One of the assignments for my Advanced Theatre and Performance course required 'research' to be done to get a grasp of Peterborough and what it meant to us. We were asked to walk down George St. from Sadleir House all the way to the Little Lake Cemetery (way past the AGP). I actually did this walk twice. Once, not fully, as I met Christie for our one on one meeting at the Silver Bean. It was just so lovely there I didn't want to leave... and well, didn't. :)

The second time, I walked from the beginning to the very end with my friend BingBin. We just marvelled at anything and everything. We shared observations and to be honest, as much as I love exploring and reflecting on my own, having a buddy always make any trips more interesting!

I took photos of so many things - mainly the things I hadn't stopped to notice before in my 4 years here. It was bittersweet. It makes me look at places very differently - I'm excited to re-discover Scarborough and Toronto. Time and space puts things into perspective and makes you fall in love all over again. <3

Cheers,
Jess.
 
 
Here is a mini-collection of random photos I took this past month that highlighted new things I've tried/got. :)
September, you've been lovely!

Cheers,
Jess.
 
 
This is the fourth year I have celebrated the Moon Festival without my family. Always get a little homesick around this time of year but keeping busy helps. That being said, it is the fourth year I've celebrated with my LEC family. So many of my students, my friends, my roomies, classmates, friends of friends etc. came by to taste some mooncakes, some longan, some pomelo, and green tea. 

The dining hall was decked out in paper lanterns that I haphazardly made throughout the day and improvised how to stick dollarstore tea lights on the bottom so when they would glow and flicker. Needless to say, I thought it looked pretty magical, all hung up around the room. 
I taught students how to make the paper lanterns, and once all the tasting was done, we all headed to the steps by Bata and I shared some old legends/stories that came with the Moon Festival. I'm pretty sure I ruined all the stories - really not the best story teller in the world. 

Ended the night with a hike through the Drumlin and have to say that was so much fun! (A little dangerous with flip flops though.)

I am so thankful for everyone joining me in this celebration, especially during a time when family is dearly missed!

Cheers,
Jess.

 
 
Okay, so hospital visits aren't new for me. I've been there before for other people, but recently, had to take a trip for myself. After a day of alternating between chills and feverish sweats (yucky, I know), arms and legs got pretty bad pins and needles which led to numbness. Before I knew it, passed out on the washroom floor (yay to ringing in ears, narrowing of vision among other fun things before your body actually passes out). 

That being said, the hospital visit was quite lovely. Shawna drove me there and sat with me for a good four hours! The doc said something about a low basal cell count...wasn't really paying attention...he was cute. So after returning to my room, I saw a bunch of sweet messages on my whiteboard, a note that was slipped under it (well I saw it after I crawled back to my room but couldn't pick it up), and a cool origami flower. Needless to say, I love my students and my team! <3

Regardless of all the staff being super sweet, and TUEFRT being awesome, I'd rather not have to go for another visit. Feeling sick is no fun. 

Cheers,
Jess.
 
 
PETITE: Listen. It might seem like a small thing, but being there for someone, even if it is just 5 minutes can make the biggest difference for someone - it is often what determines whether someone feels like they matter or that they're marginalized.

HONEST: I always have the INTENTION of sending people cards, but am quite guilty for putting it in the bottom of my to-do list. It's quite nice to blog challenges like that to hold myself accountable!

OBVIOUS: Islands aren't floating pieces of land. I learned this recently. . . thanks post-secondary education!

Cheers,
Jess.
 
 
What are we... 12 days in?

The workshops have been great! Honestly, with my aging memory, a refresher is always nice! Despite MANY revelations throughout these past (almost) 2 weeks, I'll blog about the most recent one I can remember...

LOW ROPES! Ohmygoodness. There is something about being a don and lacking the sense or understanding of personal space! The lava activity made us squish 14 people together on a tiny platform and somehow, grabbing on random arms, legs and being half hauled/piggy-backed, we made it!

Maybe it speaks to the sometimes 'uncomfortable' situations we'll be in (a pile of sweaty dons is slightly uncomfortable no matter HOW MUCH I LOVE THEM and my lack of understanding towards the foreign concept of personal space). You've got to open up to these situations and embrace them knowing that you're well trained and equipped to deal with these situations and hey, if you stick it out long enough, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

I'm not making much sense at this point, must be the lack of sleep. Will post more (most likely next time I can sit at a computer long enough before running off to another session!)

 
 
PETITE: Curling your lashes. I know, super girly fact, but hey, on the days when your bags make you look like you've been hit by a train 5 times...a little thing goes a long way. I don't know what it is, but just makes you look a LITTLE more alert than you feel. 

HONEST: Being supportive is one thing, but blindly cheering a friend on without providing criticism when they ask isn't helping anyone - not you or your friend! We need friends to be the ones we can count on for the truth and honesty, and not being ones we need to tiptoe around. 

OBVIOUS: Things often seem much bigger in our heads until we write them down and break it down step-by-step. Now these tasks seem manageable right? :) Visuals definitely help me!

Cheers,
Jess.
 
 
So last week at work, Kim, Nishka and I were told by Michael that there was a whole dumpster full of old residence chairs and that we should take a look to see if we could adopt one. They desperately needed a home as they were all being thrown out the next day.

We salvaged a good number for the Cabinet office, a decent number for some friends who couldn't make it to campus in time and just a few more for good measure. Still, a whole mountain of chairs still resided in the dumpster. So doing what we do best. . . we posted pictures on Facebook and urged many students to come on down to LEC's parking lot to adopt one! Needless to say from the photo evidence alone, this garnered quite a successful turnout! 

It was so heart-warming to see alumni (dons) request one to be saved for them to pick up as a token of their time spent in residence. Many second and third year students revisited their first years by claiming one of these for their apartment or shared housing. Despite these chairs not being part of the historical designed collection at Trent, they served as monumental tokens of many first years.

The next morning, a.k.a. dumpster pick up, I arrived early to work to salvage a few more as requests had populated Facebook during the night. An old student came by with her dad and just kept making trips back and forth to try and save as many chairs as they could! Definitely made a dent! I was just so shocked that 3/4 of the dumpster had been emptied! Beyond heart-warming! It was such a community effort and definitely made me smile for the rest of the day.

CONTROVERSY:
-Many were outraged by the photos and felt it was irresponsible of LEC/Housing to dispose of them when they could've been 'saved'.
-Many were also saddened by the fact they could not pick one up as they were out of town, and couldn't understand why they could not be kept till September when everyone was back.

FACTS:
-Housing consulted Michael beforehand to see if they held historical significance- after this consultation which proved they did not, the decision was made to replace them with brand new ones for residence (which was a nice upgrade!)
-The chairs in nicer conditions were actually donated to Habitat for Humanity and similar groups in Peterborough.
-Many other places did not accept them as they were scared of bedbugs (since they originated from a university residence) - CLARIFICATION - they do not have bedbugs, but many weren't going to take that chance or spend the money to reupholster all the chairs.
-Dumpster decision was so fast because of all the work that goes into prepping the residence for new students - whole system and wait time for students to come pick up was not a side project any department could handle in what is known to many university staff and professionals as "August Rush" - there were only so many days before students moved in! 
-Salvaging project was taken on by the LEC interns and did in fact, give many chairs a home :)


CONCLUSION:
Personally, I thought every dept. involved was responsible in the way it was handled. The controversies on Facebook was brought on by miscommunication, or rather, lack of communication. 

This is a particular example where our staff try to the best of their ability in terms of resources, man-power and time to do what was right. Think I've definitely gained an appreciation for all staff after working in different departments over the years. Being a student, a don, a college intern etc. has given me perspective to understand all the logistical reasoning for what and why things are done. 

Students want to save everything and make good use of things. 
Dons and Housing want whats best for incoming students. 
College interns want to spread the word and do both of the above.

All in all, a phenomenal community effort that showcased our love for LEC! :) 

Cheers, 
Jess.
 
 
PETITE: The small act of writing a card or a handwritten note is something so grand in this day and age! I keep all cards, letters, postcards, thank you notes- anything handwritten just holds a dear place in my heart! Go write one today and mail it off to friend (doesn't have to be international, can even be to someone 2 doors down!)

HONEST: I used to call 'Monopoly', "Mony-pony" when I was a kid. Who makes such a complicated name for a game?!?

OBVIOUS: That loving others is often much easier than loving yourself! Definitely found this out the hard way, and it might seem obvious, but its not! Think of the hurtful things you say to yourself and then ask yourself if you would say that to a friend. Works like a charm to have some love and tolerance for yourself!

Cheers,
Jess.
 
 
Molly Ford's Smart Pretty and Awkward is probably by far my favourite read in terms of online blogs! It is short, sweet and just a lot of fun! Do check it out!

So while she has SP&A, I thought I would do something similar - hence the PHO. Every week, I will post a set of PHOs: Petite, Honest, and Obvious.
PETITE - For all the little things in life.

HONEST - Either sharing something about myself or giving my honest opinion about something. 

OBVIOUS - Or rather, the not-so-obvious things sometimes...

Stay tuned for the first set of PHOs coming out on Sunday!
Cheers,
Jess.