Catching up with my Train of Thoughts


August 2015

Kingsman- “If you’re prepared to adapt, you can transform.” (Review) (Spoilers)

Who doesn’t love spy movies? Know anyone with an unusual talent? Ever notice that some street performers can pull the largest of crowds and earn a loud round of applause? Every see someone spray paint a beautiful piece on a sheet within minutes, on the spot? 

There’s something about spy movies that is addicting. Maybe it’s the continuous danger that they find themselves in. Maybe it’s the lengths they go to protecting what they value the most against their oponents. 

In Kingsman, a young man is recruited into a super secret agency to train to be part of the team. Regardless of having a criminal/reckless record, he was recognized for his potential and intelligence in the unusual things. 

In real life, while not every unusual individual is recruited to a top secret agency, unusual people might be recognized for those same values by others who might be in a better position to help out. 

There are plenty of real life examples of individuals being recognized and getting a hand. One of the best examples is school, where some teachers work on team building and finding a way to get everyone involved and for everyone to have fun. Another example are the many programs that work on trying to help the homeless get back on their feet. 

Of course, there’s the simple right-in-your-face example, which are friends. Spending so much time with them, they might be the people who can help with tough times. 

No single life is perfect and no single person is either. There are good days and there are bad, some more than others. That’s not to say that life is completely bad, but that there are obstacles that can be taken down – it’s just a matter of how and with what or who. 



Schools – keeping with traditions and new trends? 

Ever notice that many schools are founded around the 1960s? Ever notice that, even with the newer schools, that the buildings are sometimes “old-looking”? Ever notice that these as hooks would try to renovate the building to “keep up with times,” by renovating the rooms, replacing the technology with the kind that costs hundreds of dollars, with hundreds of buttons? 

Don’t get me wrong, I love school, and I like most of the renovations that schools would do because it seems refreshing, but it can be confusing sometimes. For example, in John Abbott College/CEGEP, they had closed off a section of the second floor of the Herzberg building for several months, maybe a year, to renovate into what looks to be a media department of sorts. Now, it looks amazing and brought back memories of having took Darkroom Photography one time, but then I remember that there was no indication of what they had planned for this area. 

Visiting old friends of staff, I learned that they (the school) had also moved the Security office for the third time, from the office in front of the library to the entrance of Casgrain, which seemed inconvenient. Also, they moved my favourite advisor’s office to the other end of Herzberg. 

Seeing the College with the eyes of someone of whom was a graduate and of whom knew the campus inside out, it made me realize that there was a certain appreciation for the historical value of this place. With the traditional projector, teachers could plug it in and write down any explanation along with equations (while students might laugh at the writing style or simply squint for a better view). With the new Smart Board, it allows the professors for a more interactive approach with their electronic files… Provided they use the right tools (happens a lot). With the traditional classrooms, you could see the history of the desks with all of the signatures and … gum (*shiver*).

In the university, the same thing is happening – some of the buildings are being renovated for a more modern look while some classes are being given the newest and rather expensive technological tools. Since technology is becoming ever more advanced and the setup for schools changing almost every year, not everyone can adapt that quickly. 

When I saw that a portion of the second floor of Herzberg had been shut off, I realized that I had never gone in that area before, so what had been there before? It made me realize that while many of us, if not all of us, try to keep up with the times (in many aspects), we often end up having to sacrifice something in the process, sometimes without realizing. While schools try to keep up with today’s speed, the change can be too fast, causing confusing among everyone and losing a part of the school’s history in the process. 

Movies – an escape from reality, yet an eye-opener

How many movies are watched on a weekly basis? How many seemed to go by so quickly? How many had the audience at the edge of their seats? How many resulted in the reflection in some part of the world?

Movies – around 150 years old – are an escape from the world, lasting anywhere between an hour to three hours. They are in every genre, from Romance to Sci-Fi, from Sci-Fi to Horror, and Horror back to Romance. They cover our past, present and potential future in an attempt to show what our imagination can conjure up in a second.

With the advancement of technology, the effects become evermore realistic, making our sense of reality questionable. There are some movies that seem so unlikely that we wouldn’t worry about it happening in reality while others border on being a real possibility that some would be looking over their shoulder for a while.

Of course, there are also some that are simple in nature, with no advanced effects and tell the story of certain individuals who have lived on this land or maybe who only lived within the pages of a book. While simple, they provide a different angle on life and in a different environment.

Over the past two months, I’ve watched a wide variety of movies, including Mr. Holmes, Terminator: Genisys, Home,The Lorax, Inside Out, Minions – the list goes on! Many were animated, and a few were situated in the most surreal environments while others featured the story of an extraordinary person living an ordinary life.

Some made me laugh, jump out of my skin, and feel sad, but one thing that they did have in common was that they made me think about the world. For Terminator, it reminded me that the world can easy get thrown into chaos very suddenly and that we would be forced to adjust to the sudden and drastic changes. For the Lorax, I was reminded that while we are resourceful, those resources aren’t unlimited. And for Mr. Holmes? I was reminded that, even among the best of us, there comes a time when we should reflect on who are our friends and take a moment to really appreciate them and the times we’ve shared.

Volunteering – simple, yet deep?

Ever hear that volunteering can count for a lot in a resume? Ever see that some people take part in a lot of events in which they are never paid for their commitment? Ever notice that a lot of the volunteer work tend to be simple jobs? If they are so simple, why are volunteer positions so highly praised?

T-shirts for the 2015 Just For Laugh Festival! (Bénévole = Volunteer)
T-shirts for the 2015 Just For Laugh Festival!
(Bénévole = Volunteer)

Having just volunteered for the Just For Laugh Festival 2015 (picture), a few questions popped into mind. Over 600 people were part of this group of volunteer, from near and far (and far could mean as far as the Carolina state, as I quickly learned), with some speaking English, French, both, and possibly a few more. As volunteers, we had various rebates on nearby restaurants as well as the foods being sold on the premises. Over the two weeks, there were various assignments, from the simple job of keeping an eye on technology in MDJ to actually bringing the artists from and to their hotels and the theatres (fan squeal).

So, the questions would be, why would doing something so simple have so much praise in the search of jobs? Why would spending hours doing simple and maybe boring tasks be beneficial for us?

From CAPS (Career And Planning Services in Concordia), I learned that we could use those records to explain that we have had various experiences with such odd tasks, like interacting with hundreds of locals in order to promote the business (a.k.a handing out flyers), as well as being able to fluently speak and interact with artists from close and abroad (Marcus Rays, Matt Barrats and Lyric Lewis – Hope to see you next time!).

I also learned that the people of whom are in charge of the volunteering community can be used for future contacts. That is to say that, for those looking for references, these future contacts could give a good word to potential employers. If anything, maybe if a little bit of luck is included, maybe those contacts would later contact us volunteer to offer us a paid job.

While volunteering may seem to be boring, long and/or simplistic, committing time to such events can put a good impression on potential employers. We volunteers could also use the coordinators’ contact for future references. Moreover, volunteering allows for the chance to meet people of whom might share similar interests while living in different parts of the world.

Managing Time… a never ending challenge

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we’re dying

Kris Allen – Live Like We’re Dying

Ever find that there is never enough time in a day? Or that any plan in writing is thrown out the window, with only half of it completed by the end of the day? Ever find that, regardless of the planning, it seems impossible to strategically and efficiently use the 24 hours (or 16 hours awake) in a day?

Okay, maybe Kris Allen’s song is not exactly in the right context, but I gotta love the song. Anyways, the point is that we all have 24 hours in a day, maybe 8 of which are for sleep, and not everyone knows how to use them properly. Like many, the hours fly by when in a “Flow” State, which consists of a state where the superego is muted (people aren’t obsessed with self-correction). Artists spend days creating music or pieces of art while Athletes spend that same amount of time practicing and perfecting their skills. At the same time, authors (amateur or not) would spend that time writing stories from their heads or reading up on something that they find deeply intriguing.

All of this sounds fascinating, but what the heck does this have to do with managing time?!

Absolutely nothing… except for possible reasons as to why we might lose track of it.

Having attended a few workshops at Concordia, I learned that making a schedule helps… except if you don’t have anything to remind to stick to that schedule. Last semester, I had a detailed schedule, and I mean detailed – down to every 15 minutes, I had a plan of what to do. The problem was that there was nothing to remind me to stick to it. I would put post-its all over – on the computer, my phone, my notebook – did nothing. Those post-its ended up wasted as I got into the flow state at 7 in the evening and realized that it was 10 when I started to yawn.

Now, what to do about it?

Jokingly, I would think to use the Apple Watch to remind me that I have other more important things to do, but we can’t all afford a smartwatch that starts at 450 CAD (which is 520 after taxes in Quebec [math nerd]) (if you have one, I will call you lucky/fortunate).

Realistically, there could be a number of ways to manage time. Cue…. The timer (*dramatically plays the piano* dun dun duuuuun)

With today’s technology being in almost every corner, it’s starting to look like a timer might be a good idea. It’s loud, sudden, quick to move and, if the timer happens to be an iPhone/iPod, it could bring us back to reality. The only problem is that it’s not the best idea to use in the Library, where some librarians don’t let you breathe.

Managing time is something of which is constantly readjusted, especially in school life, no matter the level. If not a timer to scare the living daylights out of you, get creative! Maybe put a bright light source attached to a timer and have it go off at a certain time – once it goes off, you would notice a difference in brightness. In a quiet environment, maybe turn off the vibrations, but leave the earphones plugged in for the timer. By better managing time, stress goes down and… well, life seems a little bit brighter (until the next task, anyways).

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