Published on février 24, 2011

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This reading week, I am trying to complete all the coursework I have left for the semester, so I can focus on completing my degree with excellence, joy, and sanity.  As this is quite an overwhelming task, I have been doing a lot of stressing, but also thinking about what life will be like after I no longer have scholastic deadlines and busywork to attend to.  Unlike many grad students, the bulk of my work is NOT writing…. it is singing.  Singing is what I do best.

It is a mystery to me why the education system is the way it is.  For me, and for many students I have come into contact with, the moment I am assigned a writing assignment on a certain topic, I begin to detest the topic.  For 17 years of elementary school, high school, and undergraduate studies, I diligently completed tasks that I did not particularly care about.  I tried different tactics to make myself want to complete these assignments – play the outside edge of the assignment (ie write something that you think you can still get marks for, but is no longer really the assignment); become passionate about the subject through own reading and research; procrastinate and complain until the night before, and then write a really horrible assignment.

Then, I hit grad school.  There is this really beautiful concept in grad school called a Seminar.  In the seminars I took part in, there were almost no assignments – only a research project to do.  And, better yet – there were no exams or tests!  Finally, I could go to class and focus whole-heartedly on the material, instead of viewing the material through the filter of ‘What do I have to know for the exam?’.  Suddenly, I was learning!  And, best of all, I was becoming passionate about a subject that I had previously known nothing about through an official university sanctioned activity – going to class!

The structure of education, in my opinion, should change.  While I don’t have an immediate solution, I do know that change is incredibly difficult in any institution.  So, from a student who has profited from a somewhat atypical learning situation to the powers that be reading this blog: I challenge you to embrace change, rather than allowing fear to stop it.

Originally posted on McGill’s GradLife Blog.

Thank-you for reading!

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Pour répondre à la question : "Est-ce que vous chantez toujours ?"

I have learned that there is a difference between my physical voice, and my voice in the broader sense. I have mastered my physical voice – all the nuances, the breaking points; learned the ways my voice likes to move and blossom. There is freedom and joy in the practise of using my voice in that way on stage. But I needed something more.

La magie de la vulnérabilité : Un an de sobriété

Inspirée par une petite puce en plastique argentée qui se trouvait dans ma poche et qui portait l'inscription "Women in Recovery" d'un côté et la prière de la sérénité de l'autre (et par mon téléphone rempli de nouveaux numéros), j'ai découvert un désir en moi que je ne savais même pas que je voulais avant d'entrer dans cette réunion. Je voulais me retrouver.