When I was a kid, my parents used to have the hardest time trying to put me to bed. I was a night owl. I had an arsenal of tactics that I would use against my war with bed time. I was definitely no stranger to the ‘five more minutes’ argument, nor was I shy about feigning ignorance and claiming ‘I didn’t hear you’ while putting on my best pout. I think my favourite strategy was hiding from my parents as soon as I knew bed time was coming. It was like getting to play a game of high stakes hide and seek with opponents who had a deep hatred for the game, oh the adrenaline. It was such a bonus: I got to force my parents into a game of hide and seek AND stay up later than my bed time, especially if I found a really good place to hide. My antics definitely did not go unnoticed by my siblings. I was the poster child for bad bed time influence. Looking back, it surprises me how many sleepovers I was able to secure in my childhood.
Now that the storm of mid-term season is done for me and the Fall Break is upon us, my mind turns to my neglected readings and upcoming essays. This year, I had the unfortunate luck of having a bunch of mid-terms one after another. By the end, I felt completely drained and ready for relaxation. But after a bit of relaxation time, I realized that I was two weeks behind on readings in all of my classes. Oops. In my majors of English and Book & Media Studies, I have a lot of readings that range from novels to textbooks. When I looked at everything I had missed out on over two weeks, I noticed that I was behind on over 500 pages of readings total (granted, that total included a 250 page novel). I’ve started the process of catching up on those readings and trust me, it’s important to do so. Every year, my profs have emphasized two key aspects to success: attending class and doing the readings. They know what they’re talking about, so take their advice! So far, I’ve learned a few things about this process.
My entire blog post can be summed up into this:
*makes elaborate plans for Halloween*
*realizes Diwali falls on the same weekend*
*has to finish all assignments before that weekend*
*is overwhelmed with stress and feels guilty for cancelling plans with friends*
*cancels everything anyway and sleeps through Halloween*
The way I see it, university is mainly about two things: reading and writing. Obviously this is an oversimplified view of what it means to be a student at University of Toronto, but one can hardly deny that outside of lectures and tutorials, the majority of student life is spent with either your nose in a book, or your fingers frantically typing away at an essay. I acknowledge that for some programs, essay writing isn’t a big component, but if you replace essays with problem sets or lab reports, the amount of writing that needs to be done for those are probably at par with writing essays.
I mention this because last Friday, I attended a critical reading seminar at E.J. Pratt Library and so I thought, why not write about what I learned at the seminar. Earlier this year, I wrote a post about going to the Writing Plus workshop offered by the Writing Centre. I was surprised by what I took away from the workshop so I thought to myself, lets see what I can take away from a critical reading seminar. Much like the Writing Plus workshop, I really wasn’t expecting to walk away from the seminar with very much in the way of new insights, but unsurprisingly, there were significant nuggets of wisdom that I thankfully was able grasp!