Category Archives: Academics

What’s this??

A new beautiful longboard creation from the folks at Loaded Longboards in California? Let’s stop and ooo & aaaaw at this video, shall we?

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Besides watching many longboarding videos on YouTube with a good buddy from Saskatchewan, I’m going to chill in a Starbucks far far away from campus to focus on my term paper, go to the gym, and get vaccinations for my latest trip!

My latest trip? What am I referring to? Let’s say that I’m considering going to a country in Central America all on my own after exams finish next month.

Is it weird that exams seem less stressful than all my term papers and final visual arts assignments? Yes, No? Maybe so?

Here is a little more UBC-related content to get incoming first years as stoked about this amazing university just as much as I am:
10 UBC common phrases/words.
Storm the Wall.
Imagine Day.
Mike Duncan.
Free food.
Buchanan Tower.
The Honour Roll.
Wreck Beach.
The 99 B-Line.

Music Monday & Academics

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Lust for Life by Girls
Warning: They use graphic language, I counted, only twice in this song, so it’s not recommended that you watch this if you are uncool with that.

Adjusting to university-level work is not easy.

This past weekend, I made a few dozen paper cranes out of my beautiful new paper, watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off three times, and learned how to save a life, again, through renewing my CPR training. The school year is coming to a close very soon (last day of class, April 15th, whuddup!) but things are still happening on campus and I love it. Storm The Wall kicked off yesterday, which is absolutely insane and amazing. If you are an incoming UBC student, you should for sure look forward to this event.

Even though things are really busy, my academic responsibilities have picked up too. Last night, I worked really hard on my term paper that is due on Thursday. I’ve found that the hardest academic adjustment for me coming into first year is term papers. Last semester, I had three of them. The first one, for my Modern Art class, I worked so hard on. I got help with writing it, even went to a research workshop and visited the subject librarian. I still got a pretty bad mark on it for not doing research “properly.” Honestly, high school wasn’t that tough on me and essays will never compare to the work of a term paper in university.

Things slightly balanced out, my English paper received a little bit better of a mark and my Political Science paper even received an A. Research still seems like a mystery to me, and I find that it’s really scary trying to figure it all out. This semester, I have a paper for my Women’s Studies Feminism course and for another English course. I can already tell that things will turn out better this semester compared to the outcomes of last, but I still want to grasp the daunting task of term paper writing and researching even better.

My recommendations for incoming first years who will have lots of term papers to write:
– Visit your subject librarian. For example, for Art History, you can go see Vanessa Kam in Irving K.
– Talk to your prof & TA. Even better, go see them during office hours and bring pieces of your term paper to discuss.
– Start your research & writing as soon as it is assigned. Unlike some high school essays, it cannot be done in one night.
– Become friends with upper year students who can peer edit and help you along the way.
– Visit the writing centre in Ponderosa or go to the drop in help inside Irving K’s Chapman Learning Commons.

And since you bothered to read my blog, enjoy some images of gorgeous male bands to compliment this week’s Music Monday post.

Ohhh yeahhh.

A typical Totem Park Sunday for Erica:

– UBC REC League soccer game. Team name: Tiger Pants. We’re legit.
– WTFL football game.
– Post soccer game. Trying to get the best shower in the floor bathroom before your other teammates.
– Lunch. Dim Sum Sunday or Belgium  waffles and ice cream? Or the classic scrambled eggs and bacon?
– Laundry. Today I was the cool kid who made their washing machine fill up with bubbles and suds.
– Watching Ferris Bueller’s Day off (The best movie to come out of 1986) on Mega Video. It’s becoming kind of a Sunday afternoon tradition.
– Back to the laundry room. I pay to have my clothes go through the dryer a second time and hope they all are dry by the end of their second round.
– Chocolate milk run. I go for the large carton.
– An attempt at studying is eventually made. Emails are always answered.
– Facebook creeping.
Dinner with my floor mates in the  Dining Hall around 6pm, everyday, like a ritual.
Post-dinner. Random things from my “To Do” list, work on getting things done for the West Coast (Mob)ilizers Program, catch up on more How I Met Your Mother, and pretend I like to read my text books.
– Magda’s trip for some onion rings and candy.
– I go into Megan & Maegan’s room several times to either a) bug them b) tell them a funny story or c) talk really loudly after quiet hours in their room for the purpose of AJ having to close their door.
– Bed. Eventually. But this semester, it’s pretty early compared to what it used to be.

Why This Semester Rocks Already

1) One of my TAs looks like James Franco but more scholarly. He also has a first name that sounds like he’s from Saved By The Bell. Wicked Awesome.

2) All of my profs are really interesting, funny, smart and all of my course outlines sound reasonable. Last semester I was hit with 3 2500 word term papers in the span of two weeks. This semester it’s more of a balance.

3) Vancouver isn’t cold at all in January. Jeez, Ontario gets it bad.

4) I have no midterms.

5) Two weeks for reading week and the Olympics, holla.

Music Monday & the end of the term.

Here we are. The last few glorious and most stressful few days of the term. Where every major assignment is due and you spent your weekend partying. Things have been interesting this weekend. From emergency AMS meetings to making American Thanksgiving dinner in Marine Drive Residence to the UN taking over the knoll (which I visited the next day and with much disappointment I found that the flag was no longer there) and all the way to the annual Totem Park Winter Formal. I can say that I will not be sleeping until Thursday thanks to my exciting weekend as I have pretty heavy homework load. I can promise you that Thursday I will be in bed all day and you won’t see me until dinner time, if that.

Since it is the end of the term, it’s time for an end of the term resolution. Kind of like new years, but cooler.

Here it is: For Term 2 I will never have another sleepless night and I will plan better for all of my midterms, term papers and exams.

Here is Passion Pit‘s song called Sleepyhead for your listening and stress-crying pleasure. I know all I want to do is sleep and never endure another sleepless night after this term.

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Music Monday

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Meiko- Boys with Girlfriends

This song is so simple and has been stuck in my head all weekend. Like most simple, sweet and cute songs it makes you want to pick up a guitar and learn a few things. I really feel free and innocent when I watch this, and then enjoy trying to figure out why the giant bear is there. Enjoy.

I’ve been working on my 2500 word paper for Modern Art History 227, and here is a little first draft from a part of it that can relate to how we are as people socializing and connecting with one another. I’ve really been thinking about focusing time on myself, like trying to go to the gym or reading some of the non-academic required books in my room or trying my hand in some print making. I really want to invest in me, you know? And up until now I’ve been sinking in my pool of work, school, boyfriend and trying to find time to sleep. I’ve pulled my first few homework-based all nighters this year and I’ve missed out on events like Halloween. Yes, I skipped out on Halloween. So here I am, in November, working on myself as a person. I want to glow from the inside out.

“It is interesting that people try to cover up the bad product that they are selling with labels and advertising. The product that is themselves is awful, absolutely terrible and repulsive as well as probably destructive. Yet, they look for other means than working on changing the product and go straight for false advertising and a creative campaign. Why is covering up the first step to solving our problems? Whether it be mistakes we’ve made or realizing we have gone too far, instead of trying to take a step back; we look to putting a new gold label on the situation.

We never want to work on the product. We never want to find out what will make us happier or what will make us a better and well-rounded individual. In the end, we cheat ourselves and forget about the nuitrients label that goes with our false claims. We look to other sources to back up our cover, our front, our disbelief, to make others believe what we so dearly want to be true. Wouldn’t it just be easier to work on ourselves, truthfully?

This is a lesson that we get out of the painting that raises so many questions. Gauguin wrote letters back to France that he deliberately wanted others to read. He wanted people to learn the legend of his masterpiece. [insert quotes from letters and discussion which is something I don’t want to bore you with.]”

PS, the paper is all on Guaguin’s painting- Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? A really interesting thing my prof told me is that I should think more about the questions then trying to answer them or trying to find the one answer. That is so true to life. The Painting can be seen below and over-sized for this blog post. Ta-da!