Blog Post #1- Introduction

Hey! I’m Fiona. I’m originally French and German, and was born in Europe before moving to the middle of nowhere Alabama, which was the start of an intense and lifelong identity crisis. I ended up living in Atlanta, GA for most of my life before moving to Montreal for school, and I love it here. I’m a Political Science student in my last semester, but I’m interested in a thousand things, including journalism, the fashion industry, literature, film, etc.

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I feel like I spend most of my time dreaming. I do more concrete things, too- I’ve been cohosting a radio show at CJLO on and off for a couple years, I volunteer at music festivals, I was a fashion writer and editor for a Montreal blog, and I’m the vice president of communications for my department’s student association. For someone who used to “not be a TV person”, I end up watching a lot of TV (right now I’m crushing pretty hard on Broad City). I also love going to concerts, especially in the circuit of indie Mile End/Plateau venues.

My goal for this class is to give myself a new way of thinking about the world- the relevance of bodies has always been important to me and on the periphery of my view, but I’ve never thought to specifically question and critique everything through that paradigm. By taking a communications class, I’m also hoping to get a different learning experience than what I get in political science. Sometimes I feel like what I like about political science is more fully fleshed out in communications, and the dialogue in the latter makes me feel less limited. As hokey as it sounds, I feel like I’m here to be excited.

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One of my favorite spaces is the yoga studio right by my house called Happy Tree Yoga. It’s an easy one because yoga studios are usually designed to make bodies feel at ease. The space is airy, fresh, and comforting. You can’t walk inside with your shoes on, and everyone seems to walk more slowly and gracefully inside. As much as I love my space at home, I feel like I’m escaping my responsibilities by coming here because it’s not completely mine. I don’t have to clean it, and I find it nice to live in someone else’s aesthetic for a little while- I’m also always really curious as to what the inside of other people’s spaces look like, so maybe it fulfills that voyeuristic urge.

The body is so essential to the space because your body and a yoga mat is essentially all you’re carrying inside. Of course, yoga itself is difficult to access without being completely able-bodied, making access to the space limited. It’s also expensive, and the space isn’t open to those not taking classes. The comfort of the space is also variable. When I first started going, I felt less comfortable because I was a relative yoga novice, so there was a little sense that I didn’t belong. That anxiety led to me physically interacting with the space in a more hesitant and tense way.

Things faculty do to make learning hard:

  • Assigning multiple books, which makes getting access to the texts a headache
  • Not understanding how to use technology, like not knowing how to make the moodle public
  • Setting office hours at unrealistic times, like late Friday evenings
  • Not offering a variety of ways in which to engage with the course material
  • Reading from slides

What they can do to make learning easy:

  • Offering different ways of doing assignments, like mixing presentations and written assignments
  • Making expectations abundantly clear, both on paper and in class
  • Making class discussion consistent and meaningful, not just five minutes with someone you’ve never talked to
  • Supplementing reading material with video
  • Giving break in long classes!

 

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4 comments

  1. “That anxiety led to me physically interacting with the space in a more hesitant and tense way.”

    This is a very rich statement to unpack and a great starting point to thinking about yourself in any and all environments!

    Like

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