The end is near! … the end of your undergraduate career that is.
So you have spent 4 years (ish) in pursuit of an undergraduate degree. You are so close that you can almost taste it. With all the stress and commotion of April, have you thought about what you will do once you finish your last exam?
SLEEP! … Ok, this is probably a good idea, but what will you do after that?
Take a look at this article in University Affairs. They asked university career advisors the following question: “If you could give one piece of advice to students graduating from university this April, what would it be?”
Congratulations graduates! Good luck in your future pursuits and remember to make UTM proud!
Coming into U of T, people often told me that U of T marks students harder and your average will drop. Now that I have completed my first year at UTM, I realized university didn’t kill my grades, and it is actually possible to maintain the same average from high school! Here is a wrap up of my 1st year at UTM!
This past week, I got my final research assignment back and I was beyond ecstatic to receive a mark of 87 (4.0). This research paper was for a 2nd year course called DTS202 and I took it as a 1st year student. You can find out more about the course from my previous RezBlog, but it basically focuses on human immigration and history. I was so happy about my 87!
I realized that it is definitely realistic to aim for 90′s in an university essay, but only if you’re willing to put in the work and effort. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t start off the year with 87′s. In fact, my first essay at UTM received a mark of 63, but it is all about interpreting constructive criticism as positive motivation. By understanding where I could improved on and what to focus on next time, I was able to work my way up. I put in my best work towards this final research project, collecting both primary and secondary sources. My scope of research included books, course readings, online databases, scholarly articles, Statistics Canada, graduate theses, radio excerpts, academic textbooks, and 7 personal interviews. As you can see, getting an 87 was no easy task and required the most thorough and detailed research. Finishing off the course with this 87, it’s actually not far from what I used to get in high school.
As a matter of fact, my GPA average also hasn’t changed much, compared to Grade 12. University is not necessarily the reason for lower marks. Every year of school is more challenging than the last, and university is no exception. You just need to adjust your studying habits, time management, and learning styles accordingly. I want to leave you guys all with this thought as a bit of motivation for exam season right now. Don’t get anxious and give up just yet. There’s always room for improvement!
This wraps up my year as your 1st-year Rezblogger for 2012-2013. I really enjoyed blogging for you guys and I had a fantastic first year at UTM! Good luck on your exams and have a great summer!
On Friday, April 5, 2013, the ICCIT Council held its annual gala. The theme this year was was ZERO GRAVITY. There were reflective silver stars scattered across the walls, table centrepieces with multicoloured glow sticks, star foam cutouts with a name and table number that guests received upon entrance, glow stick straws, silver and black balloons strung together with a large silver star shaped balloon on top, a dance floor and DJ booth, and gold and silver orb shaped decorations surrounded by prizes on the front table.
The doors opened at 6:30pm and guests began arriving at the Le Treport Wedding and Convention Centre (1075 Queensway East, Mississauga). CCIT students, their guests, professors, alumni, and performers were all in attendance. Right from the beginning, and throughout the night, there was always a line up at the open bar (for guests 19 years and older). The first course, salad, was served as members from the ICCIT council welcomed us. Arun Babber of Rayn Magic was the first performer of the night. He even got some of the CCIT professors involved in his magic tricks. The UTM Dance Team also performed a series of dances. The second course of the meal was a tasty pasta with a rose sauce. The third course was chicken parmesan (or eggplant parmesan for vegetarians) with roasted potatoes and vegetables. Gelato covered in chocolate and shaped in a heart, was served for dessert. Throughout the meal, the large gift-basket prizes were begin given away through a raffle. The grand prize, 29” Insignia Flat Screen TV, was raffled off to a lucky winner at the end of dinner.
Volunteers who had offered their time to the ICCIT council throughout the year were also recognized with certificates and a group photo. The winners of the ICCIT council elections, which took place in May, were also revealed at the Gala. After dinner, the lights dimmed and the music increased. Students began dancing the night away. At 9pm, a photo booth was set up right outside of the room; you could take pictures with your friends in 3 different poses [they even had silly hats, boas, and other fun props to spice up the pictures with!] and have them printed off in strips just like the photo booths at malls or movie theatres! There were also chocolate and vanilla cupcakes for snacks.
Paige Rasbach, the Special Events Coordinator for the ICCIT council, organized the gala. It was an extremely fun night and a great way to celebrate the last day of classes! Now it’s study week and it’s time to focus on studying once again. Good luck with exams UTM!
Parents & Families of UTM Residents:
I can’t believe I’m writing this… but it is the last full week of school. You know what that means, right? It’s almost time for students to move out of residence!
Some students have exams right up until the end of April, and others will be spending their summer months in residence too. Meanwhile, for students with no exams (or students that are lucky enough to have their exams over with quickly), it’s almost move out time!
So, what do you need to know about students moving out of residence?
First, all students have received a scheduled checkout time. Students need to have everything absolutely ready for this time. All personal items should be removed from the room, and the house should be clean. Note that every time a student checks out, the whole house must be clean. A residence don will come by at the scheduled checkout time, make sure everything is good to go, and then you and your student are ready to start your summer.
As a reminder, the fire routes are not to be used in any circumstance as a parking spot. However, we fully understand how much some students have to take home with them! So, you are able to stay in the fire zone as long as someone physically stays with the car, only for the purpose of loading your vehicle. Please remember to be courteous to the other parents, families, friends and guardians who are helping other students to move out at this busy time too.
Also, since all routes on campus are also pedestrian roads, we ask that you please stick to the posted speed limits and drive with caution at all times.
If you have a student living in Erindale Hall, we are working the move-out process around the current construction. So, please encourage your students to check their e-mail. There they will find a helpful map for the move out process within the next few days.
We hope your students have all had an amazing year in residence! It will be sad to see them go, but we are looking forward to students retuning next year.
The artistic talent of the students of UTM was on showcase this past Wednesday night when the MiST Theatre played host to the twelfth annual Arts Festival. Playing to a packed house, a line-up singers, dancers, actors and performers showed UTM just how talented they really are, and the spectrum of performance was thrilling enough to keep the audience transfixed throughout the full two-hour show.
ArtsFest, a long-standing tradition and the cornerstone of the Artistic Resource Team’s work, has been under development since the beginning of the year. ART is made up of student committee members and is spearheaded by Student Development Officer Chris Lengyell, and since September the team has worked hard at developing this year’s Arts Festival – everything from accepting visual art submissions to holding auditions for the live performers to setting the large scale event up in the first place. February’s snow day provided a speed bump to this year’s festival, and Wednesday night marked the rescheduled date; and while the venue was slightly downgraded in scale, the talent was exceedingly impressive, bursting out of the MiST Theatre and the CCIT Building atrium all night long.
Preceding the live performance showcase was the visual art exhibition held in the atrium of CCIT Building, and guests were able to navigate through art pieces ranging from paintings to photography, from physical art installations to showcases of meticulously constructed outfits. The art provided a backdrop for the night, as guests enjoyed refreshments, good company and good conversation amidst the art-filled surroundings. As with any artistic exhibition this school runs, I was beyond impressed with the level of precision and talent all of UTM’s visual artists demonstrate, and they put the stick figures in the margins of my lecture notes to shame.
At 8, guests were ushered into the MiST, and the live performance was underway, opening up with an acoustic performance by the very talented professor Dax Urbszat, who judged the live performances alongside Juliana Zalucky, Jenna Mensies and Marguerite Sookoor. The night’s host Daniel Altman made light of February’s crippling snow day by coming onstage in full snowsuit apparel, lamenting about how long it took for him to get to the night’s ceremonies. The fifth year forensics major and Residence Don kept the night moving along, filling in gaps between performances with jokes, stories, a spitfire rendition of a Busta Rhymes song on guitar, and even a gag involving yours truly, Matt the RezBlogger, when I was asked to stand up and be put on the spot regarding my “VIP status” since I was covering the event for the Residence Blog here. Lucky enough for him, Daniel’s performance as host was good enough to warrant an official stamp of approval from me; no scathing reviews here!
The same holds true for the multitude of performance onstage throughout the night. Split into two acts, the showcase featured a wide variety of performances: performances included a multitude of original music, renditions of cover songs, dance performances from teams as well as from a solo artist, a dramatic monologue, and spoken original poetry. The UTM Dance Team provided entertainment during the intermission out in the atrium, providing a dance set to the music of Aretha Franklin centered pining over the likes of Justin Bieber and One Direction. When the performances came to a close at the end of the jam-packed night, the judges exited to deliberate over which acts would walk away with the pride of being best in show (of their respective categories). As the judges discussed their choices, audience members scribbled down the name of their favourite act, and votes were to be tabulated to select the viewer’s choice winner.
GG Squad was named best in show for the dance performances; Kate Cattell-Daniels, a Theatre and Drama Studies student, triumphed for her monologue in the drama category; and for music, both Northern Souls for their original song “Down on Canoe Lake” and Brittany Miranda for her cover of Annie Lennox’s “Why” reigned supreme. The viewer’s choice went to fellow Don Sara Peters for her amazing rendition of “Feelin’ Good.”
I want to personally congratulate every performer, visual artist, participant, and especially the Artistic Resource Team and Chris Lengyell for their hard work on bringing this annual artistic showcase together. The talent was absolutely phenomenal, and I only look forward to see what UTM’s going to do to top everything next year!
Last week, high school students from all over enjoyed their March Break holiday, and perspective students got the chance to visit our very own UTM campus to experience the sort of positive university experience that would be offered to them should they choose to attend in September.
And what did our great campus offer them, aside from the obvious perks of the community and connections we experience from day-to-day? Hopeful students were given the chance to not only take a tour around campus but were also offered opportunities to sit in on lectures, take an in-depth look at the sorts of environments they might find in their respective future fields, and have the chance to have a first-hand trip through some first-year residence options. And that’s where I fit in: myself, along with my Residence Life Staff teammates, did our part to help in this March Break experience by standing in as ambassadors for our amazing residence program and tour guides as we lead groups through both rooms in Oscar Peterson Hall as well as through a unit in McLuhan Court, to offer up a full look at the types of residences they might live in next year as fresh faced first-years.
But the reason why I wanted to write a small piece on our March Break residence tours was because being a volunteer leader with the day made me reflect on the reasons why I really love living on residence and working for the Student Housing and Residence Life Staff. I was able to put myself in the shoes of those young students I led around OPH and McLuhan, and I flashed back to my own residence tour that I took after I hastily clicked “accept” after receiving my acceptance to UTM those four Mays ago. I was nervous then, nervous about the idea of moving away from home and living on my own, and despite it taking me another two years to actually move out and live on res (my parents just couldn’t part with me) I still got an exceptional residence experience for my first time on my own that our perspective first-years will get next year.
And so, for those of us who’ve lived on residence for a year or more and who need the reminder, and especially to those of you who might be visiting this blog to get a better idea of the amazing residence we’re lucky enough to have here at UTM, I’m going to get into a short list of the things I love most about residence, drawing off of the excited pitches I gave while taking tour groups through on Wednesday!
- the most obvious and most important (to me, at least, being a Don): the sense of community! Living on residence in a tight-knit community removes the nervous jitters of venturing out of the home and standing on your own two feet as an independent young adult. That’s why your neighbours and your roommates are so amazing: they’re always around for you whenever you need them to be, and it’s a joint effort getting over that initial homesickness or learning to cook by yourself. I wouldn’t trade my community on residence for anything, because it’s a great atmosphere of inclusive attitudes that encourages you to just be you. The connections you make on residence will be the ones you’ll keep even after graduating!
- total accessibility! A laundry room at your disposal either on your floor or just a minute’s walk away, food options all over campus to keep you from going hungry, and the freedom you need to do whatever you want, whenever you want.
- unique to the townhouses, which I am of course partial to: kitchens! I could not cook to save my life before moving to residence, and honestly, I’m not much better, but I’ve mastered one meal that could easily take the cake on Top Chef Canada.
- access to some awesome support, in the form of your beautiful and intelligent and vastly charming Dons and PALs.
- did I mention the sense of community?
Living on residence is, clearly, a fantastic experience, and I only hope that I personally was able to get that sort of passion and enthusiasm and involvement I got from my time on residence across to those who followed me around on my tours! And to any perspective students looking at this now: good luck, and CHOOSE RESIDENCE, OF COURSE!
Every time somebody asks me what courses I’m taking, I always hesitate and prepare myself for a confused reaction when I respond with “diaspora.” “Pardon what?” “Diaspora?” “What’s that? I’ve never heard of diaspora before.” And I surely bet you haven’t.
DTS201/202 is a second year humanities course at UTM that very few people know about, let alone enrol in. It can lead to a major or minor in Diaspora & Trasnational Studies. Sounds complicated? Not at all. The course content is actually all about human migration patterns and its impact. For example, how did Canada come to be such a multicultural society and how does it affect our lives?
The topics presented are easy to relate to, especially on a personal level, and there are no course materials to purchase, or final exam. A focus of the course is Canada and the GTA area are we are in, which makes the topics that much more interesting.
Why should you take a second look at this course? Its lecture sizes are one of the smallest 2nd year lectures with only around 20 students. An unique aspect of lectures is the class discussions, where everyone interacts on first name basis due to the small class size. How many of your professors know you by name and face? DTS201 really gives you a whole new learning experience. I didn’t know anything about this course when I took it as a first year student; I only chose it because it didn’t require any prerequisites.
Next time you are picking courses, take a second look into this one. As for me, I will continue to explain what “diaspora” is to everyone who asks me what I’m taking this semester.
P.A.U.S.E. UTM (Psychology Association of Undergraduate Students at Erindale) hosted the 16th Annual Variety Night to raise funds for a local charity that focuses on psychological awareness. ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development, located here in Mississauga, serves children with physical and developmental disabilities.
This year’s fundraiser event featured amazing performances, including Dr.Jeff with his band, The Shift, and Dr. Dax. The Blind Duck was decorated and a wide variety of snacks were being available for donations. There was also a $100 prize for the performance with the most audience votes at the end of the night. “Most performances were singers,” reflected an Exec, “we had an electric violinist, a dance group, Northern Soul Band, and singer and guitar players.” The diverse range of performances showcased UTM’s extraordinary talent and skills.
Missed the event this year? Stay tuned for next year! For interested performers, you can get involved by auditioning next year too!
I hope everybody had a FANTASTIC, RELAXING, and hopefully EXCITING Reading Week! Whether you were chilling at home, tanning on a beach, or shredding on the slopes–I’m sure everyone enjoyed the week off as much as I did! Six weeks left of classes, and winter will soon be coming to a close.
If you’re looking for some winter activities to do in Mississauga before the spring weather sets in, here’s some great opportunities:
- Skiing, Snowboarding, and Tubing are all offered at Glen Eden. The hill is about a half hour away from Mississauga. Until March 1st, lift tickets are only $25 for University students! Also, from Monday-Wednesday night skiing (4:30-9:30pm) is $20. A regular full day pass is $36. Never skied or boarded before? Don’t worry they offer lessons! Or you can go tubing and pay per ride ($4 per ride or $20 for six rides).
- Outdoor skating: Burnhamthorpe Community Centre (located at 1500 Gulleden Drive, aprox. 20min from UTM) has an artificial outdoor skating rink. They offer Free Skating on from weekdays 10am-12pm, Saturdays from 11am-3pm, and Sundays from 12pm-3pm.
- However, if you get the chance to go to Ottawa, you can skate on the Canal. It’s the world’s longest skating rink! You’ll have to hurry though, because the canal is only open for a brief period of time when the weather is cold enough.
If winter sports aren’t your cup of tea, there are lots of upcoming events on the UTM campus.
- On Thursday February 28 from 8pm-12am P.A.U.S.E is holding a Variety Night at the Blind Duck. Entrance is free, but all proceeds and donations go to Erinoak kids.
- Also this Thursday (Feb.28) the UTM Dance Team is hosting a movie night and showing Dirty Dancing at 7pm in CC1080. Free food and refreshments! Check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/132660726907215/
- The ICCIT Student Council is holding a Bowling Night at Streetsville Bowl (128 Queen Street) on Friday March 1 from 7-9pm. Only $6 per person.
- The UTM Arts Festival was rescheduled for Wednesday March 20. From 7-8pm is the Visual Art Exhibit and from 8-10pm is the Showcase. Tickets are $10 are can be purchased in the OPH lobby from 12-2pm starting March 4th.
Six more weeks of classes, a week of study break, and two weeks of exams- make the best of it! Enjoy the snow because before you know it, it will be summer!
Reading Week & The Energy Exchange Experience
Reading week is a weeklong break from classes halfway through second semester, in February. For some students, it’s a time to be social and relax. For others, it’s a time to do a lot of reading – as the name suggests.
Many residence students spent this reading week at home with their families. For those who stayed at residence, there was no shortage of reading week activities to sign up for. For example, the Undergraduate Commerce Society (UCS) organized a ski trip for students, and UTM’s Undergraduate Economics Council (UEC) organized a 3-night student trip to New York City.
But what about students who didn’t spend their reading week at home or traveling? Some of them chose to spend this reading week giving back to others.
This is the first year that Student Housing & Residence Life at UTM has offered an alternative reading week. An alternative reading week is an opportunity for students to participate in an organized volunteer activity during their reading week. This is also known as service learning, since this community service allows students to learn beyond the classroom.
UTM’s alternative reading week is called Energy Exchange Experience (E3) and ran February 19th-21st. Students who signed up selected local organizations that they were interested in volunteering with. Some of the organizations available included the Seva Food Bank, Interim Place, Family Services of Peel, and the Peel Aboriginal Network.
Personally, I chose to volunteer at the Mississauga Furniture Bank. This organization provides furniture to those in need, including: refugees, disaster victims, senior citizens, and people who have fled from abusive relationships or other unsafe conditions.
It was surprising to learn how many Mississauga residents are living in places barren of furniture because they cannot afford any, and how many children in Mississauga do not have a bed to sleep in. To date, the Mississauga Furniture Bank has delivered 1270 pieces of furniture, and this number continues to grow. As an added bonus, the organization is eco-friendly, since they are diverting many home furnishings that would otherwise end up in landfills.
What did your students do this reading week?
- Elizabeth Smurlick