The pursuit of knowledge

If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to study something you really like, then you could enjoy your next four years as an undergraduate. But if you are like me and you want to study a lot of different things, you have to settle for one thing and then spend the next four years biting your lip in frustration as you listen to your friends recount their interesting courses.

Sometimes, you might just need a “quick fix” – an opportunity to step into another world of studies while simultaneously experiencing life outside the classroom. For me, the quick fix came from visiting the AGO, just this past week.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is an amazing gallery located close to campus – at Dundas and Beverly – which features work from the Group of Seven (three of whom used to paint sets for U of T’s Hart House Theatre) and several other prominent artists. I had the pleasure of viewing the King Tut exhibit, which documents the short life but interesting of King Tutankhamun through exhibits, including statues, pictures, videos and an audio guide. All of a sudden, I was taken on a journey to a land and time so unfamiliar to my own, with the chance to explore and learn about the treasures of the past.

Visiting the AGO made me think about U of T and made me wonder if we have something related to Egyptian studies. A little research resulted in the delightful discovery we have a Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, which offers courses in Islamic Studies, Arabic, archeology, biblical Hebrew and much, much more! Suddenly the opportunity to learn more about the world can develop right from taking an elective course.

The Royal Ontairo Museum is another great place that might interest students who are looking to learn about the world. Featuring galleries on world culture, natural history and even hands-on galleries, the ROM is the perfect “quick fix.” It’s located right on Bloor Street, and best of all – post secondary students get in free on Tuesdays! This month features exhibitions on Black History Month!

Many of the galleries at the ROM can be considered like mini-courses at U of T. The Gallery of Birds at the ROM “features hundreds of birds in flight, pull-out drawers containing eggs, feathers, footprints and nests. Mini-dioramas focus on extinct birds and how environmental changes and habitat destruction have put other species in danger.” If you like the exhibit and want some hands on experience, take the Field Ornithology course* under the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Department. The course “lectures on the biology of birds with daily field work emphasizing field identification, field research methodologies, habitat relationships” and more.

A bit of culture in a student’s life is always good. We spend so much time reading, it would be nice sit back and listen to some music. There is a gallery right downtown for music – the Music Gallery – which has wonderful concerts, featuring different artists 7-10 times a month.

Perhaps you’d like to hear a concert and support your fellow U of T students at the same time! The U of T Faculty of Music holds events all year long which feature student recitals!

No matter what you study, you shouldn’t feel confined in your academic interests. You can explore Toronto and check out the numerous galleries around our campus or you can look right around our very campus and enjoy elective courses as well as art galleries at U of T.

Cheers to life learning!
– Fariya

*ornithology – the study of birds

2 comments on “The pursuit of knowledge

  1. The museums are definitely a great place to learn! I’m an Anthro major so you can see why I’m obsessed! I went to see the King Tut exhibit too and absolutely loved it! I still remember the reactions on people’s faces when I yelled OMG! That’s Akhenaten! Haha, they must have thought I was crazy or something. Too bad King Tut’s sarcophagus wasn’t here!

  2. Hey Meimei!

    First of all, thanks for your fabulous comments. I see you have become an avid UpbeaT reader, and I wanted to say we always appreciate the time you take to write a comment.

    I loved the King Tut exhibit – I wish we had stuff like that in University! I was yelling a lot too – I got into a big discussion with some elderly women about the exhibit pieces and I had a blast – in a museum! Woo! 🙂

    – Fariya

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