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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tragedy at Kentland

A deadly garage fire takes 2 lives
A change of pace from my usual posts but this story really stuck home. I still remember the night my dad was driving me home from an evening class from university when there were firetrucks, police cruisers and yellow police tape forming a perimeter outside the entrance to the street from where I lived.
"Probably another gas leak", my dad exclaimed.
To this remark, I thought the same. A year or two ago, there was some sort of gas leak (it could be smelled through the air) and it was taken care of quickly and had the usual police cruisers at the scene.

The next morning while I was off to school, the scene changed and by that I meant I saw additional vehicles: CTV, CBC, CP24, FCTV (local news stations) and I quickly realized it was something more. My dad had the usual radio channel on and that's when we were given a hint to what happened down the street.
There was a fire in the garage of that house of which a female corpse was found on the scene, and a man was rushed to a local hospital where he passed away; no other information was given at the time. This fire was being investigated by homicide detectives due to the suspicious small size of the fire.

When I got back from school, I asked around some neighbours and was told that the two that died were actually husband and wife. They had two children, 19 male, and 17 female if I remember correctly, but thankfully they weren't at the house at that time. I was also told that there foul play was involved between the couple, but I guess I'll know more about it as the story develops.

My sincere condolence goes out to the family and friends of the deceased, and especially to the two teenagers as I hope they are being cared for appropriately.

Link to one of the many news stories covering this:

Has anything tragic happened in your community? How have people dealt with these types of situations?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First Week of University

I've been waiting a long time to get here, but now, am I second guessing myself?

Cramming, gotta get that good stuff in
     For those that read some of my recent posts about frosh, you should know that students had a choice to either stay for the frosh events or attend classes. I asked around (espeically asking senior students) whether or not to stay at frosh or just skip the first day of lectures. All the answers I got were on either side, but I guess since I'm paying over seven grand for school versus fifty bucks for frosh, I'll attend my lectures instead.

     And I'm glad I made that decision because the first day of classes in university is nothing like high school. But let's start off with the similarities, the professor will take half the class to introduce himself or herself and their respective accomplishments and go through the course outline. Okay, I guess it's nothing different so far, but after introductions we jumped right into the lecture and textbook material and I guess this is where the two diverge. In high school, we would've probably been holding hands and singing kumbaya for an entire week before we start any course material. I guess my blog will soon look like one of my fellow blogger colleagues, DWei's.

"Hold hands and singing kumbaya", a favorite quote from one of my high school teachers

     Now another difference is that in class, you should never run out of things to do (and that one thing is to listen). And that's another difference, there is no "in-class homework", you literally sit in class for 2-3 hours and there is no time allotted in class to do any readings or homework. Another note is that you have to be prepared going to class, that means note taking devices, textbook readings, printouts etc...because no one is going to remind you or bug you about this stuff. Well it's not that I had any trouble in high school with any of this but it's pretty overwhelming when you have to keep track of tutorial dates, readings that need to be done, quizzes, online assessments... And I'm sure the lists goes on, but phew, I'm just in first year.
I do not own or take credit for all of the above images & videos, if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.

How was your first week of university or post secondary education? How is it different from high school?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

UTSC Frosh Day 3 & 4

 The last two days of frosh week ends in style.

All of frosh week seemed to lead up to the final events for day 4, but let's get back to day 3 for now.

Day 3's main event was "The Ultimate Froshie". Froshie in this case refers to all frosh members (freshmen), and it's essentially finding the most enthusiastic, exciting and fun froshie. This is determined trhough a series of challenges which involve cheers (such as the "I feel so good!" cheer) and more. Sadly, I had class during this event and pretty much missed most of it. Video below for whoever wants to check it out.

Which brings me to my next point, who decided to make frosh week coincide with the first week of classes (most people had classes Thursday and/or Friday). So not only did I miss Thursday's main event, I missed all of Friday, but for the people that participated, I heard that it was a blast.

Friday's first main event was the parade where all 3 campuses (Scarborough, Mississauga and St. George)  convene. As fun as this sounds, there is always compeititoin between all 3 campuses to see who does the best and loudest cheers. See for yourself below.

Friday ended with an event at some event cetnre, and at a club at the Guv.
Hopefully everyone had fun, as I probably had more of it in class. =/

I do not own or take credit for all of the above images & videos, if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.

How did you frosh conclude? Did class ever coincide with frosh?

Monday, September 12, 2011

UTSC Frosh Day 2

We feel so good! Oh, we feel so good! Oh!

Youtube Karaoke @ AC112
Nothing beats karaoke, especially in a lecture hall singing things by Aqua and Bieber.

Well I'll have to say I had fun during the second day. Just like Ferdinand commented on my previous post, I also consider myself as an introvert. Those that do know me in real life know me as someone who is very quiet, as the type that is cool, calm and always collected. Today was no different? I think not. With help from my GLs (group leaders) I started to come out of that shell and had some fun.

The "Carnival"
For day 2, once of the featured events was the Carnival. Essentially it was 5-6 inflatable play areas (like rock climbing pictured above). Now don't get me wrong, these activities were fun, but when this activity lasted for 4 hours, your patience for new things to do is easily spent.

The long day was concluded with a fun event (for some at least and embarrassing for others), the long awaited hypnotist show. You can see the first part of it embedded above (I do not own the video, it was uploaded by my colleagues).

What quirky events did you have at your frosh? What was the best event?

Friday, September 09, 2011

UTSC Frosh Day 1

First impressions are everything, and today, frosh has definitely made its mark.

Woo! Frosh Week

Frosh, Day 1: All froshies were assigned to groups and separated by departments, marked by different colour t-shirts. Blue for management students, green for science and red for arts. Each group was assigned 2 group leaders which are seniors in the corresponding deparments.

Now I'm not sure how all my peers felt, but I can say I was definitely nervous and my natural personality of being shy definitely didn't help. On the other hand, all the group leaders (GLs for short) were very warm and enthusiastic (whether they were being forced to can be questioned) but the GLs assigned to my group were great.
Ice Breakers!
 For the first day, we generally did a lot of ice breaker related activities to get to know our group members better. We were also taught a number of cheers of which some are unique to each department as departments may engage in spontaneous cheer-offs against each other. Being a management student, some of our cheers would include: "Your test tubes are short" which is directed at the science department and "You talk big, you walk tall, making up for something small!" which can be directed to any department (Yes, a lot of the things were somewhat...suggestive). One my favourite comebacks against the management cheers would be: "Schu-lich Re-jects!" (People in Ontario should get this one).

Party Hard!
 There were also lots of other activities throughout the day, which eventually made me come out of my shell a bit. And to conclude the day, was a foam dance party. (Unfortunately, I didn't stay long enough to witness the "foam" part of it).
Foam Dance Party (without the foam)
I'll be back in a few days reporting on day 2 of frosh.

Do you still remember your first day of frosh? Any cheers that are memorable or unique to your school?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Nodame Cantabile

Gyabo! Classical music and anime? All in one?

Chiaki and Nodame

After putting off this series for so long, and with many recommendations from a bunch of friends, I finally watched Nodame Cantabile (I'm getting to the sequels =/).

Nodame Cantabile mostly takes place at Momogaoka College of Music where our main characters, Megumi Noda and Shinichi Chiaki study. Nodame is a talented piano player, who can play music by ear (and prefers it) instead of reading the score. She also brings in her own style when playing the music, such as adding or subtracting notes, ignoring the score altogether. Chiaki is also a talented piano player (who also plays the violin) and was born in to a musical family. He has a secret ambition of pursuing a career in conducting, but is obstructed to study oversees (he resides in Japan) because of his child phobia of flying and the ocean.

The two of them accidentally meet and Nodame install falls in love with Chiaki. Chiaki discovers Nodame's talent and the series displays the lessons of music and life they give each other while encountering many other students and teachers of the college.

This series is definately a must for any anime and classical music fans (as you may be sitting through half an episode of classical music). Nodame Cantabile is a 23 episode series and was aired in 2007, produced by J.C. Staff. There is a sequel to Nodame Cantabile, which is Nodame Catabile: Paris, which continues right where the prequel left off. The whole franchise then concludes with Nodame Cantabile: Finale.

I do not own or take credit for all of the above images, if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.

Have you watched this series? Have you seen any music oriented series? Did you watch the dramas or live action movies of Nodame Cantabile?

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Usagi Drop

Looks like grandpa has got it going on, but not for long...

Rin and Daikichi
And not for long because he's dead. Usagi Drop is an 11-episode, slice of life series done by the studio, Production I.G., which is known for high-quality animation, and has produced work such as GIST (Ghost in the Shell). It starts off with the funeral of Daikichi's grandpa, where we find out that his grandpa had an illegitimate love child (who is 6 at the time of his death). The child, who's name is Rin, was kept a secret to everyone up until now. Daikichi's family and relatives try to figure out what to do with her when someone suggests to send her to an orphanage. This is when Daikichi steps up, and chooses to raise Rin himself.

Daikichi is just a plain 30 years old bachelor, who works as a typical Japanese salaryman. When he actualy experiences what it takes to raise a child, he quickly understands the sacrifices and efforts needed. The series pretty much follows Daikichi and the development of Rin while Daikichi finds out more about parenting, especially from others, such as single moms.

I actually first started watching this series after hearing a podcast review of this. The reviewer is an American, who currently lives in Japan with his wife and they both admire this series for accurately portraying how life is for salarymen and housewives when they have children (as Japan has more defined gender roles).

The series thus far (I'm on episode 8) is very lighthearted and heartwarming. All the animation and choice of colour gives off a "warm" feeling. Production I.G also includes about a 1 minute intro at the beginning of each episode where the animation is in a totally different style, almost like a "roughly coloured-manga" feel (Yes, I just made that up). Bleh, I can't describe it, so just see the image below.

I've heard from others that the series will leap to Rin when she is older, so I'm pretty exicited to see how it goes as there are only a few episodes remaining.

I do not own or take credit for all of the above images, if you would like them to be taken down, please message me.
  What are your favourite slice of life shows? For those that have seen this, how do you think this portrays life with children?