Posts Tagged ‘school’

Group work

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

perpetually flooded

We were supposed to get a lot of work done tonight but I had the presence of mind to be late. It was my fault, mostly. I left a couple minutes later than I should have and somehow when you’re taking transit five minutes can compound itself into an hour and fifteen.

Shortly after we moved in, it was discovered that the sheer volume of wine consumed weekly in our suite is rather impressive. In order to cut costs, it was decided that we would just bottle our own. The francophones placed the order and it was delivered today. Thirty bottles of something white, dry and fruity tasting.

It called for a toast in the kitchen, which turned into the recounting of drunk stories. The liquor laws and attitudes are far more lax in Quebec than they are here, so it made for some pretty good ones.

By the time I ran out to catch my bus it was nowhere to be found. I was soon to discover that Translink had decided to send me off on some strange, counter-intuitive route to my destination, definitely not the one I would have chosen had I had the sense to second-guess the computer.

The problem with the next stop announcements on the bus is that they give me a false sense of security. I get on a bus I’ve never been on before and just assume that the name of the street I want is going to be called. So because of that I’ll wait that much longer to get off and backtrack because I’m still holding out hope that my stop is coming up.

I arrived finally. No one had really started working because they were trying to load SPSS on a dinosaur of a PC. While this was happening, Sense and Sensibility was on TV. Some of my group members were arguing over whether it was Hugh Grant or Hugh Laurie they saw and the modern day diagnoses of the illnesses you read about in Victorian novels and then we started looking up youtube videos of Cathie Jung, the lady with the world’s smallest waist, which turned into various rants about fashion, body image and why healthy looking never seems to be in style.

All of this was sort-of appropriate, I guess. After all, we’re looking at images of women in the news. But after that we all got tired, lost steam, ate Chinese bakery danishes filled with something custardy that was definitely not custard and went home.


I sure know how to spend a Saturday

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

under the rotunda

In my bid to be the most exciting person in the world I spent the evening in the library at school doing SPSS coding. Yay me.

Afterward I wandered around campus. On weekends it’s a completely different place. It’s quiet and there’s no one around to watch me wander around erratically taking pictures. It becomes a blank slate for wandering aimlessly. I like it better with the people erased.


Everything looks so much bigger when there’s nobody around, and I’m so much smaller. There’s so much more space to think.

Shooting at night is a funny thing. My camera always seems to see so many more colours than I do. The photos always come out brighter. I love it, even though I hate the sulphur yellow of the lights.

It was snowing when I left. I wonder how long it will take to come down the mountain.

stairs down, stairs up, more around the corner

Media monitoring

Friday, October 16th, 2009

It’s been a super busy week for me! In one of my classes we’ve been gearing up for the Global Media Monitoring Project in November. The project is supposed to create a global snapshot of the way that women are represented in print, TV and radio news. We’re working on the research for English language media in Canada.

On top of that my group, the print group, is working on another research project on women in photojournalism. We’ve spent the whole week putting together our research proposal and drawing up our methods for what is starting to look like a crazy ambitious project.

I think we’re all pretty excited to be working on projects that are actually useful that we’ll get to send away to Toronto to be published in a report. It’s great to write something that people are actually going to read.

One thing that bothers me about undergrad is how much time and energy is spent doing research that goes nowhere. I’m sure that there are a lot of projects that aren’t really useful for anyone, but there are some that might be beneficial.

The one that comes to mind is the composting feasibility study that I did with a group in one of my classes. It wasn’t until afterward that I found out that someone had done the same project as a directed study and a geography class had been working on the same thing at the same time. None of us knew about eachother and each of us started from scratch. Ultimately, nothing has been done with any of our results. It’s frustrating.

But not this project. It will be pure sleep deprivation and awesomeness.

New semester

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009


If I’m not mistaken, this is the 17th or 18th semester of my undergraduate degree. If you’ve done the math and have come to the conclusion that that’s a long time to take for a bachelor’s degree, you’d be correct. I was going to graduate last year but some things got in the way.

The class I was in today was about communication to mitigate disasters. Our lecture today was about how everything is out to get you: natural disasters, weather events, hazardous materials accidents, diseases and epidemics, war, conflict and terrorism.

The scary thing is that reported weather related disasters have doubled since 1996 and insurance losses have been exponential. Yay for climate change.

Before class I went for veggie lunch with Abby. She’s been holed up in Maple Ridge all summer and now she’s excited to be back at school. I think school has lost a little bit of its lustre for me. I don’t really want to leave but it’s not really very exciting. It’s just something that I do, and will very predictably do well.

I feel like I’m on a different plane from everyone in my classes. For all my involvement in clubs and organizations, I don’t really feel like I know a lot of people there. A lot of the people I have met have moved on to somewhere else, and being naturally reserved I don’t really meet a lot of people. I’m okay with that, mostly.

For a while there SFU’s database had me stuck in that category where they assume that you have one foot out the door, or at least they think you should. I got all the emails about graduation and academic advising and the great registration dates.

Now something’s changed. Either it’s that I’ve finally clawed my gpa back up from the great brain mush that was 2006 or they’ve looked at me and decided that I’m not leaving so I may as well stay. Suddenly they’re inviting me to all sorts of grad school recruitment and scholarship stuff. I’m still on the fence as to what I want to study and where, but that’s the direction I’m headed, and maybe they can persuade me to make up my mind. We’ll see.