First Week Round-Up!


Waiting for the bus. With all these leaves – and Tim Horton coffee cups and lids – strewn on the ground, I feel like I’m in mid-autumn instead of late summer.


I just finished my first week back at UofT! As expected, the spotlight was on introductions to the core concepts of the various classes I’m taking, but some of them delved right into the subject material. Less expected, but nonetheless an amazing thing to start with, was the revelation that most of my classes are incredibly interactive! I’ve also been blessed (so far, fingers crossed) with amazing teachers. I’ve heard from some students that their past professors were aloof and uncaring, but that has never been my experience. Perhaps I just got lucky? Whatever the case may be, I’m glad that my professors are a wonderful mix of enthusiasm and knowledge.


So, first impressions. I want to keep track of how I felt about each class and professor in the beginning of the semester, so I can have a basis of comparison and contrast as to how I shall be feeling after the exams. This way, I can have a better idea of what works for me as a student and as an individual.


GGR327 (Geography and Gender):

Course: Whoooo, this one is heavy! We will be delving not only into feminist and queer theory, but also into the intersectionality of theories. The course demands an exceptional attention to detail and the capability of weaving together various topics into one cohesive tapestry – which reminds me that I have to pick a movie for the first analytical/argumentative essay due first week of October. I am very interested in what this course has to teach me, and I know that if nothing else, Geography and Gender will allow me a more well-rounded view of the world that I move in.


Professor: David Seitz, in his introductory class, was magnificently sassy. I have heard bad things about him (one of my classmates in another class had an awful head butting incident with him), and apparently he marks very harshly. However, I really do enjoy his teaching style, and I want nothing more than to enjoy this class. I think I’ll withhold a verdict about David as a professor, at least until finals.


HIS312 (Immigration to Canada):

Course: I really wanted to take this class, to the point that I reoriented my entire schedule around it. I feel like this is so very pertinent with regards to the direction that my life is headed to, and so I was fighting tooth and nail with my schedule until I got it. I am looking forward to the rest of the course. If I may be allowed one gripe, it is that the classroom is such an uncomfortable room to hold a large lecture in. I did find one of my friends in this class, though, which is both a pleasant surprise and a motivation to get me through the day!


Professor: Ian Radforth reminded me of my former Sociology professor, Antoine Goulem, because they dress the same. Polo shirt, light khaki pants, and dark brown belt. It’s like a uniform. Visuals aside, Professor Radforth seemed like a battle-toughened general who was willing to look at and present the gritty side of Canadian history, a taste of which I got in my Asian-Canadian History class. We’re in for a dirty ride.


INI235 (Intersectionality):

Course: This is one of my prerequisites for my Urban Studies major. This, I think, was the biggest surprise! It is super interactive, despite being a 200-level course – in fact, we have a cross-campus treasure hunt next meeting! It also gives its students the chance to volunteer for a city organization, an opportunity which I am eagerly looking forward to. All in all, the class is both challenging and enjoyable, which sounds like a cliche, but the experience absolutely is not.


Professor: Shauna Brail is the professor for the Fall half, and she will hand over the reigns to David Roberts. I feel like she really wants the best for all of her students. She wants you to succeed, and this bleeds over in her methods of lecture. I like Professor Brail a lot. I have had Roberts before, and he is an amazing teacher as well.


HIS263 (Introduction to Canadian History):

Course: When I saw that the class lectures were to be held in Norton Frye 003, a cold shiver of dread crept up my spine. I absolutely hate that lecture room, not because it was uncomfortable, not because it was cold, but because it meant I was in a class with 250+ people. Last year, I had Classical Mythology and Greek and Roman Epic (for my English minor) in that room, and I hated it. The experience of being in a sea of students has soured me on 200-levels. This time, though, I made sure that I sat near the front in order to maximise my learning experience. It was the right choice. This class is interesting on so many levels, and informative as well. My only apprehension is that I have no idea how to write a historical analysis paper, which will be due early October.


Professors: Laurie Bertram is teaching in the fall, Steve Penfold is taking over for the winter session. So far, Professor Bertram has been a great lecturer. I like that they recognize that most of teaching canon is from the Western perspective, and she is trying to show us the other side of things. I think that one hour for each lecture topic is too short though, and there is so much material that we can’t really get to. I still kind of wish I had done a history minor.


GGR320 (Geography of Transnational Migration):

Course: I am in love with this class. This is exactly the kind of thing that I know I should be studying, because it has a direct connection to where I want my future to be. Granted, the readings seem to be dense, and the class itself is challenging, but I am willing to put in all the work. Not because I want an A, although that would be nice, but because I earnestly want to learn this material. I want to learn it until it is writ in my veins and it flows in my blood, because if I am to try and do good, I will need this information to bolster my arguments and strengthen my convictions.


Professor: Professor Rachel Silvey is a sweetheart. She is always smiling and is so sweet – but underneath that is a person who knows her stuff inside and out. I feel like she is more than capable at teaching this often emotionally charged subject, but again, I withhold judgment until December.


Overall comments:

  • Goodbye to any hopes I had of pulling up my 3.43 to a 3.5
  • I am FOR SURE going to see my professors in their meeting hours for questions about the readings and the essays.
  • This is going to be a long and hard semester.


Where I was and what was playing: At home, and Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are


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