‘So Long, Winter!’ (or, ‘Later, Midterms!’)

“English summer eating up the atmosphere
Day-time bathers sleep in the shade
Clouds crawl over dampening our attitudes
People run for shelter from the pouring rain”

– ‘English Summer’, by The Moons

Well, we did it. Mild or not, our first winter here in Toronto has come to pass, and we’re in one piece! With one final flurry of tests, I’ve wrapped up midterm season, too. It’s a peculiar feeling – one on hand, having so many evaluations has made time pass by awfully slowly. On the flip side, it feels like freshman year has passed me by entirely too quickly.

Starring: UofT

I think it was on that satirical Stats Canada Twitter account that I read: “90% of Canadians watch the Oscars just so they can point out who is Canadian.” Funny? Yes. True? Most likely. We’ve got that patriotism thing down pat here in Canada, and why not? There are some mega talented people rising from far and wide out of the True North strong and free. We, with glowing hearts, claim them as our patriots.

When I watched the Oscars this weekend, you can bet I was on Canada watch… And Toronto watch… And UofT watch. No, I don’t think there were any UofT alumni accepting awards that night, but UofT itself is connected to the night’s big winner. That’s right! Parts of Spotlight were filmed right here on our stomping ground! Specifically, Liev Schreiber’s character attended a meeting in the beautiful Oak Room at the Newman Centre and Mark Ruffalo’s character hung out at St. Basil’s during one of the film’s most poignant moments.

Picture credit: http://torontoist.com/2016/01/reel-toronto-spotlight/
Picture credit: http://torontoist.com/2016/01/reel-toronto-spotlight/

Over the years, UofT has played host to a ton of great films. David Fleischer wrote an article for UofT Magazine listing some of the most popular, including Mean Girls, Good Will Hunting, Cocktail, Pacific Rim, Resident Evil: Afterlife, and Total Recall, among others. Do you recall a car getting flipped over during the filming of Total Recall? 

I decided, in honour of UofT being put in the spotlight by Spotlight, I would list some more of our lovely university’s star turns. 

It’s Still Reading Week…Right?

With the passing of reading week, somewhat begrudgingly, this past Monday marked the restart of classes. While the break definitely provided a much-needed period of rest, trying to get back into a school mindset the past couple of days has been quite the challenge. When we were in high school, spring break was the closest equivalent, but the difficulty levels of the courses puts the re-adjustment period on a level of its own.

Toronto To-Do List

Reading week is debatably the best part of February.

Some students ditch the books and jet-set off on worldly adventures (hopefully to warmer climates) and others end up spending their week relaxing at home, visiting parents or *gasp*, catching up on readings.

This year, my reading week was spent in Toronto at my apartment, which was a first for me because last year I spent my week off at home home (AKA: my childhood home) with my family. It was nice to have an entire week to be in Toronto with a much less hectic work/school schedule to enjoy the wonderful city I am lucky to live in. I may have not spent seven days lazing it up in tropical paradise but I did cross some sweet activites off my “Toronto To Do List”.

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:

Tackling My First Reading Week

Reading week is a great time to take a breather after a flurry of midterms in the weeks prior. I’ve heard from friends who joined one of the multiple organized trips to Montréal, and even those who flew back home for the week. For the laz — er, I mean, studious members of the community, staying around may have been the more appealing choice. At the end of the day, for whatever reasons may have come about, we’re still in downtown Toronto, so we might as well make the most of it…right?

Well, That Was a Lot Harder Than it Looked: Circus Silks @ U of T

I walked into my first circus silks class at the Athletic Centre last Friday pretty confident (largely due to the fact that I found my way from the AC change rooms to the Lower Gym in the Benson building on the first try).

Essentially the layout of the Athletic Centre and, of course, University College. Good luck. Background Source: watchervault.com
Essentially the layout of the Athletic Centre and, of course, University College. Good luck.
Background Source: watchervault.com

I wasn’t arrogant — I know I know nothing about aerial silks, but the instructor asked if I had done anything similar or notable and I mentioned that I’ve been coaching gymnastics for over five and a half years and used to do aerial yoga.

This is aerial yoga. 10/10 would recommend. Even if just for the awesome Instagram photos you’ll get out of it. Source: yearningforyoga.wordpress.com
This is aerial yoga. 10/10 would recommend. Even if just for the awesome Instagram photos you’ll get out of it.
Source: yearningforyoga.wordpress.com