Battle of the Bands: U of T Style

Last Friday I had the pleasure of attending the Winterfest 2016: Battle of the Bands, which took place at the Annex venue, Lee’s Palace. The Battle of the Bands event is a competition for U of T bands to win a prize of five hundred dollars and a set at Fireball 2016!  If you haven’t heard about this totally epic musical battle sesh you should...
  1. Consider creating a Facebook account, if only to keep up with the never ending stream of FB invites to UofT affiliated events (that are actually fun to go to).
  2. Continue reading, because I am about to give you a recap.
Upon entering Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor St. West / a popular venue for musicians and people alike whose music preferences would 100% offend your grandmother) I was reminded the battle of the bands scene in the movie Scott Pilgram vs. the World. The atmosphere of the venue was awesome in a grungy underground teenage angsty way, even if the smell distinctly reminded me of Queen Street’s “Black Market” vintage store. Various smells aside, I was in for a night of great music, dancing and a general good time. Competing Bands Spaceship Thoughts Founded in October 2015, by Sky Casket, Spoon Johnson and Lump the Potato (who is unsurprisingly, truly a root vegetable) the sounds of Spaceship Thoughts are unlike anything I had ever heard before. They go for an “acoustic rap” vibe which was as interesting as it sounds. Despite being the youngest band at the battle, they rocked their first live performance! The lead singer was dressed up as a traditional 90’s “bro” complete with a popped collar, pink polo shirt, exceptionally spiky hair and two ties to really finish off the look. This interview-style video done by The Varsity will give you a glimpse at the personalities of the bands who competed in the Battle!


Like a new year (hello 2016!!), a new semester never fails to get me in the mood to reflect on my goals. Goals forgotten, goals achieved, #goals that I aspire to move from the murky depths of my Pinterest board to real life and goals that are relevant to what I hope the new semester might hold for me. At the beginning of last semester, I spent one particularly quiet night shift at work outlining the academic hopes and dreams that I would ‘surely’ have no trouble fulfilling   the steps that would have me on the road to university success in no time. However, upon revisiting said list, I can now safely say that my list was pretty unauthentic and maybe even impractical. My goal for this semester? Setting realistic goals.

International Perspective: A Holiday Collective

Are you an international student missing out on your "home holiday seasons" and family this year? Read on to meet some of U of T's own international students, and their tips on how to deal with missing family, friends and holiday traditions while studying at university.
Kana sitting on a suitcase at the airport wearing her UofT sweater!
Meet Kana! She is a second year student studying Peace, Conflict and Justice, Contemporary Asian Studies and Environmental Anthropology here at U of T. Kana moved to T.O. from Osaka, Japan. She likes to meet new people and try out cool restaurants in the city!
Logan with a backdrop of the Toronto skyline.
Say hello to Logan! Logan studies Genome Biology, with minors in Physiology and Immunology. He grew up in a small rural town in Indiana, USA, and he spends his free time exploring the 6ix and admires ALL the dogs Toronto has to offer.
Charmaine wearing her frosh week t-shirt at Woodsworth College Quad.
Introducing Charmaine! Charmaine is a first year student, intending to specialize in Neuroscience. She is from Zimbabwe, and loves writing short stories, dancing, singing and watching television series when she is not doing school work.

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   ! ! !

Library Da[y]ze

As a student who ‘double-dips’ in both the arts and sciences here at U of T, I can tell you that sometimes a full library day is something you can’t avoid. My kitchen table is where I do the majority of my school work, but occasionally I need the focus and academic-y aesthetic a library provides. The many reasons students end up at the library vary, but I’m sure we all have one thing in common: we don’t really want to be there.
A picture of my kitchen table littered with notebooks, textbooks and my MacBook.
A typical Madeline-at-home work space.
I once made made a trip out to Queen's University to visit some friends who studied there. It was during the impromptu library tour (it didn’t take long, they only have seven) that I was told if you were going to get anything done there, you must get a desk with an outlet not for your computer charger, but for the mini kettle that would apparently provide enough sustenance to read for hours on end with instant coffee and Mr. Noodles. And while I have never seen a person with a kettle at Robarts, I still think of this every time I pack up my bag for a full day of studying.

Life Unplugged

The beginning of November marks the start of “Unplugged” month at U of T, which is an initiative that encourages students to escape the tight grasp of their social media accounts. Who hasn’t felt that nagging feeling to check your phone at least twice during your one hour lecture or the all-consuming fear that your insta-hashtag is “too literal”?. Inspired by Madelin’s leap of faith into a notification-less world. I decided to embark on a challenge of my own: to delete all my social media apps off my phone for an entire week. Here is my story: "UNMISTAKEABLE  LAW & ORDER ‘DUN DUN’ SOUND EFFECT"

My Mini-Escape to LBU (Life Before University)

I am writing this post from bed. Five days ago, I found myself in the emergency room of a hospital with a rather bad kidney infection. After I was released from the hospital, my boyfriend insisted I take some time to recuperate, called my mother to come fetch me and that’s how I ended up here writing my weekly blog post from the comfort of my childhood bed.   October had been a stressful month; debatably the most stressful month I've had in a long time and though the kidney infection has been a bummer, I am thankful to have the mental rest that has come with the physical rest my body needs.