My non-academic to-do list

When I lived abroad during my Master’s degree, I used to keep a list of all the non-academic experiences I wished to make time for during my stay. Sights I wanted to visit, cafés and restaurants I was craving to try, names of streets and parks deserving a stroll, weekly markets in different parts of town, art exhibitions that were calling out to me at various points of the year… I would jot them all down on an ever-growing and ever-shrinking to-do list that I kept quite separate from my “academic to-do list”, usually folded into a small square and tucked into the front pocket of my purse, or the first page of the small journal I’d carry around with me everywhere.  (more…)

10 Things to do instead of writing your thesis proposal

1. Calculate your student loan payments. Think about emigrating. Feel suddenly ill.

2. Google diseases that match your symptoms.

3. Stumble upon an article on Graduate School Neuroses at The Chronicle of Higher Learning. Realize that hypochondria is rather prevalent among people like you. Feel less special.

4. Go to the movies before noon. The AMC Forum 22 offers $6 showings before noon on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. (It only counts as official procrastination if you go on Friday). Since popcorn and candy in the morning are unhealthy, grab baked goods and a latte at the pâtisserie beside the theatre. While you debate whether to buy the $2 coffee or $5 latte, remind yourself that you don’t smoke anymore, except when you’re stressed, bored or drinking.

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Nostalgia

Wherever I am in fall, it always makes me nostalgic – either nostalgic in advance of the time when I will actually need to be nostalgic, or the real nostalgia.  Today, it was nostalgia in advance.

It surprises me how fast Montreal has become a home.  I live in the Mile End neighborhood, which happens to be a 15-minute bike ride from McGill, and a 10-minute bike ride from the Jean Talon market.  There is something special about an automne bike ride to the market, coming back loaded down with massive squash, colorful carrots, the last figs of the season, the first local apples of the season.  It is something that I will miss.

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