The Academic Shift

McLennen Library, Cybertheque

I’m writing to you from the 3rd floor of McGill’s McLennan Library. It’s Sunday evening and I have just saddled up to a desk with a white table top and a bright orange partition. Sitting, here I am surrounded by  the numerous desks I’ve occupied in this library for the last four years, memories of my many years as an undergraduate student come flooding back. I’m sure many of you can relate:  All those endless nights of studying, procrastination, stressful lingering, and tearful calls to my parents and banging my head on the wall trying to figure out some problems in calculus. It’s funny to think how in every one of those moments and for every exam or assignment, it felt like the whole world was hanging on it and nothing else beyond would amount to anything.

I followed the thread leading from these reminiscing thoughts to pondering on the different mindset i am in now. The amount of work in grad school isn’t reduced but several things are indeed quite different. Here are some examples: (more…)

GRAD life

"It will cost you $200,000 to put me through university and grad school. If you invest that money instead, I can retire at age 18!"—Cartoon by Randy Glasbergen

The transition from undergraduate to graduate studies can be quite challenging. Gone are the lecture filled days of old. Instead, self-directed learning is the basis of all graduate pedagogy. (more…)

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