Introduction

Long Winter Living

Long Winter Living

Wow, what a month! Now that January is over, we can get right into February (though I’m pretty sure February might be even crazier). I had three tests and an essay in the first four weeks of this semester with another two tests coming up right away. Reading week can’t come fast enough!

Looking out over the thick layer of snow in Queen's Park, complete with footprint trails
Big winter snowfall means a difficult walk ahead (Photo by Zachary Biech)

These busy streaks go differently each time. Since I’ve been back from the holiday, it’s been hard to get back into a balanced routine. I have been a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of different tasks that came my way. Exams usually throw everybody’s routine into chaos, almost like the whole student population goes into extreme survival mode. So far this year, it feels like that chaos never really ended.

One of the benches in front of Sidney Smith hall, completely buried in fresh snow
Buried…exactly how I feel! (Photo by Zachary Biech)

But, if you can be tough enough to get through the work and keep your life somewhat intact, you may find the time for things other than schoolwork. But things cannot always be that balanced, despite even your best efforts. Sometimes, the best we can do is to keep going in the times when life can’t be balanced.

A huge stack of papers next to a huge stack of assignments next to a huge stack of book. Did I mention it's a huge stack?
This is what my first two years of university look like… (Photo by Zachary Biech)

Not to worry! There’s so much at this university to help us and all we have to do is seek it out. Indigenous Education Week has been a great example. There were many events to choose from, each with a unique perspective. First Nations House offered enough events to appeal to everyone.

A shelf with, you guessed it, a huge stack of books and paper
This is what my year in-progress looks like! (Photo by Zachary Biech)

The first event I went to was part of the Aboriginal Studies Department. Rene Andre Meshake–an accomplished poet, flute musician, and promoter of Anishnaabemowin teachings–came to give a workshop for ABS students including my ABS210 class. Rene is a superb storyteller and teacher! His unique experiences and personal story, combined with his vibrant artistic style, were really inspiring. His workshop really turned my day around!

http://www3.sympatico.ca/renemeshake/

I’m also going to a screening in Robarts on Friday of “Trick or Treaty?” directed by Alanis Obomsawin put on by the Native Students’ Association and the Indigenous Education Network. Friday is always a good movie night! Everybody I know who has watched this film tells me it will make me laugh and cry all at the same time. I can’t wait!

http://www.tiff.net/festivals/thefestival/programmes/masters/trick-or-treaty

Education, as I have learned this week, is not just about schoolwork. Education is about life. You learn a lot of different things in university but make sure you learn how to live well! First Nations House provides the programming for this learning and helps me learn more about life every day!

Looking up at Robarts, with it's windows lit up against the night sky
This was taken just after the screening of Trick or Treaty? in Robarts, which was awesome (Photo by Zachary Biech)

How will you live well this week? Did you see any of the news about the campus-wide snowball fight on Front-Campus? Those students did a great job adding to their lives! For me, living well can be as simple as watching a good movie. So I’ll find myself a good thriller or sci-fi, and settle in for a great weekend. I even bought the popcorn, so I’m good to go!

http://www.thestar.com/news/2015/02/03/u-of-t-snowball-fight.html

 

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