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?

Beating School Stress this Week…Kapow!

For those of you taking Summer courses, you know ALL TOO WELL how quickly the course materials go by and before you know it finals are here (…then again, it feels like that during the Fall/Winter courses but y’all know what I mean!). One of my favourite things to do on-campus is to hit the gym, stressed or not.

The Start of a Great Journey!

Picture of yours truly with my archaeological finding!
Oh, the excitement of our first discovery at the Drawsko site in Poland! Credit: Danielle Donnelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey there! My name is Meimei and I’m excited to join this AWESOME group of Life @ U of T bloggers for the upcoming school year. I am SUPER EXCITED to blog about our awesome university and events that take place on-campus! And of course share my experiences at U of T with you!  Yay! As this is my first blog post of the year, a brief introduction is in order! You can learn more about me and my fellow bloggers if you click on the Crew tab – go ahead, you won’t regret it!

Thinking About My Future (Briefcase)

This week I stepped out of my comfort zone.

After receiving an invitation to an Arts & Science Backpack to Briefcase (b2B) event, I found myself shimmying into business casual work attire after a seven-hour school day. Having plans on a Thursday night is pretty unusual for me, considering my average Thursday night routine consists of pajamas, a couple hours of reading, tea and probably frozen pizza. 

The Backpacks to Briefcase event I attended was for students interested in fields relating to the Health Sciences. If you have been following the blog for a while, you may know that I am constantly waiting to have that *Eureka!* moment where I suddenly know what I want to do with my life. I figured that maybe the b2B might show me some job opportunities I could create for myself using my degree.

A photo of Soldier's Tower near Hart House at dusk.
The event took place at Hart House, and as I was walking I couldn’t help but notice and appreciate the beauty of Soldier’s Tower. #JoyAtUofT

The event itself was extremely educational, and it was really nice to have a reason to connect with students who, like me, were also concerned that they wouldn’t find a “dream” job with the degree they had chosen. Being a second year student, I was one of the youngest attendees however, I think my youth might have improved the event for me because I wasn’t just learning from the alumni but also my fellow upper years.

Get Down to Boogie

My Thursday night started out like any other. I was studying at my favourite spot on campus: the Hart House reading room, pouring over a week worth of lecture notes. I was feeling a little drowsy which was most likely a consequence of the warm and cozy atmosphere of the library combined with what was admittedly the driest psychological theory I have been subjected to since starting my degree.

Suddenly, as if the U of T gods had answered my prayers for a distraction worth ditching 150+ pages of reading, I heard the thum thum of an electric bass from where I was sitting. I had been studying for over three hours (as one does on a Thursday night) and so I decided to give myself a break from my reading and explore. Following the music, I was led into the basement of Hart House into the Arbour Room where I was greeted with the sweet sounds of the 50’s. This my friends, is where I meet The Dreamboats.

A photo of the Dreamboats (4 young men) in suits posing for a picture.
Hello Dreamboats!

  I was delighted to find out that the concert was a free event organized by the student run Hart House group called Stages. So delighted in fact, that I sat my butt down and decided to treat myself to an evening of great music.

The Dreamboats had attracted a fairly large crowd at their pre Valentine’s Day show, with most tables in the Arbour Room full. The genre of music seemed to entice music lovers of all ages; I saw first years and couples that must’ve been in their fifty-first year of marriage. It was nice to dance alongside people who loved to get down and boogie.

Fitness Instructions

It’s a New Year!

A fun fact about me: I am a fitness instructor on campus.

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No, but seriously. I love being a fitness instructor:

  1. I find group fitness motivating. It keeps me active, because I know that at least once a week I have to smile while I’m working out. That takes training. In our industry, we are often reminded that when we are instructing, our focus is on the participants getting a great workout. So I try to attend multiple group fitness classes a week to get a good workout myself.

The Barbell Prescription: The What, Why and How of Weight Training

So much cool stuff happens on campus all day every day. It breaks my heart that I literally don’t have the time to go do and see and hear everything.

On Tuesday, I went to a free seminar that was held at Hart House called, “The Barbell Prescription”.

You know it’s going to be a good one when you’re already taking notes and salivating over the guest’s credentials.

Dr. J Sullivan joined us from Michigan. A former US marine, 3rd degree black belt in Karate, 3rd level Krav Maga practitioner, doctor, researcher… The guy received a $2 million research grant from the NIH… that’s the National Institutes of Health. It’s a big deal. On top of all that, he owns, manages and trains clients at a gym called Grey Steel, for aging adults.

Dr. Jonathon Sullivan
Dr. Jonathon Sullivan Source: greysteel.org

We started off talking about what we considered an “athlete”, how we’d define the word. I learned a little bit about Greek athletes (the word athlete comes from the Greek “athlos” which means contest or feat). Apparently there was an athletic event in the Greek games, “Hoplitodromos”, which was a race in full battle armour. Competitors in the games had to swear an oath to Zeus that they trained for a minimum of 10 months. Awfully specific for so many years ago!

You Never Know What You’ll Discover – A Testament to Fitness and Athletics on Campus

Anyone who knows even a little bit about me probably knows that I do Jiu Jitsu. I started practising Shorinji Kan Japanese Jiu Jitsu in September of 2013, when I began my undergraduate degree. I joined the Jiu Jitsu Club at UofT and I’ve now been the president of for about two years.

That decision was the best I’ve made over the course of my undergraduate career. Let me tell you why.