Farewell!

November 5th, 2012

(source)

The time has come to say goodbye to my blog here at CBU. It has been an incredible experience and I have loved sharing my time with you over the last few years.

Thank YOU for reading!

It has been a blast.

So-long,

Lucy

Fall Graduation 2012

November 2nd, 2012

Congratulations to all Cape Breton University fall 2012 graduates!

The convocation ceremony was lovely, with many thoughtful and insightful speeches. Oh, and lots of happy, smiling graduates!

While I couldn’t attend the ceremony, I watched it online in the Czech Republic. In case you missed it, you can watch Valedictorian Tim Morrissey and President John Harker’s speeches online here.

Morrissey addressed our graduating class by discussing CBU stories, including his own. He made mention that everyone has their own unique story to tell about CBU and I couldn’t agree more. The University is an absolutely wonderful place that I will (and do) miss dearly!

As we close our chapter at CBU, don’t ever forget the stories and friends you made.

Best of luck to all 2012 graduates!

An ode to being a student.

October 24th, 2012

On Saturday I will officially have my undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Arts. Mind you, I finished the course work for my degree in the summer… and let me tell you, not being a student anymore is strange.

Take for one, the free time. Do you know how many hours there are in a day? MANY. As an unemployed ex-student, you really begin to understand time and what to do with it. Stay in bed all day? Nope, that won’t do it. Clean your parent’s house from top to bottom? Gets old quick. Pretend to be busy on your laptop at local coffee shops? Fun, but expensive.

While being a student, any free time I had was spent thoughtfully: dinner with friends or at a yoga class. Being a student gives you meaning and even if you’re an unmotivated student – you still are getting things done.

I've heard this before.

When you’re not a student anymore, you also have to answer questions like, “What do you do?” Hmm… what do I do? When you’re a student, the answer is simple. When you’re not you ramble on a bit until they lose interest. “So, I just graduated, now I’m trying to find out who I am and I’m on a journey of doing so and I like to knit now and Monday nights I watch New Girl and…” Yeah, you get the point.

Not being a student also forces you to grow up. You get a job or you do something else. When you’re a student, you focus on the present moment, the deadlines, the social events, the reading weeks. Thoughts of the far away future are just that: far away.

On top of this all, being a student means that you’re learning about the world and how it works. When you’re not a student, you’ll learn lessons too… but they won’t be as detailed or invigorating as when your professor delivers them.

As my second month of post-grad life concludes, I still miss being a student somedays, and I’m glad that I fully enjoyed my four years at CBU. For now, I’m figuring out what it’s like to not be a student for the next year until I’m back in school and regretting everything I’ve just said :)

Being a student: love it or hate it?

Be Clear

October 17th, 2012

At the moment I am neck-deep in grad school applications.

The applications are relatively straightforward until the dreaded personal statement comes up.

The personal statement is more like my personal nightmare. How do I explain my life passion in 500 words? How do I not sound like a novel… or a resume? How do I do this and keep my sanity? These are some of the questions I have been hemming and hawing.

One thing I have figured out about my personal statement is that it has to be clear.

Clarity in writing is key!

Since we all should strive for clarity in our work, here are some tips I found on Grammar Girl for writing clear, concise sentences.

Avoid “One-Word Wastes of Space”

Get rid of modifiers such as, “very”, “totally”, “quite.” Grammar Girl says that these words are redundant and unnecessary.

Don’t use “If” Clauses

Being concise means losing the fluff. Sentences beginning with “If…” are fluff-filled. Instead, be direct and get to the point. Grammar Girl suggests starting sentences with a subject and a verb to keep your writing strong and clear.

Make Your Verbs Work

Replace boring, inactive verbs with “infinitives, imperatives, and other sturdy verbs.” For example replace “You can visit…” with “To visit…”

Sentences should pack a punch – do yours?

The power of baby animal pictures

October 9th, 2012

(source)

Good news for those of us who can’t stop looking at pictures of adorable baby animals – scientists in Japan have found that doing so gives us more than just a smile.

(source)

In a series of experiments, researches at Hiroshima University had university students look at pictures of baby animals, adult animals and pleasant food before doing various tasks. The students given pictures of baby animals did better than the other students, leading the researches to believe that looking at cute baby animal pictures narrows attentional focus and promotes careful behaviour – boosting productivity.

(source)

The Japanese scientists believe that “The Power of Kawaii (cute)” will help you perform better in your day-to-day life, particularly when driving or doing office work.

Works for me!

Click here to learn more about the study.

(source)

Pizza with a Politician – October 3

October 2nd, 2012

Head to CBU’s Multipurpose Room B on Wednesday, October 3 (1-3PM) for “Pizza with a Politician”. CBRM’s 2012 Mayoral candidates will be there to chat with you! It sounds like a great chance to get to know the candidates better – and to enjoy some yummy, free pizza.

For more information about the event, check it out here.

CBU CIS Social Justice Forum 2012

October 1st, 2012

CBU’s Centre for International Studies is hosting their annual Social Justice Forum October 19 and 20 and registration is now open!

The forum this year is entitled “Neo-Colonialism in the 21st Century: Canada, Imperialism and the Global Order”.

Register now as only 75 are able to attend – keeping discussions lively and intimate.

I’ve loved the past forums and would highly recommend attending to anyone interested.

To find out more about the forum, click here.

LUMIERE!

September 26th, 2012

Lumière: Contemporary Art . Unconventional Spaces will be held on September 29th from 6:58pm to 11:58pm in downtown Sydney.

Lumiere is “a nighttime celebration of the arts, Lumière brings together many different sectors to infuse Sydney’s downtown core with the vibrancy and excitement of theatre, dance, music, and visual art and fine craft. Lumière provides a platform for our different communities to collaborate, making the arts engaging and accessible to the public.”

I loved the atmosphere of Lumiere 2011 – and cannot wait for Saturday to see what Lumiere 2012 offers.

Will you be attending?

Please visit www.lumierecapebreton.ca for more information and to download the guide.

To-go

September 24th, 2012

Part of student life is inevitably centered on the ritual of drinking tea and coffee. We grab a coffee en route to class, or we sit in the cafeteria with a friend having a tea to unwind.

While at CBU, I always had one of my many travel mugs with me. It was convenient, it saved money (discounts galore), and it was a sustainable choice – cutting back on paper and plastic waste. Plus, travel mugs can be pretty cool!

In an effort to get you from paper cups to travel mugs, I have found some of the most efficient and interesting mugs out there.

Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Cape Breton Island Film Series – Fall Schedule

September 19th, 2012

Like great movies? You are in for a treat. The Cape Breton Island Film Series is back with an impressive fall schedule, as seen below.

To find out more before the series and showtimes, visit http://cbfilms.ca.

Sep 20

PINA

Documentary (3D): Director Wim Wenders’ stunning, sensual tribute to the late German choreographer, Pina Bausch, who redefined the art of dance, emancipating performers to speak, sing, laugh, and cry—as well as dance. (Germany, France, UK) 103 min.

Sep 27

IN A BETTER WORLD

Drama: A doctor commutes between his idyllic town in Denmark and an African refugee camp, where his family encounters a new arrival from Britain, and a relationship rich in both promise and peril. Dir: Susanne Bier. (Denmark, Sweden) 119 min.

Oct 4

COMPLIANCE

Drama: A police officer calls fast-food joint and accuses a teenage counter girl of stealing from a customer’s purse. She denies it, but the manage complies with the officer’s orders to detain Becky, touching off an ethical nightmare. Dir: Craig Zobel. (USA) 130 min.

Oct 11

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY

Documentary: An intimate portrait of China’s most famous dissident artist as he prepares for for several museum exhiubitions—and for ever more frequent clashes with state authorities. Dir: Alison Klayman. (USA) 91 min.

Oct 18

SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED

Comedy: Checking out a oddball classified ad, three cynical magazine writers discover a likeable but paranoid supermarket clerk who says he’s figured out time travel, and plans to depart soon. Dir: Colin Trevorrow (USA) 85 min.

Oct 25

LAURENCE ANYWAYS

Drama: Quebec phenom Xavier Dalton (I Killed My Mother) tells the love story of a man’s 10-year struggle to maintain a passionate romance with his female soulmate after he undergoes a sex change. (Canada, France) 161 min.

Nov 1

THE INTOUCHABLES

Comedy: An irreverent story of friendship, trust, and human possibility in which an aristocrat, disabled by a paragliding accident, hires a street-smart ex-con as his caretaker—to the horror of his friends. Dir: Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano. (France) 112 min.

Nov 8

BERNIE

Comedy with Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey: In tiny  Carthage, TX, a beloved, Sunday-school-teaching funeral director befriends a wealthy but irredeemably sour widow. Dir: Richard Linklater. (USA) 104 min .

Nov 15

YOUR SISTER’S SISTER

Comedy | Drama with Emily Blunt: Iris invites friend Jack, distraught over his brother’s death, to use her family’s remote island cabin, where he falls into a drunken encounter with Iris’s sister Hannah. When Iris shows up next morning, things get complicated. Dir: Lynn Shelton. (USA)  90 min.

Nov 22

COSMOPOLIS

Sci-Fi: Crossing Manhattan in a stretch limo, 28-year-old billionaire asset manager Eric’s day falls apart when the yuan unexpectedly rises, destroying a bet he’s made against it. Meanwhile, city streets erupt in wild activity. Dir: David Cronenberg. (USA) 108 min.

Nov 29

ALPS

Drama: Girgos Lanthimos follows his Academy Award-nominated cult hitDogtooth with another darkly comic, absurdist take on human relationships. A mysterious underground organization helps mourners recover from grief by impersonating the deceased. (Greece) 93 min.