Essay Writing 101

I’ll keep this short and to the point, because that’s what you want. Whether you started your paper a week before the deadline or the night before, you have a giant pile of books to read. Even a second year paper will likely require ten or more sources, which can be pretty daunting when you get those books stacked up next to your desk. Today you’ll learn a process to make that a lot easier, and help you research more efficiently. This doesn’t replace reading the books or articles, but it’s a good way to sort which ones are beneficial for you. I’ll go through it step by step.  Continue reading

Salvete et χαιρετε!

My name is Kyle and I am one of three Student Consuls of the Classical and Medieval Society. We recently held our first ever CMS Bonfire event, and I’d love to share with you its success!

The University has three fire pits that students may use, though most departments unfortunately do not even think of using them – Generally, it is the larger student societies such as the Women’s Centre and the GLOW Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity (both run by FEDs) that will hold bonfire events. This year, however, I wanted to change this. So, I brought the idea to the table, and with Jocelyn’s spectacular help in organizing it, we held our first-ever CMS Bonfire!

Despite the rain hampering our spirits during the day, by the time evening rolled around, the weather was perfect– not a drop of rain was falling. Jocelyn brought perfect kindling wood, so the fire was able to start sine mora (without delay). Now, this wasn’t a simple bonfire – Not only did we have marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate, but Trevor also brought his fiddle and played a number of pieces for us!

According to the students who attended, it was a great event and is something that people would want to see again in the CMS Agenda, so watch out future Classicists and Medievalists for our second CMS Bonfire event in the future!

Valete και χαιρετε!

Kyle Campbell is a senior student in Classical Studies and Biomedical Sciences, and serves as an executive in the Classical and Medieval Studies Student Society. Recently he returned from a four month placement at Canadian Institute in Greece, where he assisted top researchers in the field of Greek History and archaeology. 

Essay Writing 101

First, congratulations to our classics students who convocated on Saturday, especially to the MA students. I know you’re all going on to great things, and I hope to see you at the Wine and Cheese on Thursday at 5:30, where we’ll also see the release of the first issue of Tiresias, the student run undergraduate journal. Anyway, on to the actual lesson.

You wrote essays in high school, I’m sure. Five paragraphs, with the hamburger model. Introduction, conclusion, three paragraphs supporting your thesis sentence. You can do this, and it’ll net you an okay mark. Or you can abandon it, and start working toward an awesome mark, while making your life, and your professor’s life, easier. Or at least better. Today I’m going to go over some better strategies for paper writing that you can replace that model with, and some crucial paragraphs your high school teachers never told you about that, if you include them, will make your paper better and boost your marks.

Continue reading

So last night we had a bonfire thing. I wasn’t there, but I heard it went great. Instead, yesterday I had a lot of meetings about community development and the future of Labyrinth, and things are looking pretty awesome. But, it meant that I didn’t write a Newsreel post today. Now, normally what I do when that happens is dive into my collection of classics news and dig for some cool archaeology. But I didn’t feel like it. That’s right, you heard me. Sometimes I just don’t feel like it.

But I didn’t want to leave you with nothing, either. That’d be cruel, and betray everything I talked about yesterday. So instead, I wrote a song, and here’s the first cut. Apologies for crappy webcam mic.  Continue reading

Frustrated woman

Essay Writing 101

It’s the middle of term, and you’re probably entering what I like to call “Essay Hell”. Papers are starting to come due, and you should have been writing them before, but you had other work. I know how it is. With that in mind, Labyrinth will feature a number of posts about essay writing and research strategies that will help you survive and thrive in Essay Hell, and aren’t necessarily dependent on starting your essay the day after it’s assigned. Although that is a pretty good idea. Today’s post is an overview, but check back every Tuesday to learn how not just to get your paper in on time, but do well.  Continue reading

A few readers have asked me where I find the news for our Newsreel posts, which to me is an opportunity to write a post about it. i follow a lot of news sites and blogs, which I link to with every article, but I also follow a lot of classicists and medievalists on Twitter, which you can see just to the left. As it turns out, not all faculties and scholars live in the 12th century, and a large number of them like to share current events in the field on Twitter (as well as pictures of their lunch). I thought I’d share some of the more awesome classics resources that I’ve found on social media.  Continue reading

We haven’t found any, but that would be pretty cool. It’s a common trope in media though, that alien cultures leave their ruins abandoned. In Star Trek, Stargate, Star Wars, and even the Mass Effect series, characters explore ruins on planets where the native culture still lives, and even thrives. But the ruins are abandoned. No one has been there in years, they all say. Can it truly be that humans are the only species in the galaxy who enjoy an incessant curiosity about their past? Continue reading


Our fascination with the ancient world leads us to try to reconstruct it, whether that’s archaeologists dressing a bison with stone tools, or making tv shows like Rome. We want to see what it was like, and get a glimpse of what it might have been like for the people who lived then. We use our discoveries to fuel those reconstructions, though sometimes they disappoint us, and other times they surprise us. For today’s Newsreel, I found two stories where we’ve brought bits of the ancient world to life in a couple of strange ways. First, archaeologists have recently reconstructed an ancient Greek computer that was found at the bottom of the sea. Then, you’ll read about the world’s foremost expert in classical and medieval beers. Santayana said that history repeats, but I doubt this is what he had in mind.  Continue reading

Salvete/χαιρετε fellow students!

Welcome to a new year of CMS events! Our first event, Meet-The-Prof night, is a tradition within CMS where the students and professors in the Classical Studies and Medieval Studies Departments come out to socialize and get to know one another better. It’s a great way to get to know your fellow students, professors, and get involved in CMS events! This year’s Meet-The-Profs was slightly different, as we held the event at McGinnis’ Front Row due to the Grad House’s new rules to implement fees for room rental. In order to maximize our budget for the best student enjoyment, McGinnis was our best bet – and it certainly was a good choice! With various appetizers – from nachos to garlic bread, it was a success! The event was held immediately after an informative lecture by Dr. Kroeker – Should Xenophon really be considered a Historian? There is much in his own writings that could indeed make it seem otherwise (and for students who have studied some Greek, the text that was analyzed in the lecture was also quite understandable!).

In terms of upcoming events, keep an eye out for some awesome October functions to come! These include CMS’s first ever bonfire, a Hallowe’en potluck, and of course some casual pub nights to let off some steam from all that studying!

We hope to see you all there!


~ Kyle, Jocelyn, and Sydney, consuls