid gaining those freshman fifteen. Offered to students, faculty, and alumni - our gym offers individual assessments from certified personal trainers.

UTSC fitness coordinator, Catarina Freire, explains how students can get involved, the most popular fitness program, and crucial advice on how and why you should stay active during exam time.

Consultations are free! Click here for more information on personal fitness at UTSC!


Also, big congratulations to the women's UTSC "A" soccer team who beat UTM in the finals on Sunday! The nail biter of a game went into two overtimes and shoot-outs before UTSC claimed victory. A win well deserved ladies. Great season!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Speaking up for spoken word

Recently, being stuck in the doldrums of academia, I went looking for a bit of inspiration. My go to source? The Internet of course! Specifically, I wanted to find some spoken word artists I could follow because I'm really attracted to that form of poetic expression. I found too many to share with you all, but I think I've successfully gone through every video on YouTube of Suheir Hammad and so today I want to share her work with you.



Suheir Hammad according to her Wikipedia entry (such a trusted source, right?) is "a Palestinian-American poet, author and political activist." But that barely captures the essence of what she is as an artist and as a woman. I was introduced to her work through a class I was taking and fell in love with her sharp, poignant poetry. On my recent internet crawl, I stumbled upon a mass of YouTube videos of her def poetry jam stuff ...and let's just say I won't be finishing that essay any time soon. 

Suheir deals with issues of nationhood, identity, gender roles, self-expression, love, and basically anything anyone can ever want to hear about. As someone who isn't much of a creative writer ( I try now and again), I'm really amazed by her ability to take these heavy topics and condense them into these short effective pieces that a variety of people can find accessible. She performs her poetry anywhere she can and it's a mark of how amazing she is that people can connect with her so easily. Aside from being involved in Def Poetry, Suheir also starred in Salt of This Sea, a film about a woman's travels to the West Bank and her experiences both in America and back in her country of birth. 

And though you might not see me anytime soon on the spoken word stage, UTSC sure isn't lacking in talent - from any avenue! Every year, Scarborough Fair is released and it contains writing and artwork from students. It's a great display of artistic engagement and students can submit their original work (not to mention how great it looks on your portfolio). There are also many opportunities throughout the year to submit creative writing pieces for reviews in various competitions and conferences. The spoken word scene at UTSC is pretty vibrant as well. And having gone to many of the shows presented by Spoetic, I would encourage everyone to make it out. You can check them out on their Facebook, and find some cool student artists (think of them like Suheir's-in-the-making - they sure have the talent to get there!)

I guess the lesson in all of this is to let those creative juices flow! Whether, like me, it's a way to release tension during exam time or more inspiration to start writing yourself. I've always heard that the best thing to do when you're trying to write is to put pen to paper, or more aptly nowadays, fingers to keyboard. And since there are so many opportunities to showcase the results of your flow writing, it can't hurt to try your hand out at some!

So as all of you inspired people are writing away, take a break and check out more of Suheir Hammad's work!


Let me know if there are any other artists/shows you want me to check out. Tweet me about it @rantothezebra or let me know in the comments below. Until next week, later days!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Doodling during class

Hey Pulse Readers! It’s Raphael back for Friday’s blog. I realize that I am the only blogger that hasn’t really opened up yet to what my personality is like through my blogs. It’s my fault really, I wanted to cover what our school has to offer in terms of student life, but in doing so, I really have put my personality at the back. I have been covering study space, the campus buildings, the Attic, and recently the movies that were shot in campus. The only blog from which I had a little of my personality was the Attic, because I truly do love the Attic. (And for anyone who still wants to play me in a match, just comment below the date and time and I’ll be there!) I also realize that the history on the buildings is not really the most exciting topic either, so time to CHANGE IT UP!

Now I am going to share one of my very personal secrets that I do almost everyday in school. Before I reveal it, let me create some suspense first. Let me ask you, what makes a good university? The teacher’s right? Well that is what I am going to reveal today – for almost every class I’ve taken, I have DOODLED on my notes. Ok before all of you start going crazy with the questions, let me explain. 

Picture this: you are in a class, you see that all the seats are filled, and you are stuck looking at the clock waiting for class to end. You are bored out of your mind, tired and a little sleepy (maybe because of the commute or the early 9am class). You look up at front and see your lecturer talking, pacing and asking questions.
Now in this EXACT situation, I like to doodle in my notes. I have always liked to draw and sketch random things (and I am thinking of taking a drawing class maybe in the campus or just for fun), but I don’t just draw anything I want. I usually look around the room for something to sketch, (it can be anything from a water bottle to the podium) and my eyes usually fall on the person in front of me, THE TEACHER. It’s unavoidable, and sometimes I do it subconsciously, but I start to draw the teacher’s face. Most of my drawings are crappy (due to the lack of proper training) but I feel that it my drawings capture the essence of what the person looks like. I only draw the face, as I am not skilled enough to draw the entire body, but below are some of the doodles I do on my notes.


Okay so I am going to stop talking and just enjoy my notes.



Now this doodling just comes so naturally to me now, whenever I feel bored, or am feeling creative I just want to draw. As you can see with these pages of my notes, I just draw them on the side, and when my friend comes to ask me, "What are you doing?" I just respond, "I'm doodling." And I would show them what I would be drawing and they would either smile or laugh. Sometimes class just gets too dull, and a little drawing can really change your attitude for the whole day.

And for those of you, who do the same thing as me, please share it! I want to know if I am the only one who does this, and message me at rsanti@rogers.com if you want to share your sketch to the world!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I wish somebody told me...

I've been reflecting on what's its like to be in university, the whole transition thing, and I talked to my friends because as we all know there is strength in solidarity (I also learned the meaning of that word!).

We came to the conclusion that:  HIGH SCHOOL DOES NOT PREPARE YOU FOR UNIVERSITY.

In high school there is a sense of community because you see the same people everyday and the teachers hunt you down for late assignments whereas here it is YOUR responsibility to keep up to date with everything. Talking to my friends I realized we are ALL struggling with and around almost the same/similar stuff. The first thing you have to do is "adjust" and "adapt" to the new learning style. You're not in school for a solid schedule of 9am -3pm. You are in your lectures, tutorials and gaps of time to yourself OR sometimes your whole day and night is taken up by classes. Not to say that you don't have that community here, it's just bigger and more diverse.

This was my reaction to my first essay in university. For me the hardest thing are the essays.

I found myself struggling to write essays because of this whole "critical thinking" jazz. In high school you could slide with an "all-nighter" essay and get a decent grade like mid 70's. Whereas HERE the best you can do is anywhere from a 50-58 (the TAs likes to tease). I remember getting my first essay back and it was filled with suggestions and critiques etc.

This is my definition of critical thinking; it is way more than just making a comment on something, it is about seeing what you are seeing and then seeing around it, inside it, really inspecting it AND THEN making a claim about it and then applying it to...
YOU>YOUR ENVIRONMENT>YOUR SOCIETY (it can also be vice-versa). You have to not only dig for some deeper meaning but then go above and beyond with your explanation. The easiest and hardest thing to do is, "make a claim and then justify it". You can say ANYTHING you want as long as there is logic and analysis to back it up.

TIME is also a big factor, and in that sense high school does not teach you practical time management skills. They don't teach you how to plan and manage your time. These skills don't magically appear. It's through the mistakes I've made that I learned NOT to hand in my assignments late. I ain't even gonna lie about it, I still procrastinate. If it means going to Dollarama (they ALWAYS hook me up) and buying a planner, a monthly schedule and organizing your time...THEN DO IT.

I also realized that because its first year most of my courses are 1) Required and 2) Really Broad. These introductory courses are meant for you to take up an interest in a particular field and then develop these interest. As you might have noticed as the years progress the classes become more smaller and intimate. Yes you have to lower your standards and then work them up again but in this process you discover your likes and dislikes

The best advice I can give is...stress is inevitable, you WILL make mistakes, but it's OK. Don't beat yourself up over it. You need to have some form of outlet because this stress can get overwhelming (TRUST ME). This outlet is like your "break" from university when you can't really get one.

I'd like to dedicate this song to my high school grades...may they REST IN PEACE.



Epic quote of the week: "If I read your essay and I learn something, it means you have done a good job...It's called 'pedagogy' the art of teaching"-Hannah Dyer

Monday, November 14, 2011

Interhouse soccer - and why I was a huge chicken

Two years ago I received a Facebook message from a guy who goes to UTSC asking if I wanted to play interhouse soccer. He explained it was a co-ed league that played every Tuesday at the school gym.

I was reluctant to agree, but he pleaded because his team needed to recruit more girls.

[For those of you who don't know, interhouse are co-ed leagues that include sports such as soccer, cricket, volleyball, ball hockey, and basketball. The best part is, they're free and happen right here at our school. 

You have to be a U of T student or 2011 - 2012 Athletics and Recreation Centre member. To play, you can sign up as an individual or gather an all-star team of your friends. Registration begins the beginning of each semester. Visit the UTSC athletics centre for more information.]

Back to my story!

Of course, I didn't know anything about interhouse nor did I know anyone on the team very well. After much deliberation, I pulled out my indoor soccer shoes cluttered beneath my closet and told the Facebook guy i'd meet him at the gym on Tuesday.

Game day rolled around.

Even at the beginning of my second year at UTSC, I was still getting used to the campus. I wasn't fully comfortable with entering a place I didn't know much about - this included the UTSC gym.

I walked to the gym, pulled out my T-card, and past the turnstiles. I immediately heard yelling and cheering. I looked to my right, through the tiny windows of the gym doors, and saw a bunch of soccer players and fans watching intense five on five action. 

The ball was bouncing every which way, players aggressively fighting to score a goal, and fans cheering from the benches. 

I was intimidated. 

My next initial move was to enter the gym and start warming up with my team. But - I didn't.

I turned around and left.

Yes, I was a huge loser. I chickened out. 

Like many of you, I wasn't comfortable with the space or the players I didn't know.

The next day I got a message from a girl on my outdoor soccer team saying, she was on that interhouse team I was supposed to play for. I told her I was hesitant on going, but she said to come with her to the next game. 

Fast forward to next Tuesday. Going with her made me a lot more comfortable. I saw the guy who messaged me on Facebook and briefly introduced myself before he threw a pinny at me, saying it's time to warm up.

I only knew a few names on my team, but I did my best to remember.

The game was fast pace and I did my best to keep up. The majority of the league consisted of male dominated players. For this reason, any girl who scores, their goal counts as two.  So, the last couple minutes of the game my team kept passing to me - saying to go for the net and score. For my first game, I believe I held my own pretty well.

I can't remember if we won or lost, but I do recall my relief when it was over. 

I continued going to interhouse each week and got to know more soccer players at the school. I quickly learned the small community I was becoming a part of.

Becoming well-known in the UTSC soccer community, I was asked to play in indoor soccer tournaments at UTM and Humber College. It's a wonderful thing when you get involved with the school, different opportunities present themselves to you.

If you'd like to join interhouse - message me and let me know. I'd be more than happy to introduce you to players and make you part of a team.  No one wants to be the chicken who leaves before giving the game a go.


Something wicked this way comes! ...Macbeth fever hits Hart House Theatre

Double double, toil and trouble/ Fire burn and cauldron bubble...

Who doesn't know these famous lines from William Shakespeare's dark tragedy Macbeth? Well, this past weekend I, along with the audience at the Hart House Theatre, got to see it performed by a professional cast of actors.
 



After a scenic drive downtown, some sightseeing (you can be a tourist in your own city, try it, it's fun!) and some good ol' fashioned McDonald's we arrived at the theatre a half hour before the show (not going to lie, we got lost... Scarborough kids). My friends and I were pleasantly surprised to see that we got discounts on top of our $15 discounted student tickets because of a special code I had from my Shakespeare class (shout out to ENGB32, more of Macbeth in gang!)

Three witches and Macbeth walked into a bar...

The set of this production was amaaaazing! It changed from forest to chamber to village square to battlefield, and all of it was thoroughly convincing! The actors were superb and the classic soliloquys were performed with an inspired twist. My honest reaction was: dude, that was awesome. It definitely beat our grade 11 in-class production of Macbeth by lightyears!
We broke the "no photography" rule. shh! But seriously! Look how cool the set is!
I won't give away the more interesting parts of the production, but I will say, seeing the performance in person was much better than reading it in class! Also, hint: strobe lights, sound effects and lots of horror! It was actually pretty scary - albeit awesome and totally cool.

Also, this is still crunch time for everyone, but taking just one night off (tickets are only $10 on Wednesdays) was a much needed break! I went with girlfriends and it made for a great night out on the town. The night was classy, with just a dash of arts and culture sophistication, and of course we topped it off with the typical Toronto TTC adventures. 

I'd encourage everyone to have their own theatre experience, especially when our own university is hosting it! And while you're booking your tickets,check out the trailer. This is definitely not an event to be missed!



So what have you all been up to in good ol' Tdot (do people still say that?)... Are there any other theatre experiences I should check out? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me at @rantothezebra. Until next week, later days! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

UTSC has a golf cage? Really? Squash too?

Hello sports fans! This is Raphael back for Friday’s blog and your weekly dosage of UTSC news.  This week I’m going to mix it up, go into Jessica’s territory (our Tuesday Athletics blogger) and talk about sports! More specifically, the underutilized facilities that are available at UTSC. Now for some of our dedicated readers, you may remember a past blog I did about the Attic.  I love the Attic and it is probably my favorite “chill” spot on the campus. I guess this next spot I will mention is a close second place. Now I don’t go as often as I used to but this spot is great because so little of the student population know about it.

Alright so let’s get right into it: The golf cage at UTSC is nothing too special. For those of us who don’t know what a golf cage is, it's basically a 3 sided net where you would take swings with the club to practice your posture and accuracy.

Now as you guys can probably tell I love to explore places, I guess that’s why most of my blogs have some relation to looking or finding some new places and this golf cage is the perfect spot.

The golf cage at UTSC is not very large, but they do have free golf clubs you can use at any time. What's even better is if you start to take a liking to golf (such as myself) the Athletics Center offers classes to improve your golf game. Just visit their website www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~athletics for more information.
Now I won't be surprised if many of you haven't even heard of a golf cage, but I'm sure that some of you heard about the squash courts at UTSC. For those of you who don't let me tell you all about it.

The squash courts (as shown below) is available throughout the day (and they are usually empty during the day since many students have classes).
I still remember playing squash for the first time with one of my friends. We were in first year, just exploring what UTSC had to offer for us. We had just finished class and wanted to check out the gym, but we got sidetracked and took a door to our left instead. We walked the long hallway and ended up in the squash rooms! We really had no idea that the campus had squash, and at first we thought that the squash room was a mini basketball court (until we saw there was no hoop or net). I told my friend, "Hey why don't we try playing squash? I mean it shouldn't be too hard, right?" WRONG! The problem we had going into playing squash was we had no idea on what the rules were. After just half an hour running back and forth whacking the ball against the wall, we were EXHAUSTED! I mean really tired. Granted neither of us are real "athletes" but we felt so winded after that we just sat on the court for half an hour just to catch our breath. Upon leaving the court, we notice that right outside the door there were billboards that had the rules of squash written out! We were so tired that we decided to just go home.

(Note: for those of you who want to take up a sport and feel your body moving, take up squash. This is made easier because our school provides lessons for both beginners and advanced players. For those of you who want to see the offered lessons, download this pdf file: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~athletics/images/fallguide.pdf)

So that was my experience, please don't be discouraged by my experience in the court, I actually am genuinely interested in the sport, and would like to revisit it sometime (maybe after I hit the gym a little more). And for those of you who think squash really isn't your thing, try out golf. I came into it not knowing if I would like it or not, but golf is a great stress reliever. Just whacking the ball with a club against a net can feel really good (especially if you just want to relieve some anger from missing your bus, or messing up on your test). And if you are lazy and just want to sit and watch, there are benches located at the upper floor of the squash area, convenient for those who would prefer watching others move around as opposed to themselves. :)


The squash and golf cage rooms are located by taking the door to your left (before the locker room or the gym). If you see a dance studio then you are headed the right way, just keep following the hallway and you'll get there eventually.

Oh, before I forget, Happy Belated Birthday to our supervisor Nadia Rosemond, without you as our leader, we would be hopelessly lost with our blogs :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dope Inspirational Stuff.

Hello readers! It’s Moiz coming at you again. I hope all of you had a successful mid-term season! (my mid-term season is still going on -_-) I’m going to get right into my blog post this week because it was a long and hard process for me to decide what to write about this week. I think I changed my mind about 4-5 times but I finally figured it out, Enjoy!

After I finished most of my midterms I found myself making more personal goals. Not long term goals necessarily, more short term goals such as the very popular, “No more procrastinating.” At the time, when you decide on a goal, you feel like nothing will get in your way of accomplishing your goal. But in most cases, it’s a matter of time before you return to your routine of speeding to get things done at the last minute and then vowing that the next assignment/test will be different.

If it seems like I just told the story of your life, DO NOT FEAR! I know many people that go through the same phases all the time and because of this I’ve decided to share with you some tips and tricks to help you stick to your goals!

Step One: The Plan
This is where you spend time deciding exactly what your goal is. Do you want to improve your GPA? Do you want to gain more from university than just the education? This step is where you decide on what it is that you want to achieve. MAKE SURE THAT IT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY ACHIEVE. If your GPA was a 2.0 the previous year, telling yourself that you’re going to have a 4.0 in the current year is an unrealistic goal. What the goal should be is to pay attention in class more, to review notes every night, to attend all lectures, etc. Now there’s no guarantee that these goals will get you that 4.0, but they will definitely help you work up to it! Also, something that I have found to help me is to write the goal down somewhere. Somewhere that you look at every so often just to remind you about what you are working for. Also, changing the location you put once in while helps you to actually take it in and not just pretend it’s a part of something and ignore it.

Step Two: Words into Actions
This is where you start to put your new goal into action. The key to this stage is organization and prioritizing. Mastering these two concepts will make your life so much easier! Some tips to stay organized? Set up a calendar at the beginning of each month! In this calendar put in all assignment deadlines, all test days, EVERYTHING that you deem to be important in that month! Seeing how close a deadline for an assignment or test is will help you prepare well in advance. The last part of this stage is to make sure that you are somehow tracking your progress, just to boost your ego and show you that you really can make your goal a reality.

Step Three: The “oh there’s still time” stage
We all know this stage, this is where we all try to deny the fact that we’ve been procrastinating and try to make excuses to defend ourselves. My most common one use to be, “Oh, I work well under pressure… I’ll just do it tomorrow.” THESE PHRASES ARE BAD BAD BAD! To stop yourself from doing this you must challenge each excuse to make. For my previous example you could say, “Do I really work better under pressure? What happened the last time I did that?” If you’re like me, the best solution is to find inspirational quotes/videos that show you a little extra work can take you a really long way.

Step Four: Survival
Just live. It’s important.

Do you have any other goal-setting tips you’d like to share? Have idea’s for a blog you’d like me to write about? Just post all thoughts/comments/questions into the box below and I’ll be sure to have a look at them. That’s all I have for you guys this week, until our next digital encounter.
Peace and Love.

Moiz’s quote of the week: Set some goals and follow through with your plans. Time waits for no man.

I Got 99 Problems and Money Is One of Them.

Hello fellow readers! It is Malcolm here again bringing you my weekly two cents on student life and experience. This week let’s discuss the ups and downs of student life. As students we are typically 3 things – tired, hungry, and strapped for cash. It seems the less we are the latter the less we are of everything else – which is a good thing. However, as students our bank account balances have a tendency to go down faster than they go up.
If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve heard “you need to budget your money properly”. However, I’m not a huge fan of hardcore budgeting plans – I feel they leave no room for fun or flexibility and you end up breaking the budget anyways. I’ll admit to you all I am not a big spender but I am a frequent spender (is there a difference?). I’ll spend 5 or 6 dollars here or there each day but it really adds up. Over the years I have devised a few key budgeting and money saving tips and tricks that I believe have helped me through my university education.

Pack your own lunch, dinner and snacks.
I used to eat out every day of the week because I was too lazy to pack my own food. I don’t remember what compelled me to start but I’m glad I did. On average I found out that I was spending anywhere between 7-10 dollars a day on lunch not including snacks or coffee. Even if you just pack your lunch you save anywhere from 35-50 dollars a week; that’s $140-200 a month.

Bring your own coffee thermos and instant coffee or tea bags.
This is a tip I got from my friend – he told me that Campus Express has a hot water tower now which you can use for free – I’ve confirmed this and this is true. Not having to buy coffee from Tim Hortons not only saves you money but time as well. 2 cups of coffee at Tim’s is around $3 each, $15 a week $60 a month – you do the math. As students of UTSC we are no strangers to the lines regularly grace the Tim Hortons. Before this hot water tower was available another friend of mine used to keep an electric kettle in his locker and boil his own water. It takes 3 minutes for those types of kettles to boil water – to put it in perspective think about how long you wait in a line up at Tim Hortons. As an alternative you can also keep a microwavable cup in your locker to heat up water you get from the water fountains and pour it into your thermos.

Take good class and textbook notes and keep them.
When you sell your textbooks you typically can snag an extra 20 or so dollars if you include a copy of your notes with the textbooks you sell to another student. The more money you can get back from your textbooks the less stressed your budget will be later on.

Print at the SCSU office.
You can cut your printing costs in half by printing at the SCSU office. The only catch is that you have to go when the office is open. The SCSU offers printing for 5 cents a page whereas printing elsewhere in the school will run you 7-10 cents a page. This is not about penny pinching as much as stretching your money as far as it can go and getting the most value possible.

Use your skills and get paid for them.
There is a plethora of job opportunities available on campus that you can use your skills to make some money. There are honorarium and work study positions widely available for students to gain some experience as well as some extra cash flow. Typically an honorarium will grant you anywhere from $500-1000 per semester depending on the job. A work-study position grants you $10.66 per hour at a max of 10 hours per week for the semester (works out to be about $2000). These jobs don’t require an intense amount of your time so you can still keep your part time job and have time for school and partying. ;)

Live within your means.
This is possibly the most important piece of information you should take away from this. It basically means don’t spend more than you make. Most students already have a pile of student loans having credit card debt on top of that makes the debt become harder to deal with – and nobody wants that.

I hope you found these tips and tricks helpful! Remember to subscribe to the blog and share your favourite posts with your friends. If you have any more money saving tips and tricks that I didn’t mention please let me know in the comment section below – it’s as easy as typing in the box below! Follow me on Twitter for the latest updates and awesome from ME - @malcolmwong1

A Commuter's BIGGEST PET PEEVES!

So I've been commuting/busing it to UTSC for almost two months and...I got a few issues, I NEED TO TAKE CARE OF (YES! I am yelling)

Let's just get right into this hot topic.


Here, in this post are my top five TTC pet peeves aka "you know what really cheeses me while I'm on the bus..."

5) Uncooperative people. Those hoodlums who walk in and pay the WRONG fare and then argue about it when the bus driver confronts them.

4) Loud talkers. I don't need to hear about how ugly you thought that girl's dress was or how your boy was hitting on all the chicks at the party. I know the most probable solution for this problem would be to "just go listen to your music" but even when I try to drown out your voice, I can STILL hear you! Keep your business to yourself. Thanks

3) Random shift changes. The bus driver just stops at a stop and then gets off to talk and chills with his fellow co-worker. Good for you! Now get back on the bus and take me to school, I'm running late and you aren't helping! Fine, *pretty please*

2) Perverts on the bus go round and round. This is more of a girl problem, not to say that men can't be creeped by other creep men, just sayin... I ABSOLUTELY HATE IT when, the whole bus is empty and this ugly old guy comes and sits right next to you and smiles at you (with all his teeth) and hopes that will open you up for conversation. NO! Not Cool! JUST STOP

1) The MOST annoying thing about the TTC is crowded buses.
There are two ways to approach this issue. One, the whole bus is packed and there's no seats left and the bus driver insist on taking more passengers...and then the automatic voice lady comes and says "please move back...thank you" and well, you can't move anywhere because there is no space and then the bus driver threatens and says "I won't move this bus another inch until everyone moves back." You whine and suck your teeth and groan about it and make like a square inch of space until you're squished against the hoodlums and perverts and then the bus starts rolling again.
OR
People are just lazy and refuse to move back and take the few empty seats that are there and in the end we all suffer :(

Epic Quote of the day: "Romantic love is like a mental disorder."

Epic Song of the week



P.S. Yesterday was UTSC's Leadership Development Program Coordinator's birthday...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NADIA!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Construction at UTSC begins for aquatic facility

With the 2011 Pan Am Games having wrapped up in Guadalajara Mexico, it's Toronto's turn to take the world stage. As host of the 2015 Pan Am Games, the city is getting ready to build five state-of-the-art athletic facilities.

One being built at our UTSC campus.

I talked to students and one of the directors for the 2015 Pan Am Games, Jason Fellen, to discuss the progress of the world-class aquatic centre.

UTSC gets a little high and mighty


The most common complaint you hear when you go to UTSC is that there is concrete everywhere. The second most common thing you here is that “we are no match for UTSG”. Well, to each their own, but for all you art and culture lovers out there, you might want to think twice before saying that again.

Let me introduce you to the little known gems of the school: the Doris McCarthy Art Gallery (DMG) and the Leigha Lee Browne Theatre (LLB). Both havens of high-brow fun are located right here at school and, should you choose, will give any student concrete reason to visit!

I’ll be honest with you, when I went to the DMG, I was pretty stumped. Were it not for a class project which forced me to analyze the visual stimuli I was being presented with, my Jersey-Shorified brain really couldn’t care less (I just used a made-up word …point in case). And boy, was there a lot of visual stimuli! I’m posting pictures below so you can help a sister out!

Super It by Blue Republic
The exhibition ran from Sept. 6 - Nov. 2 and featured many pieces. Clearly, as seen above!
Now look, I’m not some fancy-pants monocle wearing, hoity toity art critic  – so the thought of going to these things kills me a little inside. But after going to the Gallery, I realized that for someone else reading a novel might pose the same sort of challenge as going to the art gallery does for me. I learned that it’s important to give all art an opportunity to reach you. Regardless whether in paint, performance, ink, or clay.

And though, after that monologue, I’d like to say I reached some brilliant conclusion… I didn’t.

But what I did learn was that art is less about understanding the artist’s message view and more about the relationship between artist, art, and viewer. Obviously I had some trouble understanding the message, but doesn’t that come down the way the message was brought to me and not whether I could decode it?

See how deep my thinking is getting already?

It might be because this isn’t my first experience with the covert art scene here at UTSC. Doris McArthy also runs Gallery 1265, the student art gallery that offers UTSC and community artists free space to showcase their work. I visited Gallery 1265 last year and took in an interesting installation about education and technology. Again, I only really understood the art pieces to be something other than wall decorations because I took the initiative to open my eyes (…and also because I was writing an article about it, but it was mostly the former).

A couple of days after the DMG visit, I attended a talk held at the LLB theatre titled ‘South Asians in the Arts: Diasporas, Alliances and Collaborations across Communities’. Suffice to say, it was simply fabulous! But what made it better was the intimate space of the black box-theatre, the lighting and the proximity of the audience to the speakers. It literally gave me chills!

Funny enough, later on, when I was telling a friend of mine about my experiences both at the gallery and the theatre, she had trouble believing I was telling the truth. “We have that here?” she said.

Needless to say, I was shocked! How did someone not know about these things!? The DMG is located a few steps from the Bookstore, on your way to the ARC. And the LLB falls on the way to the research labs and SY110 over in the new Science wing. Well, you know what they say, it’s different from the inside looking out than it is from the outside looking in.

Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly), UTSC’s best kept secrets aren’t really very secret. One only needs to look around once in a while. Here’s a hint: anything other than concrete at this school automatically points to cooler things than “ground-breaking architecture in the brutalist form.”

A way students can find out about these cool places and these cool events is to check out the Division of Humanities website. The HumDiv website also houses the Arts and Events Programming (AEP) information space which let’s you know about events coming onto campus.

An event being organized by the AEP, one I will do a shameless promo for, is the campus display put on by the ENGC51. Held tomorrow in the Meeting Place, this campus display (from 1:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) will educate passerby about Arab women writers from all countries and all eras. It will be interesting stuff folks! 
And no, I’m not obligated to say that because I’m participating in it…  

But really, who knew things got so pretty high-brow right here at UTSC?

Well the students who curate the DMG did, as did the members of UTSC’s Theatre program and members of the Drama Society… or anyone with keen eyes and interest really. But for those of you who are new to the concept of arts and life at UTSC aside from boat cruises and charity club nights, there’s a lot more coming up!

In the next few weeks, check out DMG’s new exhibit, Moment by Beatriz Olano and Magdalena Fern├índez (November 16, 2011 - January 28, 2012).  Also look out for more student exhibitions at Gallery 1265 and more talks as well as the production of Closer early next year on the LLB stage. 

Join the AEP group on Facebook to stay in the loop about art events happening on and around campus. You’ll never miss a thing again (trust me, they send about five emails a day, can’t miss it)

So while I won’t be throwing any wine-and-cheese parties just yet, I had an enlightening experience thanks to the secret awesomeness that is the arts and culture here on campus. Have you seen any surprising/cool/awesome on or off campus? Share your experience and let know in the comments below, or as always tweet me :)

Until next week, later days!

Phone, Internet, TV

These are 3 of the things we cannot live without in a modern day. You would be amazed how we are unable to operate in our daily lives without these 3 things in our lives. Some of the things listed above are more important than others, but we all know that we wouldn’t last a day without any of these 3 things. Sometimes I wish to live a life without all of these complications, but little did I know that I would get my wish sooner than I expect.

Let me update you guys on what has been happening to me lately. These past few days I have been living in a cave. Yes, quite literally in a cave. I just moved to a new house, and while the house itself is beautiful, it is pretty much a modern cave. It has no internet, phone, or TV installed yet but it does have a nice looking kitchen, nice looking furniture, and nice looking bathrooms. See what I mean? Sure the house is modern and quite spacious, but what really makes a house “modern” is the technology. Without a phone, I felt secluded from the outside world; without an internet connection, I had no access to the World Wide Web; without cable for my TV, I am not updated on the latest news!

I felt like I didn’t exist in the world, out of the radar, not to be seen or heard from again. But then I discovered the great invention of Libraries!

I have forgotten about these great establishments, these buildings that seem to be put aside because of the fast paced world we live in. (I think the last time I went to a public library was elementary school, no kidding!) We tend to forget that close to where we live there are places where people are willing to share their internet connection. Ahh, what a great place to be in. What I’m trying to get at is our day to day lives will drastically change without the access to free internet services. Think about it, how would you check your marks on ROSI? Or how would you change your courses on your timetable? Our lives are made much easier due to the fact that we have technology. Heck, I wouldn’t even be able to write this blog right now if it wasn’t for the internet. I am truly grateful for it and you should be too!



Just look at how happy I am when I finally got Wifi at my house! (This is literally the first picture I took when I first got internet access at my home). You can tell I find Internet the most important of the three.


At UTSC we have numerous ways to stay connected with the outside world. The library for one is a great place to use computers or just find some space to study. Also people tend to forget the vast amount of information the library contains: books. For anyone majoring in English, the library is a great resource for any papers or assignments (and sometimes has access to special articles and books published by the university). We also have the computer labs located on the 4th floor of the Bladen wing. While most of the time these computer labs are occupied with classes, there are 2 rooms that are always open to students at any time during the day: BV(482) and BV(490) . And for those of you who still want to use the other computer labs, just make sure to look at the timetable posted outside the classroom and check if there is a class scheduled during that time.

I know some of you still won't be able to find study space here in the campus, well then try the new IC building! (For those of you who haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favour and check the building out, it's Super Awesome!) Ok secret time, shhhh, don't tell anyone but I have another secret space that I just discovered just a few weeks ago. If you take the stairs up to the 3rd floor of the IC building there is a large computer lab with a weird stock exchange bar hanging in the room. If you assume that it is reserved only for management students, you're wrong! It's open to all students, and the great thing about it is each computer is equipped with 2 monitor screens! Isn't that awesome? Consider this space your "last study space" for those of you who read my first blog, and if you haven't yet please do: http://utscpulse.blogspot.com/2011/10/study-space-what-study-space.html .


Computer Lab in the IC building


I know that maybe some of you are probably reading this blog in a public library or a computer lab because you don’t own a personal laptop to bring to school. No problem! The SCSU offers the Toshiba Loaners Program, where 20 laptops are loaned to those students who in most need for one. It operates in a per semester basis (unfortunately this semester’s deadline for applications already passed), but applications for the winter semester should be coming soon.

Wow, this blog is getting too long but just imagine what the world had to throw at me before I could finally appreciate the technology we have today. I am really grateful for a community like UTSC, without your free Wi-Fi, I wouldn’t be able to live.




Please subscibe to us by clicking the link above that says "follow" and follow me on twitter at @RaphaelSantiag5, also follow our twitter @utsc_pulse! For more information about the Toshiba Loaners program click here http://www.scsu.ca/toshiba/. Have a great weekend everyone!