The Bran Muffin of Classes

Some classes are like meringues: light and simple. Some are more like chocolate cake: dense and rich, but very satisfying. Some are like sweet and refreshing ice cream that goes down oh-so-smoothly. Like custard, some classes are heavy and decadent. Others are like chocolate chip cookies, appreciated for their classic appeal. Classes that are like toffee are a lot to chew on, but still very pleasant.

Pictured: cartoons of desserts
Can you tell I’m hungry? Picture Credit: 4-designer.com

Some classes, however, are like the bran muffin. The bran muffin is an affront to delicious things everywhere; it is utterly dull and a waste of time and calories. To make matters worse, it sometimes has nasty little shrivelled-up raisins lurking inside. No one likes a bran muffin.

Sometimes, you have to eat bran muffins though, don’t you? Perhaps when your sweet old Granny makes them for you, or when your local Timmies runs out of everything else, or when you feel like inflicting pain on those nasty little raisins. Sometimes, you just don’t have a choice when it comes to bran muffins.

The same goes for bran muffin classes. You will have at least one over the course of your university career; everybody does. Maybe you’ll need it as a breadth requirement, it will be a prerequisite for something else you want to take, or it will be the only thing that fits into your schedule. There will be no escaping it. That’s how you’ll end up in a bran muffin class, in spite of its snooze-worthy subject matter, never-ending readings, miserable locale—OISE auditorium anyone?—and its professor’s annoying goat-like voice. March 13th is the last day to drop an S section course, so it’s high time to decide if you want to stick it out or not. If you want or need to persevere, stick with me! I’ll try to show you how to turn a yucky bran muffin into a beautiful cupcake.

Pictured: Bran muffin
Yuck. Picture Credit: sini.co.uk

Okay, maybe not a cupcake, but at least a slightly-less-terrible bran muffin:


Emma’s Slightly-Less-Terrible Bran Muffin Recipe

Drop-In Skating and Exam Prep (Already?!)

I’ve been feeling a little-more-than-a-little subpar recently. I’m not sure if it’s the weather or a change in routine due to injury or just everyday stressors, but I don’t like to hang out in ruts like that. Last Friday served as a nice little pick me up, thankfully. I finally made it out to drop-in skating at the Varsity Centre!

I regret that I didn’t take pictures, I was consumed by how good it felt to be using my legs after making my arms so terribly sore at aerial silks. I’ve been less active recently and I think that might be contributing to my lousy mood. Skating with a good friend helped! I went on Friday from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon and it served as a nice study break. Skate rentals are available for only $3.39 (debit/credit only) and entry is free with your T-Card of course! It wasn’t very populated, which I really appreciated. I definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you’re looking for some space to make some mistakes (I sure am!).

Source: www.macedoecunha.com.br
Source: www.macedoecunha.com.br

Happy Nutrition Month!

The month of March brings with it many things:

  • Midterms
  • Papers
  • Movie releases (London Has Fallen comes out tomorrow (sequel to Olympus Has Fallen), I’m excited but also skeptical… then again, how bad can a Gerard Butler-starring film really be?)
  • Warmer weather (hopefully!)
    AND
  • Nutrition Month!

Registered Dietitians of Canada celebrate Nutrition Month every March. This year, they’re encouraging Canadians to take a 100-meal journey over the course of March, focusing each week on a new goal such as making quality food decisions and being aware of portion sizes.

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. 

Alternative on-campus food options (or How to Avoid Subway)

Unpopular opinion: I am not a fan of Subway. Or perhaps it’s just that I’ve been there so many times while on campus that the prospect of having to eat one more chicken teriyaki sub makes my stomach curdle.

Me holding a paper bowl filled with mac and cheese and a fried cheese fritter on top. In the background is the ballot sheet with all the names of the chefs who participated in the event.
There’s more to campus food life than muffins and pizza! Check out http://ueat.utoronto.ca/ for ongoing food events, like free Vegan Breakfast or this annual Mac ‘N’ Cheese Smackdown!

Did you know that aside from the usual Starbucks, Spring Rolls, and Subway (i.e. The Holy Trifecta), U of T actually has quite a number of alternative food options for the studious library-goer in search of their next meal? If you’re sick of buying from the same places all the time, consider some of these if you haven’t already:

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.

It’s Not All Sunshine and Rainbows: How to Prevent and How to Care for Injuries

The human body is a remarkable construction. It’s strong, powerful, capable and — unless you’re me — resilient more often than not. With all this talk of being physically active and trying new things, I thought it was time for a post addressing risk, how to minimize it and what happens when despite your best efforts you find yourself injured.

While I’m not a doctor [insert moment of silence here], I feel I have sufficient experience to speak about this subject. I have the joints of someone far, far older than twenty paired with a “can’t stop won’t stop” approach to life. That combination isn’t particularly risk-reducing.

So, here are 4 tips to risk reduction in sport — coming from someone who needs all the reduction she can get.

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?