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.

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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!

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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?

Downtown in December

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I’m only one assignment away from being off for winter break. All I can think is: I’m almost freeeeeee! A friend decided on my behalf that it was high time for me to take a break.

So, I took the day off on Tuesday to have some adventures downtown.

I started out with a meal at Fresh Restaurants with my friend Kaili.

My verdict: YUM.

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Fresh is a vegetarian restaurant, but I would highly recommend it even for carnivores. I was overwhelmed by the number of good options on the menu.

I ordered a mango-banana-coconut milk smoothie with a creamy soup, slices of cornbread, and thai-seasoned salad. Best of all, the restaurant was located on Bloor, just a short ride from campus.

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A photo for the recipe from My Baking Addiction. Click on it to find the recipe!

Afterwards, I baked with my friend Erin at her place. We made Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies and decided to skip dinner for desert instead.

That night, we journeyed to the Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District in downtown Toronto. (The Distillery District is a restored Victorian factory area in downtown Toronto with cute cobblestone streets and shoppes – not shops. Haha. Think Charles Dickens.)

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There were lights…

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…and apple fritters

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…and lots of whimsy.

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By the end of the night our noses and toes were numb, but we were getting giddy with holiday spirit. Considering the lack of snow in Toronto this winter, I’d say that was quite a feat!

That being said, I haven’t even scratched the surface of fun things to do in Toronto. Often I think that I can only have adventures if I travel far, but at my doorstep lies a city of adventures waiting to happen. I love being intentional about becoming a tourist of my own city.

On that subject, if you know any fun winter activities to do downtown, drop a comment below.

If you’re interested in checking out the Toronto Christmas Market, it’s on ’till Sunday. I guarantee that the fritters and lights will bring joy to your heart.

Happy winter-ing!

Erin and I

Choice and a comic from Candy Chang

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The other day I was thinking:

I’m twenty years old + that is a young age to be.

The world is my oyster.

Heck.

I could have a baby.
I could backpack Europe.
I could study more to become a business consultant.
I could live as a nun and memorize scriptures for the rest of my life.

I’m at the crossroads of 100 different paths. Which do I take?

My friend Elissa Mielke blogged this Sylvia Plath quote the other day:

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It helped me realize how choice is burdensome.

And then I realized:

I need to start making some choices.

Agh! (A full week of panic/despair/list-making follows.)

One of my friends, Erin, often teases me for trying to conquer the parts of life that can’t be conquered (i.e. relationships, self-growth, the future). You have to live it in the moment, she says. You can’t “finish it” or “achieve it” in one thrust.

I often look for happiness in arriving (at a state of perfect circumstance, or something). It doesn’t work. Life starts now, and that is a beautiful, liberating thing.

Candy Chang’s comic (shared here with permission) is about how not having to choose one thing is a good thing. Read it if what I said is resonating.

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What choices are you struggling with? 

To read more about Candy, go visit her website. It’s rad.

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!

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.