Projecting the Warning Signs

Seeing as it now is October 1st, I thought that I should take some time to reflect upon my experiences thus far with my new living situation. As an individual who faces daily challenges with even the simplest of physical tasks I thought that adapting to this new lifestyle would take much longer to become accustomed to. However, thanks to the excellent help of the Attendant Services program here at Carleton University as well as friends and family it has essentially seemed seamless.

In spite of this fact though, I still must be wary of early warning signs of exhaustion so that I can be sure to avoid major setbacks such as serious illness as I know I am at a higher risk of coming down with. Thanks to the great tunnels here at Carleton I have managed to avoid any unfortunate weather on my way to and from class. Seeing as it still early in the fall though I have made a point of getting as much fresh air when it has been reasonable for me to do so.

After two weeks of classes, and at the time I was only taking two, I could tell that they both would be too demanding for me to juggle at the same time. This is not to say that I was not enjoying them both but due to the amount of reading and work that they were both requiring of me, I knew that I would be unable to complete all of the assigned tasks to my fullest potential. Following the first completed task of my History of Food and Drink In Early Modern Europe, it was clear that I had not been able to give myself enough time to prepare. I am by no means pleading innocent in this as one of the reasons for this is most likely that I am still learning how best to divide time equally between social time and my studies. Even so, I could tell when I did the workload would be too much.

I therefore had to make a choice between the two classes. While the History of Food and Drink In Early Modern Europe was an interesting class, but I decided to stick with Historiography of Canada Part 1. Despite them both being interesting topics this was an easy choice for me as I am wanting to focus this year on learning what graduate level classes are like.

Thus far, this has been a great decision for me as I have already completed my first major task of the semester by leading the discussion on last week’s readings through analysis and coming up with questions to discuss. I must say it was nerve racking doing this for the first time at this next level of education but wet fantastically well. I found it even easier at this level as students who are studying along with you are wanting to be engaged, so it almost eliminates awkward silences from the audience completely. I would just ask a question and the conversation would naturally flow from there.

Now that that assignment is completed I can go on to do regular readings but also start to slowly on my end of year term paper on defining what post colonialism is. I am planning on approaching it from a compare and contrast perspective so I can hopefully get a better idea of how post colonialist writers differentiate themselves. The other great thing about this decision to drop down to one class is while I am managing my workload I do still have time for some social time.

This is a very important thing as one of the main reasons for me moving out and into residence is so that I can do just that. Up until this point it has worked out great. Firstly, I have been doing more regular social events like getting together for beers at the campus pub with my roommate. But I have been also pushed outside my comfort zone by the people around me like my girl friend and family to do things like navigate OC Transpo on my own and walk (ok roll) home from Lansdowne on my own.

The things that I have done in just the first month on my own have been so exciting! I cannot wait to see what October has in store…

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