Things to do on campus and in Toronto

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I have a feeling I’m kind of abnormal. I go to university, which according to pop culture, means I should be in a sorority, streaking across the quad, or competing in an a capella competition. I have yet to do any of the above, but I still feel like my life is an adventure.

For the past few weeks, my life has been a dumping ground for all kinds of awesome. I saw Argo, trekked through a hail-storm, went on a forest walk, had a banana pancake party at 2 am, and watched a lot of goat videos (let’s not talk about that). In other words, my life is pretty great.

I have no explanation.

I have no explanation.

I was thinking about it, and I realized that you (future students) might not really know much about what there is to do in Toronto. Here are some of the adventury-type things I like to do to get you inspired.

See the city lights. 

If you have a friend with a car, drive down to the Sound Academy to see the skyline lit up at night. This is the perfect night expedition.

The Bayview tunnel in front of Glendon... where many adventures begin!

The Bayview tunnel in front of Glendon… where many adventures begin!

Go for a walk in the Sunnybrook Forest.

This place is perfect for aimless contemplation, bird-watching, and creeping other peoples’ dogs (there’s a dog park 20 minutes down the trail).

The Sunnybrook Forest on a melty-warm winter day. Perfectly serene for a solitary moment.

The Sunnybrook Forest on a melty-warm winter day. Perfectly serene for a solitary moment.

birds birds birds

birds birds birds

dogs dogs dogs

dogs dogs dogs

Go to Keele on the shuttle bus for a meal. 

The food at Keele is pretty legit (i.e. Hero Burger, Mac sushi, the Underground Restaurant, Yogen Fruz, Booster Juice). You can pay for all of the above with your meal plan dollars.

A breakfast of coffee, fruit, and a chocolate chip cream cheese bagel at Keele Campus.

A breakfast of coffee, fruit, and a chocolate chip cream cheese bagel at Keele Campus.

Check out a creative event on campus.

Two weeks ago, my friends Max and Brynn, Four Minutes Til Midnight, and Trouble and Daughter played a concert at the Lunik Coop. Glendon Théatre also puts on amazing drama productions like the Fridge Festival (which I’ll be performing in; you’re welcome to come see!).

Four Minutes Til Midnight performing on the Lunik Café stage.

Four Minutes Til Midnight performing on the Lunik Café stage.

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Go adventuring downtown. 

Dundas Square, adorable cafés, and the Eaton Centre. With a $10 TTC Day Pass, there are heaps of things to do and see in a day off.

Tea with my friend Andy at David's Tea, located at Yonge and Eglinton. This place has lots of shops and little stores. The stretch just south of Bayview and Eglinton is also fulllllll of little shops.

A cuppa with my friend Andy at David’s Tea, located at Yonge and Eglinton. If you’re looking for more cute shops, check out the stretch on Bayview south of Eglinton.

Adventuring is a daily pursuit. Fellow Glendonites, what fun things do you do in your spare time?

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Extraodinaires: students who work part-time

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Until I was in university, I never had a job during the school year. Last year I got hired at my first part-time job (this one!) and I’ve realized how working during school is an awesome advantage.

Working and studying at the same time…

1. prepares you for the workplace

2. pays you for (hopefully) doing something you enjoy

3. gives you perspective on what you’re learning in class

Many of my friends have a part-time jobs and like me, a lot of them work right on campus.

Some of my friends who work on campus

Here’s a bird’s-eye view of my friends and their part-time jobs. Full disclosure: I’ve only asked people who like their jobs!

Michelle helpdesk

Michelle, Helpdesk Technician

“I help students with their Passport York accounts, email addresses, and Moodle, first and foremost. I also sometimes install computers for staff and faculty, troubleshoot weird technical things and feel like a superhero if/when I fix them, and set up the A/V for campus events. The people who work here are awesome and I’ve made some great friends. I’ve also gotten to learn a ton about super practical computer things and I’ve gotten to know a lot of faculty and staff through my job.

Having a job during school pulls in some extra cash that students so desperately need, as well as helping you practice time management and all that fun stuff. Working on campus is a great experience, especially if you’re a new student, since you get to meet so many people.”

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Sienna, Student Researcher

“I research human-bonobo communication by analyzing and transcribing audio and video files from the Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary (IPLS).

The things I’ve learned from my research have really humbled me as a human being. The similarities between humans and animals like bonobo apes just remind me how connected we are to the rest of the world – and it’s also really amazing to see a bonobo playing Pac Man with more success than I ever could!”

Juan Garrido

Juan, Office Ambassador and eAmbassador

“I work as an office ambassador with Student Recruitment. This means that in addition to being an eAmbassador I sit at the front desk of the Welcome Centre, answer emails and phone calls and help the Liaison staff with their projects. It’s awesome because I get to work with some amazing people and I get the chance to really help future students ease the bridge to university!”

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Ana, Receptionist at the Glendon Athletic Centre

“I’m a receptionist at the Glendon Athletic Club. I’m responsible for greeting members, handing them their towels, washing and folding towels, answering phone calls, renting/selling gym equipment, and signing in instructors and personal trainers. My job is awesome because I get to interact just enough with students from Glendon and people from the community, but not to the point of getting people-fatigued. Working at a gym also keeps you motivated and eager to get/keep in shape! Plus, I can now fold in my sleep!”

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Sarah, Academic Services help desk

I work at the front desk of Academic Services. I greet students as they approach the counter, and try to answer any questions they may have about academics (classes, credits, graduation, degree requirements, the Explore program, the pass/fail option and petitions).

My job is awesome for a couple reasons:

  • My colleagues are AMAZING! I am so fortunate to work with a fun group of people who are knowledgeable and caring.
  • I get to use both English and French. I love that my job challenges me in this way and allows be to practically apply my language skills.
  • The job has lovely hours, the office is open between 9-4, but closes for an hour between 12:30 and 1:30pm, so I never work past 4pm. Plus our office is closed during the weekend.

More questions?

If you have more questions about any of these jobs, leave a comment and I will pass it on to the right person. Glendon Tip: once you get to campus, don’t forget to check out Counselling and Disability Services for career counselling and more.

And a big thank you to all of my friends who told us about their jobs! Y’all are the best!

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.

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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!

Fall is a confetti toss.

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Lately, I’ve been feeling contemplative.

It’s that point in October where things have become mundane, routine, stressful. Drudgery is setting in like the chill.

Yet, all around me there are small spectacles of colour and light: the quad at golden hour, the rustling branches of an oak tree, the muted sunrise of a cloudy day.

The hardest things to overlook are the trees. Their leaves are turning colour, transforming the campus into a sea of gold and rust.

I can’t help but marvel.

Even if just for a moment, I let the beauty spill through my senses, into my depths. I’m shaken out of my stupor.

My concerns fall away like dead leaves from branches and I remember that life is meant to be celebrated, and fall is the confetti toss.

Moments like these inevitably end, and I return back to the books. But when I do, it’s with a heightened awareness that my life isn’t a burden – it’s a gift.

I’m grateful.

In case you’re wondering, all of these photos were taken in and around Glendon Campus. For more musings about fall, check out Nick’s deeply contemplative (and funny post), Laura Stanley’s awesome post, Five Reasons Why I Love the Fall or my very first blog post. Fall really is the time for deep thoughts!

Before next week, go for a nature walk. The leaves are falling fast… you won’t regret it! 

The Whole Person

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If you didn’t know that the sculpture on the side of York Hall meant anything, join the club. I was clueless about “the Whole Person” until my super-awesome academic advisor, Michael, gave me a sheet explaining the whole thing (see below).

As I was researching the name of the artist, I came across this article from an edition of Pro-Tem printed in 1965. Given the academic emphasis of the sculpture, the author wrote, and I’m paraphrasing, “being a whole person requires more than studying!” I completely agree.

This raises the question: what is wholeness?

These pictures were taken in early spring of this year.

The Whole Person: a legend of symbols

  1. History and Chemistry: an hour glass and a beaker
  2. World Below Ground: agriculture, archeology, mining.
  3. Philosophy and Psychology: a maze.
  4. Nations and Civilization: the tree of life and knowledge.
  5. Biology and Genetics: genetic symbols interwoven in a cockerel.
  6. Zoology: evolution (a fish).
  7. Languages: the vowels.
  8. Political Science and Sociology: an eye inside a representation of the world.
  9. Life Above Ground: a tree.
  10. Construction and Logic: a tension-compression symbol.
  11. Lines of Logic leading from the tension-compression symbol to the Whole Person’s mind.
  12. The Cerebrum of the Whole Person: showing three symbols; (a) mathematics (analysis and synthesis), (b) perception, (c) retention.
  13. The Whole Person holds up the Lamp of Learning: a dove-like symbol emphasizing that the only hope for peace is through education.
  14. A Globe to Represent the World: the flags of the nations face in all directions.
  15. The Geometrical Shape Encircling the Upper Portion of the Whole Person: represents the universe and the curvatures of space and the theory of relativity.
  16. The Brass Rods: as well as indicating the important effects of the educational symbols upon the Whole Person, they are said by the artist to symbolize the “music of the spheres” as they sing in the wind.

Regardless of the literal meaning of this statue, I think the general sentiment of “wholeness” expressed by the name of “the Whole Person” is a beautiful reminder. As human beings, we are more than our minds. We have feeling hearts, souls, and bodies. Life is so rich!

What do you think makes a “whole person?” How do we work towards achieving wholeness in an academic setting?

#Luniktic

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I love: opening the Manor doors and stepping into coffee-scented air; walking down creaky wooden stairs and going to the counter of stiff-peaked cupcakes and Cliff bars (usually with Sarah Yu sitting behind); soft places, dark places, nice people. Nostalgia.

If you’re a Glendonite: Don’t forget about late-night Tuesdays at Lunik. Colouring, board games, beverages, other good stuff.
The photos in this post were taken by awesomer-than-awesome Denise! She posts her photos on twitter; you can follow her at @deni_dunea.

A sneak peek into Glendon’s glass wing [a scrapbook entry]

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Gilles Fortin is the Executive Officer of Glendon College. While I’m not fully sure what that means, I do know that he’s awesome, and he represents what I love about the administration at Glendon. He puts students first and is always warm and approachable.

Thanks to Gilles, I got to get a sneak peek of Glendon’s new construction project. (In case you don’t know, Glendon has been designated the Centre of Excellence for French-Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education by the government of Ontario. As a result, Glendon is offering new programs and courses and building new facilities.)

This new wing is on the cusp of being finished and will be partially opened this month. That means that soon Glendon students will have new spaces to study, relax, and learn.

Mr. Fortin has been working on the project for the past two years, but the idea for the expansion has been incubating in his mind for much longer. “I’ve been at Glendon since 1982 and I can tell you I’ve dreamt of this for a long time.”

The main floor has an open entrance area, a 250 seat amphitheatre (Glendon’s largest yet), and new classrooms. Soon, it will also have a Tim Hortons.

Psst! You can zoom into this picture by clicking on it!

The second floor has an overhanging balcony with access to the amphitheatre. According to Gilles, the front section of the bridge/balcony will be a perfect place for students to wait for their rides. As a commuter student, I have to say I’ll appreciate a shorter walk to the road and bus stop!

Although we weren’t able to go to the third floor, I was told that there will be three more classrooms there, as well as an outdoor terrace. In Gilles’ words, “it’s right above the trees, like a tree-house.”

The basement will have an open study space, an art studio, a locker area, and a math lecture room with an extra long blackboard. The rooms are cozy and carpeted. Gilles said, “if you give the students a good space, they’ll take care of it.”

The new wing is an innovative and welcome expansion that will transform the Glendon Campus into a diverse patchwork of old and new buildings. Yet there will also be some continuity between Glendon’s current buildings and the expansion as the architect was inspired by several features of York Hall, even taking notice of the patterns of the brickwork. Gilles said, “There’s a rhythm to the new building that reflects the old building.”

Are you excited? Wondering how you’ll be able to get a look for yourself? Glendon’s annual symposium will be held in this new space. You can register on the official Symposium website or check out their Facebook page for more info.

Hope to see you there!