Bagels, Books and Blackboards

This week has been a busy one.  The events in my life seem to be moving from trips to waterfalls and French-speaking cities to assignments and tests… Not a transition I was totally ready for.  I mentioned before that the way uni is run here is quite different to back home, and it is different, but manageable for the most part.  There is only one subject I have that is driving my in a spiral of stress.  My Art and Visual Culture in East Asia subject is really interesting, but within the first week of class I had two assignments and a test due equaling 20% of my total mark! We’re still in this thing called the drop and add period, so I girl added the subject today and walked in on a test! It is quite mad.  Everyone in the class thinks so too.  We had a test on Asian religions today (which are incredibly interesting), but after only a week of class I definitely could not compare and contrast their major figures, texts, dates and similarities!  I really hope this subject eases out a little… people are telling me the teacher calms down a bit so I am optimistic.  All my other subjects are awesome.  I have some really great teachers and am studying very interesting things (my research topic for television and society is gender roles in Firefly).

I got my first mail in Canada today.  It’s pretty exciting.  I bought 3 of my textbooks on Amazon to try to save some money.  It is easier to buy things online in Canada because if they have to ship from New York it is cheap postage and only takes a few days! It feels so strange to not be on the outskirts of Western civilisation.

So over the last few days I have been exploring Hamilton.  I mentioned that I found a Montreal style bagel place on Locke Street in Hamilton… well he’s the visuals:

Bagels are so common in Canada, but none are quite like these!
Ordering some delicious breakfast with my exchange friends.
mmm... my delicious bagel on cuisine scene camera setting
For most of this week I have been getting into uni life and exploring the area.  I went for a jog and found this wildlife/garden/forest place apparently called Cootes Paradise.  I was jogging down the street and the number of squirrels just kept increasing/1 They were running over powerlines and crossing the street with their wave-like run.  Then I saw this little path in the trees.  I wasn’t totally sure where I was, but in the space of about 10 minutes I saw at least 20 squirrels (including a baby one), a chipmunk and a raccoon! It was awesome.  I can’t wait to go back there, and next time I will take my camera!
A particularly shy squirrel on campus.
As I mentioned, I have a lot of assignments, which means figuring out the library.  I got on a computer and managed to figure out their catalogue system, and even found some books I wanted! I wrote down my numbers on a piece of paper… but then I was faced with a problem: no books.  So I went up some stairs… and found books! I followed my numbers are where they should be were just big empty spaces.  After looking around for a while I swallowed my pride and asked at the research desk… “Um, excuse me… where are the books?”.  What a strange question to ask in a library.  As it turns out my books were on the 5th floor in the mechanical shelves.
These shelves move when you press buttons... not the best place to sleep!

Now these shelves are an experience.  They move and squish together to save space.  The problem was that they don’t seem to work perfectly and one of the rows I needed only opened to make a gap I could just fit through.  I managed to find my books… and I really got to appreciate that smell of knowledge with my face pressed against the spines.

The campus here is very lovely, and some of the buildings are just great.  At the request of one of my loyal readers I (inconspicuously) took some photos inside a classroom.

Inside Mark’s really nice classroom at Mac.

The best thing about the classrooms here is the black boards! When people right on them it just seems like a better idea!  Not all the classrooms look like this one, and I will endeavour to snap a few more on-location shots.

20 past the hour at McMaster gets very busy!

Mark and I learnt an important lesson the other day.  When there is a beautifully clear sky and sun shining out the window here it does not necessarily mean it is not freezing.  We put on short sleeve shirts and thongs and headed out into the bitterly cold clear day.

See, it looks warm in these photos right?
Walking through this door just gets you in a knowledgable mood.

The campus also has its own Art Gallery.  I have filled out some forms and am now a volunteer there! last night I volunteered (well really ate cheese and chatted) for the opening of their 18th Century exhibition.  I got to talk to the curators (a very eccentric man with red shoes who used to work at the MCA and asked if I would prefer to buy a microwave or a nuclear reactor), art students and other very interesting people.  I am really looking forward to doing more there!

I volunteer at this gallery!

Well, it feels about time to wrap it up.  I do need to mention though, that today Mark and I got into the Algonquin trip with the Outdoors club (we were on the waiting list) and so in a week we will be canoeing through Ontario’s oldest national park! We might even see a moose!

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5 thoughts on “Bagels, Books and Blackboards”

    1. This is Mark’s maths classroom, it’s in one of the oldest buildings. They look pretty, but no interactive whiteboards. My classrooms on the other kind are brimming with technology. I’ll take a photo of one.

  1. I WANT A BAGEL NOW! They look so delicious – how do you choose what one to have for breakfast? I’m guessing you have a different type of bagel and filling each morning?? Congrats on your ‘volunteer status’ at the art gallery, that’s wonderful! The campus is beautiful and the classrooms are so pretty and neat – where is all the usual classroom mess? I hope you see a moose!

    And I love your new blog layout by the way, very fancy!

    1. I know I want another one! I am considering buying a bakers dozen (they sell them bulk too!), but I don’t know well they’d keep because they’re made with no preservatives or anything. I have had the cheese and herb, sesame and honey flaxseed so far… I want to try the blueberry. I like the layout too – having so much fun with it.

  2. The blackboard blew me away. I haven’t seen one of those in forever. Certainly not what I was expecting (maybe I should of been) after seeing the outside!

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