Hey everyone! Course selection for Winter 2014 is upon us (for the second time, actually). I strongly encourage everyone to participate in course selection. It helps to ensure you’ll have a seat in the classes you want to take (in case it fills up quickly during enrolment), it increases your chances of being able to take the classes you want without scheduling conflicts, and it also shows the department that there is an interest in the course. That being said, I thought I’d say a few things about the upcoming Winter 2014 courses for Medievalists.

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—Shawn

It’s that time of year again: a new school year is upon us! I’d like to both welcome new students to UW but also welcome back returning students. I hope your first day of lectures is a good one! The start of a school year always brings many changes and this year it’s brought a big change you’ve no doubt already noticed: Labyrinth has undergone a massive redesign.

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—Shawn

Recently Jim wrote a post about his top three video games, which is a funny coincidence since I also wanted to make a post about video games, or rather one game in particular, since an important update is coming soon. A fantastic game that I cannot recommend enough is Crusader Kings II. I want to talk a bit about what CKII is and why it’s awesome before I explain why May 28 is an important date. Continue reading

—Shawn

It’s not the end of Labyrinth, but it’s the end of my time here. Since July 2012, I’ve been writing two posts a week on student life, stress, education, news, video games, and the occasional song. But it’s time to move on. Other projects are calling, and as I venture further out into the working world I get father and farther from my student roots. The faces are less familiar, and the courses are dimmer and dimmer in my memory. I’ll be at Kalamazoo this year, so you’ll see me around shooting videos, listening to lectures, and probably playing pianos. But now, since it’s my last day, I get to write whatever I want!

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Second last post here on Labyrinth, and I thought “Man, I’ve already wrapped up the theme for this term, and finals are mostly over, so stress is hopefully subsiding. What am I going to write about?” So I thought I’d write about one of my favourite things to do after finals. Namely, videogames.  But in keeping with the theme, here are my top 3 favourite medieval or classical themed videogames to unwind with after finals. Conquer civilizations, care for your people, or fight steel to steel, it’s all here. Not depicted here are fantasy games, which you can tell apart from historical ones by the presence of unicorns.

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CMS

This is something that student executives only do once or twice a year, but it’s the kind of thing that needs to be done right. Submitting to the Arts Endowment Fund or the Arts Student Union isn’t the same as the submissions you might be sending to SSHRC or OGS if you’re grad school bound, but there are a lot of similarities. Today I’m going to offer some brief tips on grant writing to help you along.

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Intersection? Themeception? Call it what you like. Today I expose the ulterior motive of my final run on Labyrinth, our focus on stress management and student involvement is one of the same. Let me put it simply. Getting involved will help relieve your stress. Not, “Will possibly help,” but “Will definitely help.” Today I’m going to convince you of the truth of this statement.
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This will be my last exam period writing for Labyrinth, as I finish up at the end of April and hand the reins to Shawn Dickinson, a programmer and Medievalist of no small promise, and generally cool guy. We’ve been talking a lot about student involvement here, and I wanted to get back to stress, because well, ’tis the season. Today I want to share with you my best exam studying and stress management tips, drawn from six years of studying for history and language exams, not to mention a particularly stressful three weeks of studying for my GED. I’m going to go through these pretty fast, so hold on.

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CMS

Today’s post is just a list of ideas for events that you could run if you were a student executive. I can’t stress enough that not all of these are my ideas. Some of these are events past execs have done, events I’ve heard about, read about, or which emerged from the dark dreaming of ancient gods.  And they’re all pretty well mixed together. In no particular order, you could…

  • Start a lecture series. Book a room and find a professor to give a talk once a month, on anything. Classics, medieval studies, economics, look up professors that have spoken at TEDxUW, or that you’ve had who have been good speakers. All they can do is say no, and out of 1200 faculty members, odds are that you can find someone to come and speak. Make it a brown bag lunch event, and you don’t even have to provide snacks. 
  • Feed a Classicist. Have students (and professors) draw names from a hat and make lunch for each other once a month, at a little party in the lounge or a larger room. Be conscious of food allergies, but take it as an opportunity to introduce students who might never have met, and get them talking.
  • CMS Conquers the World. Go to museums, art galleries, or community events, and set objectives. For a history focus, go to the ROM and have people “conquer it” by taking pictures with certain exhibits. For professional development, make a list of networking events in the area and have people submit pictures of themselves with a new connection they’ve just made. If people are going to conferences, get them to bring back pictures of them with lecturers. Not only is this a lot of fun, but it creates a great photo archive.
  • Life of Diogenes. Volunteer for 5 Days for the Homeless, or go and work with local shelters, and help the homeless and at risk in your community. Places like Out of the Cold are always happy for volunteers, and it’s an incredible experience.
  • Workshop Life. There are dozens of workshops available on campus, and dozens more people looking to set them up. Organize students to go to to development workshops, or work with the Office of Organizational and Human Development or the Centre for Career Action and start your own! Maybe one for looking for non-academic jobs with a Classics degree, or perhaps one on research paper time management.
  • Do traditional things. Get a projector and have a movie night, do a pub night or an end of term dinner. Go to trivia night at the Bomber (I loved to involve the other societies in this by announcing at ASU meetings that we would be there and that they should stay away in order to preserve their dignity). Get together after classes and play board games!
  • One of the really successful holiday things we did was to adopt a family. It’s a wonderful thing to do for someone, and we each gave a little so they could have a Christmas.

These are just some of the things you could do as a student executive. Leave your event ideas or preferences in the comments!

So I’m buried in meetings, which is inhibiting my ability to finish the event planning post. In lieu of that, here’s a live version of my Archaeology Song (I am terrible at naming things) at the KW Poetry Slam finals last week. Let me know what you think!