The beginning of a story…

Instagram @gradlifemcgill Photo by @na0mirlima

Instagram @gradlifemcgill Photo by @na0mirlima

 

Definitions of stories are enough to say that they are the way our life runs, works and expresses itself. Every act, every action, every single gesture or word is a component of that story that we tell by living. Then, let’s write a different story, one that would not describe a graduate life as a report, but one that conveys the sensations that graduate students feel in their day-by-day journey. Let’s put a character in the middle of something, a character that shows the way we are, faces reality the way it is, as many of us do. Although generally known as fiction, sometimes narratives can be the only way to clearly describe what we feel, what things are and not what they should be. Enjoy.

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That blind-spot in our Graduate Life…

At a first sight, the word surroundings sounds like something similar to shiny rounded rings enclosing something important in its center. However, these surroundings have often an importance in themselves and can be as relevant as the center on which we are too obsessively, crazily, stressfully focused. If my first post was about the relationship between graduate life and Time, the second one will investigate (wow, I’m so academic here) how the former relates to Space. Obviously, the two are strictly correlated and we will see that the idea of discovering our surroundings depends also on the choice to give time to this process of discovering and exploring. Yet, I do not want to be boringsophical here, just tell something that any graduate student may feel on his or her own skin.

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Indecision Québec 2014

PLQ Corrumpu

Anti PLQ election graffiti in MontréalParti BourguoisAnti PQ election graffiti in Montréal.

In case you’ve been living under a rock the last few weeks (or under a thesis), you should know that today, Monday April 7, 2014 is election day in Québec. Across the province, people are making their voices heard in what has been an interesting (to say the least) election campaign.

This year, it was easier than ever for students to vote, as we could vote on campus over a period of four days. As a resident of a riding outside of Montreal, this made life easier for me, as I’m sure it did for many other students. I actually cast my ballot last week, without trouble. Then again, I have been resident here for more nearly 7 years; I pay taxes here, I have a Québec driver’s licence, a RAMQ card, and I own a house in Trois-Rivières. I’m already on the list of registered voters. I walked up to the polling station, presented my identification, and was handed a list of candidates for my riding, marked my ballot, placed it in a sealed envelope and went on my merry way.

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Qu’en est-il du français à McGill? Un aperçu.

Le drapeau français avant qu’il soit remplacé par la Tricolore après la Révolution. D’éventuelles ressemblances au drapeau du Québec sont entièrement fortuites.
Source: rgbstock.com

Je m’étais, alors que je commençai à écrire pour ce blog, promis d’écrire un “post” sur deux en français. Cette ambition se fondait sur une double motivation: d’abord, celle de faire justice à une audience forcément diverse, souvent bilingue, et en partie francophone. Ensuite, je souhaitais renouer avec la rédaction du français, qui s’est faite rare au cours d’années passées à poursuivre des études en anglais.

Malheureusement, la deuxième motivation a rapidement eu raison de la première, et pas dans le sens désiré: dur de se forcer à écrire en français alors que l’on passe ses journées à lire et à rédiger en anglais. Mon ambition s’est donc bien vite estompée, et mes “posts” ont, jusqu’à ce jour, tous été en anglais. Mais il n’est jamais trop tard! – d’autant plus que Guillaume vient de publier son premier post en français, ce qui m’a encouragé à renouer avec mon ancienne promesse. Mais le français – parlons-en, justement. Qu’en est-il du français à McGill? Est-il pratiqué? Quelle est sa place, de droit et d’usage? Questions linguistiques, questions culturelles, questions politiques même (ou surtout!?) – ci-dessous, un aperçu, forcément personnel.

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