post

One Year Here

Well, I’ve lived in Waterloo, Ontario for exactly one year and I believe that I’ve achieved a lot over this short time. I drove across Canada from Banff late last August and settled into my new home near the University of Waterloo, where I am completing my MA in English. I’ve taken five out of six courses in my department, and written papers on Coherence and Cohesion, Dan Simmons’ Illium Duology, Jacques Derrida versus Evolutionary Literary Theory, Frantz Fanon in the work of Austin Clarke and Dionne Brand, and Gerard Manley Hopkins’ The Wreck of the Deutschland.

Panorama_UW_south_campus_hall

As an extension of my academic interests in bibliotherapy, I’ve been to Boston to attend the annual conference of Changing Lives Through Literature, an organization committed to initiating social change through alternative measures programs and literary education—where I also had a chance to visit the incredible Boston Institute for Contemporary Art (pictures forthcoming). I’ve received supportive feedback from numerous professors around North America, including David Miall, Keith Oatley, Bob Waxler, Jean Trounstine, Jay Parini, along with several professors from my current institution. Furthermore, in order to contribute to society through volunteering as well as learn more about Canada’s criminal justice system, I’m currently a volunteer at the John Howard Society Extra Judicial Measures and Sanctions Program where I work with young offenders to negotiate appropriate consequences for their crimes.

On top of my academic pursuits, I have successfully gained employment through University of Waterloo Co-operative Education and Career Services. I am currently on an eight-month co-op term working as a copywriter for Punch Integrated Communications where, as of two weeks ago, I am the only copywriter—my former boss quit to accept a position with a local technology company. Punch specializes in loss prevention employer communications and uses qualitative analyses based on quantitative data to recommend training programs to some pretty significant North American businesses. Punch is consistently recognized as one of the fastest growing privately held marketing companies in Canada and I’m very privileged to be working here. On top of the company’s importance, I am truly committed to the company’s vision as one of my earliest—and coolest—jobs was also in the loss prevention industry—I was a Loss Prevention Officer for Zellers in 2001. The_Thinker

Along the way, I’ve also been hired a Research Assistant for the Wilson Centre, the world’s most respected healthcare education institute. I am working for a Glendon Tait, a Psychiatrist, under the supervision of Educational Scientist, Lorelei Lingard. Our work seeks to improve care for dying patients on an international level by analyzing detailed interviews that Glendon and his team have conducted with palliative care patients. The work is confidential, but I can say it has been a profound and humbling experience and I look forward to publishing our findings.

So, what can I say? Waterloo has really been a land of opportunity for me thus far. I don’t think I could have established this kind of a professional network had I stayed in Edmonton after completing my BA. I truly miss things back home but I’m so busy here that the time just flies by. I’ll be back in October to see everyone but I guess for now I just want you to know that I’m doing well. I wonder where I’ll be this time next year . . .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: