organization, videos

organization || 14 exam study TIPS | work smarter, faster & happier!

My IB exams are coming up at the start of May, and I’m sure many of you will also be getting ready for your own exams in the next few months. SO in the spirit of testing season, today I’m sharing fourteen tips to help you study more effectively! These are sustainable, realistic things you can do or mindsets to adopt that help you get more done in less time. So get ready for some major test and exam study hacks!

academic, ideas & perspectives, Literary Commentary

writing || Parenting is like a Fencing Match: Scene Analysis in “I Know why the Caged Bird Sings”

The ultimate coming-of-age story that doesn’t shy away from even the more difficult topics, Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is immensely honest and vulnerable. Her experience being sent from mother and father to grandmother several times throughout her life is a situation not all readers can identify with. However, the truths she shares about family, love and self-identity through these experiences are universal. By chapter 33, both Maya and her brother Bailey have become adolescents, and their trials and tribulations are representative of those which many other adolescents face. In fact, Maya’s account of Bailey’s fight with their Mother illustrates several truths all readers can relate to when it comes to conflict between a parent and child. In particular, her use of descriptive language characteristic of a fencing match provides a lens through which to understand her mother’s and brother’s conflict, and thus the plight of our own youthful turbulent relationships with our parents.

food, lifestyle, videos

lifestyle || reasons i eat meat: a wine-tasting changed my mind about veganism

At the start of 2018, I decided to try being pescetarian for ethical reasons. It seemed that there were so many reasons for it and no reason in the world not to. Plus, the "lifestyle" side of my social media was saturated with messages about veganism and vegetarianism that I felt compelled to give it a try. After all, why eat meat when we really don't NEED it? Then, after taking part in a wine tasting while on vacation, I finally reached a few conclusions.

mathematics, organization, printables, subject resources

organization || Printable Math Drills

Numeracy skills are so important and I think the current Ontario curriculum for math doesn't emphasize them enough. Students who can add, subtract, multiply and divide quickly are at an immediate advantage to those who don't have that skill laid out as part of their mathematics foundation. When I was younger, I used to do math drills on various topics as part of a math program I was enrolled in, and which I use with many of the students I tutor. Sharing my own printable version with you today!

academic, ideas & perspectives, Literary Commentary

writing || The Hereditary Sickness: An Analysis of the Structure, Tensions, and Motifs of “Mad Shadows”

The passage from pages 52 to 55 of the book “Mad Shadows” by Marie-Claire Blais presents a turning point within the novel. It is in these four pages that the deterioration of the characters and superficial relationships begins to occur. An aura of sickness and wickedness spreads throughout the family – in their bodies and in their relationships – foreshadowing the falling apart of the household later in the novel.

lifestyle

lifestyle || summer packing essentials

What better way to pretend like it's the summer than to revisit my packing list from last month's trip to Punta Cana and start thinking about my next traveling adventure? Yesterday we were visited by our usual April snowstorm, with really strong wind and biting cold. I wasn't too happy, but as Willy Loman (from Death of a Salesman) very well knows, living in your imagination can help you forget reality for the time being.

creativity, videos

art || how to improve your handwriting

It sounds really weird to say it out loud, but in grade 3 I literally made it my life goal to improve my cursive handwriting. I went through the same five steps to improve your handwriting that I describe in this video, and then when it came to practicing, I would take FOREVER to copy down notes. Like seriously. I was the last one done. Ironically, I remember my grade 3 mind thinking, "eh, I'm in grade 3. What does it really matter how fast I can copy down notes?"

academic, ideas & perspectives, Philosophy

writing || We are what we can control: an argument for Nature, not Nurture

The circumstances of our births are instrumental in determining who we are to become. However, to what degree do they cement our fates and make up who we are as people? The question of whether our innate human nature or the conditions of our nurturing throughout childhood have a greater role to play in our development is a hotly debated one. And the truth is that we have no way of knowing the scientifically-accurate answer. The question is a matter of hypotheticals - if we perform an experiment in which twins are reared separately to see how they differ in personalities when nature is kept the same but nurture is modified, not only are there too many other variables to account for, but we have no way of comparing the results to those had we kept the twins together. However, as humans we feel responsible for what we willingly choose and control, and when it comes to the course of our life, there is a lot we can control. It may be argued, then, that although nature affects our options, it is nurturing and the choices we and others willingly make that are the essence of what makes us uniquely human and individual.