Do YOU have a vision for what Ontario could become? Showcase YOUR abilities and ideas with the Lieutenant Governor’s Visionaries Prize!

U of T students! Do you have great opinions and ideas that would impact Canada’s future in a meaningful, significant way? The Lieutenant Governor’s Visionaries Prize is a platform for you to share your vision for Toronto, and be recognized for it!! The Lieutenant Governor’s Visionaries Prize wants you to identify the challenges that Ontario will face and the opportunities that will emerge over the next 50 years—and then share your plan of action for the province.

With just an 800-word essay or two-minute video, applicants are eligible to win $2,500 AND a meet and greet with Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor at a special reception on October 3. There are not a lot of platforms for students to have their voices heard on a governmental level, so we want to ensure that Canada’s emerging leaders and policy makers take advantage of the opportunity.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Visionaries Prize is organized into six different categories, outlined in the press release below. Short-listed candidates in each category will travel to a city in Ontario to present their idea in front of head judge Piya Chattopadhyay (host of CBC’s Out in the Open) and a guest judge.

In celebration of Ontario’s 150th anniversary, the prize offers innovative thinkers aged 18 and over a refreshingly easy chance to bring their vision for Ontario’s future to life.

 

For detailed information, please visit

LG Visionaries Prize

Messy Makes It Happen

What do you do when you’ve been trying to work something out for a while but your efforts don’t seem to bear any fruit? When you’ve been working on that essay for hours, and you can tell before you’re even half-way through it won’t turn out as well as you want it to? Or when you have a club that hasn’t been as active as it should be despite your best efforts?

Faced with such a scenario myself and drawing from personal experience, I’ve found, there are two options to choose from moving forward:

  1. Scrap everything you’ve got so far, and start again from scratch.
  2. Work with what you’ve got and try to improve on it.

Sometimes it’s easier to scrap what you’ve got and start on a clean slate; this way, you don’t have to work through existing problems you’ve tried solving, and can start with a fresh page, a fresh mind, a fresh start. Other times, starting from scratch means having to rebuild your foundations which takes a lot of time and effort. I’ve recently had two separate experiences, both pointing to the same conclusion: messy makes it happen. Never give up on what you’ve got going just because it’s not going your way or makes you feel uncomfortable. Push through the discomfort because, quite often, after the initial stage of difficulty, incredible things can happen. A whole new approach to the problem can emerge—a solution completely unfamiliar and unexpected.

 

At the construction site of Union Station.

This first experience was in one of my Architectural studio classes. I was working on a drawing for weeks before I realised that I had made a mistake and that my drawings were inaccurate. Faced with this problem, I decided to clear my slate and start from scratch because I was stuck and couldn’t make my way out out of the situation. My solution was to completely step out of the maze and start again, rather than turn around and try to find another path out of my problem. Looking back, I wish I had chosen the second option because I realised I would have figured out a solution to my problem if I had only spent more time thinking about it. I got scared. I ran into a problem and, in a state of fear, saw no way out, so I chose to run away and start again. Here’s what I learned: when curious minds are given enough time, space, and freedom, the imagination has room to roam. So give yourself enough time, space and freedom to think through a problem and follow lines of inquiry down a new path.

My second experience was completely different from this first one.  As a student minoring in Italian, I recently joined the Italian Undergraduate Students’ Cultural Association (IUSCA) as a third year undergraduate representative. Upon joining the club, I learned the organisation had previously experienced a downfall and wasn’t actively running. Years later, a zealous undergraduate student, had a vision of creating an Italian club that would serve more as a family than a formal organisation. The club would conduct events ranging from study group sessions, to a talent show based on Italian culture for students of the Italian department and beyond. This student, like me, had been faced with two options: should she try to revive the extinct IUSCA group, or establish a new organisation from scratch? This student chose to work with the existing club, making it stronger than it ever was before.

Whether consciously or unconsciously, she understood that messy does not necessarily mean bad, and that we shouldn’t give up on something just because it doesn’t initially seem to be working out. Through my experience, I came to learn this too.

messy makes it happen.

 

How a Second Year Political Science Student Now Approaches Essays Differently

I think most freshmen approach writing their first university research papers as a challenging experience, unless they are absolutely positive their research and writing skills are at the university level. However, over-confident students run the severe risk of underestimating expectations and doing poorly.

When the time came to write my first Political Science essay, I knew what my problem areas were: I didn’t do all the readings, didn’t have confidence in my research methods, didn’t like my research, and didn’t know how to cite in Chicago style. Not good.

Fast-forward to today. I did well on that essay; however, I could have done much better had I followed these tips I learned through my experience:

  1. Get to the point and use concise language. Nothing screams insecure writer like never getting to the point.
  2. Don’t repeat your lecture material. The point of a research paper is to do research!
  3. Ensure your citations are on point, or risk being accused of plagiarism.
  4. Don’t get tunnel vision while researching. Keep your thesis in mind by maintaining a simple outline to avoid getting overwhelmed by irrelevant research.
  5. Talk to your TA during office hours. My excuse for not going last semester was my commute, but I was really just too intimidated to go. I’ll change that this time around.

I am not naive. I’m aware I’m going through some new-semester hyper- motivation that may or may not burn out by the time midterms come around. Hopefully I can keep some of the tips I’ve given myself in mind, but sometimes Netflix gets in the way. Nonetheless, I take pride in what I’ve learned and the work I do in my program. I will always try my best to improve and do well on my papers.

Undressing Nightlife Dress Codes

During the summer months my friends and I rarely stay inside the house. We can usually be found barhopping downtown. Having explored Toronto’s nightlife for over a year, it is easy to stop noticing things. For example, how most of the attire for females at bars and clubs isn’t exactly what you would wear to church on Sunday. Being a student in downtown Toronto lead me to become unaware of the nightlife expectations placed on us.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe this summer, meaning I had the opportunity to explore the nightlife of other cities. My first night out I was with a mid- to late twenty-something crowd when we decided to go to a trendy rooftop club in the heart Rome’s l’Eur. It was packed. So packed that the line extended down the street. We were lucky to get in because we knew someone (ayeeee connections!). Once inside, it was like a club in Toronto except cleaner and less trashy. Also noticeable was how the women there were dressed. These girls were dressed like a girl in Toronto would be dressed to go to dinner or the movies and they looked super comfortable and happy with themselves.

Moreover, how they felt and looked translated in the way the opposite sex reached out to them. In Toronto, most males at bars or clubs act a certain way, and lets just say they aren’t usually looking to get to know you the next day. In Rome, I was approached by a few guys (from the ages of early twenties all the way to late twenties) and I found –here comes the real shocker—that they were interested in actually getting to know my likes, dislikes, interests…ME. They weren’t touchy and extremely respectful. True gentlemen.

After recovering from those nights and getting some deeply deserved sleep, I started to think about what would happen if my friends in Toronto and I dressed the way the other girls and I did at clubs in Italy. I knew the reaction of other people, both guys and girls, would be completely different. Why is that? Why is it that in Toronto if women don’t dress like pop culture tells them to they are most likely not taken seriously, or completely ignored? Or sometimes not even LET IN to these bars and clubs? I mean Italy has pop culture too, less significant on a world scale but still very prominent in society. Is it because in Italy the culture expresses the idea that less makeup and more clothing is more? Is it a result of the influence of the American film, music, and fashion industries on Canada, or more specifically Toronto? Is it because females think that they have to show it all off even if they don’t want to just to get any attention?

I was almost 100% certain that if I went to a bar dressed with the same outfit that I loved and felt great in on one of my nights out in Rome or Milan, I would be completely snubbed by the boys, the girls, the bartender, the bodyguards, etc. So, since I like being proven right I decided to test it out. So Friday night, my best friend Amanda and I both tested it out and dressed how we wanted to dress. That is, in a nice pair of jeans, crewneck tank tops, and sandals and go to a hip bar downtown. We get to the front of the line and while the body guard checking our IDs didn’t say anything, his eyes said it all. We go inside and as predicted we didn’t make as many friends and we would have if we dressed in our usual attires when we go out. However, the friends we did make are still in contact with us for future outings (very interesting, am I right?).

So at the end of this, what did I learn? People going to bars and clubs are going to dress in different ways and people should dress however they want, not they way society, the bodyguards, the location, or whatever tells us to. I learned this in Rome, Milan, and Toronto.

Moral of the story: dress however the hell you want. You do you.

Enter for your chance to WIN passes to the advance screening of #STORKS, in theaters September 23rd

The advance screening will take place August 17th 2016, at Scotiabank Theatre at 7 pm.

For your chance to win one of five tickets, answer the following question in the comments below.

Who voices “Junior” in #STORKS?

Storks deliver babies…or at least they used to. Now they deliver packages for a global internet retail giant.  Junior, the company’s top delivery stork, is about to be promoted when he accidentally activates the Baby Making Machine, producing an adorable, and wholly unauthorized, baby girl. Desperate to deliver this bundle of trouble before the boss gets wise, Junior and his friend Tulip, the only human on Stork Mountain, race to make their first-ever baby drop – in a wild and revealing journey that could make more than one family whole and restore the storks’ true mission in the world.

Enter for your chance to WIN a double pass to see #SULLY in theatres September 9th

The advance screening will take place August 17th 2016, at Scotiabank Theatre at 7 pm.

For your chance to win one of five tickets, answer the following question in the comments below.

Who is the director of #SULLY?

On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.

***THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER!***

Enter for your chance to WIN free passes to the advance screening of WAR DOGS, in theatres August 19th, 2016

The advance screening will take place August 17th 2016, at Scotiabank Theatre at 7 pm.

For your chance to win one of five tickets, answer the following question in the comments below.

Who is the director of #WarDogs?

“War Dogs” follows two friends in their early 20s (Jonah Hill and Miles Teller) living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows small businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts. Starting small, they begin raking in big money and are living the high life. But the pair gets in over their heads when they land a 300 million dollar deal to arm the Afghan Military—a deal that puts them in business with some very shady people, not the least of which turns out to be the U.S. Government.

***THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER!***