Dear education: thanks for the brain workout.

This is the first semester that I haven’t been in school. After a lifetime of education, I finished my university degree in June. Even though my excitement to be done was tangible, the last day I walked around campus I thought about all of the things I would miss.

University is a place where people come together to think, create, and stretch their brains in uncomfortable ways.There’s something about walking around campus and being surrounded by people in different disciplines. While standing in line for a much needed caffeine fix, in front of me is an engineer crunching numbers that mean nothing to me, behind me is a medical student who knows exactly what that fifth coffee is doing to her body but orders it anyways because she’s running on little sleep, and at the front is a couple of philosopher’s arguing over who summed up human sexuality the best: Freud or Foucault. And then there’s me – a journalist whose time spent observing people standing in line for coffee is every bit a part of my education as the news writing and ethics class that I’m running late for.

Sure, I went to unversity to get a degree that will hopefully help me get the career that I want one day. However, the part of school that I loved the most isn’t the paper I received at the end. It’s the way different topics open your eyes up to parts of the world you never knew existed. It’s that teacher that is so passionate about what they’re teaching that they can inspire you to change journalism for the better, get you excited about fonts, or burn into your memory how different chemicals affect your brain. It’s that person you roll your eyes at because it’s the seventh time they’ve raised their hand in the past hour and they’re sharing another story about what their boyfriend thinks about an unrelated topic, like soup. It’s the sports teams, friends, Tim Hortons, early mornings and late nights.

During my last weeks I was excited at the thought of being done assessment and starting “real life.” However, I am going to miss being on campus because  of its unique atmosphere. There’s always more learning to do. After all, I never did sit in on an engineer class.

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Something awesome that I learned today

Sometime last year I decided it’d be a sweet idea to have a “something awesome that I learned today” wall. I love quotations and thought it’d be sweet to have awesome things to read while brushing my teeth.

Some of the stuff written down is from my academic readings, some from church, a lot from things I come across online, and then a bunch from random people. Don’t be surprised if you see something you once said!

Please note Steph’s insights concerning our crazy kettle. Very valuable information.

This is one of my favourite pages. I had the privilege of covering a Raps/76ers game this year, and I was blown away by how tall they all were.

I also love the fun fact about pointalism. Steph and I were thrilled when Elyse explained this to us. We still need to do a huge wall-sized pointalism self-portrait. Look for it in your closest art gallery.

“Be intentional” is one of the best life lessons. I wrote some features  for The Gazette this year, and I was always so inspired by people who had solid, well thought out answers for questions I would ask them. I have so much respect for people that do everything with a purpose.

I took a course called “The Culture of Containment: Post Cold-War America” and I remember my professor trying to explain containment by drawing a whole bunch of shapes inside of other shapes with a bunch of fancy words describing 1950’s America… The gist of the whole production was that consumerism acts as a container for Western culture. Interesting to think about when you’re not distracted by a guy with a bow tie squiggling things on a white board.

Another thing that I really learned this year was that if you take action, you’ll get results. Don’t sit around contemplating good ideas — act on them!

Oh Yoda. So wise.

After Liz explained debt to us with the porridge analogy, it made perfect sense! (Not really though…I still don’t know what she’s talking about. All I know about porridge is that it’s delicious.)

I thought the knowledge quote was really cool because as a student I cram so information (or “knowledge”) into my brain before exams only to forget most of it a couple of days later. Knowledge is only truly useful if it impacts you enough for you to be able to recall it, or as it is so eloquently stated, if it is “written on the soul of the learner.” (I read that quote while I was studying for an exam in April…I don’t remember which course it was for. Ironic?)

I read a cool article by Roland Barthes about how writers are special because they never stop “working.” I can absolutely relate to this. I’m constantly thinking about what I’m going to write about next and topics for the future. It’s not a bad thing though — it’s kind of nice.

Hmm… there’s a definite “goals” “dreams” and “take action” trend happening…

It was awesome when I realized that people change their minds. Change is healthy, and often exciting. Although change can be difficult when things are already good, it’s nice to remember that everything happens for a reason (right Iz?)