Sunday, 28 April 2013

20 Things I Learned at University: First Year

Hi all ~ Dee did her 20 things without me so I thought I'd put mine up, as well. Before I start, I'd just like to reiterate a few things:
  • You will get tired of Instant Noodles. Honestly, I can't even smell it without my stomach churning. If I eat it again in this lifetime it will be too soon.
  • Facebook is definitely important. It's a great way to keep up with old friends, as well as keep up with whatever clubs or activities, sometimes even classes, you're a part of.
  • No one goes to university "more mature". I don't care what people say, AHEM RD COUGH COUGH university does not automatically result in sophisticated, non-idiotic people. Granted, there are more who are, but don't expect it to be the Elizabethan level of maturity and sophistication, 'cause it ain't.
  • Also, free stuff? If they're giving it away, take it, and thank that person for the blessed gift. Never refuse free stuff.
Kay, moving onto my list...

1. A meal plan does not mean unlimited spending. Although meal plan cards may be filled with what looks like lots of money, that stuff needs to last you the year. Some of my friends learned this the hard way, and by winter break they had nothing left. After some parental butt whooping, they got some money back on their card and had to basically ration it throughout second semester.'
That was my first reaction when I saw the balance on my MP card and the stack of Aero bars beside the cash register
2. This leads to my second point: Freshmen 15. Personally, I didn't gain or lose weight. Throughout my first year I did what I always do - I moved when I had to, but aside from that, I ate often and sat in front of the computer for hours. This wasn't the same for everyone though. The girl who lived about us said that she found that she did gain some weight 'cause she didn't move much, and she found that she bought a lot of chocolate and snacks with her meal plan card. Then there were people like my suite-mate who exercised 4 hours a day and barely ever ate... It all depends on what you do with what your given.

3. Again, this rolls right into my next point: you paid for the gym, so you should use the gym. Technically, part of your tuition gives you access to the university gym. I didn't utilize this, and I regret it (which is why next year, I shall find this gym that everyone speaks of and actually go there to workout). Don't waste the opportunity. It's a great way to keep off the freshman fifteen, as well as get your butt in motion, 'cause we all know that most of us spend wayyyyyy too much time in front of the computer.
'cause danisnotonfire.
4. Communication is key. This point applies more to people who decide to live in residence with a room or suite mate. But this can also apply to friendships and even teachers. Even though I didn't practice this, I will preach it 'cause I regret not practising it. If something that your friend/suitemate/roommate does bothers you, tell them. Don't complain about it rudely (or in front of people :$), don't rant about it or tell them in the rudest possible way, pull them aside and tell them what is ticking you off. They might not even know what they're doing, even though it's driving you insane. This could also make them hate you, especially if you're a hypocrite about it. But honestly, it's the only way to get them to stop, or at least open their eyes to the problem 'cause hinting at stuff doesn't really work.
5. Sleep is important. Don't let your friends tempt you into staying up 'til 4am in the morning the day you have a test to keep them company as they write and essay or do an assignment. Your body requires sleep to sort out all the junk you've crammed into your head throughout the day. I don't care if you've never pulled an all-nighter. If you don't have to, don't do it.
The last thing you want is to look like a zombie the next day. Ain't nothing attractive 'bout that.
Unfortunately, though, this was me by the end of the year.
Value your sleep while your sleep cycle is still relatively normal.

6. Numbers ≠ Passion. There was this kid in my class, a fourth-year systems engineer, who was taking Intro to Rhetoric Theory with me. Every concept our prof threw at us he would understand immediately. He would then create amazing examples and be able to apply the things we learned immediately. But when it came down to it, he wasn't in love with English, as I am, instead his heart lay with engineering and computers. It's not always easy to see past all that in the moment, maybe your marks aren't the highest in the class, maybe that one random kid is doing better, but you must remember that in the end your passion and love for the things you do will be what will get you through university and what will get you that diploma in the end.

7. Be active within your university community. Joining clubs, volunteering for things, and taking part in study groups are great ways to make friends, 'cause honestly, it's hard to do that in classes of five hundred people. All in all, most of my newest friends were met through my 15 people French classes, my club activities and meetings, as well as through o-week (both as a first year and during leader training). Don't be afraid to put yourself out there.

8. Paperwork > Homework. The number of issues I had with that darned Plan Modification Form, ugh. Add in the dental/health refund, as well as OSAP paperwork, and then some course override forms, you will get used to filling out forms. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but man was it a pain.

9. Reading for fun is hard to do. This irked me, mainly 'cause I'm one of those readers who are just like -opens book in the morning- -finishes book that same night- This is still possible to do, but not without immediately falling behind in your textbook readings, or your note-making. Tip for all you readers out there? Whenever you can snatch a bit of time during university terms, grabs your book and read 'cause you won't get that many chances.

10. Stupid questions exist. Don't believe what your teachers say, they are just saying it to be nice, 'cause honestly, they exist and they will make the people in your class hate you. It's not even questions like, "What's the chemical formula for holy water?" that will bother you. At least those questions are weird enough to make you laugh and remember it. It's questions like, "How does this pertain to that?" "It doesn't, this is totally irrelevant to that" "But..." -insert a twenty minute argument as to how this piece of information relates to that issue that was discussed weeks ago, when neither is at all relevant to one another and you feel like your life is wasting away before you as you sit in class and listen to this imbecile argue with the teacher when they are clearly wrong- multiplied times every class.
11. The geese can and will attack you if approached, disturbed, or even looked at funny.
"What'chu lookin' at punk?"
(I love the fact that the bus says uwaterloo, haha)
12. Your bad habits get worse and your good habits disappear. I found this especially true, as I lived on my own. I didn't have my mom to breathe down my neck and snap at me every time I would start twirling my hair around my finger, or pick at my nails. Procrastinating also went to a whole new level when I got to Waterloo 'cause I had never had unlimited internet before. Boy, did that kill my work ethic. I also found that any attempts to exercise were thwarted by my need to watch t.v. and organization was not at the top of my list of things to maintain...

13. Your professors and TAs are your friends. They will not murder you in your sleep if you visit them during their office hours. They provide an easy and great way to network and get help in not only the subject they're teaching/TA-ing for, but other things in life as well. I learned that my French TA turned French professor loves French rap music, and could probably make a religion worshipping beer and bacon. One of my friends once missed a class 'cause they were sick, and my TA-prof brought him to the classroom and went through the entire lesson just for him, and assisted him with the exercises. Office hours are there for a reason, you should take advantage of them. Profs don't ever want their students to fail, but they can't give you marks that you aren't willing to work for.

14. Keeping in touch with your family via email doesn't really work. (Again, applies mainly to those living in a difference city/areacode) Unfortunately, my cellphone plan doesn't allow changes such as long-distance calling for free after this time, so every night, I'd email my dad, mom, or sister and hope that one of them sees it before they have a panic attack and begin worrying ('cause once that starts, it leads to a giant hole of darkness where I'm either dead or dying in an alley somewhere). If you can, try to get long-distance for free from your cell company. If you can't, well then, it's either email or telegraphs.

15. Seven year old laptops are not optimal for university use. When your computer starts shutting down for fun, you know it's time to get a new one. Unfortunately, they're expensive, and getting a new one is
easier said than done. Let me just tell you that installing Windows 8 on said ancient computer is not a great idea either, even though the world wide web claims that it is compatible. It probably isn't really.

16. Real v.s. Fake. At a university, away from my friends, I found that I could see all my friendships from afar and pick out which ones I would actually work for and which ones were lost a while ago, but I never really faced it. Although I mended some friendships while I was away, I found that I lost many. As much as that saddens me, it also helped me realize that some of them were not what I remembered, and some were just not worth saving.

17. It is okay to miss a class every now and then. I always get this panicky feeling whenever I think about skipping class. However, I also learned this year that sometimes, missing class is okay. Yes, it took fifteen years and $10,000 to figure this out. Admittedly, I still don't like skipping, but I can live with it now. It is also okay to be late for class, 'cause now, you don't have to drag your butt to the attendance office as hall monitors and teachers glare at you. Although I wouldn't encourage it, I also know the feeling of not wanting to go, or not being able to go, to a class. That's life.

18. Bunk beds are not as fun as they were when you were six. Try to get a room with a single bed, if you're going into residence. Bunk beds aren't necessarily bad, but there's something about hitting your head on the ceiling that really turns you off from them.

19. Don't know what on earth you're doing, that's okay. You don't have to have your life figured out when university rolls around. It's okay to be sitting on the fence about something, or even totally clueless. Take a range of courses and see which ones appeal to you and allow you to work at the best of your abilities. I took psychology for the first time this year and loved it, and then hated it, and then loved it again. I also went into this year thinking that I would be an English Lit major, and now I'm including Rhetoric into my major 'cause I loved the course. It's okay to change your mind, and it's okay to be confused. There's always room to change majors, programs, and even faculties.

20. Appreciate your family and friends. No matter how shit life is, or how stressed you are, both your family and friends will always be there to support you. When you're out of your foggy cloud of panic/stress/anxiety, take the time to thank them for being behind you one hundred percent (even 22% is alright). 'Cause in the end, it doesn't matter how much money you have, or how much you know, it's a lonely road if you don't have people with you to enjoy it with.

University has been a great learning experience, and I hope next year will be even better ~
Also, note that all images were taken from Google, 'cause I neither have the time nor the abilities or resources to take/make such photos.


Sunday, 21 April 2013

20 Things I Learned: First-Year of University

If you haven't already guessed by the title of this post, I'm officially done my first year of university! I'd talk more about it, but I'm too lazy to upload photos so maybe in another post...

But as my friend said, "Summer doesn't truly begin until we find out our marks." Sigh.

But anyways, I was recently inspired by this post to talk about what I learned first year, so here we go...

1. First and foremost, you will get tired of instant noodles. I know people think they can survive the whole eight months on instant noodles and it'll be good. You'll have 10 different flavours and everything. No. It gets annoying and it's just repulsive after a while. I've been on an instant-noodle detox for the last month and I plan on doing so for the rest of this summer.

2. Do you really want your "best friend" as a roommate? I guess this only applies to those who will live away from home and on campus. But, think about this before you make those roommate choices. As much as I love my best friend, we've spent all of high-school at different schools (we met in middle school). Even though we definitely click, her values have changed throughout high school and so have mines. It caused a lot of fights, tears, and so much drama. As much as I'll miss her after moving out, and even though I still love her, I don't think I can handle living with her. So, think about it.

3. You think you'll stop procrastinating after high school? Nope, so wrong. Well... it depends on the person and their willpower. Me? I might just have gotten even worse. In high school, people were always astonished by how I can study the night before, or finish my final project 3 hours before class and still managed to get a 95%. Now? I can stay up until 4AM and if I'm lucky, I'll get a 70%. Plus, my horrible "I-won't-do-the-readings-until-the-night-before-the-exam"? Yeah... let's all pray I passed accounting.

4. Going back to #1, let's talk about the "Freshman 15". Again, totally depends on the person's willpower. For me, I ended up losing 15 pounds in the first month of school. There was no one to make yummy food for me, so I had smaller portions and the stress about being away from home made me lose weight. Unfortunately, I gained all that crap back during midterms and exams when I pig out. In the end, I came back at the end of the year... the same as I went in.

5. Don't be afraid to actually choose the courses you like. I know it sounds stupid, but I know some people choose courses solely based on whether or not they'll have friends with them, or it was required. I mean, of course you need to take those mandatory courses but for electives, depending on the program, you should get some choice. Choose the ones that interest you, because if you're interested, you'll do well in the class. If you choose something because your friend's there, and you have zero interest in the class (like me and accounting), you will do poorly.

6. It's okay to be alone going into your classes. Stemming off from the last point... it's totally okay to be alone going into a class! BUT, make friends. I have friends who have such anxiety trying to talk to others, and they end up making no friends. It seems all cool and mysterious of you, but when you have no one to ask for assignment help but the professor (and he takes 3 days to reply to his e-mail!), you're so screwed. That's why, I'm so glad I met one of my coolest friends in Sociology class this year!

7. Suddenly, Facebook isn't just a distraction anymore. Facebook, for me, has never really been a distraction as it is for a lot of people. Probably because I have no friends on it anyways. But, the point is, I've joined so much school-related and clubs-related groups on Facebook, and it really helps! People share notes, help answer questions, and just joke and socialize with others in their program/class and it helps to keep you up-to-date with everything.

8. So... professors don't mark your work, TAs do. Remember in high school when people sucked up to teachers for higher marks? Well, get ready to suck up to your TAs! I mean, it might not work, BUT I'm pretty damn sure some TAs give pretty girls higher marks. So annoying. But no seriously, maybe I should start putting some effort into how I look.

9. Unfair, biased, shithole TAs aside, there will be TAs you fall in love with. Hasn't happened to me yet, considering I have bad experiences with TAs this year, but I've seen/heard my friends fangirling over their TAs. My roommate was pretty much in love with our French TA. I didn't really like him but I will agree that he was better-looking than a lot of other TAs I've seen this year. Alikiya's roommate apparently also has a big crush on her TA as well. It would be pretty cool to be dating one though. Hello, easy marks!

10. Even though your TAs grade you, get to know your professor. One of my biggest regrets this year was not getting to know my professors. Especially my legal studies and economics professors! They were so cool, funny, and amazing profs. Plus, getting to know your profs also puts yourself in their favour which is good for not only grades but future opportunities. Maybe you can be their TA or get their reference letter to be a proctor.

11. Naps are good for memory? According to my roommate and my psychology textbook, memorizing and studying something right before bed will help you remember it better. So, maybe try studying and taking 30 minute naps. I can't guarantee anything but I mean... why not try and test it out?

12. Old edition vs. New edition textbooks. A lot of the times, professors will tell you to get the latest edition of the textbook, "but the old edition is fine too, I guess". For me, I felt uncomfortable getting the older one because you just never know what you miss might out even though the difference in the two editions is probably nothing you'd even notice. But take in many different factors. Would the newer edition be easier to sell off when you're done with it? Is the lower price of the old edition worth possibly missing out on even the smallest of details? What are the conditions of the books; brand new or used?

13. Individuality and self-worth suddenly become so damn important. Maybe it's just my friends or some of the people I see in my program and around campus, but showing off what you know/can do, and proving you are unique suddenly becomes such a popular concept. Maybe it's because you're at a new place, and there's thousands of people, that everyone just feels the need to prove themselves worthy of being a student here, and that they're all different and don't just want to blend into the crowd. The people I'm around can't seem to stop declaring things about themselves, and quite frankly, it's rubbing off on me. Everyone's, "I'm an artist!", "I made two videos and uploaded it on Youtube", "I'm rich and drive a BMW to school". It's just ridiculous some of the things that people will shit out to separate themselves from the crowd, but still want to fit into certain groups. Hey, by the way, guys... I speak 3 languages, my typing speed is 90WPM, and I've watched all the episodes of FRIENDS over 20 times. That's right. Haters gonna hate.

14. A bit random, but when you go to school with someone kind of Youtube-famous, and you haven't bumped into them yet, it is extremely frustrating. Why is everyone bumping into, taking pictures with, and have spoken with shimmycocopuffsss? I so regret not going to see Chengman when he came to our school and Shimmy performed with him. Damn it all.

15. Somehow your parents get so much more annoying about everything. Maybe it's the whole teenage rebellion bullshit, but dear God, how my parents have gotten annoying. I mean, they nagged a lot before but these last 8 months have been torturous. Nagging about school-work and focusing, my responsibilities, the fact that they paid for this education now, etc. I mean, never once have I missed a deadline for school-work or other paperwork. I would actually consider myself a fairly responsible teenager. And as if I don't already know we're throwing a shitton of money into this. NO PRESSURE GUYS.

16. Taxes, taxes, taxes, and more paperwork. One year in and I'm already ripping my hair out from all this damn paperwork and taxes bullshit. The amount of times I had to visit all those student services centers to drop off paperwork, ask about paperwork, fill out paperwork... I am so done. I mean, why can't we all just pay the school $20,000 per year, and we get our education, and just be done with it all?

17. If you think people are more mature in university... no. I guess old habits are just hard to ditch. You'd think with all the independence and crap, people would want to use that to their advantage, but there will be those girls you hated in high-school who form a group and think they're all mighty and amazing and flawless and so dskjfsdhkf. Some girl in one of my French tutorials gave my friend the cut-eye and kissed her teeth when my friend asked a question. I mean, really? Grow up. So maybe her question was kind of stupid but if you were any better, you wouldn't even be affected by it. Plus, there's still those douchebag guys from high-school who think that being mean will get them far in life. Alright home skillet, move along.

18. Free stuff is best stuff. Maybe it's the fact that we're all broke university students who have a ton of loans on our asses... suddenly, you begin to appreciate the little things in life. Little things being cheap stuff and/or free stuff. So, free pens and notebooks, free food, giveaways and contests, are all so damn appealing.

19. If you think the Internet's the most distracting thing... it isn't. Your roommate is. Late night/early morning talks become so frequent that sleeping for 5 hours or less becomes so common. I don't know how but my roommates and I have managed to chat until 4AM in the morning and somehow we don't ever run out of things to talk about. To be honest, I love it way more than I love the Internet. It's cool to talk about serious stuff on the news, the funny videos we see online, the latest music/TV shows, little gossips about others, our own feels, and it's just... for lack of better words, nice.

Totally irrelevant to the point but it came up when I searched
"roommate love" on Google images LOL.
20. Despite #15, you grow to appreciate your parents and home so much more. I appreciate them for putting up with my constant sighing when I do bad, for them buying me a bunch of stuff I want when I'm upset over school, for driving me back to school every Monday for classes because I love coming home every weekend, and so on. Your bed at home feels so damn good, and... yep. "Home is where the heart is."


Anyways, I have to go unpack everything I own now. Sigh.

I'll be back when my grades are posted online because I'm pretty damn sure I'll have something to rant about then.

Have a good day, everyone!

- Dee

Friday, 19 April 2013


Today, I officially finished my first year of university! My last exam, for political science, was meh, but I'm just happy to be done with it all.

I'd say that the past few weeks have been hectic and full of studying, but in all honesty, this was life:

A little bit of studying at my desk
Some studying at the mall
All of Ouran High School Host Club (the anime)
Every episode of Smiling Pasta
Half of One Litre of Tears (I kinda RAN OUT OF TISSUE)
Brave (which was a fairly good movie)
And Rise of the Guardians
(which was, like, one of the best animated movies I've seen in a long time)
I'm not the most studious student, no, but I actually did fairly well, based on the marks I've gotten back so far. Study hard, kiddies, but don't forget that sometimes, you just need a break.

As with last semester, I kind of feel obligated to make a teacher evaluation, so ... LGI LET'S GET IT, LET'S GO (I've also been on YouTube WAY too much...)

This semester, I had ENGL 101B, PSCI 110, FR 152, PSYCH 207, and CLAS 104 (Online). ENGL 101B, also known as Intro to Rhetoric, was my favourite class this semester. My professor, Kathy Acheson, was awesome. Her lessons were short, succinct, and often times funny in one way or another. She has no qualms about joking around, and I loved that after each lesson, she would get us to work through what we just learned and apply it to analysis and rhetoric activities. Unfortunately, she's going on sabbatical until Fall 2014, but if you have the chance, take her class, you won't regret it~

Next we have PSCI 110, Introduction to Politics in the Contemporary World. My professor, Jingjing Huo, was... interesting. At times he was hilarious, but somehow managed to maintain an eerily straight face that killed me more than his jokes. I just didn't understand how he managed it. Overall, he was a good prof, though his class just wasn't my thing. I'm into politics, but more of the actual issues more than the theoretical side of it all. Also, sometimes his accent got in the way of my learning, though it also didn't help that Dee kept mishearing stuff he said. However, if we're rating the teachers, I'd give him a nice 4 out of 5.

Alright, for FR 152, i.e. Gr 12 French, the expensive version, I had Aurelio Ayala as my prof. Unfortunately, in the future, he'll be teaching History (which I'm not that interested in) at Waterloo or French over at York U. I absolutely loved him as a teacher. He was always enthusiastic about teaching us, and actually listened when we asked him to change something about the way he was trying to get the information across. He was really fun, and always talked about beer, bacon, South Park, and the Simpsons in his examples. Honestly, one of my favourite profs of the year (and TAs, as he was my lab and tutorial TA last semester).  I loved that he was relatable and didn't seem... teacher-ish, like my English prof. Neither had issues with joking around with the class and sometimes just fooling around or doing funny things. Best prof, imo. If any of you find him in the future, let me know, 'cause I'd seriously like to keep up with him~

Next, we have cognitive psychology, PSYCH 207. I was not pleased with this class. The textbook was expensive, the class was boring, and I gained nothing from waking up at 7am in the morning and dragging my butt to AL 116 every Tuesday and Thursday morning. So halfway through the year, I didn't. My mark went up ten percent. Normally, I wouldn't condone this, 'cause honestly, going to class is really important, and you're paying for that seat that your butt warms for an hour and twenty minutes every Tuesday and Thursday. However, I fell asleep more in this class more than I learned, so I figured I might as well just stay in bed for that extra hour and half. I didn't hate my prof, Jonathan Fugelsang (though spelling his name is a feat). There was nothing really wrong with him. He was funny, his voice was loud and clear, blah, blah, he was fine. There was just something about the WAY he taught that bothered me. I think it was his PowerPoints. They were virtually useless, and he'd also ramble a lot so I'd sit there, take a nap, and then miss the actually information I needed, and catch his stories about other professors or people that are semi-relevant to whatever we were learning. This bothered me a lot, and I ended up not learning much in class at all.

Lastly, there was Classical Mythology, aka CLAS 104. This was my first online course ever and honestly, I liked it and hated it at the same time. Each online course is unique and you really have to get the syllabus to know whether you'll be able to handle it or not, but this course, when I saw the syllabus, I died. Basically, there was a quiz every week, plus five discussion weeks, plus two midterm projects, as well as an analysis, AND a final exam. I had my work cut out for me, but I took it in stride, and I learned a lot from my professor's "lectures" (which were like typed up version of what he'd say) and he was really active on the discussion boards, getting back to students really fast. My prof, Andrew Faulkner, worked hard to make sure that we managed to finish all of our work on time, and helped out as much as possible. Though some of his assignments were quite vague, I really enjoyed having him as my invisible prof. Albeit, not all courses are as well spread as mine, nor are all profs as helpful as mine. My suite-mate had one course that had a final exam worth 100% of the course mark, while her other online course had 2 tests worth 25% and a final exam making up the rest of the mark. With online courses, check out the syllabus first, and make sure that you can handle whatever it's throwing your way. Sometimes, it'd benefit you to wait until you can take the class in the actual classroom. My overall experience with online courses was good and it was fairly enjoyable, though Learn ticked me off A LOT... but that's a different story for another day.

This semester, though a lot more work in comparison to my first semester, was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed something about each one of my classes (including psych), which I thought was awesome, hehe ~

But yeah, overall, uni life has been good ~ I actually can't wait 'til next year (after a beautiful summer off) (:


Friday, 12 April 2013

Update + Rant on ELPE

WARNING: Slightly long post with no visuals follows. Readers discretion is advised.

So, how long has it been since the last update from me? Probably not long, right? My buddy did make a post about SMASH just a couple days ago and I think that managed to bring in quite a bit of readers LOL. Anyways, if she's been slow it's mainly because school is annoying and she's been really into "Smiling Pasta" and "Ouran High School" lately, but I'm sure she'll tell you more about that some other time.

Me? I've been schooling and lazing around, as per usual. It's currently the exam period and I already finished two final exams which I think I did okay on. I have three more and those three are probably going to be the death of me. I should probably get back to studying but I just need a moment to rant to the World about why the ELPE is stupid.

The following is what happened:
So basically, the ELPE is the English Language Proficiency Exam administrated by the University of Waterloo every year. All first year students must write it and pass, with passing grades being 60% or 65% depending on your program. For this last week, I've been focusing all my energy into studying for my French final exam and I pretty much did nothing else. The ELPE was scheduled to be written the day before my final for French. Since I figured an English exam can't be anything too bad, I didn't "prepare" for it as it was suggested many times by the university. Plus, I figure my English skills, albeit not the best, was still good enough for me to get a 65% on the ELPE. I mean, I did the Literacy Test that was administrated by the damn government back in grade 10, and I killed that with a 98%. This? This ain't got nothin' on me bro.

Go into exam. Write the exam. Finished the exam feeling slightly less confident but still sure I passed. Then, it clicked.

"Oh shit, they asked for two body paragraphs. I wrote four because I split up my two arguments. Each paragraph needs 5-8 sentences and I don't know if some of mines had 5 sentences considering I split up my arguments. Oh crap. There goes a bunch of marks. Plus, it's not like the quality of my work is the best either. Damn it all. I failed."

And so I've begun the terrible phase after my tests/exams where I feel like absolute crap because I'm convince I failed.

Now, ELPE, you want an essay, right? Here you go. The way you want it.

A (slightly informal) essay on why the ELPE needs to be abolished: 

Every year for as long as I can remember, I've heard people tell me the value of time, the value of planet Earth and the conservation of trees, and that tests scores are not an effective way of measuring one's true abilities. With that in mind, I wish to inform all readers that the ELPE test contradicts all those principles that I have been told for a very long time. This exam wastes not only my time, but the creator's time. It also destroys innocent trees that could have been used for better and more effective purposes that will further benefit our livelihood. Lastly, the way in which it measures my proficiency in English is not accurate and in no way indicates my true potential. Therefore, the ELPE needs to be eliminated by the administration.

The first reason, and probably one of the most important reason, as to why the ELPE is ridiculous is because it is a waste of time. It is a waste of time for all participants to this exam, whether they created it or they wrote it. First, let's focus on why it is a waste of my time. For me, a native English speaker, to be tested on her English proficiency is just plain silly. One of the main requirements for me to become an Arts student at the University of Waterloo is to have a grade 12 English mark of above 80%. An 80%, as known by all students, parents, and administration, indicates that a student is at an above average level for that particular course. If that was the case, and was one of the basic requirements for me to attend classes at this university, then I feel like my English skills should not be doubted by the administrators of this exam. Although the time used to write this exam was not long, that one hour that it took could have been dedicated to me doing something I either enjoyed or studying for my important final exam the following day. Secondly, it is also a waste of the administrators of this exam's time. The time wasted on creating topic questions for students to answer, the time wasted on printing out thousands of sheets of paper for each student, the time to set up the exam are just a few examples of the large quantities of time wasted on overseeing an overly-elaborate exam that can only be described as "useless". This whole exam, as known by almost every student, is basically directed at the large amount of international students who are at this university. If it is them that the ELPE is targeting, why not waste less time selecting the international students and only presenting them with the exam? However, even then, I strongly believe that the completion and passing of the ELPE for international students is a waste of time. From my understanding, the international students that come here must pass some sort of English proficiency test to be admitted into the school. I don't know too much about it, but I believe the exam is called a TOEFL test or something along those lines. Now, let's assume you failed the ELPE. If this was to happen, you have to make an appointment with a tutor who will review the exam with you and then you'd have to rewrite it, take writing sessions, or complete an entire course on writing. If that's not a waste of time, then I don't know what is. Thus, this concludes my argument as to why the ELPE is a waste of time for native-English speakers, for international students, and for the creators of this exam and in consequence, should be eliminated.

Oh, was that over 5-8 sentences? Oh well. 

The second reason as to why the ELPE should be terminated is because it is a waste of trees. Each student is presented with one sheet of paper which indicate the instructions and the topic questions they can choose from. On top of that, each student is presented with an exam booklet that contains blank lined-paper inside. Each booklet has approximately eight pages. There were supposedly over nine hundred Arts students writing the exam at the same time I was. Now, I'll assume there are five other faculties. If there are six faculties in total, and each faculty had an average of seven hundred and fifty students, that would mean that there are approximately four thousand five hundred students annually who write this exam. Each student has a booklet with eight pages, so that's thirty six thousand sheets of paper. Let's throw on the instruction sheet which is another forty-five hundred sheets of paper. I'll drop 10,000 in the number, and say that the final number comes to about 30,000 pieces of paper. Now, I don't work with the paper mill, but I do know that 30,000 pieces of paper is quite a bit considering it's used for an exam that is of no worth. How many rolls of toilet paper is that? How many books can be made from that? How many useful notices can be placed on bulletin boards from that? How many times can I wipe my nose with napkins from those thirty thousand sheets of paper? The answer is simply, "too many". Hence, because the ELPE goes against a very big issue in today's society, the idea of conserving the environment, we must exclude this exam from existing in the future.

Sorry, that was probably over 8 sentences as well. Should I split that up? Probably not.

Lastly, I feel that the way in which this exam measures my abilities in English is not a true indication of my real potential. This informal essay I am currently writing is also not a good representation of my true potential and this is already ten times better than my work that I presented to the university for further judgement. When I'm assigned essays to be written in school, I often have over two weeks to complete the work. By that time, I would have time to properly present my ideas in a respectable and coherent manner. I will have the time to edit my work and get it proof-read by many reliable people and be able to present it to the teacher or professor with my best foot forward. However, even in those circumstances, I may still not be able to achieve an amazing grade. If I can have all the time in the world, I may still not be capable of writing the "World's best essay", so who actually thinks that I can produce something of good quality in an hour or less? In this day and age, everything can be done on the computer. With the amount of time I dedicate to Skyping with my friends everyday and blogging, I can now achieve a typing speed of over 80 WPM, if I really focus. Writing though, I can't say I'm as skilled. Perhaps it's because I don't write often, or maybe my overweight hand can't seem to go as fast as I would want it to. What I'm really trying to say though is: Given one hour to write about a topic I don't feel passionate about, with no aid from a keyboard, I'm just bound to not produce quality work. Therefore, I don't feel like I should be judged on something that I didn't put my 100% into. As a result, the ELPE should be made invalid because it does not show one's true potential.

For the reasons stated above, it is apparent that the ELPE should be abolished. It is not a good representation of my true capabilities as I am limited in time and resources. Furthermore, it goes against important environment conservation principles that our World is strongly promoting in recent years. Lastly, it is a waste of time for all exam creators and takers as it unnecessary for administrators to create these exams, and for writers to participate in an exam that we do not need to prove ourselves for. As students who barely have time to eat, as protectors of our planet, and as competent and literate pupils, we should not stand by and let the school determine whether we are capable of handling the English language.

Thank you.

And there you have it. An essay by me written in one hour (on the computer). 

See, the thing is...

Results aren't up yet so me failing is all just the hypothesis of a overly-paranoid student who thinks she's horrible at everything she does. However, whatever the outcome, I stand by my words. I don't believe in the ELPE and I think that even if I had to go through it, I don't want future students to have to endure it as well. 

Maybe I might have been a bit aggressive with the things I said but if there's one thing you take from this long-ass post... "The ELPE is annoying and should be abolished." 

"Abolish the orgasm!" - George Orwell, 1984

Wait, that's not right, is it?

Anyways, here's a reward for reading that long rant/essay: 

My hubby's recently been back with his new song, "Joah".
Give it a listen.
Feel good music. 

- Dee

P.S: For anyone reading this and wants to challenge me on any points, please do so. I love a good debate. Prepares me for a future in law, ya'know? 

Saturday, 6 April 2013


Wow, it's been about a month since I last posted on here. And the flowery background remains...

Back in February of 2012, my family and I discovered this show called SMASH. We loved it almost instantly, and I am still utterly addicted to it. Unfortunately, NBC is thinking about cancelling because the views for this season hasn't been as high as they were last year. This absolutely sucks because, honestly, SMASH is one of the best shows I've watched in a while.

SMASH centers around a number of characters as they try to bring to life the story of Marilyn Monroe on Broadway. The show stars former American Idol contestant Katharine McPhee, as well as Will and Grace star Debra Messing (and Sean Hayes makes an appearance in the second season). The other stars in the show are amazing, I just don't really know what else they've done. Nick Jonas has also made multiple appearances in the show, as has Jennifer Hudson.

The songs are amazing:

The acting is great, the characters are great. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS SHOW IS BLOODY FANTASTIC. But just 'cause it's not getting more than 2.9 million views a week, it's being cancelled.

This bothers me. 3 million people tune in to watch SMASH while only about 2.5 million watch The Vampire Diaries, and yet one has a fifth season on its way, while the other is going to be tossed aside. As much as I love The Vampire Diaries, I wish that SMASH also got another season.

Now, SMASH has been moved to Saturday nights from its prime Tuesday night position, and now is when the views like nosedive. I absolutely hate this and I hate that the company isn't giving it a chance to keep airing at its usual time. Sigh.

Watch the show, give it the chance that NBC isn't. I promise, you'll love it ~