The Barbell Prescription: The What, Why and How of Weight Training

So much cool stuff happens on campus all day every day. It breaks my heart that I literally don’t have the time to go do and see and hear everything.

On Tuesday, I went to a free seminar that was held at Hart House called, “The Barbell Prescription”.

You know it’s going to be a good one when you’re already taking notes and salivating over the guest’s credentials.

Dr. J Sullivan joined us from Michigan. A former US marine, 3rd degree black belt in Karate, 3rd level Krav Maga practitioner, doctor, researcher… The guy received a $2 million research grant from the NIH… that’s the National Institutes of Health. It’s a big deal. On top of all that, he owns, manages and trains clients at a gym called Grey Steel, for aging adults.

Dr. Jonathon Sullivan

Dr. Jonathon Sullivan Source:

We started off talking about what we considered an “athlete”, how we’d define the word. I learned a little bit about Greek athletes (the word athlete comes from the Greek “athlos” which means contest or feat). Apparently there was an athletic event in the Greek games, “Hoplitodromos”, which was a race in full battle armour. Competitors in the games had to swear an oath to Zeus that they trained for a minimum of 10 months. Awfully specific for so many years ago! Continue reading

It’s essay season; do you know where your apostrophe should go?

You gotta write good like you know you should. Take them words and string ’em together all smart-like. Why? Because words make us wanna go:

Pictured: graphic of "Yaaaaaaas werk!" written in the fanciest calligraphy font I could findThat was painful, I know. I am deeply sorry for putting you through that. The point of it was to show how cringeworthy bad writing can be. [Life@UofT will not be held responsible for any damages resulting from rageful fits my above paragraph may have induced, including but not limited to thrown computers, torn pillows, and a decreased faith in humanity]

Good writing is so important in the academic environment. Professors believe that profoundly; a lot of what they do depends on the written word. It’s no surprise, then, that professors are often experts at writing well. I have picked up so many great tricks from them throughout my time at university. In the spirit of solidarity during prime essay season, I would like to share my favourite tips with you lovely people. Continue reading

A Trip to the Farm

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard that Toronto opened up it’s first cat cafe last week. Sadly, the long lines have kept me apart from Toronto’s hottest felines, so I decided to hit visit the next best place, The Riverdale Farm. Sure, I didn’t get to have coffee with a cat, but I did get to pet a horse which was pretty darn cool.

photo of a black horse and a light brown horse

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The Perks of Being a Winterlover

Perhaps some of you have felt that shift in winds over the past week or so. Perhaps the chill running down your spine was due not just to the physical cold but also to an ominous feeling of wintery dread. That’s right – it’s officially getting colder in Toronto.

As someone who’s born and raised in Canada, I am no stranger to the blistering winters of the Great North. I would go so far as to say that I’m a cold-weather person. So call me biased, but I would argue that Canadian winters aren’t so bad (I have a feeling Emaan would beg to differ). Scratch that – I would argue that Toronto winters aren’t so bad. There’s those ridiculous ice pellet storms but then there’s also the fluffy good stuff that makes for excellent photos and really beautiful scenery. I love seeing the UC building during that perfect snowfall.

While we do get our fair share of snow and the occasional day (or week) where we are blessed with -30ºC + wind chill, winters in the city are pretty tame compared to what our friends at, say, McMaster would experience:

Three students paddling a canoe across a flooded over part of McMaster campus.

Queen’s Park can get pretty swampy but this scene of McMaster is a whole other monster. (Photo source: Huffington Post)

Many skeptics/summer people are probably reading this post with incredulous looks on their faces. But maybe I can persuade you into thinking that there are actually a few perks to going to U of T in the winter:

You can engage in Olympic-level winter sports
What better way to get to class than to practice your figure-skating skills across an iced-over front campus? Skiing to Robarts? Tobogganing down hills in Christie Pits? The world is your frozen oyster! (Side note: MoveU is hosting a Skate ‘N’ Create at Varsity Arena!) 

A package of frozen oysters

(Photo source:

You can seek refuge in a warm and inviting Starbucks on every corner
A definite advantage we have in going to school in an urban city is the fact that there are always stores around (with heating!) that we can duck into to escape a potential blizzard. Nothing like a grande peppermint mocha to melt off that pile of snow on your toque. 

Close-up of a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Your path is illuminated by pretty lights
One of the things I look forward to the most about winter is seeing the lights strung up in the snow-covered trees all over the city. While they may be taken down once the holiday season winds down, it’s still something to look forward to and always lifts my mood no matter how cold it gets.

You can have school-wide snowball fights!!
Last year, U of T was graced by the organization of a campus-wide snowball fight held on front campus. Nothing says school spirit like pelting a heaping pile of snow at a fellow study buddy! All jokes aside, participating in school events during the winter helps take our minds off exam season and the bad weather. Coffee houses, board games, and more – it’s good to keep an eye out for indoor events (or outdoor, if you please!) for a chance to bond with other students. Guaranteed to give you the warm fuzzies.

Here’s to hoping that we approach this next season with optimism and thick, wooly socks. Winter is coming, U of T. How are you bracing yourselves?

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Market Marvels

As the end of November approaches us, the holiday season is in the air. Christmas music is being played in the grocery store, coffee cups have seasonal doodles splattered across them (although some of them areGASP just red), storefronts are decorated with beautiful gold, silver and red themes and every so often I get the overwhelming urge to decorate a Christmas tree.

The onset of holiday season in the city comes with so many festive and wonderful events happening throughout Toronto. So…

Put down your heavy textbook! Forget about your seven page essay!  Postpone the study groups and get out there and get your early holiday season party animal on, cause people, it’s

C  H  R  I  S  T  M  A  S     M  A  R  K  E  T     S  E  A  S  O  N     <  3   ! ! !

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An Endless Tug-of-War: Being a Diasporic Asian

My Neighbour Totoro. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Char siu bao. Maple syrup pancakes.

Red pockets. Christmas trees.

As a child, I never questioned why my life was a mix of Canadian and Chinese culture. It had always seemed natural to participate in each culture’s respective traditions and indulge in its entertainment and food. I didn’t realize that this was partially due to the fact that I was a diasporic Asian.

An assortment of Totoro merchandise.

Any self-proclaimed Totoro enthusiasts here? (Hand shoots up.)

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Playing Tourist in Your Own Town

In my last post, I talked a little bit about travelling while you’re away on exchange. Travelling is a lot of fun, but I neglected to mention one important detail…it is EXPENSIVE. With the end of the semester coming, and my bank account balance looking sadder and sadder everyday, I think my travelling days are over for now. But, fortunately, I came up with a solution. Being a tourist in my own town! No airfare to worry about, no hotels to pay for, no expensive meals out – just me and my camera wandering around Edinburgh.

Pretending to be a tourist at the National Museum.

Pretending to be a tourist at the National Museum.

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