Every personality starts off as an open midnight blue sky with a single star. However, with each newfound lesson or realization learned throughout life comes the emergence of a new star. Eventually, the stars become a complex constellation—richer, more intricate, and brighter than ever.
When faced with someone showing symptoms of depression and/or suicidal behaviour, only the person who recognizes these symptoms and this behaviour will realize the person requires help.
I learned this lesson when I sat at Innis Town Hall’s theatre to watch one of the Asian Reel Film Festival’s films, In Her Place. Originally, I thought I would be watching a film touching on the theme of being a diasporic Asian. It turned out the short film preceding In Her Place focused on this theme, but In Her Place didn’t. In Her Place delved into the unfortunate reasons and dire consequences of being unware of the symptoms of depression and suicidal behaviour.
A storm had been ravaging my mind lately. It had been swirling and churning for the past few days, screaming at me during every moment of the day to study, study, STUDY, and so on Thursday night, instead of tackling the pile of work sitting at my desk, I decided to go to the weekly Chan Meditation session held at the Multi-Faith Centre.
A whorl of chaotic colours, blacks and indigos, fluorescent yellows and oranges, pulsating at the edges of your eyes. A cacophony of shouts and honks drowning out the sound of your own breathing. The smell of greasy hotdogs, sunscreen, and cologne suffocating you. Arms and elbows and hands tangled with others as people nudge past you to get to one of the many fast food restaurants, shops, or stores stretching along either side.
Times Square, a force with which to be reckoned in all its sights, scents, sounds, and touch. While some people can handle the hustle and bustle of this chaotic mass, others are overwhelmed by the amount of people, scents, and sounds crushing them and have to leave the vicinity from time to time to catch their breath.
Similarly, after socializing with other people for a period of time, introverts need some “alone time” to recharge because they get drained from the activity. Some get drained after a couple of hours, others after several hours.
But, what is an introvert?
Back in autumn, rain showers were our constant companion, so we turned to apple cider for warmth. Now in winter, we can replace the rain showers with blizzards, but what replaces the apple cider?
As this week marks the beginning of February and the beginning of #JoyatUofT—a time when we celebrate the things at U of T that bring us joy—, I decided to pursue this “apple cider of winter,” and so, I went to Jazz at Oscar’s, a series organized by the Hart House Music Committee. The series showcases local jazz artists every Friday night at Hart House’s Arbor room.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to this event. I thought that perhaps it would take place in a decent-sized room with a small audience seated in foldable chairs facing a Steinway piano in the front.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The Arbor room had been transformed into a rich world of sight, sound, and smell. Darkness blanketed the room, save for the light from the eatery at the back and the mauve-tinged spotlight on the stage at the front. The entire place was filled by the time I arrived, from the young to the elderly taking up all the chairs and upholstered seats available. Some of them held wine glasses, while others opted for cups of coffee. Yet all of them chattered among one another, punctuated by laughter and chuckles.
Franz Liszt, Justin Bieber. Gordon Ramsay, you.
What do these pairs have in common? Well, Liszt and Bieber are popular musicians and idols among their audience, though during different time periods. And Gordon Ramsay and you are—or can be—revered chefs of mille-feuilles, though of different types of mille-feuilles.
While Gordon Ramsay may have nailed his raspberry mille-feuille, you can nail that literary mille-feuille, a.k.a. That Essay You Should Have Started Already. Here are some tips that will hopefully prove helpful in creating your literary mille-feuille, which, though Gordon Ramsay may not appreciate, your profs will.
Hey U of T!
Recently, I had the phenomenal opportunity to interview Nathan Chan, one of the founders of a group based in Trinity College called PoC@Trin.
I pray I’ll be able to colour a doll’s eye by the end of the year—specifically, the eye of a Daruma doll. Last summer, when I went to Japan, I saw these dolls sitting on window sills everywhere, and when I asked my relative what they were, she called them Daruma dolls and explained that people used them as good luck talismans and goal motivators. You’d make a goal, colour one of the doll’s eyes in, complete your goal, then colour the other eye in.
Ever received a text saying something along the lines of: “smh srsly w/ever idc anywho ttyl g2g $ [insert pizza emoji here] rn”? I have, and let me just say, trying to decode those texts gave my brain a bigger workout than trying to understand my friend’s first-year calc homework.
When I first heard acronyms such as “ROP” and “ICM” tossed around in a couple of upper-years’ conversation about research opportunities, my brain had to work even harder to comprehend what they were saying. So I decided to go to a panel organized by Trinity College on research opportunities in the Humanities and Social Sciences to de-mystify this fog-ridden realm. The event had a wide variety of speakers, including two undergrad students, two Academic Dons, and a U of T rep for the Research Opportunity Program.
In the wise words of Ned Stark: “Winter is coming.”
However, with winter comes . . . exams. Did you feel a sudden shudder ripple through your body, too? Recently, I conversed with an Academic Success Centre learning strategist, Dr. Graham, and learned some tips to keep in mind as we transition into this season. Here are a few of her tips, as well as mine: