I know, I know… it’s been about a million years since I’ve updated this site. Things have just been insanely busy this year, what with juggling classes, work, and social life. I have written an entry reflecting on my time working in accounting and administration at the Bata Shoe Museum (mostly for course credit purposes) and my thoughts on my time spent thus far studying Arts Management at the University of Toronto, but I’m still waiting for some new photographs to publish along with it. I feel like this blog would be too boring and wordy without its usual image-heavy content. I’m planning to visit the new aquarium downtown within the next three weeks though, so it should be published soon!
Just as a quick update, things have been looking pretty good even though it has been busy. I had to adjust my priorities this semester: last year 90% of my time was spent studying, memorizing, studying, and memorizing. I put in some time working in events and marketing on campus, and had one or two volunteer experiences, but for the most part, it was all about the grades.
At one point I decided that what was probably more important was being able to really understand things and apply practical skills to be able to work after graduation. My dad told me,
“Once you enter the real workforce, they will expect you to know, not learn. The expectations will be higher and there will be less room for mistakes.”
So, I decided to put in more time towards practical application: hands-on experience, social improvement, etc. I haven’t neglected my studies, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t devoting too much time towards the short-term learning. Inevitably, the significantly less allocated time for studying resulted in lower grades this term (good, but not spectacular)… but I have to say I have actually learned more, and I have never been happier with my life.
I’m not trying to make excuses for having dropped a few points on the CGPA scale; I just find that removing myself from the mindset of getting 90′s allows me to actually enjoy courses and truly “get it”, even if test results do not immediately reflect that. Allocating time to various other activities also allows for putting together functional pieces (that didn’t fully make sense or even appear in the classroom). The bottom line is…
Yes, grades matter… but they shouldn’t matter as much as the current education system implies you should. Once you let go of this concept, life is pretty darn near perfect – even with its bad days.
This has probably been the longest unofficial hiatus I have ever been on. Things have been insanely hectic over the summer, and evidently are continuing to be until after October. I want to be able to write a post regarding my administrative internship, and thoughts on the end of my freshman-sophomore impressions on arts management… but as of now I don’t know when that’s going to happen. I’m looking at mid-late October… hopefully earlier. Just wanted to make an update; let y’all know I’m not dead, and share a photograph I took a while back!
This has become a long hiatus. Over the course of the summer, I seemed to have been lucky enough to have landed an awesome student internship/part-time job, and my best friend of almost a decade has moved to Toronto! I’ve also been busy moving to a new condo (and wasting a frivolous amount of money on decoration pillows, within my budget of course but frivolous nonetheless), and attempting to pass Statistics. I have one last exam to go before being free to spend (what little is left of) the rest of summer. Then it’s off to school again.
Well, hasn’t this just become a delayed update (as always). Just wanted to share an image from a set of portraits I recently took! The rest can be viewed on Flickr.
Also wanted to do a quick rant, because I seem to attract problems like this. A year ago I was falsely accused of not having paid my tuition fees. Then I was falsely accused of cheating on an exam. Both were dealt with and resolved, not without some bitter memories and grudges held against the school for its lack of responsibility. Today I came home to find a letter in my mailbox titled “Notice of Academic Probation”. I read it multiple times through, confused; I have nothing short of a B+! How is this possible? It must be a mistake, but now I have to clear this up again and it will probably screw up my entire fall OSAP application too. I’m so angry at the fact that I work my ass off to maintain good grades on top of leading multiple extracurricular activities. I’m expected to be proactive and be responsible for myself, but when is the school going to be responsible? I understand there are a lot of students to take care of, but I’ve yet to meet a counsellor or “academic officer” who actually gives helpful advice or even really cares/takes their job seriously. I’m paying thousands of dollars, and for what? A piece of paper that says I’ve graduated from a school whose reputation far exceeds its performance.
Once again this has become a belated update. Things have been quite busy, despite the summer rolling around. I suppose that’s what progression of life is… less time for fun and games. Hopefully, I’ll be getting around to traveling more and taking more photographs before autumn comes again! (Canadian summers never last very long.)
My summer vacation lasted less than a week. Classes commenced again this afternoon. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed myself over the break – my next trip back home will be indefinite, as our house has now been sold.
It was yesterday once more.
The song A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton played on the radio as the bus back to Toronto drove on past the “Welcome To Windsor” sign. How appropriate, being as this was the song that played when we crossed the Ambassador Bridge moving from Michigan to Canada.
Haven’t really been posting recently… but it’s because I’ve just finished up my one-week vacation back home. I’ll do a proper post once I get back to my apartment in Toronto!
Hello everyone! You’ll probably have noticed a lack of content recently, but I’m in the midst of the end of finals (and a revamp of my blog). Hopefully these daily images will make up for things! I shot this image at the City Hall in downtown Toronto.
As sophomore year comes to its (
hectic) close, I started to think about why am I here? What do I want to do? These questions started to spin in my mind today after a conversation with a professor (one among many brilliant minds here at UTSC). It’s actually quite surprising how much I still didn’t know how to answer, and it wasn’t just because of my social awkwardness.
I had sort of narrowed down an area of interest to culture and tourism (although I don’t know if you can really call this narrowing, since it includes so many different scopes), but there was still more narrowing down to be done… that I hadn’t done. Which organizations am I interested in? I have to interact with them, know about them, and take action to be a part of their teams, instead of just waiting for something to happen. To quote my professor who quoted her family member…
“When you’re drowning, you may pray to Minerva, but at the same time you might also want to move your hands and feet.“
This is something I might’ve been taking in the wrong direction. One of the things I liked about myself is that I’m extremely adaptable to really any type of environment (both atmospherically and mentally). For example, I’m naturally inverted and socially awkward… but when I had a job as a barista, I would prepare and force myself to be outgoing, smiley, and talkative with pre-planned replies and opening lines. I’m naturally bad at math, but if circumstances call for it, I buckle down to study and make myself temporarily good at math. It may not necessarily be a quick process, but at least I have the ability to force myself to do things outside of my comfort zone and still be happy. Because of this, I kept thinking… anything is fine… I’ll take whatever comes… but as a result, I’m not “moving my hands and feet”.
Consequently, it’s resulted in what I’d probably call a lack of passion. I didn’t research with much depth what there is, and what I could do. I’d like to be involved with larger, reputable organizations because I’m attracted to that sort of thing, but at the same time it’s intimidating because I feel like I don’t have enough experience or knowledge to even have the privilege of talking to them. I backhandedly compare myself to others who have already done so much since high school, and just hope that I stumble upon a good opportunity anywhere.
Maybe it is a lack of confidence. Maybe I need to “adapt” to the fact that I’m not stupid. I actually do have good experiences under my belt; I learn fast. Just gotta stop over-thinking… In any case, summer is coming… and even though I still have 3 classes… it leaves -2 classes’ worth of time for me to get out there and do some damage. To quote another brilliant mind, Lucy Maud Montgomery in her book Anne of Green Gables,
“It’s not what the world holds for you, but what you bring to it.“
On another note, I also feel my social skills are going down the drain. I spent all of Freshman year working with a professor to get over my quiet-ness, and by working at Maple Leaf for half a year as aforementioned, to force myself to be outgoing. Now after a year of being stuck in the empty suburbs (in my room), I think I’ve reverted back into my shell, even feeling my face get red-hot whenever I stutter out more than two sentences. Why is it that I can perform dance with fluidity and confidence, and even walk runway on a Sogo platform, but I can’t think/speak on my feet without preparing for it like a test? Awkward distribution in areas of confidence…
“Grown ups” say that people our age shouldn’t have stress. We don’t have to worry about taking care of our kids, paying taxes, or be constantly suspiciously alert of layoffs and cutbacks. But I beg to differ. Right now, for the first real time in my life, I am worried.
This semester has been a heavy load… I’ve felt overwhelmed and nervous for almost the entire four months. Apart from academics, I took on more responsibility in extracurriculars and constantly tried battling my personal weaknesses. But as a result, I feel like I’ve completely backfired and set myself back to where I was in high school. My grades aren’t particularly amazing this term (even though they’re not bad either), and one unexpected extremely low assignment grade just sent me into the depths of despair. What’s worse is it’s not even because I didn’t try – I actually thought I knew what I was doing and would get perfect.
The competition these days is just so fierce… even though people say grades are not all that matters and everyone has strengths in their own personality, there are still set standards, and the reality is that only certain people have the “traits” that allow them to excel. Perhaps I’m just being overly cynical at the moment due to final projects and exams…
I just wish sometimes that I could have a different mindset. I’m always over-thinking and always in a rush. I feel like I’m running a marathon where even though I’m not stopping to take breaks, I’m only watching everyone else run ahead.
I wasn’t going to be doing another update for a while, but after I finished this funding proposal assignment, I was quite proud of the way the aesthetics came out, so I decided to share. Everything was made in Microsoft Word, which is a first for me. I used to use Publisher (before it seems to have vanished off the market), then started using Photoshop and InDesign when college commenced. Mostly everything in the content is fictional, as Telus TAIWANfest seems to be quite a private event. I’m actually having a hard time placing it as a for-profit or not-for-profit organization, but went with not-for-profit since it seems to have been funded by Toronto Arts Council at one point.
I’m not too extremely worried about the narrative content… unless I wasn’t clear enough on the objectives for the festival (which are made up). I feel like a lot of things were repeated, but I had a hard time finding samples of grant proposals and what other organizations tend to say about themselves; just followed notes from lectures to the basic concept and made stuff up based on what I felt like the festival served as when I attended.
The budget is another story. I was able to find templates from festivals that lasted from 2 weeks to a month, but wasn’t able to find a 3-day festival. I couldn’t find specific rental numbers either, so I had to estimate based on the information I had. I assume Harborfront is more expensive, since everything in that area tends to be overpriced… but I’m not sure. I also didn’t know if participating artists/chefs, etc. were paid… or whether or not Telus sponsored their fees and transportation costs (or is Telus the applicant)? Anyways, I just assumed transportation was an in-kind donation, as I recall seeing a lot of WestJet and China Airlines logos everywhere. Following our ARTSIDEOUT proposal, the budget sheet wasn’t very detailed… so in order to make things simple and understandable, I didn’t make mine too specified either.