Even though I am from the Northeastern United States and used to experiencing four seasons, Montreal is still a puzzling and volatile land of extremes to me. Some days are warm enough to wear a light jacket and a long-sleeve T-Shirt underneath and others are so cold I have to wrap a scarf around my head to avoid a numb face. These days can be within the same season, or even within the same week. With that said, I’d like to share my survival guide to Montreal winters. Read on and bundle up. (more…)
Sometimes I visit my friends at smaller universities. They show me around their campuses, pointing out different dorms, lovely manicured quads, the library.
“Wait,” I say. “THE library? Like you only have one?”
“Well, yeah,” they respond.
I guess I’ve been spoiled by McGill. The libraries are one of my favorite things about this school, and it always makes me sad to see all the crowds during exam season who are obviously only here to be stressed in a public place.
There’s so much fun to be had in these buildings, though! Like going to Birks, taking off your boots and pretending that you’re at a really low-key sock hop. Like visiting the music library for the first time and being entirely bewildered. (It’s the loveliest, most modern place, and can make a physical science student such as myself feel all kinds of grubby.) Like hitting up the education library after your last exam, and being so glad that you no longer have to read about evolution that you check out fifteen young-adult novels.
Or perhaps that’s only me.
In any case, I’ll be here, reading for fun when I should be doing physics assignments, eating academic journals like they’re pop culture and vice versa. Y’all should chime in.
Community forum builds growing opposition to tar sands pipelines in Quebec
Grassroots group Climate Justice Montreal has organized a day of workshops, a panel discussion, and strategizing to build resistance to the proposed Enbridge Line 9 reversal project that would ship tar sands crude through Ontario, Quebec, and New England.
Hundreds of people, including activists from the Quebec student movement and the Idle No More movement, are expected to attend to hear from front-line activists from Indigenous communities and rural Quebec who have been fighting similar destructive projects for years. Keynote speakers include:
- Vanessa Gray, from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation and organizer with Idle No More, who is organizing to stop Line 9 near Sarnia
- Professor at Collège Édouard-Montpetit, and researcher with l’Institut de recherche et d’informations socio-économiques, Eric Martin
- From the Pasqua First Nation, organizer for The Indigenous Environmental Network and the Ruckus Society, Heather Milton-Lightning
- Laurent Busseau, member of the Comité pour l’Environnement de Dunham, which successfully mobilized to stop the construction of a tar sands pumping station near the Quebec-Vermont border
January 19th, from 10:00-18:00
Concordia University, Hall Building
1455 De Maisonneuve West
More information and full programming found here:
Exams are quickly approaching, and I’m flabbergasted at how rapidly time has flown by. Just under a year ago, I was casually entertaining the idea of going on exchange. Last week, I received my acceptance letter from the University of Melbourne!
The process has been long – I applied for nomination in mid-January of 2012, but my semester in Australia will only start in March 2013. I usually felt like I was blindly going through all the procedures, never quite knowing what would come next. Hopefully the next two posts will provide a useful timeline and some helpful tips!
A disclaimer: I’m going to the University of Melbourne in Winter 2013. The application procedures are different for each school and the deadlines are generally different for each hemisphere. But most importantly, the timeline for a winter exchange is much longer than for a fall or full year exchange!
Looking back, this is actually when I wish I had done my research – I waited until the week before the deadline. Trying to pick a country, let alone a school and courses was really challenging during the first week of classes. Making big decisions quickly is really stressful, so do your research early!
January: Applying for Nomination
First, I had to apply to my own faculty (Science) to be nominated to go on exchange. This was a McGill internal application and the deadline was in mid-January.
February: Sitting, Waiting, Wishing
The waiting was brutal. But during reading week, in the cold depressing month of February came an email congratulating me on my nomination! Success! I would be notified when it was time to apply to the host school.
March – October: Yearning for a Sign
This part was truly nerve-wracking. In the nomination email I had been notified that when it was time to apply, I’d be notified – but no email came for six months!
With weather like this, it’s hard for me to think of anything other than making bread. Particularly cinnamon-infused loaves that fill my whole apartment with their aroma while they’re baking. Mmmmm.
Making bread may not seem like a practical activity for a university student. I admit, it’s a time consuming process. Yeast breads require kneading and take hours to rise. But doing it yourself allows you to control what you’re eating, can save you some money, and best of all: one loaf is enough for a week’s worth of breakfasts. So give one (or both!) of the recipes below a try. You may discover a love of baking, and at the very least you’ll have a loaf of bread. (more…)
On Tuesday, October 16th from 4:00 to 6:30 pm, the Consultation Fair focusing on Academic Advising and Graduate Supervision will take place in Redpath Hall. In case you’re wondering how a consultation fair works, it’s essentially a series of roundtable discussions between administrative staff and students, where you can bring up issues and questions that you have and discuss the solutions together. Plus, there will be food and coffee available to fuel all the consulting.
You can register here: www.mcgill.ca/consultation/consultation-fairs/october-2012/registration-form
Also, for students using the shuttle to Mac Campus, there will be a special bus leaving at 7:15 pm to accommodate students who want to attend the fair.
So, if you have a great idea that you would like to see implemented, if you have an issue with advising or graduate supervision that keeps coming up, or even if you just want to be an observer, come check out the consultation fair!
This Friday, October 5th is Community Engagement Day, which is a new project from the SEDE office, SSMU, the SPF and many other partners. There will be 20 group activities for staff, students and faculty on campus and around the city highlighting the connections between McGill and Montreal communities. Some activities include public discussions, walking tours, urban gardening, youth mentorship and more!
Visit CEDMcGill.com to check out all the activities and register before this Wednesday, October 3rd. I’ll be facilitating the Living Library activity!
It’s a great opportunity to try something new and get involved in the Montreal community, while giving your time and learning about the social issues that community organizations address.
Hope to see you there!
What: A celebration of fall and local beer, with by-donation tastings and all profits going to charity.
Where: Atwater Market, 138 Atwater Avenue, Montreal, H4C 2H6
When: Friday, Sept 28: 1-6 pm, Saturday, Sept 29: 10-5 pm, Sunday, Sept 29: 11-5 pm
Is there a better combination than local beer and local produce? Yes. It’s local beer, local produce, AND charity. This weekend at Atwater Market, you can experience all three during the market’s annula Octoberfest. 40 microbreweries will be on hand, offering samples of some of the best beer in the province. There’ll also be scheduled tastings, which are by-donation (the suggested donation is $1). All profits raised are going to the Sainte-Justine Hospital Foundation. Consider this your opportunity to drink some beer to do some good. (more…)
I spent the summer in Montreal, and in June I bought a bike and started riding it pretty much everywhere. I love it! But when I talk about my preferred mode of transportation I get reactions ranging from “Wow you’re brave! I would never bike in Montreal,” to a rushing stream of complaints from fellow cyclists which lead to a storytelling session about the crazy things we experience during our commutes.
One strange thing that happened to me this summer: on a weekend morning at around 8 am an old lady was riding her little scooter down the bike path on Boulevard de Maisonneuve near De la Montagne. I passed her, but when I stopped for the next red light like the good citizen I am, she just zoomed by me and ran the red light without even looking both ways! Then I had to pass her again, which was a little embarrassing since she had just passed me… in her scooter.
We hear about it every day… global climate change is a serious issue that we’re going to have to face in the coming years. These issues are overwhelming at times, and it’s easy to think that our everyday habits don’t make any difference…but they do. Reducing our individual footprints is a first step to creating lasting change. Here are a few simple ways to reduce your everyday energy use!
5. Wear a Sweater:
Fall has arrived, and with it comes the prospect of winter in Montreal…Heating an apartment not only raises our utilities bills, but it also uses a lot of energy. Reduce the costs by reducing your thermostat by 2°C/3.6°F and wear a sweater! At night, reduce it by 10°C/18°F and add a blanket. Remember that when you’re away from home, in class, or at work, you don’t need to be wasting energy and money on heating an empty room–make sure you’re saving energy by turning the heat down when you’re away!
4. Avoid the Dryer:
Invest in a drying rack and hang your clothes to dry. Dryers are overrated anyway. (more…)
It’s really easy to get caught up in a routine at McGill. You go to class, (sometimes) do your reading, hang out with friends, and before you know it the weeks roll by. I was looking to change it up a little bit when my sister, a recent McGill grad, came to visit a couple weeks ago.
We toyed with the idea of doing a canoe trip, and ended up deciding to do a day hike in Vermont. The night before we googled a few trails and ended up deciding upon the Sterling Pond hike. We didn’t prepare much, and I ended up printing the driving directions just a few minutes before we took off at nine in the morning. One of the friends we went with had a car, and the ride was a breeze. Other than a brief stop at the border, there were no real stoppages and we got there in under two and a half hours. After crossing the border we were met by huge rolling hills and fresh, clean tasting air. Clearly we were out of the city.
Once we reached the trail, it was apparent that the weather was not near the 18 degree high that was predicted. Luckily we had some sweaters and we began our ascent. The trail was absolutely gorgeous with a variety of small streams running alongside and through the trail, and a lush forest of coniferous and deciduous trees. On the drive we picked up a few Dogfish Head beers (a Delaware brew that had a flavourful and hoppy 90 minute IPA) and as we hiked up we enjoyed a beer or two. We bumped into a few friendly hikers along the trail, and as we passed what appeared to be a class on a field trip, the teacher happily exclaimed, “Hiking and Dogfish Head, the best of both worlds.” (more…)
Hey, you! Do you constantly find your stomach grumbling and your pockets empty? Well, welcome to life in college.
But I’ve got the inside scoop! After scoping around campus for a few weeks, I’ve found 5 superb eats around campus that a measly $5 can cover.
Photo courtesy of Super Sandwich Facebook Group (more…)
What: An agricultural fair, featuring farm animals and fun activities
Where: Jean-Drapeau Park (Metro: Station Jean-Drapeau on the Yellow Line)
When: Sunday, September 9, from 10 am – 4 pm
This Sunday, rather than doing my usual pretend-to-study-while-really-just-on-facebook, I’ll be enjoying the UPA’s (Union des producteurs agricoles) Fete Agricole! Attractions include: face-painting, talking to farmers, agricultural equipment, various farm animals, sheep shearing (!), and cow milking (!!). If you’re a fan of any of these things, or just enjoy being outdoors on a nice afternoon, I highly suggest you check it out. Personally, I’m really excited to try milking a cow. The best way to get there from downtown is by metro, and the trip should take you about 35 minutes. So go outside, meet some farmers, milk some cows, have some fun!
I hope to see you there!
You can blog about your experiences at McGill – everything from your classes to residence life to your research and coursework.
Are you involved with a club or association on campus? Spread the word! Tell us about club-related travels and projects.
Your blogs don’t have to feature McGill at all! You can blog about Montreal, your volunteer work, your favourite books or about any other topic of interest to you.
Blog for a cause, blog for fun or blog entirely en français!
Don’t ask why blog, ask why not blog! Blogging helps improve your writing, affords you the opportunity to connect with people you may not have connected with otherwise, allows you to interact with your readers through blog comments and may even become part of your portfolio. Link to your blogs from your Facebook page to let your friends see your blog posts.
Interested? Tell us what your blogging angle would be. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the end off the semester approaches, I’d like to wish you all the best of luck in wrapping up the semester.
Have a wonderful summer!