My year at Brock, academically, went really bad. I’m working as a stonemason apprentice as well as going to school so I’ve been a bit lazy on the academic end. Out of all the years I’ve gone to school, I think I’ve learned the most this year, even though my marks have suffered.
This is the first year I’ve successfully balanced between work and school. I’ve been able to crunch all of my courses into two days of the week and then I work the other three days so that’s been a bit heavy. Despite that I’ve loved the courses I’ve taken this semester: I took “Applications of Behavior Analysis”, “Therapy” and “Children and Youth Through the Ages”. I’m also excited to learn things on my own terms this summer because for the past four years Brock has given us all this information and told us what courses to take. I love learning, but I especially love learning at my own pace.
My fourth year at Brock was good; there were some ups and downs. My hard drive crashed in the midst of working on my thesis and I wasn’t sure if it was going to be repaired, so there were two weeks of panic while I thought I would have to start that all over again. Other than that, things went pretty smooth. I’m in the crunch now with my thesis, I’m a little freaked out about getting it done but it’s gone very well so far. It’s a great opportunity and process, I know a lot of honours students don’t get the chance to do their own research because that’s usually not until the Masters level. I enjoyed having that opportunity and seeing if research is something I want to pursue in the future. My thesis is about the new health and physical education curriculum, specifically focusing on the sexual development section of it which is very controversial. I think this year has been one of my favorite years because I’ve built a lot of friendships in my program so we’ve all gotten very close.
My year went really well because it was extremely productive. I did six courses and I got involved in some open house-type events and that was really fun. I’m trying to get out of here in three years and I’m doing a four-year honours degree so what I’m doing is working out well. It’s all very manageable, I work in Toronto and it balances out perfectly. The Open Houses were one of the highlights of my year and that’s what I can speak for the most because that’s what I was the most involved in. The turnout was absolutely wonderful and we even had grade 10 and grade 11 students come by. I thought that was absolutely fascinating because when I was that age I was not interested in university at all. I’m trying to get away to Australia for a few weeks this summer, but I also have summer school and work, so we’ll see what happens.
My year started off really well. Last year I wasn’t in school, so I was excited to come back, but just two months in, school pretty much wrecked me. Everything else was going great, even though I had so many other issues before the school year started like financial and drug issues. But I had dealt with all of it and then I came back to school and two months in, it messed me up. I paid off my tuition today and I’m not coming back. Everyone here is in such a rush to get through university and I don’t see why it has to be that way. If it so happens that after taking five years off I don’t want to come back, there’s nothing wrong with that, because I’ve accumulated five years of experience at that point. I’m working in my field now, I’m rehabilitating a man that’s paralyzed and then when I do an exam at school and I don’t pass, the university is telling me that I don’t know the human body, when I very evidently do. There’s a quadriplegic man who trusts me to work with him and the university is going to tell me I don’t know half of what I need to? I know that I know, but as far as the education system and society are concerned, I don’t, and that’s what wrecks me. I have to continue paying for this education and I can’t move on until they believe I have that knowledge when I already do.
I think the learning process facilitates this sense that you grow so much and you look back at who you were in September and you’re like, ‘I’m a totally different person now’. So I love that Brock gives that very small community feel so that you have that room to grow. I’d say the highlight of my year was being able to self-reflect and see how I’ve grown and where I am now and be able to project where I will be in a year. We’re all trying to figure it out; I’m in my third year and I know a lot of us are asking, ‘Who am I and what am I going to do?’ I had an event that I was planning and it had a really good reception. It fell through in the last week and that was really frustrating but it was also a huge learning experience because I started to realize even if it’s not the right time for things that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be successful. I had a lot of self-reflection and I realized I would much rather go through with the event with dignity rather than do it just because I’m emotionally invested. That fail-forward philosophy really impacted my life.
Joining Campus Tours was my biggest highlight of this year at Brock. It got me to explore and what I would say, is that it helped me spread my wings. One of my weakest skills before were my social skills, and I got to improve upon that aspect of my life and now I’m working at the Welcome Desk. Essentially, I’ve been able to go so much further with communication. Honestly, the things I’ve been able to do socially have been amazing. At first, I was a bit shy, but over time I’ve been able to come out of my shell and I was able to meet all my different professors and see what they’re up to. I’ve also recently been working with research teams at Brock. We’re researching on child facial cues and how they reflect parental behavior. I’m also interested in other research studies that involve the pharmacological aspects of child and youth studies.
Now I’m studying for my DAT which is the dental aptitude test, so whenever I meet I new person I tell them to remember me because one day I’ll open my own dental practice and I’ll give them discounts!
Assistant Campus News Editor