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.”
My alarm goes off. I sit up and my head is spinning. I reach for my alarm and miss it the first two times. I finally get it to switch off, lie back down, and assess the situation. I’m drenched in sweat. My head is pounding. My throat is really sore; it hurts to swallow. I feel too cold and too hot at the same time. Memories of my dreams start to trickle back: flying donuts, green skies, canoeing on a chocolate river. I start to put the pieces together.
“It’s such a cold, cold world (hello cold world) And it’s got me down, but I’ll get right back up, as long as its spins around Hello cold world” – ‘Hello Cold World’, by Paramore The winter blahs are still…
I am in my final year of undergrad and scheduled to graduate this June (by some terrible twist of fate, I graduate on the date of my birthday thereby having to spend my 22nd year of life in CON HALL). These past four years have been spent strolling around King’s College Circle, cramming at Robarts during unspeakable hours, and attending every puppy therapy event U of T has to offer. The fact that I may not be coming back next year has only recently hit me. As much as I tried to prepare for (see also: dread) the future, it actually did not occur to me that I’d soon be done my Bachelor’s. It’s a bittersweet feeling.
I embarked on a HONY-esque quest across campus to hunt down fellow fourth-years and ask them about their plans. Are you graduating? Taking a fifth year? Taking some time off? What have you learned here? What’s been a memorable U of T experience? Please share intimate details of your life with this random, unnaturally peppy stranger!
From my mini adventure I have concluded that 1) Apparently no upper years go to school because it proved quite difficult trying to find fourth years on campus and 2) Apparently all upper years are in the same boat of worry, anticipation, and excitement for their futures. So fear not, fourth year friends! Here are just some of the lovely students that attend our school, starting with the loveliest of all (me):
I recently finished my very last stage production at UofT. It was a play called “Rope,” which is about two university students who kill one of their friends for “philosophical reasons” and put his body in a chest. They host…
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).
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.
Thursday, January 28th, 2016 was just one of Those Days.
We all know Those Days. We’ve all had them.
We all know what it’s like when the day takes a completely different turn and leaves you feeling like a powerless passenger instead of firmly planted in the driver’s seat. I was made quite familiar with the feeling on that particular Thursday- thanks to a series of (unfortunate) events: a laptop charger forgotten at home, multiple transit delays, some overambitious weather estimating (I thought it would actually be six degrees outside) a very ungraceful fall in Queen’s Park and to top it all off- an interview! which meant nerves nerves nerves.
There are 44 UofT libraries, spanning UofT’s three campuses. There are libraries of all shapes and sizes, all styles and atmospheres. You would think this would be enough for me. You would be wrong.
Recently, I have been cheating on UofT. Maybe I took #TryItUofT too far; you be the judge. Consider this my confession:
We have had a long and beautiful love affair. Just over three and a half years ago, I first decided to overlook your imposing and intimidating exterior and give you a chance. I grew to love you.
We have had some wonderful times together, haven’t we? Do you remember meeting my friends? We used to hang out and study together all the time. They grew to love you, too. We presented a united front during many a finals season. I came to see your beauty more and more as I got to know you better and better—your blossoming cherry trees in the summer, your amazing Toronto views, your Rare Book Library. I will never forget all that you have given me; you were always there to provide me with research materials and unlimited free WiFi. You have been my rock. I regret nothing. Please remember that.
We had our good times, yes, but after three and a half years of dogged commitment on my part, I have become more sensitive to your stone-hearted habits. Three and a half years of endless Starbucks lines, freezing my hands off in study rooms, and red-walled cages—I mean, elevators. I’m tired, Robarts. I can’t do it anymore. Things have changed.
I know you don’t want to hear this, but I’m seeing someone else.
Like most U of T students, I’m proud to be one. People like to call us pretentious and I like to argue there’s a big difference between being pretentious and being justifiably proud. We boast top 20 spots on lists of the world’s best universities and I’m “sorry I’m not sorry” that gives me the warm fuzzies.
While we excel as an institution overall, according to UniversityHub.ca (contributor to the Huffington Post), our sports and recreation programs are less well known.
Clearly something’s wrong here. We have a wealth of sport and recreational facilities, services, activities — there’s a lot going on here! We have FOUR athletic centres (if you count Varsity Centre), FOURTY-FOUR men’s and women’s varsity teams, the ONLY Olympic-sized pool in the city, a wide variety of registered and free classes, drop-in recreation, a FANTASTIC, SUPER-AFFORDABLE sports clinic open to students, more playing fields than I’m aware of and SO, SO MUCH MORE.
Last week I wrote about some personal strides I’ve been hoping to make academically. Another thing I want to do this semester, though, is to become more involved in the U of T community. Seeing as how it is still #TryItUofT month, I thought now would be a perfect time to change things up.