Archive for June, 2012

Catch a flick!

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

I love summertime bonfires spent starring up into the sky, eating s’mores, and recounting the day at the beach with friends. Nonetheless, I also adore going to the movies, and this summer I have quite a few I want to see!

I can’t wait to see the following (in order of their release dates): (more…)

Get to Know: SU President Michelle Lahey

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Lucy: What are you studying at CBU?

Michelle: I am a Political Science Major, Certification in Public Administration with a concentration in Local Government. What a mouthful!

L: Your perfect day would be spent…?

M: My perfect day would be most definitely spent in Cape Breton. It would be a hot day at Kennington Cove, with friends and a good book. It would end with a lobster dinner and a bonfire with my closest friends.

And what perfect day would be complete without ice cream?

L: What’s the number one thing students new to CB should experience?

M: The Skyline Trail, words cannot justify its beauty; such a sacred place on this island!

L: What’s your 2012 summer song?

M: That is a tough one. Lately, I have been listening to Jack White’s newest album (I’m a big fan of his cover of Love is Blindness). Every summer I listen to Ordinary Day by Great Big Sea and Sunburn by Gordie Sampson. (Editor’s Note: I also love Sunburn by Gordie Sampson!)

L: Favourite spot on the island…?

M: Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. I am absolutely in love that place!

L: Last book you read…?

M: All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren. Currently reading Changing My Mind by Margaret Trudeau.

L: You’re entering your last year at CBU, what advice can you offer new students?

M: Appreciate the value of having a one on one relationship with your professors. They are an absolute wealth of information; you can learn so much from them!

L: What’s something we don’t know about you?

M: I am a classical music junkie (I have an embarrassingly comprehensive knowledge of film scores).

L: What’s your summer uniform?

M: A dress is a must. Favourably, a colourful sundress with a cute shoe!

L: What can students look forward to for the 2012-2013 year?

M: I don’t want to give away too much, but I can say we at the Union are looking into some new, local initiatives!

Presenting Research – Guest Blog by Alyssa MacDougall

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

In late May, CBU student researcher Alyssa MacDougall had the opportunity to present our research with Dr. Ruby Ramji at “The Study of Religion in Atlantic Canada” conference in Halifax along with several graduate students from the Atlantic provinces. (That’s right – Alyssa was the only undergrad student presenting!)

Alyssa was kind enough to share her experience with us, as you’ll see below.

Thanks Alyssa!


This past school year I’ve had the pleasure of working with Dr. Ruby Ramji and Lucy on a database of media articles pertaining to the ban on the burqa in public places such as in France. My work was all done in French, while Lucy organized the database and acquired a plethora of information in English. The end product is not yet available online, but I believe it will be very soon.

I’ve always been a big believer in learning through experience so when Ruby approached me with the idea of presenting this research at “The Study of Religion in Atlantic Canada: Diverse Disciplines, Theories, Methods and Contexts” conference in Halifax, I wasted no time in sending in my abstract.

Luckily I’ve never been the type to be nervous about presentations because by the time that presentation rolled around I could barely sleep! I was the only undergrad presenting research at the conference. Can you say intimidated? Regardless, I got up and went through my PowerPoint and I was shocked at how easily it came to me. Everyone was extremely interested in our research and I was pleased that they took the time to ask questions.

I had a ton of fun presenting our research, not only because I am passionate about what I do, but also because it was so successful. It is extremely satisfying when you put a significant amount of work into something and the end product intrigues and interests people. It was a great experience and now the first time is over with; I have experience for any presentations I need to do in the future and, realistically that could be a major part of my career.

I’ve always been a big believer in diving into a daunting task headfirst and that philosophy certainly didn’t fail me in this case. I would encourage everyone to take an opportunity like this should it present itself. I was so glad that I did it, despite being nervous. Also, in the process I learned a lot about the other fascinating research being done in my field throughout the Atlantic Provinces.

In her presentation, Ruby made the point that academic networking is an important part of any career stemming from a university degree and learning about the research that others are doing, as well as presenting yours, is a great way to build that network. She is totally right and opportunities like this are ideal for helping to build that network. They bring scholars together in a central location where we can meet and shake hands and talk face-to-face rather than over email or text, which is typical in an area like the Atlantic Provinces in which academics tend to be secluded from one another.

The endeavour that began with Ruby approaching me with this project in October culminated very satisfactorily with the interest mine and Lucy’s colleagues showed in our research at this conference. As I said, it’s certainly been a pleasure working with them. I am looking forward to seeing what may spawn from this project and I am certainly anticipating learning about the work they will do in the future.

June 20th: Student Summer Lecture Series

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Stop by CE265 tomorrow (June 20th) at noon to hear from two researchers at CBU.

Julie-Anne Wrobleski will be presenting “Abundance and Distribution of Tuberous Electroreceptors in Brachyhypopomus Gauderio” and Preston MacQueen will be presenting “Novel BODIPY Mesoporous for fluorescence devices.”

The presentations sound like they’ll be informative and interesting!

For more information about the Lecture Series or to find out more about CBU research, visit the following:!/cburesearch

To e-Read or not to e-Read?

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

I’m a reader, like many of you are.

When I read a book, I typically dog ear it, highlight it, bend it, “smush” it and so on. I’m never afraid to drop it or pour coffee on it. If anything, these battle wounds embody pleasant memories.

When I’m done with a book I like to share it, passing on the story. I also love to keep my books on a bookshelf, fondly remembering the characters and promising to revisit them again soon. In this way, a book is more than simply a book. It’s an entire experience.

Book < e-Reader?

Understandably, until now I have not jumped on the e-Reader bandwagon. If anything, I’ve refused them. Yes, it would seem I’m a proper book snob. Nonetheless, dreams of someday owning a library are too magical to betray for a piece of technology, however efficient it may be.

You may be surprised then (as am I), that I am considering buying an e-Reader. Why now?

For one thing, I travel. E-Readers are lightweight and can hold hundreds of books that my checked luggage cannot. In addition, English bookstores aren’t always easy to come by. Apparently, with Wi-Fi, you can download books on your e-Reader anywhere in the world. That’s handy.

E-Readers also keep things organized. I have books everywhere. I feel guilty for letting them fall into disrepair, but I simply don’t have the means or the space to start my own library yet. Friends have suggested storing my books in large containers, but that’s not something I’m ready to do either. What’s more, if I acquire any more books – my parents may go on strike. I mean, my house is getting pretty flammable with my abundant book collection…

Thus, an e-Reader seems like an obvious choice for someone like me (AKA: Book Worm).

Purchasing books becomes cheaper, and it is hard to argue the convenience of e-Readers. Plus, the cute cases don’t hurt!

e-Reader case on Etsy by Chubby Cloud ($25)

I’m still on the fence about the matter, so I’d like to hear from you! Do you have an e-Reader or are you a die-hard book romantic?

For those who want more information, here are the two popular e-Readers:

Kindle Touch

Kobo Touch

Keep Calm and Carry On

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ has become a treasured motto for many around the world. The motto appears just about everywhere, serving as a reminder not to get overwhelmed or hung up on things. But, is that a realistic expectation? And, when faced with a stressful situation (like an exam) can you really keep calm and carry on?

Earlier this week I wrote my much-anticipated LSAT exam. The exam is around 4-7 hours, and is written to be challenging for everyone. On top of that, the exam has a lot of hype surrounding it… none of which makes it seem like an enjoyable experience, if you know what I mean.

Nonetheless, despite the terror that surrounded the exam – I remained calm. I wrote the LSAT without thinking in my head “I can’t do this” and I didn’t need to continually click my pencil off the desk out of nervousness. Instead, I remained focused and okay. And guess what? I did fine!

In stressful situations, it’s important to find your calm in order to keep moving forward. Here are some of the ways I keep calm and carry on:

  1. Breathe. Finding your breath in stressful situations is the most important thing you can do. Regulate your breathing and you’ll quickly find calm.
  2. Leave negative thoughts at the door. There is no time for negative thoughts – whether about yourself, someone else, or the situation. A good motto is, “If you don’t have anything nice to think, then don’t think anything at all.”
  3. Harness excitement and nervousness as energy. Particularly when writing an exam (or giving a presentation), take that excitement and use it as energy to power you through the situation. Coffee will quickly become irrelevant!
  4. Be proud. Realize that you’re the greatest and that whatever the outcome is, you’ll still learn from this experience. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
  5. Dance. Dance? Okay maybe not for everyone. Release some pent up feelings of anxiousness by exercising. Perhaps it will be going for a run, doing yoga, or, having a one-person dance party to your favourite inspiring tunes. Whatever the case, moving your body will keep you moving forward.
  6. Have perspective. Will this situation matter in 5 years? Probably not. Let it go and the stress will let you go too.

Those are some of the ways I made it through my LSAT experience calm and cool.

What are your favourite ways to overcome stressful situations?

To learn more about ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ click here.

Get Running

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Over the weekend I was one of about 2,000 runners to participate in the Fiddler’s Run Youth Run and Fun Run.

The Youth Run really stole the show with 1,450 youth partaking in the 2.1K and 4.2K races on Saturday. Nonetheless, on Sunday morning hundreds showed up at the Big Fiddle to run the 5K and 10K races. The sun was shining and excitement filled the air – it was a great way to kick off summer running for all!

For many at the event, it was their first race after taking part in learn-to-run programs. From personal experience, this definitely won’t be their last race either. Crossing the finish line is contagious.

So what about YOU? Are you ready to run?

Becoming a runner isn’t that hard, and anyone can do it.

Find a friend to be your running coach, complete a Couch to 5K plan, or start a running journal to track the distance and times of your runs.

To start running, all you’ll need are a pair of sneakers and some comfortable workout wear. If you find music motivational, grab your iPod as well.

As they say, go at your own pace. For as long as you need, mix walking and running.

Running is a healthy for your body and for your mind – so make it apart of your summer plans!

Runner’s Resources

The Couch-to-5K Running Plan Get your legs moving with this two-month learn-to-run plan.

Map My Run Find out more about your run with this handy tool.

101 Greatest Running Tips Tips and motivation for runners.

Cape Breton Road Runners Club 2012 Race Schedule A great list of races in Cape Breton this summer and fall.

Cape Breton Fiddler’s Run – Be a Volunteer If you don’t want to run, become a volunteer and experience the excitement!