Thursday, September 27, 2012

Quidditch, Anime, Archery -- and a Swag Sighting

It is now week 2 of the UTSC Visual Documentary and I must say with the amount of activity on campus it has been a lively week. With Artside Out only about a week away things do not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Rightly so! Soon after, those dismal weeks of mid terms and final assignments will rear their ugly heads and we will all have to bow down to their undeniable power. OTL (stick man bows to the gods of academia)

This is serious business
Let us cast away those dark thoughts for now. How many wizardry fans do we have on campus, I wonder? While casually strolling through the Clubs Week tables in the Meeting Place I happened to discover that we have a Quidditch Club at UTSC! Quidditch, for all the less fanatical Harry Potter fans out there, is a sport invented by J. K. Rowling which, in the simplest terms, amounts to basketball on brooms. (Excluding the magical elements of flying gold balls and the aerodynamics). Ball hockey is just never going to live up to that, is it? Thanks to them I watched a song called ‘Like It's Quidditch’.

Clubs week has many other interesting offerings. There is a new archery club in town. The archery classes and club are separate entities. Therefore if you wish to be a part of the competitive archery scene and want to make believe that you are Legolas join!

I know, I tried.
We had the Video Games Society Squared, the Anime Club and Shutterbugs on the floor.  There was gaming, there were costumes, bows and arrows attracting a lot of attention. The UTSC Anime Club had their orientation just yesterday! There were some cute cos-players who agreed to pose for my camera, thanks guys! The event seemed to be a huge hit. The execs even had to keep a few people out because their room was over capacity! Holy popularity Pikachu!

50 points to whoever guesses her cos-play!

These tights are all the rage in Japan, très à la mode

Last but not least for all the debating, politics and international development fans out there there is a  UTSC Model United Nations club. Facebook them to learn more!

Since next week is the American election week they will be hosting a special live broadcast of the speeches as well as a debate during the intermission. They have training sessions twice a week so if you would like to broaden your mind and learn about the UN and its issues or just like to argue ... I would say give it a shot! 

As promised we have this weeks 'Swag Sighting'. Drum roll please... 

Oh Johnny boy
This is John. John is a transfer student and is currently doing Health Studies. A well-dressed future medical professional? Double trouble my friends. John seemed pretty amused but slightly overwhelmed with all the attention two complete strangers (my friend and I) were giving him. It was also his second week on this campus and we may have startled him. My apologies! What a glorious welcome to UTSC though! Being immortalized in this week's fashion sighting is an honour few will be subject to. John mentioned some of his favourite brands are ZARA, Lacost and Mexx. Tasteful.

Before mid-terms        After mid-terms?
UTSC I am still on the hunt for more fashionistas! If you want your picture up or an event covered tweet at me @zarishisonfire

Happy everything everyone all the time!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Are we all a little too hypocritical?


Scrolling through the various University of Toronto groups on Facebook, posts like these are just about everywhere. Although I agree that tuition is high, especially as a management student that has to pay 14k in tuition a year, I’ve never shared this sentiment on Facebook. Perhaps it's because I feel somewhat guilty about not doing anything about the problem in the first place.

It all started when I was watching a Drop Fees demonstration last year -- it was kind of saddening to say the least that the only students in the Drop fees rally were ones in SCSU and the total number – maybe 10 or 15. To make matters worse a recent Drop Fees event was held in the IC last week and only about 10 or 11 people showed up in attendance, whereas about 100 seats were layed out. It looked cold barren and empty. A tumble weed rolling through would have been a nice special effect, if you catch my drift.

That’s when I realized that perhaps we are more hypocritical then we realize. We all complain about tuition being really high but when there is a chance to do something about it -- nobody shows up to actually try to make a difference. Now I am no different (I didn’t go either…), so I decided to research what this Drop Fees thing was really about and fill in for you guys that may be interested but are just misinformed.

Here is what Drop Fees sets out to accomplish (taken from the SCSU website):

·         the progressive reduction of tuition and ancillary fees at public post-secondary institutions across the country, including reduced post-residency fees for graduate students;
·         the elimination of differential fees for all students (professional, out of province, and international students);
·         the development of a dedicated cash-transfer payment guided by principles set out in a federal Post-Secondary Education Act for the purpose of reducing tuition fees and improving quality of teaching, learning, and research infrastructure at colleges and universities.

So while I was talking to a friend about Drop Fees, he told me that there really was not much we could do anyways after the 30% grant had already occurred, and that the government is not planning to do anything else for a while. Also, that the only students that seem to have trouble paying off tuition are those with arts degrees (eg. Anthropology, English and Sociology) who can’t find a job after a graduation, and that it is their fault in the first place (words taken from my brown dad’s mouth). Although I don’t endorse this sentiment (Arts students please don’t plan a revolt against me!) it is nevertheless an interesting way to end my blog post.

So do you think that Drop Fees will really help in dropping tuition? Do those with arts degree have problems finding decent jobs after graduation and thus can’t pay off their tuition, or are people in other fields just as likely? Comment Below!

Till next time, Take Care,

Romana Tariq :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tryout hangover

This morning I felt like a zombie. Forced myself out of bed, gulped back two bottles of water from constant dehydration and regretted all I'd done the night before.

The tryout hangover. I know it well.

Push-ups, crunches, laps, scrimmages, sprints -- It's been a crazy couple weeks. Even though my body is feeling the aches and pains, I can proudly say I tried out for FOUR different sports teams this semester at UTSC. Am I crazy? Um. Yes.

I'm only taking three courses this semester, so I do have a bit more time to dedicate to athletics.

The teams I tried out for were girls soccer, hockey, flag football, and boys hockey (yeah, I'm surprised too).

Soccer tryout

I've been on the girls soccer team for the past three years, so I felt extremely comfortable being at tryouts and already knowing the coaches and past teammates. I was surprised to learn there will not be a girls B team this semester (usually there's an A and B team), and I can tell it bothered a few players. One girl even started a petition to get the B team back, but unfortunately, it didn't go through. I was also surprised at the amount of players who showed up. At least 50 girls pulled up their socks, tied their cleats, and competed for a spot on the team. I've never seen so many players at a tryout, it was awesome!

Tryouts are now over and the team has been made. I made the team (yay) and we already won our first game! :)

Flag football tryout

What's a fourth down? Don't ask me, I have no idea. So, why did I tryout for flag football? I wanted to try something new this year, and I thought this sport would be perfect. I learned quickly that you can be an amazing athlete, but in football, if you don't know strategy or football logic, you won't go far. At tryouts I was pretty good at throwing and catching the ball, but it was the plays and cuts that threw me off.

Actual conversation.

Coach: Jess, you're going to run a hook.
Jess: A what?
Coach: A hook.
Jess: What's that? Do I run far?
Coach: You run and cut at a 45 degree angle.
Jess: Cut where? At what angle?
Coach: You basically run straight and turn right.


For the sake of my dignity, I didn't attend the last tryout. It wasn't a sport I could see myself enjoying, but you can't blame me for trying!

Hockey tryout

Hockey is my safe place. I feel at home on the ice. Being on the team for the past two years, tryouts didn't even feel like work, it actually relaxed me. I have so much fun on the team and all the girls and coaches are great! The only frustrating part is we don't have a goalie...

If you, or someone you know, is a hockey goalie and is a girl who attends UTSC - WE NEED YOU!

Boys hockey tryouts is a WHOLE different story. I have a lot to say when it comes to being a girl playing with guys on the ice. I did make the team, but I will save this discussion for my next post.

Until then, if you have any questions about any intramural sports, comment below or tweet me @Jessica_Moy and I'll try my best to answer! :)

At UTSC, we are spoiled when it comes to athletics. Intramural sports are FREE to join, not to mention jerseys, water bottles, practice time, transportation are FREE as well. So don't be shy, it's never too early or too late to get involved!

See you guys next week,

Jessica Moy

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sorry for the Doorject 2.0.

Hello once again UTSC, how beautiful was the wintery-like weather this morning? Amazing right?! I can hear all of you virtually sighing right now. I have good news for you. Some of you who had been following the UTSC Pulse since last year might remember my post about the University Dictionary. Well, it's back with a whole new slew of words! I just realized how weird the word "slew" looks. If you look at it for too long you're going to start to think that it's not even a real word. Sometimes when I type a word too many times I start questioning whether it's a real word or not, is that just me? Anyway, back to the topic on hand, The Uni Dictionary!

Now these aren’t necessarily real words, just words that a couple friends and I have made that we think ALL university students should know! And do not try to act like you haven’t done all of these things, we’ve all been witness or have been a part of these wonderful university “traditions”!
OH, and I’ll be updating this blog with new words whenever I feel creative enough to think about them, so make sure you guys bookmark/save this page and check back often!

Doorject (v.) to glance behind oneself upon opening a door and notice someone, but continue through without holding it.  “He was really far behind me, but we made eye contact, so I couldn't just doorject him like that.”

Ghostseat (v.) to save a seat in a class for a "friend" who doesn't exist.
“I had to sit in the back behind the pole; that pompous hooligan ghostseated me.”

Sleepsac (v.) to sacrifice a morning activity in exchange for additional sleep.
“After smelling myself, I thought it would be alright to sleepsac showering this morning.”

Obnodxious (adj.) to nod unnecessarily at everything the prof says.
“Dude was being obnodxious even when the prof was telling us what he had for lunch!”

Awkstretch (v.) to awkwardly pretend to stretch upon realizing the prof isn't going to take your question.
“It’s been a rough day, I had to awkstretch two times in my calculus lecture today.”

Sayhirange (n.) a distance deemed appropriate for greeting an acquaintance.
“I saw Malcolm in the food court, but he was out of sayhirange so I pretended to text.”

Peoplepoint (n.) a human landmark seen every day when walking between classes.
“I knew something was up when I didn't see my Tuesday morning peoplepoint, blue-hoodie-headphones guy...totally forgot about history.”

Dressdown effect (n.) the gradual degradation in respectable attire from the beginning of school to the minimum level during midterms.
"Joe changed zero articles of clothing between waking up and going to his calculus midterm, a clear result of the dressdown effect."

Awkword (n.) a word which is spelled correctly, but looks wrong; results in several minutes of self-contradicting and staring.
“environment. ...en-vi-ron-ment. no way. enviroment. enviorment? enviorment.”

Pterodactyl (n.) a course previously considered a "bird", but changed between years to become ridiculously dangerous.


Involuntary Manstalker (v.) To unknowingly follow someone that is going to the same place as you. Seems very creepy.

Inzombia (n.) the act of staying up late... and doing absolutely nothing.

Consecuthank (v.) to thank the holder of a door for a series of successive door holds; can be either very friendly or very awkward.
"[door 1/2 to enter the building] Thanks. [door 2/2 to enter the building] Thank you. [door to classroom]*chuckles* thanks."

Adveyes (n.) a glance at the laptop of the person beside you to see what they wrote, because you can't understand a word the prof is saying.

Freemotion (n): That sudden rush of happiness when you realize that something is actually free.

Floorwarp (v.) to get off on the wrong floor and feel like you have stepped into an alternate dimension.
"I totally just floorwarped. I thought  the room below us was our room and I walked in on Moiz having a one man dance party."

Classcation (n.) when going to class feels like a vacation from non-stop studying.
"What a relieving classcation, three hours of sarcastic remarks and question-ignoring from my favourite prof. I could get used to this!"

Floodgater (n.) the first person to leave a boring lecture, causing half of the class to leave immediately after.
"I thought your class ended at 3?" "Not today, we had a gutsy floodgater leave at 1:30."

doubbow (v.) (deriv. double elbow) to occupy armrests on both sides of oneself .
"I felt like a T-rex, both people beside me were doubbowing."

That's all I got for this week readers. Comment below if you guys can think of any, I'd love to read them!

Until next week,
Peace and love. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

What Not to Do In Your First Year!

Hello, Everyone!

I am a second year co-op management student specializing in Accounting. Contrary to my major, I am not boring at all (I assure you!). I also love to write! Creative writing and poetry are what I like to do on my down time. I am also a huge anime fan and a closeted kpop fan. I am a self-proclaimed beauty nerd and always on the hunt for new beauty tips and tricks which I might post later. I am a lover of exotic foods and fashion and enjoy playing table tennis. I also enjoy joining various clubs that hold some interest to me on campus. I listen to pretty much anything musically wise -- if it sounds good of course. One Direction is recently my new addiction! TV wise ... huge SUITS FAN! I also indulge in a little Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars and, um ... Jersey Shore (don't judge!) on the side. Overall I love to laugh and make others laugh. I hope you genuinely enjoy my blog posts and are able to take something out of it. Well now onwards to to my blog post!

So with one school year under my belt and another one just starting I am now a sophomore. Looking at the eager bright-eyed froshies reminds me of myself a year ago ... wonder how long that will last ;).  So now as a second year I feel that it is my responbility to fill the froshies in on what to do at University. Hopefully you can learn from some of the unanimous mistakes that the students a year before you made. Here is the list on how to make the most of your university experience. Rememeber the earlier you start the better your four or five years will be :)

1. Do not slack off and get behind in classes

As you are entering first year everybody will tell you this, in fact you're probably tired of hearing it already, but I'll say it one more time in case it might make a difference to that one extra person that might be reading this. People told me the same thing back when I was a first year but did I listen? No, and most of us won't. I had come out of high school an all star; above 90 average, a nice list of extracurriculars and a great social life to boot. I had been able to do it all ... while studying within three days before the final exam or test. When I came into university, well, it was a completely different story.

What first years need to realize this is not high school. You do not have weekly quizzes or tests that keep you updated on the material. For most first year-courses you will probably have a midterm or final and if you don't stay on top of things you'll find yourself in a big black hole that will be hard to crawl out of. If you do find yourself in a hole get help ASAP! Do not leave this to two days before the final! The depth and difficulty of the material is far too complex to understand in only three days or worse the night before. After you actually understand the material you have to go deeper because the exam is not going to be straightforward. Now don't get me wrong, I do know a couple of people that have been able to pull an all-nighter off and get great marks -- but most of us aren't geniuses. 

2. Do not skip class

This probably sounds pretty obvious but you'll be surprised by how many people skip class. All I can tell you is don't do it! People also give the excuse that it's being taped and they'll watch it online. Take it form a veteran -- it's extremely hard to watch a two-hour boring math lecture on the internet, the place where most distractions lie. What  starts as a two-hour lesson will turn into a four- or five-hour lesson, or get layed off to the side where it will come back to haunt you during the final exam. In short go to your classes folks.

3. Do not go home straight home after a class

Now I know that this is a commuter campus and during a super boring three-hour lecture, we all just want to get home as soon as possible. However if we do that we miss all that the school has to offer. The most happy and pleased students in university are the ones that are involved. There are so many opportunities here on campus that it irks me when people say the student life here sucks. It does not suck, you are just not taking time out to fully explore what the campus has to offer. Join a sports team. If you are not athletic there are tons of intramurals and instructional classes you can join. Join clubs that interest you or volunteer -- you'll be glad you did. Chances are a club that intersts you is already on campus and you just need to find it. You will be much happier this way rather than going straight home and staring into a blank computer screen for the rest of the day.

4. Do not be shy and reserved

Like most first years I didn't have a lot of friends that came form the same school as me, and the ones that did were not in my program. So I went to class all alone without anybody to sit with. It was hard for the first couple of weeks because I was scared to break out of my shell and actively speak to strangers. I realized later that I needed to make new friends and that my high school friends were out of the picture here. Going to university without any friends is a sad thing that will bring your morale down to zero and make you absolutely loathe coming to university. There is nothing more depressing than being all alone during a beak in between classes with no one to hang out or talk with.

You don't have to only find friends in extracurriculars -- you can find them in your lecture too. Just go up to some nice looking person and sit beside them. Give them eye contact and smile in a non creepy way. Then find something that you have in common or compliment them. Something along the lines of "Those are nice earrings", "I have the same laptop as you" or "Do you like the prof?" Once you get the initial conversation going, the rest is easy and now you've made yourself a new lecture buddy! But make sure to pay attention in your lecture as well!

5.  Do not get a demanding job

I have had quite a few friends who, once they started a new job, have had their marks drop. As a general rule any job or jobs that require more than 15 hours a week are not good for you. They will take up too much of your time and, well ... read rule number one again. If you want to earn extra money on the side, do work study jobs -- they are on campus and only require a maximum of 12 hours a week. They are an excellent way to make money and get closer to the UTSC staff!

Well here you have it, my list of what not to do at university. If I have missed anything comment below! First years can also comment on how their year is going so far and if they need any help, I'm always willing to help anyone out :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Hello humans, internet zombies and unicorns! My name is Zarish (ZA- RISH –ish like FooLISH). I am in my final year at UT SCARRRRRRRRRRBOROUUUGHHHHHHH. Can you sense the pride? I would accompany that with the relevant pelvic thrusting but I’ll leave that to your imagination. I have been given the opportunity to write for all you beautiful people. This shall be a visual documentary of UTSC and all that it connects to. I will have a weekly ‘Swag Sighting’ where I will stalk poor unassuming fashionistas on our campus (male and female).  On top of that every week I will feature a new topic of the week. Political, social, economic or just popular you will hear about it all.

Let us start with this week’s star, Anita Owusu.
Those shoes were terribly exciting.

Intelligent, beautiful and classy = triple threat.

Anita was spotted at a scholarship awards ceremony. She was, in this reporter’s opinion the best dressed woman in the room. After ogling her dress all night I worked up the courage to ask her to pose for a few snapshots. I was overwhelmed with admiration for this beautiful, strong and well spoken woman. She was not afraid to admit that she was a foster child and was willing to answer any questions this reporter had to ask. Anita grew up in Toronto. After struggling through the life of a foster child Anita managed to graduate from college and just graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master’s degree in social work. She said that her journey was relieved by the generosity of her sponsors because of whom she graduated debt free.

When asked about what advice she had for people looking for inspirations her exact words were, ‘this may be cliché but honestly, reach for the stars’. This reporter agrees. During a speech made at the ceremony the MC proclaimed that, ‘it is one thing to have a family and a home and to succeed, it is entirely different not to have any of those and to succeed’.  Anita also had a message for women looking for strength.  She said that confidence can only come from maturity and building up your self esteem in a healthy way. The evidence is clear. Believe in yourself and the world is your oyster.
I hope this inspiring story helps everyone through the school year! Keep dreaming everyone.
You can also find me on Twitter @zarishisonfire

Happy everything!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

UTSC students support Varsity Blues Football

Hey everyone!

First off, welcome back to another fantastic school year! Whether you've entered your first year (little rookies) or fifty-sixth year (oldtimers, like myself) I hope your first week went swimmingly.

For those of you who are new to UTSC Pulse, my name is Jessica and I will be providing you with regular Tuesday posts regarding UTSC athletics and fitness! I'm not actually in my fifty-sixth year of undergrad (even though it feels like it), I'm a fifth-year journalism student and will be graduating this June (eeks)!

I have been an active athlete at our school, playing soccer and hockey, not to mention the odd belly-dancing and zumba class. My goal is to promote fresh and exciting news about UTSC sports, fitness programs, and events! The difference between me and a website or newspaper who will just "promote" is that I promise to participate in all I write about (example, my video last year of me attempting belly-dancing which you can watch by clicking: HERE).

The school year has only started a week ago, but I have already participated in an event the SCSU & SCAA have organized: U of T Varsity Blues Football Homecoming. On Saturday afternoon, the Varsity Blues Football team faced the University of Windsor Lancers at Varsity Centre.

UTSC students got all geared up in blue attire and face paint to cheer on the Blues at our home field!

Katie, Lily, Leah, and myself ready for the game to start! 

It's time for face paint!

Paige and her U of T gear! 

Here comes the Blues! 

One of the best parts of coming out to watch a U of T game? It's FREE if you have a valid T-Card! If not, it's only a general admission fee of $5. A great way to spend an afternoon with friends and meet other U of T students! :)

Let's go boys!

Most of the Scarborough campus girls at the game! We were lucky to have amazing weather!

Kyle and I!

Want a more inside scoop on the team? Fourth year defensive back Kevin Kinahan writes blog posts about the team off and on the field. Even he admits it's awesome to see Varsity Centre packed with Blues fan! You can read his posts by clicking: Kevin's Critique

Cheering on the team! 

Biggest fan? I'd say so.

We were clearly the loudest cheering section. 

Chad starting the wave!

The game ended with a 55-4 loss to the Windsor Lancers. Even though it was a tough loss, all of us who came out to support our Blues had a great time! 

The next home game for the Varsity Blues Football team is Oct. 6 at 1:00 p.m. against the University of Ottawa! Enhance your university experience by coming to at least ONE game this year. Even if you don't like sports or don't know what's going on, it's still a great time to dress in blue and scream at the top of your lungs!

If you guys have any blog ideas or fitness classes you want me to try, let me know in the comments below or tweet me at @Jessica_Moy! See you guys next week!

Jessica Moy

Monday, September 17, 2012

New Year, New Beginings.

Hello Earthlings! This is Moiz coming to you via the new and improved UTSC Pulse Blog. I was asked to introduce myself in a short paragraph but personally, I’d like to think I’m a little (or a lot) more complex than a short paragraph! Anyway, my name is Moiz and I am a second year Neuroscience student at UTSC. I’m into performing/writing poetry and spoken word pieces so I figured being a blogger would be a perfect way to get my thoughts and pieces out there. I was also a blogger last year on this very website so some of you might remember how amazing my posts were! I’m also a huge sports-fan, I love playing/watching just about any sport you can name. You’ll be hearing from me every Monday on this very blog! Agree or disagree with what I have to say? Have an idea that you'd like me to blog about? I am open to all kinds of feedback and questions so feel free to leave whatever in the comments box below!

So last week marked the beginning of a new year for all students at UTSC. Before I get into my story, I want each and every one of you to get a piece of paper and write down a few goals you have this year. These goals can be ANYTHING --  academic, health-related, money related, anything you can think about. Heck, you can even write down that you want to get yourself a pet iguana this year.  I want you to write them down and stick them in a place that you look at everyday. I prefer to stick them on my desk because that's where I usually live most of my school life. Anyway, I want you to check each goal off as you do it, and by the end of the year I'm going to ask you to check that list of goals and be proud of yourself for even attempting to accomplish them. I ask you to do this because I personally feel that our generation is too hard on ourselves and everyone worries about "what they could've accomplished" rather than "what they did accomplish." This way, you can see what you have accomplished on paper and trust me, it'll feel amazing looking at that list in eight months.

So last week the SCSU organized a party at the meeting place called "It's Graffiti TIME!" The concept sounded great. Dress up in all white and get graffiti artists to spray paint yourself. This was the first event I had been too that was organized by the SCSU so I wasn't really sure what to expect. When the party got going things were running smoothly, everyone seemed to be having a good time and enjoying themselves. The graffiti was a very cool concept and the open spacious area in the meeting place set the atmosphere for the night. I did however have a problem with the amount of lights that were on, the area seemed too bright at places to me. Also, the DJ was below average. The songs were just too short and there was no build-up to the drops. That area could definitely use improvement. All in all, the night went well and most people looked like they had fun.
 It's Graffiti TIME! - First Annual Meeting Place Party
Let me know what you guys thought in the comments section below. Maybe I'll get to see some of you on the next event!

Until next time.
Peace and love,


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Welcome to UTSC Pulse!

Welcome to the UTSC Pulse student blog! It’s a place where UTSC students write about the campus, classes, and social life at UTSC.

If you’re a first-year student, the Pulse bloggers will help you navigate your way through the first few months of life here. If you’re a returning student, you already know the UTSC Pulse crew is entertaining and engaging. They’ll give it to you straight about everything from study space to clubs to the best new music.

We’re still gearing up for the fall, so keep your eyes open for our new team of bloggers. It’ll include a couple of familiar faces, and some new ones as well. See you when classes start!