Three Weeks In

Hey guys!

It's been such a long time since I've updated my blog. No doubt about it, I've been swept up in all the classes, readings and deadlines. It's funny, because before I enrolled in my masters I had thought to myself, "am I ready to once again enter this academic world where any spare time feels like procrastination?" At least I was well aware of what I was getting myself into!

So far I'm enjoying my classes. My program is very multidisciplinary, so it feels as though I'm extending what I've already learnt during my undergrad. However, for a masters that had a research thesis, my program is very course heavy. I've already gotten a sense of how overwhelming all the readings and assignments can be.

I've been fighting a cold that started sneaking up on me during the second week of class, but it finally hit me full force this past week. I have no immunity to the germs here on the West Coast, but I have a feeling my cold also has a lot of do with how much I've been overworking myself. I been staying up late every night doing readings and I haven't exercised in several weeks. While I got away with this kind of stuff during my undergrad, I'm at an age now where I have to take care of myself. This cold is an important lesson that I'm going to burn myself out both physically and mentally.

Starting now, I've decided that I'm going to make a point of prioritizing "me" time and ensuring I still can do the things I love. I still want to be able to blog, weight-lift, run trails, see friends and play sports. No matter how much I try, there's no way I'd be able to get all of the readings for my classes done, so why should I let that compromise my own health?

Tomorrow I'll be participating in the Walk for Reconciliation at Queen Elizabeth Plaza in downtown Vancouver. This 4 kilometer walk is a part of Reconciliation Week, which is an effort for Aboriginals and non-native Canadians to come to an understanding over our cultures, history and need for a better tomorrow.

I'm passionate over Aboriginal rights, but I'm still out of the loop for happenings here in British Columbia. Fortunately, I found out about this event thanks to the SFU Day for Reconciliation, which was held on my campus. The SFU Day for Reconciliation involved speeches and panel discussions on the effects of residential schools in Canada. For those who may not be aware, for over 100 years Aboriginal children in Canada had been displaced from their homes to attend government-funded residential schools. These schools were operated by Christian churches, and attempted to "integrate" Aboriginals into society by removing their cultural values and language. If that wasn't enough, physical, emotional and sexual abuse were prevalent in these schools.

The panels were emotionally-charged, with speakers describing their own personal experiences with the effects of residential school. There was also a viewing of the film We Were Children, which was a beautifully directed movie recounting the experiences of two children who grew up in residential schools. It is heavy and emotionally draining, but I beg any Canadian to watch this movie. Racism is still too prevalent in our society, and I think understanding can help change that.

The SFU Day of Reconciliation was emotionally exhausting, but also eye-opening. I cried so hard during the panel discussion that one of my contact lenses got lodged behind my eyelid. A lot of my classmates were there with me and were also emotionally touched (although none of them had as dorky of a mishap as me).

I look forward to taking part in the Walk For Reconciliation tomorrow. I've been feeling a little out-of-place here in Vancouver, so taking part in something important to me will be really beneficial.

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