Fall semester is over….sorry, what?

Hey friends! I can’t believe that as of tomorrow, my fall semester will be completed and over with. It’s my last fall semester of my undergrad – what?!

By far, my favourite class of this semester was my Transnational Crime and Corruption class. It was with Professor Gutterman whom I’ve had three classes with over my four years of undergrad. It was a little bit intimidating in the beginning as the class is a fourth year (4000 level) seminar-based class which means LOTS of discussion but I survived!

We looked at topics like human trafficking, terrorism, drug trafficking, transnational bribery, money laundering, and lots more. If you ever have a chance to take a class with Professor Gutterman, do it! She’s an incredible and inspiring professor who I’ve always enjoyed having classes with.

I also had my last Keele class of my undergrad. I’ve taken 3 classes at Keele as part of my Refugee and Migration studies certificate. This class was called “Migration, Citizenship and Identity” and it was a 3 credit course which means it runs for half a year.

Professor Molavi was really interesting to listen to because she was personally invested and extremely knowledgeable on the case studies we looked at. The case studies were when I became really engaged with the course matter as we looked at the Second Iraq War, the G20 summit, the Occupy Movement, the Twitter and Facebook revolutions in Iran and Egypt, and the Israel-Gaza conflict.

My other classes are 6 credit so they’ll carry over into next semester. But, I’ll be taking a few more 3 credit classes such as Public Law II which is a class that looks at the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Public Administration. Also, I’m taking a class called Global Civil Society and International Economic Organizations. We shall see how these two go!

You can always tweet me @beckielhgl and if you haven’t already, there is a Facebook group called #GL2019, class de 2019 that is available for all Glendonites planning to join us in September 2015.

All I Want for Christmas is…to go home for the Holidays

Hey friends! I’d like to start off this week’s post by saying how grool (yes, Mean Girls reference) it was that I was in my Transnational Crime and Corruption class yesterday and Professor Gutterman came by during our small discussion groups and told me that she had seen and read my blog!

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I’ve had Professor Gutterman three times during my four years here at Glendon – Introduction to International Relations in First Year, International Relations through Film and Literature in Third Year, and Transnational Crime and Corruption this semester. It was our final class and, consequently, my last class with Professor Gutterman at Glendon so it was a really nice way to finish off the semester.

It’s that time of the year again. Final exams, final papers, take home exams. It’s always a bit horrifying when I plan out the weeks leading up to when, at least for me, I can pack up and go home for the holidays. Every year, my pattern of going home during the school year have varied.

In first year, I went home every weekend because I was still employed at my part-time job in Brampton. Second and third year were spent differently and I found myself going home for the most part but staying back at Glendon when my work load piled up.

This year, I decided that I focused best when I stayed at Glendon. It’s my fourth year so I want to doreally well in my classes and concentration is key to staying on track with readings and assignments. So, I’ve been home about three times and the last time was early November. Needless to say, sometimes I find myself really missing being at home.

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Living on residence was a really great decision for me. Despite being from Brampton, living at Glendon cuts out the time I would spent commuting back and forth so I can use that time to do my readings, work on assignments, watch Bad Girls Club… but no, seriously.

But as it’s coming up to Christmas time, I find myself complaining that I just want to be home. It might be that the holidays are such a homely time for me or it could be that I want to escape the work load coming up in the next few weeks. I mean, just look at my dog and tell me that you wouldn’t want to snuggle with her instead of studying…

I don’t really have “tips” per se for dealing with missing home. I’ve often found myself texting my mom asking her to send me pictures of our two cats and dogs (again, no seriously). Keeping in contact with family and friends back home via text also helps – I just need to remember to text them back because I ALWAYS forget, whoops.

I’ve got about 2 weeks or so until I’m done exams and I can finally go home to relax. I’m mostly excited to just snuggle with (but I feel like she would say ‘snuggle on’) my not-so puppy Keira and drink endless amounts of tea – surprisingly as a English person, I don’t drink tea at school! So I haven’t had tea in amount a month or so!

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Well, today marks the beginning of the 6 days I have to complete a take-home exam and then another 6 days to study for my final exam for sociology. I’ll probably just be a coffee machine for the next few weeks so my tweets might not make a lot of sense but you can still tweet me with any of your questions! Tweet me here @beckielhgl!

See you next time!

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Mansbridge at Glendon

“Tonight I’m not an academic, not a scholar. I’m a story-teller; that’s what journalists do” (Shout out to Gillian’s twitter for tweeting that quote)

Last Friday night, I had the pleasure of listening to Peter Mansbridge speak at an event held in the Centre of Excellence at Glendon.

Peter Mansbridge at Glendon

The 2014 John Holmes Memorial Lecture was titled “A Journalist’s Personal Journey on International Affairs”.The John Holmes Memorial Lectures honour the late John W. Holmes, O.C., Canadian diplomat, writer, administrator, and professor of International Relations at Glendon.

He began to tell us stories about his experience as a CBC correspondent travelling around the world, reporting on international affairs. It was truly a night of story-telling which is why I think I took so much away from the event.

When stories are told in a way that captivate your attention and that ignite a spark in your mind that continues to burn once you walk out of the doors and make your way back home, they tend to stay with you.

He spoke about exploring tunnels in Vimy Ridge earlier this month where he found etchings by Canadian soldiers. The soldiers had not only left their name and regiment, they had also drew something that represented where they came from in Canada such as boats for Quebec and maple leafs for Ontario.

He spoke about being in Sri Lanka after the tsunami and how a young child had told him in broken English that “Canada is good”. The reason, he said, is because there had been Canadian nurses who voluntarily flew into Sri Lanka after they had heard the news and were helping to provide shots for the residents in the town to prevent infection and disease in the aftermath of the tsunami.

He spoke about being in a Dutch town and witnessing a parade honouring Canadian veterans for liberating the Netherlands in the Second World War. When a colleague asked a woman why she had brought her young son to the parade, the woman had responded that she wanted her son “to know what a Canadian” is.

Peter told us that night that all of these stories tell him something that we often find hard to answer – what does it mean to be Canadian? Peter said that these stories told him that to be a Canadian means that “we care, simple”.

To be a Canadian, said Peter, means that we care not only about ourselves and our families but those that we don’t know whether they be across the street, across the country, or across the world. And he said that those outside of Canada see and recognize that this is what it means to be Canadian also.

As a recent Canadian citizen, I really enjoyed the night because it made me feel proud to be Canadian. I’ve felt proud to live in Canada for a long time but that night, I felt the pride of BEING Canadian. I think in light of recent events in Ottawa, some may feel as though the perception of Canada in international affairs is changing in a way that the Canadian public may not like or favour but Peter reminded us that night that the idea of Canada being a good and safe country is not a thing of the past.

On that note, I would like to thank Glendon and Peter Mansbridge for a phenomenal night of story-telling and Canada-loving.

Peter Mansbridge at Glendon

You can tweet me @beckielhgl!

 

Time to make some big decisions

Hey friends! I’ve kinda been losing my mind lately. A brief example would be this morning in the Starbucks line at Keele. Waking up for my Thursday class is always hard because my body likes to stay up until 3am on the regular. So, there I was at 4am the night before…still awake…and had to be up in 2 hours for the shuttle to Keele. Running on two hours of sleep, I wasn’t really functional. You know when you’ve sometimes reached your hand out for the wrong drink and then realized and it’s all a little awkward. Well, not only did I reach and take her sandwich which she had to remind me was hers, I also reached out for her drink that she had to, again, remind me was not mine. Shout out to her though, she was super sweet when I told her I had only had two hours of sleep.

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Other than that, I’ve also been trying to decide what to do after graduation. I have a few ideas. I’ve always been a fan of the idea of going to college after university. It’s a new trend that’s been happening for the past few years and it’s a way for students to get hands-on skills that can set them apart from other individuals when applying for the same job. At the same time, I’ve been thinking about master’s programs but because it’s not always been in my “game plan”, I’ve neglected giving that idea the attention it probably deserves since applications would be due soon. I kinda wish I had at least given it some attention so that I wouldn’t feel so rushed to get everything in order in case applying is something is I want to do.

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Post-graduate certificates or masters. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Last week, I texted my mom telling her I was feeling overwhelmed and not really sure if I knew what I should be doing with my life. And she reminded myself about something that I do find to be very true: life has it’s way of figuring things out. Choosing Glendon was one of the best decisions I ever made – really and truly not trying to plug the school, it’s my honest opinion. I say this because Glendon wasn’t my #1 but somehow it sort of worked out that way. I visited the open house and whatever York events I could attend and everything figured itself out.

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Many of you may be going to the open house at Glendon on Sunday from 10am-2pm. All of the eAmbassadors and student ambassadors will be there – including myself. I will be going through the same thing this weekend also, just on the Saturday. I’ll be attending the Humber open house to talk to their student ambassadors and recruitment team about the program I’m interested in. From going to the Glendon open house in my last year of high school, I know how daunting it can be thinking of going to the campus and trying to figure everything out. What I can say is to have fun with it. Really try to #experiencegl (sorry, had to) and see if it fits into your game plan!

As always, I post every Thursday. Follow me on Twitter if you’d like @beckielhgl.

See ya!

It’s okay to ask for help

Hey friends! This week’s post is going to be a little bit different from my past few but I think it’s one that will allow you all to know me a little bit better. In January of this year, my Nan passed away. Although she had been sick for a few years with esophageal cancer, her death came unexpectedly. We were very close and she was (and always will be) somebody whom I idolized.

NanI had never returned to England since we had emigrated in 2004. The idea to take the trip struck me unexpectedly but I’m so glad that it did. I can say without a doubt that going to England in 2012 was the best decision I have ever made. I got to re-establish a relationship with my Nan. She had visited Canada a few times but the last time I had seen her was when I was fourteen and in 2012, I had just turned nineteen. Needless to say, the trip was a sort-of “coming of age” experience. Spending that time with her helped me to have an idea of what kind of person I wanted to be.

When I returned from England, I vowed to my Nan that I would call her every Monday. And I did. I loved talking to her on the phone. I loved talking about her to my friends and family. She was this amazing person who I wanted every person to know about. I loved to make her laugh and I like to think that our conversations took her mind off of everything that was going on with her health. I really did love to brag about my relationship with her, I’ll admit it!

When she passed, I was in the middle of getting ready to take my Canadian citizenship test and starting a new semester at Glendon.  To be honest, I had a really hard time trying to figure out how to handle it all. I’m very much like my Dad in the sense that I try to keep going on with things as best as I can. And I did just that – I went straight back to school. It was difficult, of course. I was trying to balance staying on top of school with trying to understand and express my grief at the same time. I finished the semester and my grades went unaffected but January to April was a really difficult time for me.

When I started back at Glendon in September, I felt that maybe accessing the personal counselling services at Glendon would help. My Nan’s death was not the first time that I had lost somebody close to me. I had an Uncle whom I was very close to pass in 2009 and sadly, a few weeks into starting back at school in September, my cousin suddenly passed away. All of these had happened whilst I was in school and when my cousin passed, I knew that I really needed some help. This was not an easy thing for me. Much like my Nan, I’m a pretty independent person and I don’t like asking for help. But I’m extremely thankful that I did.

It’s not easy to ask for help. I’ll be honest, I e-mailed the counselling services to set up an appointment and when they returned my email asking for availability, I ignored the e-mail for about a week. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go through with it because I didn’t know if it would even help me. However, I’ve had two appointments now and I’m finding that talking to somebody who really is there to listen to what I have to say is incredibly beneficial. It’s a way to organize and understand your thoughts and feelings so that you can take care of yourself a little bit better. I’m planning to continue with counselling throughout the year so I may make a post here and there with an update on how it is going.

The important thing that I really want to put out there is that it is okay to ask for help. For any number of reasons, you may feel that you need to speak with somebody about something going on in your life. This is a really brave thing to do. It’s essential that we take care of ourselves and asking for help may be a way of doing that. All in all, I’m really happy with my decision to make an appointment with Glendon’s personal counselling services because I feel like I took a pro-active step in dealing with grief in my life.

Keep up with me on twitter @beckielhgl. I post every Thursday, see you then!

 

 

 

 

 

Study tracks to help you stay focused!

It’s been an incredibly busy week for me! I had an exam on Monday and three papers due this week so I thought this week’s post could showcase what music I like to listen to when I really need to focus. For both, I usually use 8tracks playlists. When I’m studying, I try to stick to playlists that claim will they will help me focus but when I’m writing a paper, I really like to listen to remixes and mashups of songs – it makes it a little bit more fun and a little less tedious. Take a listen and let me know if any one these help!

When I’m studying:

Eargasmic Study

Studying Now = Success Later 

Concentration

Get Shit Done 

FOCUS

When I’m writing papers:

Mashups & Remixes

Remixes N Stuff

Chill Remixes

Remix It

Remixes

Hope these help! What do you like to listen while studying? Comment and let me know!

I post every Thursday, see you then!

The 411 with Becks and Michelle: First Show of the Year!

Ahhhhh! Last night was something I have been waiting for since I moved back to Glendon – our first show of the year on Radio Glendon!

I have a radio show with my friend Michelle every Wednesday night at 6:30pm that runs for about an hour. Our show is called The 411 with Becks and Michelle and we’re really interested in talking about current events and anything that has come up in the week that we think listeners would like to listen to us ramble on about! We try to be informative but also witty and opinionated (and a little sassy).

In my third year, I became interested in Radio Glendon when I listened in to a previous host’s show and asked her if I could co-host one night. I loved it so much that when I was able to, I requested that I have my own show. I knew that I didn’t want to do it alone so I asked one of my best friends Michelle (a fellow eAmbassador) if she wanted to tag along with me. She has a post about it too!

Our show last year was called Girl Code and we tried to follow the same sort of layout as the show on MTV (…Super original, I know). But, we soon found out that keeping within such a strict structure wasn’t something we were into. We found that our best content came from the times that we went with the flow and let the conversation evolve naturally. When our show ended in April, we decided that we wanted to switch things up going into our second year of being Radio Glendon DJ’s. We changed our name and although we do make notes on what we want to talk about, we really try to go into every show without a “script”.

This week we talked about the internet reaction on Ebola, Amanda Bynes’ behaviour on Twitter, the 4chan celebrity nudes leak scandal/sex crime, and the struggles with Tim’s orders.

If you’d be interested in listening in, you can tune in every Wednesday night at 6:30pm. Be sure to tweet us if you’re listening!