Life of Mel

Xaverian Weekly Master Post

Hello everyone!

As you know, I’m writing for my university’s newspaper this year, which is partially why I’m not writing on here as much. I’m a staff writer, which means I’ve been writing an article for each issue of the newspaper.

I figured to make up for the lack of posts on here, I’d make a master post of all my newspaper articles so that you can read them when the blog is quiet. A quick word of warning; since I write for my university’s newspaper, the articles are geared more towards those that go to or have gone to my university. However, I hope my articles are relevant to any university students out there.

Also, it should go without saying, that all the articles belong to the Xaverian Weekly, and not to myself personally. They have all been edited and reviewed by my fantastic editors and the co-editors-in-chief (round of applause for all the hard work they do).

So, without further ado, here are links to my articles I’ve written so far!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to write a quick post since it’s Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. I hope that all of you take advantage of the time off to relax and have some fun with your family and friends. As well, make sure to get your fill on all the best foods that Thanksgiving offers. I’m talking cranberries, pie, mashed potatoes, turkey buns, sweet potatoes…the whole nine yards.

For those of you that are unable to visit home for the holidays like me, try and make the best of the long weekend. If you need advice for surviving the weekend, I just wrote a piece about Thanksgiving away from home for my university’s newspaper, which you can find here.

I also hope all of you are enjoying the beginning of fall as well, and are taking advantage of the awesome seasonal activities. I know I’ve already restrained myself from buying a lot of mini pumpkins to decorate my dorm room…

If you guys have any cool things you’ve got planned for the fall or Thanksgiving, let me know about them below so I get some inspiration for what to do on my weekends!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and have a lovely weekend!

-Mel.

Quick blog update!

Hello to my lovely followers!

Since I’m now writing articles weekly for my school newspaper, I decided I will only be posting once a month. There might be some months where I’ll be writing two posts, but for now, I’ve decided to only commit to one post in the interest of my academic and personal life.

I hope you all stick around, I’ll be continuing the Surviving a University Course series this semester, with some possible bonus posts as well.  And, if you want to check out my school newspaper and all the awesome content from the people that work there, the link is here.

If any of you are interested in seeing specific content or posts in the following months please leave a comment or send me a message, I’m always open to suggestions!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

-Mel.

My Summer Reading List

Since it’s that time of year when I’m on vacation from all the required readings for university courses,  I decided to put together a list of what I’m hoping to read instead.

I hope that my reading picks for the summer inspire you guys to maybe expand your reading lists or add some of my picks to them!

So without further ado, here’s my summer reading list:

  1.  The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: Since I was at work one day and came across that there’s a new TV series being based on this book, I decided to give it a read. It’s definitely not for younger audiences, but it is a very thought provoking work.
  2. John A: The Man Who Made Us by Richard Gwyn: Usually I’m not a terribly big fan of Canadian history, but this is an interesting biography of Sir John A. Macdonald. Not to mention, given it was just the 150th anniversary of Confederation, it seems only appropriate to learn a bit more about the country I call home.
  3. They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children by Romeo Dallaire: Since I read Dallaire’s book about the Rwandan genocide and found it to be amazing, I decided to pick up his other book the last time I was at Chapters. So far I’ve only read a chapter, but it is very informative and well written.
  4. The Craft and Business of Writing by Writer’s Digest Books: I picked this book up as something to read when I’m stuck in a rut with my writing, and just for inspiration. Especially for all those (like me) going into new jobs where writing is paramount, it might be good to take a look at.
  5.  Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth: I haven’t picked this book up yet, but since I loved Divergent I figured I’d check out her latest work! It sounds like a very promising summer read.
  6. The Atlantic and The Diplomat Magazine: Since I will be writing for the school paper this next year, there’s nowhere better to look for writing inspiration. Shout out to my dad for giving these to me as a birthday present!
  7. The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford: I picked this up on yet (another) Chapters run because it looked intriguing. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m sure I will one of these summer nights.
  8. The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine: After hearing many a time about this influential work, I decided to give it a read. I’m sure it will enlightening and useful going forward with more political science and philosophy classes.
  9. The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper by Maxim Jakubowski and Nathan Braund: This is probably one of the darkest summer books I picked up, but ever since I traveled to London I’ve been fascinated with Jack the Ripper. I wouldn’t recommend reading this late at night, as it goes into a lot of detail about the murders. If you’re into this kind of book, I also recommend you check out Last Podcast on the Left and their series of podcasts on Jack the Ripper.

What are you guys reading? Leave your favorite pick down below in the comments!

-Mel.

P.S. Sorry for the long gap between posts, I took a much needed break! I do have a bunch of great posts queued up for the upcoming school year, so keep your eyes peeled for those!

The Best Shows For History Lovers

Since I am a history major and spend a decent amount of time in front of Netflix and watching random videos, I figured I’d share my favorite history related shows or series with you guys!

Shows That Draw on Historical Events:

  1. Outlander: Even though this show does revolve around historical events in Scotland, I think what makes it so compelling is the clash of old and new. I would also be in for time travel through stones too if the opportunity presented itself.
  2. When Calls The Heart: This show is the closest representation of what I’ve always imagined Western Canadian history playing out. It’s almost the Canadian version of Little House on the Prairie in my opinion. 
  3. X-Company: I’m pretty sure I’ve already mentioned this show, but I love it since it mashes all my favorite history together. You’re in for a wild ride in this world of spies, WW2, and Canadian history.
  4. The Crown: I’ve always been interested in the British monarchy, so I was absolutely thrilled when Netflix made this show. I also enjoy the fact that Prince Philip is played by Matt Smith, so maybe the Doctor actually does protect the Queen!

Non-Fiction Shows:

  1. Love, Hate, and Propaganda: This multi-part CBC series explores mainly history and propaganda throughout WW1, WW2, and the Cold War. It’s fascinating to watch how much of a role propaganda plays. 
  2. Engineering an Empire: This show is made by the folks from the History Channel, and is really good. It traces the impact of things from architecture to weapons technology and how they shaped empires from Russia to Ancient Greece.
  3. CrashCourse History: You can find these on YouTube, where John Green (Yes, the one who wrote TFIOS) teaches history. These episodes have saved my butt when I’ve needed a brush up on broader history, or just to inform myself.
  4. World War Two In Colour: You know all those boring WW2 documentaries they show in history class that are all in black and white? Here’s your solution-WW2 films restored with colour, so you learn your history the cool way.

What are your favourite series or shows that are based around historical events? Leave them down in the comments!

-Mel.

8 Things I Love About Buffy

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of the first shows that really sucked me into the world of sci-fi and fantasy shows. It has a special place in my heart, and I’m hoping to one day get a Buffy cosplay put together.

Anyways, these are my top 8 reasons why I love the show:

  1. The 90s fashion-I love all the outfits, especially Willow’s interesting sweaters.
  2. The boys-whether you’re team Angel, Spike, or Riley, there’s a favorite for everyone.
  3. Giles-Even though he has a smaller role as a Watcher, his sarcasm and exasperation with life are great watching the show, especially now that I’m older.
  4. The Scoobies-I’m so glad the gang grew as the show went on, since the mix of people is awesome. I’m personally a giant fan of Willow.
  5. The monsters-Even though the show is mostly about vampires, the big bads and variety of monsters always makes it exciting.
  6. Willow and Tara’s relationship-Their healthy same sex relationship is something that rarely happens in shows, and that’s amazing. Plus they’re adorable together!
  7. It deals with the tough stuff-From death to breakups, Buffy presents a good example for how to deal with the hard things life throws at us. Especially since it’s from the perspective of mainly young adults, it’s very relatable.
  8. Buffy herself-She’s definitely one of my favorite strong female TV characters. Even though she’s got pretty admirable traits, the fact that she’s not perfect and makes mistakes makes her realistic and relatable.

I hope these reasons convince you guys to watch a few episodes! And, feel free to leave your favorite things about Buffy or favorite episodes in the comments.

-Mel.

Life Update!

Hey guys!

Sorry for not posting anything last week, the last three weeks of school have been crazy busy for me. On the upside, today is the last day of classes, so I’m almost done the school year!

Otherwise, I have a bit of news that will affect the future of this blog.

I am going to be a staff writer for my school newspaper for this coming school year, which means I will have less time to write on here. I’m not sure yet if it means the posting schedule will get changed, or if I’ll post links to the work I’m doing at the paper. I’ll have to figure that out in September when I see how much work I’ll be putting into the paper.

In any case, I will be going back to the regular posting schedule at least up until the beginning of September.

Have a good Friday!

-Mel.

T.V. Shows You Should Be Watching

This winter has been insane for the amount of good shows either getting wrapped up or coming out. The following is a list of shows you should either be watching or should keep an eye out for!


Shows finishing up:

  1. Sherlock: Technically it might not be finished, but if you watched the season and were disappointed by the ending as well, it’s pretty much done.
  2. X-Company: I’ve been watching this since it aired on CBC, and so far the beginning of season 3 has been good but slightly devastating.
  3. Orphan Black: The final season isn’t out until June, but after last year’s season I really want to see how it all ends!

Continuing shows:

  1. Sense8: This is coming out in May, but they made a Christmas special which was fantastic. I love this show so much, it’s one of my favourite things Netflix has put out.
  2. The 100: I haven’t started the new season that was released, but here’s hoping it’s good!
  3. Shadowhunters: I started this show since I hoped it would be better than the movie and now I’m just staying for Magnus. It’s such a guilty pleasure show.
  4. Supergirl: I watched this over holidays, haven’t caught up to the current season but it’s such a good show.
  5. Jane the Virgin: Again, haven’t caught up to the current episodes. I love this show since it’s telenovela style, so it’s nice to just watch an episode just to relax.

New shows:

  1. A Series of Unfortunate Events: This show was everything I hoped for one of my favorite childhood book series. It’s not The Littlest Elf, but it’ll do.
  2. The OA: I started watching this out of curiosity, and two days later I finished the season. It’s such a wild ride to go through, and it leaves so many questions at the end.
  3. No Tomorrow: I love the premise to this show, which is what would you do if you knew you only had (x) amount of time left to live? It’s funny, great little show to watch if you need a pick me up.
  4. Iron Fist: Do I need more Marvel shows? Yes, always yes. I’m excited to see how this turns out since they’re almost ready to get all the Defenders together in a show.

I also might check out The Magicians, Riverdale, and Victoria if I have time!

What shows are you guy watching or looking forward to watching? Leave them in the comments!

-Mel.

How To Deal With Being Homesick

As I’m writing this tonight, I’m feeling the usual bout of homesickness that comes with being across the country from my family.

So, I decided to write down a list of things that’ll make you feel less homesick for the people out there going through it. Here goes…

  1. Talk to your family. As simple as it sounds, just chatting with them and catching up helps, since you feel like you’re almost home in a way. Plus they might send you cute hug stickers.
  2. Hang out with your friends on campus, it takes your mind off home. Plus, I have some friends who also get pretty homesick so we support each other.
  3. Go for a walk. Get some coffee, wander around town, walk somewhere as long as you get fresh air. It’ll clear your head.
  4. Get some comfort food. If there’s one food that always reminds you of home or makes you feel better, treat yourself.
  5. Watch your favorite movie or TV show. It also takes your mind off being homesick, and bonus if it makes you laugh. Plus with comfort food, it makes a good night.
  6. If you have a special object from home, grab it. I personally keep a bunch of cards that I’ve gotten from family and I reread them when I’m down.
  7. Go do something! Find a special lecture, event, go to the pub, something that’ll get you out of your room. Again, it keeps your mind from only focusing on home.
  8. Have a dance party! Blast your favourite tunes for a while to cheer you up.
  9. Get creative. Doodle, colour, play music, write, whatever your thing is. Personally, I like combining this with blasting my music.
  10. Do your schoolwork. As weird as it sounds, I’ve sometimes found immersing myself in a project or paper helps.
  11. If all else fails, let yourself feel your emotions, even if it involves crying. It helps release all your feelings, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

I hope these suggestions help any of my readers out there experiencing homesickness, and that you get back to feeling fantastic like the great people you are.

-Mel.

 

Finding Your Voice

I’ve had a blog or journal since I was in elementary school. So, I can say I’ve always had some way to express my own voice, and only recently has it been made more public by things like this blog.

But I haven’t always had the same voice. I doubt I would have even expressed my views on politics and current events a few years ago, but now I’ve started to.

I think part of that is because I’ve realized that the more silent you stay, the more other people take your decisions for you. And that thought terrifies me as someone who values equality between sexes and the liberty to choose who I date, among other things.

So, I have decided of late to use my voice more for expressing what I value, and for those who may not have as much access to express what they value. However, that includes acknowledging the fact that I cannot speak on behalf of groups that have experienced life in another way that I have never been subjected to. Instead, I’m choosing to be an ally to those groups and help support them in the causes that are important to their them.

Not to mention, I think now more than ever the world needs to recognize we are all humans and all deserve to be treated with respect. This is not a time to tear each other down for being different, but a time to embrace those differences to work together for a better future.

So, I hope you all find your voice and use it for the good of humanity.

Peace and love,

Mel.