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Municipal Elections Matter, Part 1: An Introduction to CMES and Split-Ticket Voting

Municipal elections are important, however, in the field of political science, they are largely understudied. Notably, little is known about how candidates compete, or how voters make choices at this level. The Canadian Municipal Election Study (CMES) received funding to conduct research based on survey data in eight Canadian cities. This month, seven draft papers focusing on the Montreal and Quebec City elections were presented at a small conference at McGill.[1] I will be writing three broad pieces about split ticket voting, nationalism and party identification, and women in municipal politics based on what I learned at the conference. (more…)

How about getting a pet?

On a rainy day in October 2014, I went to SPCA Montreal with one friend, and initially just went to have a look. Then I saw Milou, my companion until now, who was a seven-month old kitten with beautiful eyes and soft paws. I don’t know if she was dragging anybody passing by, but I felt her touching me, and then signed all the paperwork in the next hour. It was not a random decision, and it changed my life. (more…)

A Letter to My First-Year Self

credit to: https://www.coachingpositiveperformance.com

Dear First-Year Self,

First of all, choosing McGill was definitely the right decision. You will see that it won’t be smooth sailing, and you are going to have doubts along the way, but you will leave them all behind. Looking back now, I can definitely say that starting from scratch in a city you’d never been to before will definitely give you a hard time, but I promise it will get easier.

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Looking for a book? How the ISO affects our studies

Founded on 23 February 1947, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has served to coordinate and unify standards globally. In the past 71 years, the ISO has developed and continues to update over 22 000 standards.[1] You may ask why this is important to students. The unique codes assigned to books and journals that we read on a regular basis were developed by this organization and makes identifying sources that much easier. (more…)

Academic Integrity – whatever you do, obey the rules

donutcheat

Resource: http://www.fsu.ca/academic-integrity.php

Since I am a graduate student, I have the responsibility to teach undergraduate students and help them with their work. So far, my students have given mostly positive feedbacks, and I have tried my best to reply to their emails as soon as possible, to give them tutorials on the knowledge they should get familiar with to write a good report, and to calm them down when small accidents happen (yes there are risks but generally you are safe in an undergraduate teaching lab). Our job description also includes one important thing: grading. Therefore, we need to go through dozens of reports on the same topic. It is exhausting, and not fun at all. We don’t want to give a hard time on our dear students, so most of the time we try to give marks instead of deducting them. I admit that I am quite lenient, but when I deduct marks, I always give the reason. (more…)

The Hunt for a Roommate

It’s apartment hunting season and with that comes the decision of where you’ll live and with who. If this is your first year, the thought of leaving the safety and comfort of a McGill residence may seem just a little daunting, albeit probably a little exciting too. For many, moving out of the room you shared with your first roommate also means getting ready to move in with a good friend. For others, it means the start of searching for someone to share a living space with. Here are 5 tips to tackle this search safely and efficiently:

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Regrets and Moving Forward

“Life is too short to live with regrets.” I’m sure I’m not the first one to have heard too many motivational quotes on living without regret. Unfortunately, it’s just something that we all feel and experience – bad choices, missed opportunities, unfortunate decisions, uncomfortable situations, time dedicated to things that weren’t worth it and to people who didn’t stay. In a time of our lives where much is focused on the studying we do daily and the career we strive to someday have, regrets happen during the undergraduate journey too.

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First Winter in Montreal as an International Student

For students coming from across oceans, winter in Montreal can be very brisk, long, and harsh. I know – I’ve been there. Before moving to Canada, I lived in Malaysia, where the days started at 7:00 a.m. and ended at 7:00 p.m. every day and the temperature was 30ºC year-long. I knew nothing of the sun setting before 5 p.m. and had only seen snow once or twice in my life. Coming to study in Montreal also meant that I would experience a real winter season, which was very exciting, but it soon began to look like spring and summer would never come.

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Dealing with stress and cold weather – final survival guide

It is mid-November and some of us still have their second mid-terms of this semester. Now it’s getting dark before 5 pm, and we wrap ourselves like tortilla. Since our semester is only less than 4 months long, the finals are actually around the corner.

Undegrads usually have 4 to 5 courses per semester, and we are drowning in deadlines throughout the semester. It seems that we don’t have a lot of time to prepare for the finals, so I want to share with everyone how I managed to obtain decent grades for 6 courses in one semester. (more…)

What Next?

I’ve been at McGill for just over a year now. Some might say I’ve “settled in”, but sometimes I still feel pretty new here. There are some things that, by my second year, I probably should have seen or heard of already, however, just this week was the first time that I’ve seen upper year students preparing for and celebrating convocation. As a student not even half way through my degree, seeing them enjoy this time as they start a new chapter of their lives reminded me of the rush of excitement I felt after my high school graduation, but it seemed that much more exhilarating – so many new adventures lay ahead and new memories waiting to be made.

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