An Honorable Mention

Neena standing in front of poster

That’s me with my poster!

Last week I was invited to participate in a juried research fair for undergraduates at York University. I presented my research Between Effort and Result: Gauging the Activities of Environmental Interest Groups on U.S. Foreign Policy, A Case Study of the NRDC. There were a total of 60 young scholars across different disciplines. We were all competing to win our respective categories. I was competing in two categories, 1) Best Upper Year Project, 2) Library Literacy Award. We were being judged on a poster we created summarizing our research and a presentation of our research to the judges. Continue reading

To Drop or not to Drop, That is the Question

Last week I was confronted with a difficult choice. I had just received my midterm grades for two classes; I did not do as well as I hoped. In addition to the disappointment, I also faced a decision: do I drop this course or do I remain in the class? Do I hope for the best but expect the worst? There were a lot of things to consider, but the two most glaring concerns had to do with academics and finances.

Fifteen years ago, I was a student at the University of Toronto. One of the things that I wish I had done differently was dropping courses that I was not doing well in. For instance, Introduction to Economics – I struggled in this course; by the midterm I had serious doubts about my ability to pass the course. I didn’t even consider dropping the course because I felt that it was a waste of money to do so. I also did not want to increase my OSAP debt any more than I needed to. So I remained in the course and prepared my Mom and Dad for the possibility of failure. Final Grade: 52%, D minus. Come graduation, this mark would be one of the marks that would pull down my GPA.

Fast forward to today. What to do? As a mature student, finances are probably the biggest challenge to doing well in school, the second is time management. To make this decision, I needed to put into context why I decided to return to school. I returned to school to complete an undergraduate degree with the unwavering intention to pursue graduate studies; preferably graduating with first class standing so that I am considered for scholarships and bursaries. After getting my Masters I intend to take the Canadian Foreign Services Exam and build my career as a Diplomat. To do any of this, my GPA needs to remain my first priority. Remembering this, the decision became easy – I dropped the course.

When deciding whether to drop a course or not, it’s important to remember that the decision is personal and needs to be put into the context of your life. Try and remember why you are in school and also what you need to do in order to build your future. If graduate studies is not part of your plan, then having one or two lower marks will not really matter. But if you intend to pursue graduate studies, good marks should remain your top priority. Protect your GPA! This is what I am doing my second time around.



¿Cansada o Casada?

C’est difficile d’apprendre une nouvelle langue. Imaginez-vous si vous auriez appris deux ou trois! Chez Glendon, j’apprends français et espagnol en même temps. Quelque fois, j’ai confondu les deux. C’est frustrant. Par exemple, au lieu du mot “et” en françias j’écris “y”, au lieu du mot “pero” en español, je dis “mais”. Je me confonds et la personne avec qui je parle! En fait, c’est drôle 🙂 Continue reading

Tick-tock goes the clock

Last week I had my first presentation of the year. It was for my Foreign Policy Analysis class with Professor Edelgard Mahant. This is one of my favorite classes this year. My presentation was jam-packed; so jam-packed that I went over time. This was unfortunate. When I spoke to my husband about this he suggested that in the future I enlist the help of one of my classmates. He or she can provide a signal to indicate to let you know that your time is almost up. This is a great idea! There are other things that you can do to make sure you stay on time, like rehearsing. I didn’t rehearse before this presentation and this really affected my delivery. As I usually rehearse, I know it works!

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Burning the candle at both ends

For those of you are over 30, you will know the expression “burning the candle at both ends”. That is how I feel right now. Midterms, assignments, meetings, homework, readings, tutorials, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, cleaning the cat litter – it all gets too much sometimes. I do admit I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. Continue reading

Parlez-vous Français?

Une des raisons de venir à Glendon étaient l’option d’améliorer le français. Depuis l’école secondaire, j’avais la connaissance en français -oralement, la rédaction et la lecture, mais j’en bave avec la confiance, particulièrement avec la conversation. Je n’avais personne avec qui je pourrais converser en français. Quand j’ai décidé de retourner aux études, je me suis fiancée avec le but d’apprendre couramment le français. Continue reading

Raise your hand if you have a question

raised_handI was talking to one of my classmates on Thursday about participating in class. She is also a mature student. She is a single mom with two children, and like me, she is at school full time at Glendon College. She commented that she is very intimidated to participate in class – not because she doesn’t have anything to contribute to the discussion – but rather, she is intimidated by the other students who are seemingly more intelligent, sharper, more aware of world politics. Continue reading

This looks familiar…

Glendon EntranceI am well into my second year at Glendon. Although everything is familiar, in many ways my second year is totally different. This year I am involved and contributing to life at Glendon. I am amazed at the difference involvement has made to the quality of time I spend at Glendon. During my first week, the usual fears plagued me – what if no one talks to me? Have I become stupid over the summer? Will I be able to make friends my own age? Not possible, no and yes! Continue reading