Category Archives: School

Trials of Pub Crawl

I never really had a real “crazy first year college experience” because…well..let’s not get into that.

Or we can. We totally can. I previously went to a place for school that was like Community but without the laughter, friends, events, sports teams, and will to live.

ANYWAY

So now, at the tender age of almost-21 (oh dear god, really?), I’m trying to do just that. Have a normal university experience.

My awesome school now puts on a bunch of awesome events. This past Thursday was pubcrawl.

I went out, drank on the subway with my friend like two classy 20 year olds, almost got picked up by an accountant, and most likely danced worse than Elaine Benes.

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He bought me one of these, because I am a classy but slightly outdated lady.

Things are getting better.

Yeah, no one likes “hey my life is fucking awesome now, cool” posts. I’ll get back to some depressing ones later, don’t you worry.

I’m the wittiest when my life is shitty.

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Parlez-vous francais?

So, I’ve started my bilingual education at a bilingual school.

This is now stuck in my head forever. This and Gangnam Style.  Oh, frosh week.

The First of June

It is June already! Yes, I’m serious. I guess when the most exciting thing you’ve done over the past 5 months is plant some vegetables, the days seem to blend together.

It’s an awful day, weather wise. The rain won’t quit, and a reunion I was looking forward to had to be cancelled. You can’t illegally drink whiskey in parks during a monsoon, I suppose [I kid. You totally can.].

That punctuation looks extremely wrong to me, but apparently it’s right!

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You know it’s raining hard when you can actually see it on a crappy iPhone photo.

If you live anywhere near Toronto, you’ll have heard about the flooding at Union station. Apparently it was some sort of sewer water mixture, so eewwwww.

Lovingly created and shared by a “Branden Z” on Facebook.

This should make getting to my first day in training tomorrow super fun! Oh well, I guess if the shuttle busses act in typical TTC fashion (almost nonexistent), then I can always power-walk from Bloor to Union. That sounds fun. Around a 25-30 minute walk when I’ve had my coffee, probably.

The great thing about June 1, though?

Realizing that there are only three months standing between me and my new university. Sure, that’s still three months of putting up with the longest commute of my life five days a week. That’s still three months of sunburn and packing lunches. But it’s a hell of a lot better than the 8 months I was looking at when I got accepted back in January.

I’ve even got somewhat of an “office” all set up in the guest bedroom, complete with an old oak dining table I’m using as a desk. It’s 10x sturdier than any crap you’ll buy at Staples, I’ll tell you that.

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Complete with my trusty Canada Post bank where I can hoard my 2012 pennies.

So now I won’t fall asleep doing assignments because I’m lying in my bed. Yeah, first year wasn’t something I’m proud of.

I hope you all enjoyed your June 1! If you’re in Toronto, I hope you managed to avoid the crazy flood and awful shuttle busses, although that might be easier said than done.

So, what’s a nerd to do over the summer?

I’ll admit it, I’m returning to my old nerd ways. You know, that kid who was always done her work first, or never missed a homework assignment? That was me.

This past year out of school has left me a little bit lost. Sure, I loved when friends would complain about their exams and I didn’t have to worry about studying. But, deep down, I kind of missed going to school and taking notes and the smell of a new batch of school supplies.

Nothing better than some perfectly sharpened pencils, right? Right?!

I’ve always wanted to learn how to code properly. I know basic HTML from when I fiddled around with coding petpages for my neopets account as an 11 year old. Don’t even judge, I won so many beauty contest trophies for my neopets on that site.

That’s right.

Imagine my excitement when I discovered coursera.org. They have free online courses from excellent American universities! What? This has to be a joke, right?

It’s not, and they’ve got a pretty wide selection of courses. No languages, though. My French grammar will have to wait a little while longer.

So far, I’ve finished the first three weeks of the Computer Science 101 course. Every little video I watch I just sit there with a face like “O_O.” All of these things I didn’t know! Codecadamy.com didn’t work for me, since I had a really hard time following along with the written explanations. In contrast, the videos on Coursera are actually recorded little mini-lectures (at least in the case of Computer Science, I think some other courses have 70 or 80 minute lecture videos), with a small video in the corner of the professor speaking. The majority of the screen is a lecture document (notes, really) that the professor teaches which, and you can easily hit a button at the bottom to pause the video and switch to the lecture notes so you can review anything that was skipped over, or try out some code in the case of computer science.

It’s mostly basic coding (not in any particular language, exactly, just getting used to the idea of syntax and variables and whatnot) and technical explanations of hardware, networks, software, etc. There were a lot of  “OOOH, so that’s how it works!” moments.

A self portrait.

If you’re curious, go have a look. You can still get in on the CS 101 course, although on a lot of your exercises will lose marks for being late (which really doesn’t matter if you’re just doing it for fun). It’s really less than an hour of video a week, and a 10 minute exercise for each one.

And then maybe this will start your career and you can eventually code something awesome (like an app!) and rule the world! Or you can just find solace in the fact that you know the jist of what is happening when your computer saves something to your hard drive. Either one.

Saving the world one Instagrammed photo of a squirrel at a time.

A Lucky Break: University Admissions Edition

As some of you may know, I am a transfer student. I do not recommend this to anyone, because transferring universities in Ontario sucks. Everything is geared towards high school students, including scholarships, time lines, acceptance averages, etc. Luckily, I was accepted by the school I set my hopes on, which was a life saver because I really did not want to have to go and spend a few thousand dollars to re-take and upgrade my university marks.

My problem was that I did one year in a university nursing program. Didn’t like it, wasn’t for me. I wish I did, considering the starting salaries of RNs in this province, but what can you do? I took a year off to figure out what to do and to stop wasting money at the rate of 7 grand a year.

I knew that I was going to have to sacrifice a fair chunk of cash to change schools and programs, since I figured my specific nursing courses wouldn’t transfer. Why would they? Does learning how to give someone a bed bath with a soapy wash cloth translate into skills I’d need in political science? (Insert joke here.)

Today I logged into the little “applicants file” thing my new university has set up, where we can monitor our applications and make advising appointments and all those helpful things. Underneath the word “admitted” (which I had originally bawled over upon finding. Go me.) there was a new “transfer credit” link. I clicked it. This is what I found:

Oh mon dieu (this is a bilingual university I will be attending, after all), is that 39 credits? 39? That’s more than a year (I think)! Granted, in nursing we took 7 classes per semester instead of the standard 5, so I see how this is possible. Either way, this is beautiful! My first year has not completely gone to waste! Take that, other university liaisons who said I’d have to start from scratch! My parents will not behead me after all! Exclamation points everywhere!

I have no idea what this will mean in regards to the amount of freedom I will have in choosing my classes, but we’ll deal with that later.

Sometimes this is all it takes to make my day.

[Note of weirdness: Last year a different university offered me a full year transfer and a $4000 bursary. I applied this year again to the same program, with the same marks, and only received an offer of half a year transfer and no bursary! What in the world?]

The Mysteries of Leaving Messages

In the past two weeks, I have been trying to contact three different offices (2 school, one doctor’s) for various reasons. These offices have completely abandoned the old “stay on the line and someone will pick up in a minute” routine, favouring leaving a message as the only option.

I haven’t received a call back from any of these. I’m dumbfounded, and rather than call again and leave a bunch of angry messages, I’ll hypothesize and give them the benefit of the doubt.

Possible Reasons Why No One Has Called Me Back:

1. I have a lisp that only comes out when I’m on the phone, and no family member has ever said anything about it, nor can I tell. Therefore it sounds like I’m saying “No, it’s cool, don’t call me back please” instead of “please give me a call back! I’ll be here! Waiting!”

2. Every time my message is being heard on the machine, someone slips over a stray power cord and falls on the “delete” button before I’m able to recite my phone number.

3. There is a secret hierarchy of area codes, and 416-ers are always called back promptly, 647-ers are laughed at left to rot. (Yes. I have a 647 number. Don’t talk about it, it’s a sore spot.)

4. The office workers are so used to deciphering heavy accents and mumbled words that my clearly-spoken phone number has thrown them astray.

5. My phone is broken and will only let through the most annoying and nosy telemarkers.

6. The person listening to my message used to date someone with the name Michelle and it hurts too much to listen to the rest.

7. My phone voice is so beautiful and professional they think it’s a recording/robot and are too annoyed/scared to call back.

8. There is a secret code embedded into the robot message heard when you first call the office. I did not mention the secret code in my message.

 9. April Ludgate interns as a phone answerer at all three of these offices.

I have no idea. In all honestly, I don’t know why I haven’t gotten a call back. Is it normal to have to wait two weeks for something like this?