3 facts: The Communications Program

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I’ve been getting questions on Formspring about the Communications program. I love my program, but it was a long time before I realized I was interested in it! (My major was international studies, but I changed it.)

I thought a blog post would be handy in answering these questions, so I wrote up 3 facts about the communications program at Glendon. 

Fact #1. Communications (a.k.a.  Communications Studies) deals with processes of human communication.

What is communications about? Communications covers topics like:

  • mass media and culture,
  • face-to-face (i.e. interpersonal) communication,
  • the exchange of messages, ideas, and values,
  • technologies that influence communication (e.g. the internet),
  • sometimes: rhetoric, i.e. how to form an argument (think Socrates, Plato, other dead guys)
oprah

Interesting fact: Oprah, Jerry Seinfeld, Spike Lee, and Howard Stern all studied communications.

You might be interested in majoring in communications if…

  • You’d love a job like: public relations consultant, human resources adviser, television broadcaster, journalist, copywriter, or editor (find more career options here)
  • You’re passionate about publishing, mass media (e.g. social media, television, print journalism), international development, policy, or politics.
  • You want to be a character in Ugly Betty or Mad Men. (Don’t get too excited though; working life is not that glamorous.)
I'm reasonably sure most people in communications aren't this grumpy.

I’m reasonably sure most people in communications aren’t this grumpy.

Fact #2. The Communications Program at Glendon is in transition.

Although there is no program right now, there will be a complete program available in 2015. Right now, Glendon already offers communications-related courses like:

  • Introduction to Communication: Theory and Practice (GL/SOSC 2100): This course focuses on interpersonal communication (e.g. How do you handle conflict in your professional or personal life?) and teaches you how to do business consulting.
  • Professional Communications Field Experience (GL/SOSC 4505): This combines in-class study with a 6-week internship.

…and a certificate program in Technical and Professional Communication. This is useful because hard skills like business writing look good on a resume and can be practically applied in a job.

Fact #3. I am studying communications at Glendon (what?!) …in the Individualized Studies Program (oh.).

This is the most confusing part of this post because I am a fossil – one of the last of my kind!

fossil = me.

fossil = me.

Before the official communications program is introduced at Glendon, new students can study communications at Glendon in the Individualized Studies Program.

The Individualized Studies Program allows students to study programs by mixing and matching courses that are related to a single subject that doesn’t already exist as a program (i.e. communications). Be warned, however, that this requires more initiative than other programs.

Well that’s about it. 

If you have other questions about communications, leave them in the comments or on my Formspring.

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How is Glendon atmosphere?

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Occasionally one of you awesome people asks me a question on Formspring. This of course makes me have a little dance-party because getting a real question from a real person (instead of writing blog posts to the voiceless internet) is really exciting!

So recently, someone asked me about what the Glendon atmosphere is like.

Formspring. atmosphere

This is kind of a hard question to answer because every student has a different experience at the school they go to. However, here are my thoughts based on my own experience.

atmosphere.lunik

Mixing. I’d say that Glendon’s atmosphere is a mix of all kinds of contrasts. The first mix is between English and French. Franglais (or code-switching) is really common on campus (ex: “I need to mange right now or I’ll die,” “I have devoirs to do,” “qu’est-ce que sup?”).

The second mix is between old and new. I just learned from Sarah Yu (vlogger) that the Lunik Coop logo is inspired by this really cool iron grate in the manor. Old-era inspiration like this is neat and plentiful on campus.

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Conscientiousness. Although there are exceptions to every rule, I’d say that a lot of Glendon students are thoughtful about social/political/economic issues. Another plus is that there is a ton of creative talent here (often in the people who are conscientious), so that social awareness gets expressed in some pretty unique ways.

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Example? Right now at Lunik Coop, they have a clothing swap going on, where people can come and trade in their own clothes for what others don’t want anymore. I got a shirt out of it. My friend Ann got a whole wardrobe.

Also, Wendi (a fashion blogger and Glendon student) films some of her stuff here sometime.

really rad music scene

My name is Esther, nice to meet you.

While we’re talking art, I should mention that people here love music. This is obvious because we have almost weekly pub socials (with lots of music and dancing), occasional concerts at Lunik Coop (Trouble and Daughter came to perform last semester), and music-related student clubs. The Glendon Musical Ensemble puts on a show every semester, and a group of students are putting on a musical (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) this month. You can come see it if you’d like!

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Faces. One of my favourite things about Glendon is that I get to bump into faces like this without having to plan to Since we have a student population of 2600 students, chances are that you’ll get to bump into your friends.

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That leads to another characteristic of campus life: Community. Whether it’s through a club, or a weekly hangout, or just making friends in residence, Glendon has tons of opportunities to find great community. At the end of the day, though, I really think that university is what you make it. I’ve definitely put work into shaping community for myself and others on campus, and it hasn’t always been easy. I guess what you put in, you get out!

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That’s all I have to say for now. If you want to know more about the gym and the caf, check out this post about some of my favourite places at Glendon. Plus, if you have more questions, ask me on Formspring (yayyyy) or leave a comment.

P.S. You can always come for a campus tour or open house or shadow a lecture.

See ya’ around!

1 year later

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Last year I blogged about my New Year’s Resolutions. In that post I resolved to

a) write one song every other month, and

b) tangibly help the poor and oppressed in my global community in 2012.

So how did I do?

I thought it would only be fair that I followed up on how these resolutions panned out. Truth be told, I ended up doing alright, but not as well as I would have hoped.

I wrote a few songs, but not on a regular basis, and I didn’t finish a single one.

In my second resolution, I took baby steps.

I got to participate in a Skype call with a woman trying to prevent families from selling their daughters into prostitution in Cambodia (I told you about her in that earlier post).

I also committed to attending a church for this year called Sanctuary. It’s a community that includes people of every socio-economic status (in other words, it welcomes the street-involved person just as much as the office-worker). It’s an amazing place, and I’ve met some amazing people, but I can’t say I do anything there but show up.

It hasn’t come to anything yet, but I applied for positions with the York International Internship Program. If I get accepted, I could be working in Johannesburg in a community that restores hope to people living with AIDS, promoting the civic awareness of children in Bangalore, or even helping with social media in a Ugandan village. Cray.

Wanting more

Looking back, the thing I’m most frustrated with in 2012 is my willingness to compromise. I didn’t pursue my resolutions further because I put them second to less important things. This leads me to my resolution for 2013.

Looking forward

Considering last year’s story, this year I resolve:

1. To fight resistance.

I can’t count the number of times I picked the “safe” or “default” option over what I knew what was best. Steven Pressfield writes,

“Resistance obstructs movement only from a lower sphere to a higher. It kicks in when we seek to pursue a calling in the arts, launch an innovative enterprise, or evolve to a higher station morally, ethically, or spiritually. So if you’re in Calcutta working with the Mother Teresa Foundation and you’re thinking of bolting to launch a career in telemarketing . . . relax. Resistance will give you a free pass.”

This year, I will fight the urge to do things just because they are the default option/what my culture tells me is the right option/seemingly safe or easy. Instead, I’ll pursue the things I really feel called to.

I will fight resistance.

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What’s your take on New Years Resolutions?