Weekly Featured Article

What I’ve Been Up To At Media & Comm. (And Otherwise)

Well, it certainly has been a busy and exciting summer here at SCLD. There’s been lots to do and create, and all of us with the Media & Communications team have been working diligently on a variety of projects.

So what projects have I been working on?

I got back from Saskatchewan about a month after the rest of the team had already begun working, but thankfully I’ve managed to complete some stuff and catch up a bit since my return.

So far, I’ve completed first and second drafts of the 2014-2015 Parent & Family Calendar, a calendar that’s given out to the parents and family members of new students at the beginning of the academic year. It’s still in-progress.

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Here’s a first look at this year’s front and rear covers – but SHHHH! It’s top secret!

I’ve also completed the first 5 blog posts for the Orientation Blog Series featured on our website, a few of which feature some of my photography and videos! Nikki and I have been working hard on this series, and you can check out her posts (which help introduce new students to the presidents and O-Chairs of their respective colleges) there too!

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Here’s a sample photo of mine from the past few weeks. It’s been my first time experimenting with photography and video, and so I’m really excited to learn more and become more familiar with our team’s camera!

Want to see a sample of one of my videos? Check this out!

The best part about the series: it’s not over, so there’s still lots more about orientation to come!

I’ve also had the opportunity to work with the wonderful team over at Res Life! As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I am currently the Media & Comm. liaison for Residence Life, and so far I’ve assisted in making a video for don training (which has since been completed) and am currently in the process of filming and editing another video that will be shown during don training. We also have a giant infographic in the works too, which I’m pretty excited about.

And of course, as always, I’ve been blogging, instagramming, tweeting, and pinning to my heart’s content.

However, outside of this work stuff, I’ve had the opportunity to visit New York City, spend time with family and friends, go camping, bike around main street in my hometown of Markham, and tons of other stuff. But ‘ve had a lot of work to do, too.  I’m currently still in summer school doing one (thankfully just one) course, Applied Ethics. That’s PHIL 2075 for anyone looking to take it. It’s really cool, and the textbook for the course is extremely interesting; I’m actually doing really well in it, too, based on my midterm mark and the marks from my two papers and two debates. However, it’s going to be a busy next two weeks in school for me – I have a paper due this thursday and an in-class marked debate to be a part of, as well as a final paper worth 30% of my grade due the following week. I’ll have to go pedal to the metal for the next little while!

But I still have to remember to have some fun along the way – summer is almost over, after all!

Until next time,

~ Christopher Ford

Here's a shot of my dad and I outside the New York Times HQ in Manhattan

Here’s a shot of my dad and I outside the New York Times HQ in Manhattan

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Need to Know

YOU NEED TO KNOW About Preparing For January: Full-Year Courses

Not all of us will be starting fresh with brand new courses in second semester. If you’re like me, then you have a lot of full year courses (or all full year courses), and January will simply mean picking up where you left off.

However, that doesn’t mean you should not prepare for the beginning of semester two.

But how can you prepare? 

Well, let me tell you a little bit about what I plan on doing after the end of my exams in order to be ready for January – feel free to draw from them or to come up with your own preparation plan!

First and foremost, I plan on catching up on all the things I missed or fell behind on. Although I am sure all of you have perfect work habits and put school ahead of fun every chance you get (**Cough**Cough**), every so often there may come a time when you just can’t get a reading done, you don’t get a chance to review your lecture notes, or you fall behind in some way. Use your time during the break to bring yourself up to speed and to finish all the work that you didn’t get a chance to complete in the Fall semester. Maybe even try re-writing your notes a little neater or reading through them so that you don’t forget all that you’ve learned from September to December! Whatever you decide to do, use your break to not only have fun, but to finish semester 1 off strong – and to ensure you are ready to continue in semester 2!

Next, I plan on completing upcoming assignments. Have a research paper or a project due in semester 2? As long as you’ve already been provided with the instructions, you can definitely work on it over the break (and maybe even finish it)! The good thing about this is that when regular readings and homework begin once again in January, you will have already gotten enough done on your project to focus solely on learning all the new material, rather than silently stressing about getting it done.

Finally, I plan on assessing my performance, and making a plan for the future. Not sure if you have read my post from a few months ago about being organized, entitled “Organization As The Key To Academic Success,” but one of the things I mention is picking a ‘reset’ day. What this means is picking a day that you can sit down and see how you’ve been doing so far – by this, I mean sitting down and asking yourself questions like…

 Have I been following my schedule? 

Have I been sticking to my budget?

Have I been getting my assignments done?

Am I happy with where I’m at right now? 

We ask ourselves questions like these in order to identify where we have done well and where improvement on our part is needed.

And so during the break, sit down and use questions like these to assess your semester one performance. Once you have identified your strengths and your weaknesses, create a plan that helps maintain those strengths and correct those weaknesses – I promise that it will make for an even more rewarding semester two.

That will be my plan for the break. What’s your’s? Comment below, and let me know!

~ Christopher Ford

Photograph of me on Day 9 of Movember – and the Mo is even bigger today on the halfway mark!

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Weekly Featured Article

At York University, I Am Most Thankful For…

Choice. I am so grateful for the fact the I have choice in my education in a variety of ways.

English: Coat of Arms of York University, Toro...

English: Coat of Arms of York University, Toronto, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many people fear that going to a big school will be the pits. And being Canada’s third largest university with the largest enclosed campus, York is pretty darn big. 

However this is not the case. The fact that we are so big provides students with so much choice in programs, classes, clubs, and places to be – Not to mention that we at York are just, in general, awesome.

In academics, I am so thankful that every year I have thousands of courses to choose from, and my particular program allows me to take many courses from all different departments and faculties as long as spots are available. I don’t just have a set schedule – I get to learn what I want, and enjoy doing it!

In my free time, I get to choose from well over 400 clubs to join, and virtually all of them have events running throughout the year that I can attend even if I’m not a member. Clubs, councils, organizations, and student unions – the seemingly never-ending choices allow me to find a past time I truly enjoy, to connect with people that have the same interests as me, and to make the most out of my university experience. 

The summertime view beside HNE

The summertime view beside HNE

Furthermore, whenever I’m on campus, I have the choice to be where I want to be. Having a large campus also means having many different spots to hang out, study, enjoy the outdoors, or to do virtually whatever I feel like doing. Not too many people can say that their university has 5 libraries (or even one that  has 5 floors), a gym that costs 15 bucks to join, dozens of lounges, study rooms, and computer labs, or even simply a pub, restaurant, or coffee shop (which we have numerous). 

There are literally choices everywhere I turn at York University, and I am super thankful for each of them.

What are YOU thankful for at York U? Comment and let me know! 

~ Christopher Ford

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Wasaga Beach for my 17th Birthday

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Wasaga Beach for my 17th Birthday

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Weekly Featured Article

“What Does Academic Integrity Mean To You?”

The New York-er asked a number of current York University students: “What does Academic Integrity Mean to You?”

Here were some of the answers given…

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“Academic integrity means always doing the best you can. No shortcuts.

Michelle Le
Health Policy

1001076_10153090867515434_2026055035_n“It means giving people credit for their work.”

Ernest Boakye
Biology

970980_10153123080270157_1015943025_n“It means following the rules – even if you know you won’t get caught.”

Morgan Shuker
Administrative Studies (Management)

“It means being honest and fair to the other people who are trying 1068857_10153073442255434_2082718952_ntheir best – how would you feel if someone who cheated got the same mark as you when you worked hard?”

Tahseen Mia
Administrative Studies (Accounting)

sheilashahrokhi_1369464298_23“It means respecting others and their hard work.”

Sheila Shahrokhi
Kinesiology & Health Sciences

544904_10151911577511542_1482665178_n“It means the importance of authenticity in your assignments”

Asmita Pal
BA ’13 – Children’s Studies

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Need to Know

You Need to Know About TAKING A BREAK

You Need to Know About TAKING A BREAK

I had the opportunity to go on a well-deserved camping/cottage trip a few weekends ago, and I must say that I have sorely missed swimming in the lake and sitting in front of the campfire with some great friends. It was definitely an unforgettable weekend.

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Me, sitting on the deck

When I came back though, I was ready to get right back to the RED Zone; I was ready to return to my second home here at York University. However, I am certain that I needed the break, and I am really glad that I took the weekend to get away and relax.
So this is what I think you need to know – although school is demanding, and although at times you may think that you cannot take any time for yourself, it is really important to get away from it all, and to relax when you feel the need to.

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In a presentation by Peer Health Education Coordinator Danielle Stein in April, I was told all about Self-Care, and how simply looking after your physical health is not the only prerequisite to staying healthy. You must also look after your mental and emotional well-being, which definitely includes taking some time to relax and de-stress every so often.

So let’s talk options: what can you do to take a break from the everyday stresses of class and homework? Here are some of the things I like to do whenever I need to take a break: Give them a try!

  • Take a trip
    It doesn’t have to be a week-long tropical vacation; why not try taking a trip to Montréal or Mont Tremblant through your college? All the colleges put on trips and events all year round, and they are all super cheap! The York Federation of Students, as well as many clubs, also run various trips during the year for their members, and they are usually very cheap as well. If you don’t get the chance to take that family vacation this year, why not travel with your new family here at York University? 
  • Be Active
    For me, going to the gym or playing intramural sports is a great way to take a break from the stresses of school. There are over 25 intramural sports available for you to play for free through your college – join a team as an individual, or make up a team of your friends, and play a sport that you love! Additionally, all York University students can get a membership to all of the fitness facilities at the Tait Mackenzie centre (Weight room, gymnasiums, squash courts & tennis courts, track, pool, etc) for only $15 for the whole year. Memberships begin going on sale in August, so pick up yours, and use it to relax, stay fit, and have fun!
  • Join Clubs
    On York University’s co-curricular hub online, YU Connect, the current number of organizations (as of today) is 504 – that’s 504 different clubs and organizations for you to get involved in! Whatever interest you may have, whether academic, religious, athletic, cultural, hobby-related, or just simply something you’ve always wanted to try, York University has a club for it. And even if we don’t, all it takes is 15 people (including yourself) to start a club – basically, whatever you’d like to do outside of the classroom, you can, and you can use clubs as a great way to spend your time outside of the classroom. What’s better than escaping the stresses of school by doing something that you enjoy? Truly, nothing that I can think of. 
  • Attend Events
    There are always events going on at York University. Whether put on by your college, by the York Federation of Students, or by various clubs on campus, attending events on campus can be fun, rewarding, and a great way to relax and take a break. 
  • Do What You Love
    This isn’t necessarily referring to something at York University. If what you love is at York University, than all power to you! For me, when I am really stressed out about school or about something in my personal life, there is nothing I enjoy more than picking up a good book and getting lost beneath the pages. Whatever you love to do, treat yourself once in a while when you really need a break!
  • Reset Yourself
    I have spoken about this in a blog post a few weeks back; you can find a bit more about it there. But this practice is great for assessing whether or not you need a break. You can sit back, look at how your week went, see what you need to accomplish for the next week, and then decide how and when to take your well-deserved break. The great thing about resetting yourself as well is that you can, temporarily separate yourself from your stressors – it is an opportunity to look from the outside in upon your life at present, and you can take a ‘break’ in this way without even taking an actual break.

Try some of these practices, and just remember that sometimes the best medicine is a break with a little bit of R&R – rest & relaxation!

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30 Day Blogging @ York U Challenge

DAY 13 >> 30 Day Blogging @ York U Challenge

If you could rewind time back to high school, would you have chosen to work (if you had a guaranteed job) or to get your degree?

I really don’t even have to think about this one – I would definitely choose to get my degree.

There are many benefits to being in school – especially at York University. First of all, I love learning; what better place to learn than at university or college? I know there are jobs in which you are learning new things all the time, but at this point in my life, I’m most enjoying my job as a student, where almost all I do is learn!

Second, why not have a great time while you’re learning? There are tons of ways to enjoy your time outside of the classroom, such as through clubs, councils, college life, intramurals, through events put on by the YFS, and much, much more! I don’t know too many jobs that offer extra-curricular opportunities like that!

Third, why just work when you can go to school AND work? York University has over a thousand work/study positions available for you to apply for. The beauty of a work/study position is that you will work a maximum of 15 hours during the year, you will receive more than minimum wage, and they are extremely flexible around exam time – remember, you’re a student first!

There are many more reasons, but I think I’ve made my point. And on a personal level, I simply love being a student at York, and even if I could rewind time, I wouldn’t have done anything different!

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