Satisfaction: exam-related thoughts

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Actually Mick, I can get some satisfaction.

This morning I wrote a mid-term for one of my favourite courses this semester, Prof. Tom Wilson’s Structure of English (GL/EN 2608). I did well and I felt so satisfied after handing it in.

This made me realize that there is no better feeling than learning in a class, and then getting rewarded for it with grades. After all, if you’re not learning anything at all, an A feels like a pointless and meaningless label. On the other hand, when you’re really working hard and getting Cs, it’s just discouraging!

Beautifully though, I have been learning…

… about grammar, (I finally know the difference between a preposition, conjunction, determiner, and the different English tenses. No more pretending!)

… about language, (According to Tom Wilson, lots of rules we grow up with are really just highfalutin/pompous/unfounded. The result for me: liberation from being a member of the grammar police.)

about life. Here are some Tom-quotes (paraphrased) that I’ve scrawled down during lecture:

“If you don’t allow yourself to be wrong, you’re committing yourself to never being right.”

“It’s pointless to work hard if we’re not working well. [Not procrastinating] isn’t moralistic, it’s just pragmatic.”

“Dare to be awful, because you actually learn something by failing.”

Brilliant. Preach it, Tom!

With that, it’s time for me to start the 2 papers and assignments waiting for me in my binder.

Have you written exams lately? How did you feel about them?

P.S. Thanks to Michael McGrath for the great blog post idea. You da bomb!

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What did you think of FCD 2012?

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Ambassador Nick, Rachel, and Jack (a.k.a. my super attractive models).

What did you think of Fall Campus Day?

Did you enjoy the info sessions about planning your academic path, admissions, and money matters?

Did you find a new love for Glendon’s beautiful campus during a walking tour?

Did you meet members of our awesome ambassador team?

If you missed it…

it’s not too late to do any of those things.

you can scan a summary of the day’s events,

flip through the Facebook album,

or visit the Glendon website to access the information session powerpoint presentations.

You can also visit us in person for a campus tour or shadow a real university lecture.

Finally…

Never hesitate to ask a question on my Formspring or in the comments section of any post. I hope I’ll be talking to you soon!

Meet Emmy, a psych major [2 Sentences Series]

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Emmy is a psychology major. She loves her program, her profs, and her campus. If you’re thinking about studying psychology as a major or a minor, read on to learn about her experience.

How would you describe psych majors?
Psych majors are crazy – like a fun crazy – and it gives the classes a really interesting atmosphere.

Why did you choose Glendon?
I really liked the idea of the iBA (International Bachelor of Arts) and I thought the campus was beautiful. I came from a really small town and Glendon helped that transition because of its size.

Why psych?
With psychology I find that I’m not only always learning about myself, I’m learning about other people. It’s great because you can apply it to yourself and others.

What’s your favourite course?
That’s a hard one… I really liked my psychobiology class. The man who teaches it practices in the field and he’s making really interesting discoveries about the human body being able to do more than we ever expected.

What’s your advice for first year psychology students?
[with no hesitation] “Do your readings. Most classes are discussion-based so you want to come prepared.

What are you planning for the future?
I’d really like to do clinical psychology or addictions counselling.

Thanks Emmy!

Some random facts about Glendon’s psychology program:

  • 8 psychology students and 2 professors are involved in a study about bonobo apes.

  • Psychology at Glendon is not the same thing as Psychology at Keele (FYI).
  • The profs in this department are ballin’ (i.e. have done some really cool research). Tim Moore has studied psychology in the courtroom and Guy Proulx has done award-winning research on aging and the brain.

Have more questions about Emmy, psychology at Glendon, or anything else? Ask away in the comments section below.

This post is part of the 2 Sentences Series. Every answer given by the interviewee must be 2 sentences or less. Read another interview with Dr. Jean Michel Montsion, an assistant professor in the International Studies Program.

3 lessons for career-hunters

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“Think of networking like dating.”

“Keep knocking on doors. No doesn’t mean no, it just means not right now.”

“You can’t know what your destination is.”

I recently attended a Career Centre panel discussion on “Discovering Careers in Non-Profit, Charitable, Non-Governmental, and Social Justice Organizations.” While I was there, I was inspired and surprised by what I heard.

There were six great panelists, with backgrounds as diverse as commerce, medieval history, environmental studies, communications, sociology, and political science.

Some of the panelists from the discussion (left to right): Sarah Asgari, Mary El’Bably, Nora Priestly (Photo taken by Sjoerd Witteveen), Christopher Tuckwood, Cecelia Paoluca (Photo taken by Colin McConnel)

Given that diversity, it’s no surprise that the first lesson to emerge was…

“Don’t let your degree define you – you define the degree.”

A degree is just one part of your journey. There is no perfect degree for landing your dream job. Really. It’s more likely that you will have a non-linear career path filled with jobs or experiences that might not seem directly related to your goals.

If you’re feeling directionless, don’t freak out, because…

“You’re probably on your career path already.”

What are the things that you love doing? The clubs that you gravitate towards? The jobs or volunteer positions that you’ve filled?

Whether you know it or not, you have been developing your personality, connections, knowledge, experience, and passion since day 1. You’ve been preparing for your career.

But don’t just focus on yourself…

Network, network, network! “You cannot underestimate the value of [other] people.”

Connections and serendipity can open up doors that you wouldn’t be able to plan for or force open yourself.

“Think of networking like dating.” It’s better to follow up with someone you’ve already made a personal connection with than to look for an advert online when you’re career-shopping.

Being proactive, passionate, and people-oriented will make a great career an achievable goal. Do you have other great advice for career-hunters? Let us know in the comments.

3 essential study habits for university

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eAmbassador Francette getting some readings done!

The transition from high school to university is a baby step for a few, a jump for some, but a leap for most. How ready are you? Find out by asking yourself if you have these essential study techniques.

1. Scanning

A big part of university learning is doing readings. For many courses, you will be assigned 20 pages or more to read every week (that is, per course!).

If you want to keep up, you have to learn how to scan some of your readings. That means knowing what parts to skip and where to slow down, how to identify big ideas in a text , and when it’s okay to not do a reading altogether (which rarely happens, fyi!).

2. Asking

At the university level, course instructors and their assistants do not baby you, but that does not mean that they’re not willing to help. Here’s the catch: you have to ask.

Every professor has office hours during which you can go and see them and most  respond to emails fairly quickly.

Smart students know the shortest path to success is the one with the least guesswork required. Figure out what a professor wants for an assignment or test before you put in the work!

3. Prioritizing

The work load in university is usually heavier than in high school. There are more things to read, more assignments, and the added pressure of part-time jobs and a social life.

You have to figure out what your priorities are and allot your time accordingly. Put first things first and you will not get overwhelmed.

Most students are not able to do everything they’d like to, so the ability to choose what’s a priority and what is not a priority is a vital skill.

The essential quality…

What this all comes down to is efficiency.

Studying is not always about how much effort you put in, but where you’re putting it in.

If you feel like you need to grow in these skills, that’s a good sign. No one is born with these habits, so they have to be learned.

If you’re in high school, what intimidates you most about university learning? If you’re already in university, what study habit do you think is absolutely essential?