January 31, 2009

Mount Allison Student Bloggers

From the really interesting Google Analytics information I can see the vast majority of visitors to this site don't come from mymta.ca, so I thought I'd make sure you know that there are other people writing about their experiences at Mount Allison. Before I had mentioned in passing that there is a list of bloggers at the Mount Allison website, but now I'd really like to showcase one post from each blog because there are many perspectives on what going to Mount Allison means:

Musings- Home is Where Your Towel Is

Happy New Year, everyone. That's a somewhat belated greeting, I know, but life's been busy for a while. All that vacationing and textbook buying and settling in and whatever else. My apologies.

You last hear from me in Kingston. From there I meandered my way back to Sackville and I moved back into residence on Sunday, the 4th of January.

It's nice to be back in Sackville ... I think. It was definitely good to get out for a couple of weeks but, for the time being at least, it's home and it's always good to be home. I was thinking about it, and there are only two things that made the places I stayed at during the break not home (while my room in res in Sackville is) and those were: living out of a bag and having left my towel in my room in Thornton. I hate living out of a bag, and using a towel that isn't my own is ... unsatisfying. Not in terms of hygiene or anything like that ... but because I like my towels and I missed mine. So ... home is where your towel is? I'm beginning to think so. This also stays in line with the eternal wisdom of Douglas Adams who says that the towel is the "most massively useful" thing one can own and that anyone who can "hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it ... win through, and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with." I missed my towel.

School started on the 6th, and so today completes our first full week of classes. The first week isn't really very intense because people are still trying to register and drop the class and profs are spending a lot of time introducing the class and handing out the syllabus and whatever else. The Winter semester does seem to pick up speed a lot faster than the Fall term, though. I had my first three hour lab today (not counting the one I had to TA last week) dissecting a lamprey. That's for my class Comparative Chordate Anatomy. My other classes are: Evolution, Animal Physiology, Ecological Genetics and Cultural Geography. I'm making up for only being able to take on Biology class last semester by taking four this term. We'll see how that turns out. It's certainly going to be a hell of a lot more work. I'm expecting it all to be very interesting, though.

Other than new classes and a few new people around, life is pretty much the same. Winter is starting to get comfortable. It's (supposedly) -17 C tonight. The forecast says that we're going to have sub-zero temperatures the rest of the week. Quite honestly, anything above 0 C seems improbable, but it's definitely reasonable to be grateful for single-digit temperatures.

I've also managed to pick up a Back-to-School-Flu which arrived with depressing punctuality. It started on Friday morning, picked up speed through the day, and was in full form on Saturday which meant I spent most of the weekend curled up in bed reading and drinking tea. Aside from the fact that I feel sick, I don't really mind. It's nice to have an excuse to sit in bed and read a book and drink tea and drug myself into symptom-free happiness. Really though, I want to beat this flu into submission before it beats me.

On that note, I think I'm going to go home. Oh, right. I forgot to mention that my computer is still out of commission and so, for now, I'm going to have to use the lab for all my computing purposes. This may mean slightly more irregular blogging than what I (attempt to) do during the school year (i.e. every Saturday morning). I'll try to be good.

I hope everyone has a stellar week.

Untitled- Why Mount A?

I've been trying to figure out how I was going to write this post. I didn't want to do the regular "Here are 99 reasons to become a Mountie!" That seems too...not me? I'm sure I could hammer out 99 reasons to go to Mount A, but by the end they would probably be "Because we're awesome!" "Because I'm here!" "Because you didn't get in anywhere else!" Exactly, not the best reasons (except for me. I'm a great reason to go to Mount A.)
My dad suggested I do a list of reasons not to go to Mount A, a reverse list of sorts. I worked on that for a bit, but again, it just wasn't feeling right. I know, it seems odd, usually these blogs are pretty random. I sit down, start off on a tangent and finish up with a semi-clear post. But this one has actually had some thought go into it. The post itself probably won't reflect that, but hey, I tried!
Why go to Mount A? When I was choosing what university to go to, the most important piece of advice I got from my parents was to go somewhere where I would be most comfortable. I had never heard that. Nowadays everyone is focused on school's reputations, how great their academics are, what kind of athletic programs they offer, etc. I'm not saying those things aren't important, but the comfort factor is, in my opinion, the most important one. You could go to the "best" university in the country, but if you aren't comfortable, if you aren't able to engage in your classes, to branch out and meet new people, are you really in the right place? Choosing a university is so much more than choosing a school. You're choosing your home for the next four years. I spent 8 months out of the year in Sackville at Mount A. I love coming back to Burlington, but more and more, I feel like Sackville is becoming my home.
I have a friend who went to school in the Mid-West, far away from Burlington and his family and friends from here. He was telling me how hard it was to be that far from Vermont. However, one of his friends at school told him that all of his friends at school considered him family and while they weren't technically related, they were there for him, like family. It's corny, I know, but for those people, like myself, who are far away from home, your friends do become your family. At Thanksgiving, most of Thornton stayed in residence, so we had a gigantic potluck on Sunday night. I was amazed not only by the number of people who turned up, but by how homey it felt. Everyone brought what they could, the food was amazing, and we all just sat around eating and hanging out. That was one of things I told all of the new students when they arrived in September. Your residence and your friends there do become like a replacement family for you. Your Dons are your parents, RA's become older brothers and sisters, and House Exec are...your best friend who always wants to have a good time.
In looking back at my choice, I sometimes second guess myself. Did I make the right choice? Should I have picked another school? But I always come back to the same answer. Mount A was the best choice. There are so many things that I've been able to do in my short time in Sackville that I would not have been able to do at other universities. For example, early this school year, I was running in the morning in the Waterfowl Park. It was a grey, gloomy day, and I didn't expect to see anyone else out there. Instead, I ran into (not literally) the President, Dr. Campbell, out for his daily morning run. Not only did he know my name, but he stopped and chatted with me for a bit, teased me for listening to rap music when I ran, and told me to stop by his office to pick up his running music, New Order. Sure enough, when I went by on Monday, he had left two CDs for me, with a note detailing his favorite tracks. That experience has stuck with me. I talk to my friends at other universities and they can't imagine a school that small. But that's the beauty of Mount A. That's why I can't wait to get back. And those are my 99 reasons why you should go to Mount A.

From the Tidal Bore to the Marsh- A Different Kind of Stress

It seems like forever since I've written but I guess when you're busy time just flies. Hard to believe that we're only a couple of weeks into the semester. I feel as though I have so much work to do when in fact it is still very little. It likely feels this way since I am also trying to get my applications out for fall programs. The deadlines approach so fast that you can hardly believe it. All I can say is one step at a time and everything will get done in time.
Besides having to get those applications out I am having a hard time balancing my school work with everything else that seems to be coming up to be done or to focus on instead of sitting and doing work. Its been an exciting time with all the coverage of Barack Obama's inauguration and the announcement of Oscar contenders for this year. I made a strategic plan as to when I was going to work and when I was going to take time for myself to see friends and have fun. It started out well last week, I did everything on the days I scheduled and I was on track with my work. Friday was a turning point. One of my classes was canceled because my professor was ill. This through off all my plans for the day. I had only brought enough work for two hours and now it had turned into six before the girls I car pool with would be heading home. I had to improvise; I started working ahead of my schedule which sounds good in theory, but ended up throwing me off for the entire weekend. Friday night I knew was going to be a write off as I was going to see Robocop as a midnight movie with Jamie (the boyfriend) and some friends. Of course a midnight movie means getting home in the early hours and sleeping in late. I did start working on Saturday but plans arose for dinner out with friends, which lead to watching a movie at at friend's place and then going home to bed. Sunday wasn't too bad I worked in the morning and headed off to a baby shower in the afternoon...now that's a reality check, to see one of your close friends having their first baby (hard to believe that my friends are at that point in their lives). So here we are today, my afternoon class still being canceled because of illness so I'm working away to catch up on what should have been done sooner. So on my stress level-o-meter I'm at about a 6. Once I have my first application out and some work caught up I will be less stressed.
I decided to share one thing that always makes me feel happy in times of stress...enjoy the video!
Until next time,

on a side note....don't forget the How Green are you? video campaign. Deadlines are Feb 15. For more info go to http://www.mta.ca/environment/

Where it's at-Busy, busy busy bees

Tomorrow, it will be two weeks that I've been back at MTA and I'm already looking at a pretty busy calendar. For example, this weekend was packed with fun events and there's even more to come.

On Friday, some friends and I celebrated two of my friend's birthdays. About 20 or so people came and more people drifted in and out as the evening wore on. We began with loads of food - chips, salsa, candy, drinks, etc. Nothing healthy of course. Then the cakes came out and the birthday girls blew out all the candles (and refused to tell us what they wished for). Then we danced for about two hours and then we all watched MAMMA MIA! Yes, I know it's a complete chick flick and has no real point to it but it just makes you happy! Especially when you watch it with other girls who'll sing just as loud as you. The boys of course left, except for two who were brave enough to stay behind (though one of them mentioned today that they still have 'Mamma Mia' stuck in their head). At the end of the movie, we replayed our favourite scenes and danced along. It was great exercise and we were all gasping for breath at the end. Good times. (In the picture above, that's me holding the cake - you can slightly see my arms)

Then on Saturday, there was a pool party for our house but I couldn't make it unfortunately. I heard it was a lot of fun though! That night, there was a concert at George's, which is part of Stereophonic. Stereophonic is an annual event put on by CHMA Radio (MTA's radio) in which various artists and bands come to sing and play in Sackville for about 5 days. None of the concerts overlap so you can go straight from one to the other! I only managed to attend the one on Saturday and it was fantastic! Groups like The Stance, Shotgun Jimmie, The Stolen Minks and the Tom Fun Orchestra came and played. It was pretty much a full house and the atmosphere was definitely invigorating.

It was a great weekend and this weekend, there's more stuff coming up! Like 'FAME! The Musical!' Which is put on by the Garnet and Gold Society and is always something to see. They put on a show every year and it's usually worth going if you can! Last year, it was Cinderella and they did an awesome job. Then on the 30th, there's the Free the Children Fashion Show which I'll be in, modeling and posing (I have to learn how to walk all over again apparently).

It seems that no matter how small Sackville seems to be, there's always something going on! Keep posted for more updates!

Life Through My Eyes- Walk a mile...

The transition from high school to university was, in many ways, refreshing. It was like the slate was wiped clean and I could be whomever I wanted to be. I didn't have to worry about any more drama erupting which so often happened in high school. I didn't have to worry about cliques, or bullying because none of that exists anymore. That's what I hated most about high school - the constant "grouping" of people and how people thought they were superior to others. To me, popularity doesn't exist and never has... but it wasn't always that I saw life in this perspective.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

She stood in the cafeteria line, conscious of her surroundings, yet wouldn't make eye contact with anyone. She shifted her weight from foot to foot. She kept her head down and continuously coughed to rationalize her silence. I watched as she tried to make conversation with a group of girls in front of her. I could tell she worked up a lot of courage to get words out, only to get shut down. They rejected her, thinking they were superior and this girl didn't live up to the privilege to be talked to. I watched this girl and my heart ached for her.

I had seen her in the hallway, alone. I had seen her eating lunch a few times, alone. So here she was again, in the lunch line, alone. I tapped her on the shoulder and smiled, "I really like your sweater! Where'd you get it?" She looked down and stuttered over her words. I could tell in her voice she was emotionally damaged. I continued to make conversation with her and she left the lunchline with a smile on her face.

I was glowing inside, knowing that I shon a little light on her day.

So what is popularity? Why do people feel superior than others? Why do people look down upon others? So, some people wear hand-me-downs, and maybe don't wear makeup. Is that any reason to snub them in the hallway or bully them?

I think I just realized this recently. I mean, everyone realizes it but never does anything to make it better. So, how about not being one of those people who look down at others? Why not partner up with that person in Biology class who sits in the corner? That person who always gets picked last for teams... why not pick that person first? Why not go out of your way to smile and say hi to a person who looks like they need it. It could make their day a whole lot better, maybe even their life.

So before you make fun of that person who doesn't quite seem to fit in, put yourself in their shoes... and maybe you should talk to them, instead of talking about them. Let them know you care.

I care. Do you?

Confessions of an Aging Allisonian- American Modernism and other Misnomers

Hello Buckaroos,

I know I promised that I would be posting regularly on Mondays. However, I have a massive paper due tomorrow for my Canadian Modernism course. I am still working on it. Much to my chagrin (as my Dad likes to say). Ho-hum. In the mean-time, here is an interesting photograph that I saw today. There are two things that I couldn't help but notice

1. The pac-man sticker eating Obama's apple logo. How sweet is that?
2. The photographer's effort to symbolically image the young senator as a new face for the changing values of traditional Americana. Notice any similarities between this image and those famous Uncle Sam posters? What does Obama want? Well, this photo has put it all on the proverbial table: youth, enthusiasm, a progressive attitude, liberalism, snazzy blue ties, etc. He is change. He is not the same Uncle Sam that saw the US through the War of 1812. His agenda is fresh, and will not demand that you buy bonds. Obama has become the national personification of what the United States needs to be in this new era. Sure, Uncle Sam was a fictional character, but he still represented something bigger than himself. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe my essay has forced me into an overly-analytic mood. I'm no political science student, but I like what I see...

So, check back tomorrow night and I promise I will have an update for you at that time. It has been a good week, so I have lots to say.

kdbarrett@mta.caAdd Image

Pudding pudding pudding,

It's been ages, I know. Here's the trouble: whenever one takes more than a few days to get around to writing one of these things, one begins to think that one should make up for the delay by providing one's readership with something truly epic in scope. The longer one waits, the less adequately epic one's adventures seem to be.

This is not to say that good times have not been had. Most prominently, perhaps, in terms of things that might interest you, Stereophonic just wrapped up.

Stereophonic is this big shiny crazy happy mid-winter music festival put on by CHMA in the shire every year. It features a whole lot of different performers playing in a whole lot of different venues over the course of a weekend and then also some weekdays just to be cheeky.

Confession #1: I only went to two shows this year.
Confession #2: That was one more than I went to last year.

I know, I know, I'm supposed to be the big live music nerd. I have a reputation to uphold. But if there's one thing I love to do even more than upholding my reputation, it's failing to meet expectations. In any case, the two shows I went to sure were swell.

The first was on Friday evening at the Vogue, and began with a performance by a young man whose name I forget but who sang a rather charming little song about a halfway house, accompanied by really impressive facial gesticulations. (And no, the word "expressions" would not be more accurate in this case. The dude was unmistakeable gesticulating. With his face. Which I suppose is a good thing to be able to do if you play an instrument which occupies your hands. The funny thing is, he didn't gesticulate with his hands or his face when talking in between songs.) Following him we had a lovely little dose of local fella Al Tuck.

Confession #3: This was my first time seeing Al Tuck perform. Shameful, brothers and sisters, shameful.

Anyhow. Al Tuck turned out to be quite the charming dude I've always been told he was, so that was nice, and then we heard from a guy I had seen before, Mount Allison's own Pat LePoidevin.

Confession #4: If it were not for Facebook, I would almost certainly have spelled Pat's last name hugely, hilariously, humiliatingly incorrectly.

Pat played some songs I'd heard before and some songs I hadn't. Of particular note: the story of a musical encounter with a wise polar bear named George. Swoon. (Oh my goodness the internet knows about it already! Funnily enough, it seems that that footage was taken by my fellow blogger Geoff. Crazycakes!)

Speaking of people who make me swoon, Julie Doiron was next on the bill. If you are not yet aware of/in love with Julie Doiron, I submit the following for your consideration:

Definitely somebody Sackville has reason to be proud of. She's lovely, just lovely, hopping around the stage in her sockfeet, sweetly ranting about bicycle theft in between songs. (By the way, if you stole Julie Doiron's bicycle, you should know that the brakes don't work. Unfortunately, this discredits my theory that my own bicycle is safe from theft simply because it barely works.)

Now, as gorgeous as all of the aforementioned folks were, my real reason for crawling out of my hobbit hole for this particular show was yet to come...and his name was Old Man Ludecke.

Confession #5: I may have cried a bit when he played Willie P. Bennett's Caney Fork River.

Now, there are many good things to be said about the Vogue Cinema, but you can't say it's the most dance-friendly venue in the shire, what with the permanently affixed seating and all. Nonetheless, that sweet little man with his sweet little banjo got us all up on our feet for the last few songs, cheerfully jostling each other in the aisles as we shared what little space there was.

Confession #6: I definitely bumped heads with a shadowy figure at the back of the theatre during one of the intermissions.
Confession #7: It turned out to be my employer. Oops.

Walking home from the theatre, my friend Charlotte remarked that the evening had been a huge renewal of faith for her: specifically, faith that people can be drawn to participate in simple, beautiful things if given the opportunity. I thought that summed up the overall feeling the evening left me with quite well.

The next morning there was a "Pancakes for Parkinson's" fundraiser at the Anglican Church, which was nice because I like pancakes and my room-mate likes toppings, so we went together and were well breakfasted. Then at 2:00 PM, I was back at the Vogue once more for the second of the two Stereophonic shows I chose to partake of this year: the Bluegrass Jam. Although it was the same venue and lighting set-up as the previous evening's entertainment, the atmosphere was quite different. Rather than being a crowd of students with the occasional adult, this was a crowd of seniors with a tiny smattering of younger folks, most of whom were connected to the radio station. Apparently this was the first specifically bluegrass show in the festival's 6-year history, and it definitely seems like it was about time. As the fella who produces the Buegrass Jam show on CHMA remarked into the mic,
"Bluegrass fans are probably some of CHMA's most dedicated listeners. I know this because any time we have a mix-up with the Jam we get big bunches of you calling in to tell us right away."

I had been particularly excited for this show because, while there are frequent bluegrass shows in the Sackville area, they tend to be a touch outside of the student transportation/price range. As I mentioned earlier regarding the Blues Society nights at George's, student shows are nice, but multi-generational shows are better. Bringing bluegrass into the Stereophonic schema is awesome. Thanks for doing that, Stereophonic people. Looking forward to more next year!

The next day was Sunday, and I was relieved to wake up to snow, because it was a pleasant change from it being just plain bitter fucking cold all the time. To quote Dr. Blagrave:
"In Sackville we can be reasonably assured that the weather is going to suck tomorrow, and that it's going to suck a different way the day after that."

Anyhow. The day increased in awesome when I got a call from a nice boy named Tim (who happens to be in Dr. Blagrave's class with me, funnily and irrelevantly enough), inviting me to a drum circle which I could hear over the telephone was already in progress. So I bundled up and headed on over. I wound up playing my knees more than I played any actual drums. This is not to say that there was a shortage of drums, just that I am mindbogglingly sucks at maintaining a decent beat on anything that is not my own person. Between the Old Man Ludeke show and this, I seem to have given myself a lot of tiny cute bruises on my thighs, but whatever. Totally worth it, and byt the end of the afternoon I had actually worked my way up to an egg shaker, and then a real drum. All in all, it's nice to have friends who have drum circles and like you enough to call you up when they're happening. You should try is some time!

At some point that has been lost in the fuzzy excitement of my formatting-addled mind, I finished, in a humble, drafty sense, a script I have been working on for the better part of the past two years. I'm feeling equal parts relieved and terrified about this. The relief is probably fairly obvious, but the terror comes in right after it and tells me, in a voice like every girl who understood the ways of the world infinitely better than I in middle school, that if I think the hard part is over now, I am an idiot. Then it kicks me in the face. Then it tells me to get back to work. Then I do.

To that end: I dropped the script off at the bookstore to be photocopied this morning. Friends are coming over to read it out loud on Saturday night. As soon as I can stop not liking the idea of everybody hating this thing I've been dodging their company to work on for the past as-long-as-I've-known-anybody-I-know-here-and-then-some, I'll be fine. This of course means that I'm going to be having an ongoing aneurysm of the soul for the rest of the forseeable future, I think. That'll be okay, so long as it's a productive one, right?

The only problem with writing is that it makes you like, completely disgusting. Oh well.

By the by, to tide you over if I take too long between entries again (because I know you're like, 100% dependent on my daily observations), it might interest you to know that I also maintain this here twitter account. So, you know, you can keep updated on the important stuff, like when I misplace kitchen utensils and completely fail to not be an embarrassing internet fangirl dork. BECAUSE YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT OR THEY WON'T LET YOU INTO THIS SCHOOL.


Okay, this is just getting silly. I love you, pudding. I love you possibly more than I love pudding, although now that I mention that, I sure haven't eaten pudding in a long time, and that's a shame.


Fine, fine. But I love pudding. Ambiguously.

More Life (and pudding),

Mt. A and Me-Back At It!

After an amazing and dynamic vacation, it was finally time to return to Sackville and to Mt. Allison for more university adventures! Last Sunday I flew from Vancouver to Toronto, and then from Toronto to Moncton. I then took a cab from Moncton to Sackville. After a long day of travel, I crashed back onto my Sackville bed and slept.

On Tuesday, classes started for the second semester. I always love the first week of classes - it's very exciting. You get to meet new professors and get excited about learning new material. You also get to meet up with all of your friends and hear all of their amazing holiday stories. The other cool thing about the first week is that everyone is NOT stressed out. The last time we all saw each other was in December, a time when everyone was worried about exams. This week, everyone is relaxed and refreshed. Also, no one really has too much work or reading to do this week, so we can all go out at night for dinner and talk, drink, dance, and have fun.

This is going to be another insanely busy semester for me, but I am looking forward to it. I am doing more studies in music theory and history as well as composition. I am also taking a really cool course in the history of musical theatre taught by the amazing and hilarious Dr. Elizabeth Wells, who is the head of the music department here. For one of my drama credits, I am assistant directing a play called Blood Relations, written by Canadian playwright Sharon Pollock. It explores the infamous life of Lizzie Borden, who in 1892 was on trial for the murder of her parents by the use of sticking an axe in their heads. Although she was eventually acquitted, many still speculate she was actually guilty. This week we started doing some readings with the cast and started to discuss characters. It is already jumping off the page! I am very excited to see where it all goes. The show opens in the first week of April.

Yesterday was my 21st birthday, which was pretty awesome! My dream would have been to go to Vegas, get drunk, and marry a Vegas showgirl; however, that just wasn't in the cards (no pun intended)! Instead, I was at the Windsor Theatre helping run the annual Evening of Monologues, which gives students a chance to get up on stage and perform a monologue for an audience in a casual workshop-like environment. I have been organizing the event with my friend Breanna over the past few months, and last night was the culmination of our work. We had 10 actors, and each one brought an amazing performance! Breanna and I acted as the emcees for the evening, and in our annual tradition, we made up funny intros for each monologue. The theme we took this year was The Lessons We Learn. I brought back my Tintamarre character Max, who is a very curious and innocent five year old boy who wears a red bow tie and has the cutest voice you have ever heard! Breanna played Mrs. Isabel, my teacher. After each monologue, she would ask me what the lesson was and what I learned. I would then make some childish remark that was silly, but often true. From this, she would correct me with a ridiculously false and sometimes offensive answer. It's hard to explain, but suffice it to say it was very cute and funny. More importantly, the evening was a huge success. We ended up getting over 80 people out for a theatre that only holds around 60. We had to put people in the aisles, on the floor, and even some went backstage! We had to turn people away. And the audience we had were amazing - they responded well to all of the actors and our schtick. It was the best birthday present ever!

Things are moving along well with the musical I am writing. Today we held auditions for our workshop reading we are going to do in March. We had 7 people come read and sing for us, which was cool. It was neat to hear our music and dialogue read by other people. We are doing some more auditions tomorrow and then we will cast it all.

So as you can see, there is never a dull moment here at MTA. It's only the first week and already I am crazy busy with exciting work.

Take care everyone!



The Nitty-Gritty-Vegetarians beware...

Well it has come at last! The snow is here! I left Sackville on Tuesday afternoon when the ground was bare and came back Thursday to find snow!! I was only gone few days, but I’ve had a lot of work to catch up on, so I apologize for the delay in posting. I’m writing on the bus right now. I seem to be spending lots of time on the bus this week, though I still don’t like traveling by them. They make sense when you think about it, but they are just not as convenient as my own vehicle would be. Well my life hasn’t been overly exciting of late, aside from traveling around Southern New Brunswick. I was asked to go to Saint John for a presentation on the 19th at Samuel De Champlain, the francophone high school in the area. I think it went well for the first one that I did by myself, but I did learn a lot about how to deal with an unresponsive crowd. I think out of the 73 people that came to the presentation there may have been 4 or 5 of them considering Mount A for their post-secondary choice. It isn’t too bad for a francophone school, when you consider that Mount Allison is an English speaking university. I think I may have convinced a few more…they were just too shy to ask questions.
Random though:
If I had a MasterCard commercial it might look something like this:

Spending 13 hours on a bus: $124.34

Waking up at 6 am to catch the bus back to Sackville in time for class: 4 hours that I could have been sleeping.

…I couldn’t figure out a priceless moment, leave one below and I might post it next week….
I did get to spend some time at home, in Rothesay while I was down for the presentation, lots of good food. A change from meal hall is always nice, though they usually have some good options. I think now that I am in my 2nd year I am starting to get tired of meal hall. I do like having a kitchen in Res. but I just don’t use it that often. I think the reality of the matter is that I would have to buy groceries if I were going to cook for myself, which I am just too lazy to do sometimes. If only I had a Barbeque. I had a conversation with one of the guys I work with, Josh, all about BBQ and how it can just become an event. I think that it is more of a lifestyle choice than anything. Perhaps I will start an organization. PET=B, people for the ethical treatment of Barbeques. I respect Vegetarians, and Vegans, but to be honest, I don’t think I could enjoy food if Meat wasn’t considered food. I would probably be limited to Popcorn and French fries at that point. Oh, and Chips and Diet Coke, but still, I enjoy a good Steak, and Bacon is good with anything.
Vegetarians beware, if it ever came down to it, you may be fair game for BBQ as well, “Humans, Free Range & Grain-Fed”...
I had the chance to go to the World Barbeque Championships this summer, while I was living in Whistler; it was like Meat-Heaven, mountain side. Ok, enough about food. I am hungry now.

I think my next blog just might have some pictures of the snow I’ve been talking about, and maybe even some funny YouTube videos…never know what you’re gonna find.

Alrighty, the bust is pulling into Fredericton, and I will post this once I’ve got an Internet connection. I guess I didn't really post too much about Mount A today...maybe next time there will be more Mountie thoughts.

Talk to you next week,


Oh, I forgot to mention in my meat mania, that Mount A was named Canada's most Vegetarian Friendly University in Canada...

January 28, 2009

Clubs and Societies At Mount Allison University

I just spoke to a friend of mine about Religious Organizations on campus and she gave me a few links to share for more information:

The Mount Allison Christian Fellowship (MACF)

The MACF Facebook Group

The Campus Alpha Facebook Group

In addition, here is the list of clubs and societies at Mount Allison University:

January 27, 2009

Somebody actually reads this thing?

I was just surfing around online and what do I find but an post mentioning the post I made about President Obama's Impact on Canada on the Student Bloggers website. Studentbloggers.org is a site set up to promote student blogs around the world. If you're looking for different Student Blogs they have amassed quite a respectable listing.

While we're on the topic, I didn't think that I'd be getting many links to this small personal blog, but with over 2500 visits in three months I guess I must be doing something right. Anyways if anybody out there is linking to me and wants a link back just let me know by commenting below.

January 26, 2009

CHMA and Live Music in Sackville, New Brunswick

So I was stumbling around online and I found out that another blogger (I still feel really nerdy using that word) was at the Stereophonic 6 Concert at the Vogue made an actual fairly detailed review of the event instead of just mostly pictures and video. It was a pretty good concert and one of the first that I've been to in a while.

That brings to my realization that there really is a lot of quality live music in Sackville, especially considering the small student and town population. The Students' Administrative Council and CHMA, Sackville's Campus and Community Radio Station, help put on a fairly good number of concerts throughout the year. Even Plants and Animals and Wintersleep, two fairly well known Canadian bands came into Sackville. Unfortunately they played at a Pub in town (George's Roadhouse) , but as I'm turning 19 this month I won't have to miss any more concerts on account of age.

A little bit about CHMA:

CHMA 106.9 FM is owned and operated by the members of Attic Broadcasting Company Ltd., a non-profit organization with its offices on the campus of Mount Allison University.

We provide our members with an opportunity to create innovative, educational and alternative community-based programming.

Our programming schedule includes open format and specialty music shows, spoken word programs on a variety of topics as well as audio art programming that explores the limits of this thing we call radio.

Your membership gives you an opportunity to get involved at whatever level you choose. And if this is your first time in radio, don’t worry. Most of our members come to us with no experience in broadcasting. Some members volunteer behind the scenes and assist with station operations while every year, more than 100 members from the campus and the community receive training and take to the air as programmers.

CHMA also has a long history of live broadcasting, including live coverage of Mountie Football for both home and away games.

But CHMA is more than just its on-air presence. We’ve organized and promoted many projects and events including concerts, coffee houses, and a number of workshops on everything from home recording to interviewing techniques.

January 2004 saw the inauguration of STEREOPHONIC, a new annual fundraiser for the radio station. Those who made it to the party were able to catch more than a dozen bands perform over two nights. And over the years, CHMA has also played host to countless international and local celebrities.

So why wait. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the magic of radio, now is the time. We’re located on campus, on the third floor of the University Centre.

It’s Your Radio. Get on it!

That's about it for now. I just thought the amount and quality of live music in this small town was worth mentioning. I'll leave you with Julie Doiron's song featuring Mount Allison's Swan Pond entitles Swan Pond set to a stop-motion animation music video.

Day in the Life Part Five: Heath Services at Mount Allison

Just as during first semester I've been sick a while now. I'd say about a quarter of the school body is sick now...not a surprise as everybody brings their infections from home. It's been a bit of a rough start waking up for 8:30 classes when my body is pleading with me to stay in bed.

Once you're here though there's a few things you might want to know about health in Sackville. The hospital is a long walk away and unless it's an emergency you're going to be waiting a long time. This won't come as a surprise to most, but if you're going to the hospital make sure you bring some work to do or something to read or it will be even more uncomfortable than it is already.

In addition to the hospital in town, Mount Allison has a health centre on campus. For more information see their page.

January 25, 2009

Squamish, British Columbia

So I just finished and submitted an assignment on place in Human Geography, and so I had to spend a lot of time thinking about what makes different geographic locations special to me, and I was reminded of Squamish, British Columbia (about 70km north of Vancouver) where I lived for about a year. It is the most beautiful town I've lived in, and it was a great experience taking advantage of the natural environment (hiking, biking, snowboarding in Whistler) while I had the opprotunity.

I'm not going to write an essay about Squamish, but I will say that I miss my friends from Squamish and I would love to return if I ever get the chance. Here are a few of my favourite pictures:

I miss this view:
Alice Lake Provincial Park north of Squamish, British Columbia has a great little campground and beach area.

The Stawamus Chief is the 2nd largest monolith in the world. I hiked up the back of it throughout the year while I was there. It's a challenging hike but more than worth it.

Stawamus Chief Provincial Park protects the 700 metre massive granite cliffs that stand at the southern entrance to Squamish on the scenic Sea to Sky Highway. Established in 1997, the 517-hectare park provides rock climbing opportunities of international significance. Hiking trails to The Chief’s three summits offer rewarding views of Howe Sound, Squamish town site and surrounding mountains. This park has opportunities for camping, hiking, rock climbing and scenic viewing atop the Chief.

Special Features:

  • The Stawamus Chief is the second largest granite monolith in the world and provides good nesting habitat for the Peregrine Falcon. Please respect the wildlife and keep your distance. Viewing is best with a pair of binoculars or other viewing aide.
  • Please obey posted closures of climbing routes on the Chief from March to July, during the critical nesting season of the Peregrine Falcon.

Park Size: 517 hectares

Below is a picture of Valleycliffe...that was a pretty dicey moment taking that picture...it would have been a long fall straight down...

The downtown area as seen from the Chief

Religious Life at Mount Allison University

For the benefit of those who are interested, below I've included some information about Religious Life at Mount Allison University.

There are seven churches in Sackville in addition to the 'Denominationally Inclusive' University Chapel.

The Anglican Church of Canada
Father Kevin Stockall
Service Time: 11:00 a.m.
Located opposite the Mount Allison Swan Pond
Phone: 536-0897

United Baptist Convention
Rev. Vernon Vickruck
Service Time: 10:45 a.m.
Located at Silver Lake, 4 km from campus;
a church van provides pickup at the chapel at 10:30 am
Phone: 536-2615

Fellowship of Baptist Churches
Service Time: 10:45 a.m.
Located on Main Street near the Sackville Hospital
Phone: 536-2464

Independent Baptist
Rev. Morris Mills
Service Time: 11:00 a.m.
Located on east Main Street just past the highway overpass
Phone: 536-0407

The Presbyterian Church in Canada
Service Time: 11:00 a.m.
Located on Bridge Street next to Memorial Park
Phone: 536-3786

Roman Catholic
Service Time:9:00 a.m.
Located on Charlotte Street next to La Pavilion Bousquet
Phone: 536-1460

United Church of Canada
Rev. Gail Hopkirk, Supply
Service Time: 11:00 a.m.
Located at the corner of Bridge and Main Streets, downtown Sackville
Phone: 536-0498

Denominationally Inclusive Worship
Rev. John Perkin
Service Time: 7:00 p.m. September - April
Mount Allison University

Use of the Chapel

The chapel is open daily during the academic year and during weekdays in the summer months, as a place for personal prayer and meditation. The University Chapel is used for a variety of religious or faith-based activities, and is open to all as a place of refuge and peace.

The chapel Sanctuary is primarily used as a place of Christian worship; during the academic year, worship of a non-denominational nature takes place on Sunday evenings under the leadership of the University Chaplain and student Chapel Assistants. This evening service a long-standing tradition at Mount Allison is called Vespers, meaning literally “evening prayers”; it is a blend of tradition and contemporary worship elements from a variety of Christian traditions.

Funerals, prayer vigils, memorial services, and other special liturgical events take place in the Chapel with the permission of the University Chaplain. The Chapel is sometimes used for musical performances, dramatic presentations, public readings, and public addresses or forums that reflect the integrity of the purpose of the building. These may occasionally be jointly sponsored by the Chaplain's Office. The Chapel is a popular site for weddings. More information about weddings is available at this web site. All requests for use of the sanctuary should be made through the University Chaplain.

The Chaplain also leads study, discussion and spiritual nurture groups in the Chapel. Student groups, representing a variety of faith-based interests, meet in the Chapel for prayer, study and fellowship.

The Manning Room is used by the University community for study, meetings, and group activities. Booking can be arranged through Facilities Management. Permission must be obtained from the Chaplain's Office for weekly or term bookings.

For those who prefer not to be in the traditional Christian environment of the chapel sanctuary, a room in the basement of the Chapel has been designated as the Multi-Faith Prayer Room. This room is available without booking.

All those who use the chapel are asked to be considerate of those who may be seeking a place for quiet prayer or meditation, in either the Sanctuary or the Multi-faith Prayer Room.

From the University Calendar:

10.12 Religious Life on Campus

10.12.1 Introduction

Mount Allison is a church-founded university which affirms the partnership of faith and higher education. The Mount Allison crest declares that religion is a central and integral part of university life, and the University continues the commitment made in its founding to nurture the spiritual life of students. It supports and encourages personal spiritual development and affirms that university is a place to be awakened to the deep mysteries of life; the search for truth is a religious quest as well as an educational goal.

The chapel at Mount Allison, located at the heart of the campus, is a visible symbol of the commitment of the university to the importance of faith in university life. It stands as a reminder that the university is committed to nurturing students as whole human persons.

While founded under Methodist direction, Mount Allison upholds freedom of religion and creeds. Chapel worship and activities are ecumenical by design; the Office of the Chaplain is intended to be an ecumenical appointment, responsive not only to the many Christian denominations represented on campus but to the diversity of religious traditions. The Chaplain is open to engaging students of all religions in faith development.

10.12.2 The Chapel

The Chapel on campus is a refuge and a retreat in the midst of the activity around it; it is open daily for quiet reflection or prayer. Its exterior design makes it accessible from any direction on campus; the interior design naturally draws the eye upwards. The chapel is used primarily for worship, but individuals and groups associated with the university may arrange with the Chaplain for the use of the chapel for purposes that reflect the goal of nurturing religious life on campus.

The chapel was built and dedicated in 1965 through the initiative and generosity of the Rev. C.H. Johnson, and with the support of many other alumni, friends of the university, church people of the region and other individuals and institutions.

The organ is a gift of a former Chancellor, Dr. Ralph P. Bell, in memory of his mother. The stained glass windows were given by Marjorie Young Bell. A permanent record of the gifts is found in "The Book of Remembrance" in the narthex of the chapel. A small meditation room for private or small group prayer or worship is located to the right of the front of the sanctuary; the Chaplain maintains a study to the left side. The Manning Room in the basement is named for the generous gift of Mrs. Gladys M. Manning, and is dedicated to the religious and social life of the campus.

A multi-faith prayer room is available in the chapel; this room is intended for private or small group prayer in a comfortable setting supportive of all religious traditions. A Muslim student group makes use of this prayer room every Friday.

10.12.3 Worship

Sunday evening worship services, or vespers, are held throughout the academic year. Other special services in the week take place through the year.

The Chaplain provides leadership in worship, drawing on students and other members of the University community. Students take an active role in the chapel programs, sharing in planning, preparing and leading worship.

10.12.4 The Chaplain

The Chaplain oversees the Chapel and its programs and worship; the mandate of the Chaplain goes beyond worship and extends to nurturing spiritual life on campus to include counsel and comfort for those needing encouragement or support, to being a refuge to those in need, to enriching University life. All the work of the Chaplain is undertaken regardless of the religion, ideology or faith of those who seek. The Chaplain is appointed by the University and serves as Chaplain to the whole community, including both students and employees, with a responsibility to speak to the university as well as from within it.

10.12.5 Student Groups

Students engage in their faith pilgrimages in many ways, and the University provides ample opportunity to develop in faith. The Chapel services give opportunity to share in worship and develop leadership abilities; the Chapel Choir provides a way to express faith in music. Student groups operate autonomously, but often in conjunction with the Chaplain.

Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship has an active group that offers fellowship, singing, Bible study and prayer. The Student Christian Movement is also very active, and encourages students to translate Christian faith into action through issues of peace and social justice.

The Pre-Theology Society comprises those students who are considering ministry, and it meets occasionally for fellowship, study and mutual support.

10.12.6 Programs

Religious awareness and spiritual development are the concern of a variety of programs initiated by student groups, the Department of Religious Studies and the Office of the Chaplain. These may include guest lecturers, forums for dialogue on religious matters, and other special events.

Loon Lounge:Canada's Immigration and Settlement Online Community

I've noticed quite a few of the people reading this blog are from outside the US and Canada, and I think it would be safe to assume that some may be interested in visiting or moving to Canada temporarily to work or study or as a permanent resident. I recently became an expert member and began posting on a relatively new project called LoonLounge. LoonLounge is a social network with dedicated to helping people to studies, work, and immigrate to Canada. The site is not a replacement for professional legal advice but it is a vital source of knowledge and information for many looking to move to Canada.

LoonLounge is a place to meet people and learn about life in Canada and the Canadian immigration experience. LoonLounge is a network of communities through which you can connect with people around the world, share experiences and advice, ask questions, make friends, find a job in Canada and create a settlement plan.
LoonLounge is the Canadian immigration and settlement online community, made up of Canadians and people from around the world. With the collective knowledge and experience of a growing and engaged community, LoonLounge is the place where people inside and outside our country can work on building Canada together.
LoonLounge was created to improve the Canadian immigration process for the millions of people involved: applicants waiting in the queue, new immigrants adjusting to life in Canada, Canadian employers waiting for skilled workers to arrive, and the many people around the world who dream of one day making Canada their home.

By facilitating communication and centralizing member information, the purpose of LoonLounge is to empower Canadian residents, immigrants, and potential immigrants with the knowledge we need to build a stronger Canada together.
LoonLounge is a creation of Canadian immigration lawyer David Cohen, who has identified a missing link in the process of immigrating to Canada. The focus of David's work for over 25 years has been helping people make Canada their new home, and he has seen that those with contacts and support in Canada are better equipped to establish themselves than those who try to make it on their own. LoonLounge is the missing link - a tool to help people make connections and build a support system to help ease their transition into life in Canada.

David's grandfather came to Canada with nothing more than a few dollars in his pocket, barely a word of English or French, and the name of a man from his hometown who had moved to Montreal. This man owned a small shop and offered David's grandfather a space in the corner of his store. Through this act of kindness, David’s grandfather’s was able to establish a small shoe-repair operation, which later flourished with hard work and determination into his own successful clothing store.

The success of David's grandfather speaks not only of the opportunities to be had in Canada, but also of the value and importance of community support. While the Canadian and provincial governments provide many services to help newcomers adjust to life in Canada, their "big picture" approach cannot replicate the supportive touch of a community, where real people help each other.
LoonLounge empowers immigrants by allowing them to find and build a support network before even setting foot in Canada.

LoonLounge empowers Canadians to help with newcomer integration to ensure the future success of Canada as a nation.

The LoonLounge team believes that helping people succeed means building a stronger Canada together. We know you have many questions. We know you'll have many more. LoonLounge members have the answers.

Join our community today!