if you’re not thinking about nmaexwells; demons than your not paying attenrtion
Advice the Japanese give their own countrymen on how to handle the peculiarities of American culture.
Two episodes? Four? Crowdsourcing a new definition for a popular buzzword
micronations of the world
visions of the great american century
three final places to visit before leaving Ontario
1. Bruce Peninsula
(i spent hours on the below site at xmas)
excellent post on KI
This morning, I participated in an alumni panel for the Knowledge Integration Seminar Series. The weekly Friday afternoon seminar has been a cornerstone of the KI community since I was in first year. Although it has had its ups and downs (and has featured an unnaturally high proportion of engineering speakers), the seminar is a platform for diverse and interesting speakers and a way for KI students to learn about badass opportunities in the Waterloo community.
I live in Vancouver now (ya, ya, dead horse; I know), so being physically part of the seminar wasn’t possible. I didn’t even volunteer, because I though the time difference/virtuality/Vanessa Martin overkill would be too much. Anyway, I did, and I ended up getting to share a teensy bit about my experience as a KI student and what I’m up to now.
Jenna and I tuned in via Google Hangout, which was a bit of a mixed bag. Technical difficulties meant we couldn’t hear the questions, or the answers of the other alumni. We did have the chance to Gchat and make faces at each other. This is the career direction quiz I completed during the seminar (Writer or Astronaut).
Anyway, the experience made me feel pretty lonely. I knew some of my favourite people ever could see my dorky face, but I couldn’t see or hear them. It might have been worse if I could have. So I came away not sure that I positively affected any current students. What I really wanted to talk about was this:
- Don’t worry so much about the future. You’re in an incredibly creative, productive community, surrounded by some of the most clever and engaged people you will ever meet. Focus on the things you can learn from and make with each other (not babies — projects and stuff!). The skills you develop in KI will help you to lead a learned, thoughtful, and challenging life. You will not take every course that looked interesting in first year (and you will be okay with that). You will figure out your senior thesis. You will get a job. And when you’ve done those things, you’ll wish you were back where you are now. Undergrad flies past, so focus on it. Have a few beers. Do some readings for fun. It’s not all grades, and it’s not all parties.
- Don’t just take INTEG 121 and assume you understand design. There are so many applications and interpretations of the design method. Find the one that works for you. Being able to successfully analyze a problem, identify stakeholders, and iteratively create and test solutions will serve you so well. Read about past designers. Sign up for lynda.com and take some Adobe tutorials. Design cool shit with your cool KI friends.
- You do eventually have to figure out your future. If you’re interested in grad school, there are a few good first steps. Apply for an NSERC USRA to conduct your senior thesis research, if you’re interested in science. Talk to your thesis advisor about taking your poster to a conference (hint: that’s how I met my current MSc supervisor). Talk to professors whose classes you liked/did well in about acting as references for your grad school applications. Building these relationships early will generate much better letters of references (like, other than, "I don’t really know who this person is. I’m sure they’re fine.").
KI was probably the most excellent decision I have made in my life. So many people in my EVC and my MSc lives have commented on what a good foundation it was. I just wanted to share that.