Hello, my name is Cathleen Evans. I am originally from Vancouver Island and have spent the past two years studying communication and cultural studies at Concordia University. I passed my first year abroad in Herstmonceux, England and all my summers since then working at a camp for kids with disabilities in the Okanagan Valley. I am a proud feminist, vegetarian and mediocre knitter.
I spend the majority of my time attempting to juggle school, time spent with friends, my job as a personal support worker, my passion for music and performance (I’m currently teaching myself the autoharp!), and my work with the Concordia Student-Run Food Group Documentary Project. I have a penchant to read everything I get my hands on (often to the detriment of my sleep schedule and study habits) and a burgeoning addiction to “The Golden Girls.”
My goal for this class is to continue to grow as an active and engaged learner, positively adding to and benefiting from the class on a regular basis. I hope to bring what we learn and discuss throughout the course into my daily analysis of the world around me, gaining a new critical lens through which to examine my body, my environment, and those which surround me.
One of my most treasured spaces is Long Beach in British Columbia, which runs between Ucluelet and Tofino. I have spent numerous days walking the seemingly never-ending shores of this beach, the frequently grey and foggy climate of Vancouver Island blurring the lines between sea and sky. The beach is sporadically scattered with surfers, wake boarders, and general ocean frolickers (the last of which is my preferred nautical pastime). Long Beach attracts tourists from around the globe, however the bulk of bodies on the beach are usually islanders such as myself, the majority of which are able- bodied and of a relatively affluent standing – a set of criteria which is undoubtedly exclusionary. Although a public beach is by nature a gathering place, Long Beach presents an extremely personal space, provoking a plethora of individual and unique emotions and associations. Long Beach connects me to my home, my roots, and provides me a sense of calm I have yet to parallel.
Five things faculty do to make learning hard:
- Lack of clarity and detail on class expectations and assignments.
- A lack of clarity and communication with students when providing feedback that aims to be constructive (particularly on written work).
- Lack of accessibility, be it availability (office hours), flexibility (alternative means of contact such as e-mail) or simply a lack of approachability and/or understanding.
- Balancing variety and continuity throughout the course in everything from lectures to broader class themes.
- Assigning lengthy, dense and un-relatable readings.
Five things faculty do to make learning easy:
- The frequent use of storytelling (i.e. anecdotal examples, narrative structure in lectures and readings).
- Setting realistic and attainable expectations and timelines.
- Expressing interest (even just a quick check- in) with students’ progress not only in their course, but in their broader studies.
- Providing a mixture of online and print resources (readings, outlines, forums etc).
- Expressing a genuine enthusiasm and interest in sharing your knowledge on the subject with the class (it’s contagious!).