Art is my Salvation: Hart House Art Tour

photograph of jellyfish suspended in a tank glowing a fluorescent pink against a purplish blue backdrop

This week has been like swimming through a tank full of jellyfish :(

This week has been a tough week for me. A lot has happened and a lot still remains to be going on. The majority of it has simply been personal, but sometimes personal obstacles are the ones that seem the most difficult. And in my opinion, rightly so, because to me personal battles are actually opportunities to grow in disguise.

In times of personal struggles, I have found that creativity and art are two things that ground me. Writing in a journal for instance, or even doodling in sketch pad. But sometimes inspiration to be creative doesn’t come easily when faced with a mountain that needs to be overcome. In these times, I enjoy finding inspiration in the more traditional way: that is surrounding myself with art. And what better way to do this than by taking advantage of Hart House’s free monthly Art Tour?

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An Ode to Lee’s Palace

This past school year, I lived in a creaky, vintage (old) house comprised of both students and young professionals. Inside, examples of some common occurrences were: uncomfortable heating spikes, cleaning up other peoples’ messes so I could cook dinner, and, my personal favourite, forgetting to bring some toilet paper rolls from my room to the bathroom only to realize the terrible mistake I made later on in the day.

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The UC Review in Review

stacks of books that say "The UC Review, 2015-2016"

Back in my very first blog post, I set a goal to let myself be more creative. As I explained there, I have a lot of trouble letting my creative juices flow. I get hung up on projects not being perfect and end up abandoning them halfway through. Or at least I did. This year has been a year of falling back in tune with my creativity. Blogging with the crew has given me the opportunity to find beautiful things in the places around me and forced my to stop letting my camera collect dust. I really felt like I had met this goal yesterday, when I got to see my work printed in the new UC Review.


The UC Review is an annual collection of student poetry, prose, photography and art, that’s been running for the past 40 years. This year’s edition, which returned after a short hiatus, is absolutely beautiful, with brilliant work and brilliant design.

stacks of old UC reviews


UC is one of the bigger colleges at U of T,  and at times this can make it feel difficult to find a sense of community. However, I found that flipping through the review made that feeling go away entirely. What I love most about the review is that it gave me a chance to sample all of the hidden talents of the students that I walk by or bump into grabbing coffee everyday, that it gave me a chance to find a little community of artists hidden inside my college.

From college journals to faculty newspapers, there are tons of opportunities on campus to have your work seen. If you’re looking for a way to get your creative juices flowing, I would definitely recommend submitting your work to one of those publications. There’s no better feeling than seeing your work printed for the world to see, and it’s a great way to find a little creative community hidden right under your nose.

You can pick up free copies of the UC Review from the Alumni Lounge in University College. All U of T students can submit to the review, but priority is placed on the work of UC students. For more information, see their website.


notebook printed to say "UC loves the Review 15/16"

An Afternoon at Walter Hall

Every now and again, during my midday campus dashes, I’ll cut through Philosopher’s Walk behind Trinity College which opens up on Bloor Street at the north end.

Philosopher’s Walk during the summer is a sight for sore eyes. photo courtesy of previous blogger Cynthia

Philosopher’s Walk during the summer is a sight for sore eyes.
photo courtesy of previous blogger Cynthia

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Reading Week + Reading Lists

Happy Reading Week, y’all! It seems cruel that Winter with a capital W finally decided to kick in during the one week we don’t have school. But to make the most of these frigid temperatures, I’ve spent this Reading Week doing exactly that — reading. Since I’ve gone home to visit my family over the break, relaxing and curling up with a book in a warm house sounds pretty ideal after a strenuous round of midterms. 

A view of the UC Quad on a rainy afternoon.

It’s probably too cold to be reading in one of my favourite spots on campus – the UC quad – but this shouldn’t stop us from enjoying a good book!

Now there are many ways to go about setting yourself a reading schedule for Reading Week. Personally, the obvious choice is to power through the entire Harry Potter series (7 books, 7 days of Reading Week? This was clearly meant to be). However, since I’ve done this exact feat on at least 12 different occasions, I thought I’d branch out. Here’s what’s been on my Reading Radar for the 2016 Reading Week:

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“Little Victories” and Where To Find Them

You’ll never guess what I got to do last weekend. I took a stunt fighting seminar! We have a Jiu Jitsu regional event every few months and last Saturday’s regional welcomed Lori O’Connell from British Columbia.

Lori O’Connell is a 5th degree black belt in Can Ryu Jiu Jitsu and a professional stuntwoman! Move over Ronda Rousey (former UFC champion), I’ve found a more suitable role model.



It was AWESOME. Best decision I’ve made recently. We practiced different aspects of stunt fighting and then choreographed short stunt scenes and filmed them. I picked up a signed copy of her book When the Fight Goes to the Ground: Jiu-Jitsu Strategies and Tactics for Self-Defense afterward, which I’m super happy about.

Trying new things has been bringing me a lot of pleasure lately. I think it’s largely due to what I’ve coined as “little victories.” Continue reading