student life

Sleep Hygiene: Podcast Episode Live!
PFAU 20 panel 2 300x298 Sleep Hygiene: Podcast Episode Live!

We interview Erin Spencer, a registered Occupational Therapist, on sleep hygiene and building routines.

HIGHLIGHTS

Her journey to becoming an occupational therapist

How students can manage stress

Importance of sleep in healing

Tips for sleep hygiene and healthy sleep routine

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To get more help with professional development and writing, book a 20 minute discovery call with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Communication for Second Language Learners: Interview with Catherine Steele

Catherine Steele is a pronunciation coach, accent reduction specialist, and owner of English Pronunciation of Success. We discussed the importance of clear communication in professional and academic environments. For students whose first language is not English, clear communication can be a barrier to getting those great ideas across.

Catherine Steele 300 dpi Communication for Second Language Learners: Interview with Catherine Steele

Catherine Steele has a Bachelor’s of Education and TESOL certificate specializing in Languages, Literature and Linguistics. She has travelled extensively, won speaking and training awards, and provided language support to Canada Immigration Settlement, the University of British Columbia, and over 7000 clients around the world. 

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Why do you think proper pronunciation is so important?

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It has an immediate impact. It doesn’t matter how strong a person’s speaking ability is, their grammar, their vocabulary choices, their education, if the listener doesn’t understand, or even worse if the listener fears I’m going to be giving a presentation for nursing. One of the biggest fears in nursing engineering, accounting, science, is numbers. If I don’t understand the way you express your numbers, I will doubt safety. In English, any change in tone is important. Any change in tone means something’s wrong and is understood as the person being angry and not liking the person that speaking, or the person that was listening. So you have to be very aware of tone.

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What are some words that people often mispronounce?

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Yeah, there are a lot. Focus is dangerous and we use it a lot, it ends up sounding like fuck us and it’s because of our O’s. We have eight different O’s and most languages have maybe one or two. So the letter O in spelling can get you into big trouble. That’s something I would encourage people to look into if they can. L and R and D and TH so most languages don’t have TH. Most people are making an R that sounds to us like a D and that gets in the way hugely.

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How can they practice, for vowel sounds specifically?

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Three affirmations that relate to the 8 different O sounds are:  

“I’ve already proven myself.”   One O sound.

“I’m good at this.”   Another O sound.

“I’m going to be the top person in the world in my field.”  Four other O sounds.

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Catherine’s Book Recommendations

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Pronunciation Pairs by Ann Baker and Sharon Goldstein

Clear Speech by Judy B. Gilbert

Phrase by Phrase by Marsha Chan

The 5 Love Languages is by Dr. Gary Chapman

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Thank you, Catherine, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers! 

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Missed the podcast? Listen here:

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For more advice about professional development and writing, check out our weekly podcast or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

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To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute discovery session with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Careers in the Arts – Social Work: Interview With Janelle Lewis

 Janelle Lewis is a social worker in the Toronto area who has experience working with vulnerable populations. While jobs in the sciences are sometimes considered to be “practical” an arts degree provides skills and opportunities, which can be used for careers that make meaningful differences to the community.

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Over the past two years, Janelle has worked as a Program Resource Worker within the Regent Park community, where she manages intensive cases in supportive housing and provides life skills training and interventions to those experiencing mental health struggles.

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What inspired you to get into social work?

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The first thing would be the area that I grew up in as a child and the second thing would be coming from a working-class family. So, to further elaborate, the area that I grew up in, it was predominantly an area that had a lot more crime than other parts of Toronto and it was home to a lot of working-class, immigrant families. And at the time when I was a child, there was a shortage of social services. So, that definitely made me think about how I could contribute to my community. Just seeing my parents struggle made me think about what I could do for people who are also living in poverty or living in low income, and just seeing how I can make a better impact on them.

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What has been the most meaningful part of your career so far?

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So, currently, where I work in Regent Park, I work with those who experience mental health issues. I would say just hearing a thank you and how I’ve helped them, is honestly the most meaningful part of my career. A lot of my residency experience anxiety and paranoia, and just seeing where they’ve come at the beginning of when we started working together until a few years later and how they’ve developed skills and coping strategies and they’re stabilized and much more independent. As an outreach worker, I work with a lot of people who experience poverty and homelessness. So, for them to share their story about how they got there and the struggles and the struggles that they’re experiencing. It definitely is so meaningful for them to find some sort of comfort or trust to share that story.

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What are some of the challenges of being a social worker ?

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I mean, within the social work profession, it can be a very heavy and emotional job just because we’re experiencing a lot of stressful, traumatic situations. Number one would be taking my work home with me. I’ve gotten a lot better at this where I say okay if I end at five o’clock, that’s it. I’m going to be in the present moment, and I’m going to go home. But sometimes I do hear some very difficult stories. And I’m a very sensitive person. So, after hearing some difficult stuff, or just maybe seeing a crisis that I was assisting with, and going home with that I just sometimes need time to reflect on what happened. The second challenge that I would say is wanting to do more with me that people are experiencing homelessness. I want to do more. I wish I could provide housing, I wish I could spend a little extra more time with my residents who are experiencing isolation. But at the same time, I have to remind myself that sometimes you can only do so much.

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What is the process of becoming qualified as a social worker?

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There are so many different ways of becoming a registered social worker. I attended George Brown College for the Social Service Worker programme, which is a two-year programme. And the reason why I decided to go to George Brown College rather than University is that I wasn’t exactly sure whether social work was the career I wanted to go into. I felt that it was very daunting and scary committing for years and to a degree that I wasn’t exactly sure about and it made me feel better knowing George Brown College that they provide placement for both years. So, once I graduated from George Brown, I transferred to York, and I did a double major. So, I double majored in sociology and social work. If you have your bachelor’s in social work, you can stop there and you’re asked to sign up as a registered social worker, but then sometimes people want to continue their education. So, for me, I’m going back to school for my Master’s in social work.

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Thank you, Janelle, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers! 

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Missed the podcast? Listen here:

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For more advice about professional development and writing, check out our weekly podcast or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

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To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute discovery session with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Careers in the Arts – Social Work: Podcast Episode Live!
Housing 300x300 Careers in the Arts   Social Work: Podcast Episode Live!

We interview Janelle Lewis, a Program Resources Worker in the Regent Park community of Toronto and volunteer with vulnerable populations. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Janelle’s reasons for pursuing social work

Challenges and rewards of being a social worker

The process of becoming a social worker

Attending grad school in the fall

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To get more help with professional development and writing, book a 20 minute discovery call with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Succeeding Professionally as an Introvert: Podcast Episode Live!

IntrovertPfau 1016x1024 Succeeding Professionally as an Introvert: Podcast Episode Live!

We interviewed Faris Khalifeh, a Quiet Confidence Coach on leveraging strengths as an introvert to better succeed professionally.

HIGHLIGHTS

Strengths unique to introverts

Using written communication as an introvert

How personality types influence professional development

How COVID-19 has impacted introverts and small businesses

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To get more help with your assignments, book a 30 minute discovery session with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Webinar Review: Quiet Leadership for Introverts

Last week we attended Faris Khalifeh’s webinar, “Quiet Leadership”, hosted by Alumni UBC

QLeader Webinar Review: Quiet Leadership for Introverts

The webinar focused on how introverts can embrace who they are and leverage their natural strengths. 

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Differences Between Introverts and Extroverts

Introverts tend to need more time to think about a problem and arrive at a solution later, while extroverts are able to think and talk at the same time. In order to make communication between personality types more clear, it is important to take into account different needs. Introverts prefer to be given more information prior to a meeting and benefit from more frequent check-ins, compared to their extroverted counterparts who are more likely to reach out and ask questions.

Extroverts feel more comfortable with impromptu and verbal communication. On the other hand, introverts excel at written communication and require more time to “recharge” between interaction, making back-to-back meetings less viable. One of the most important take-aways was that introversion is related to energy management and not shyness, which is a common misconception. If you are an introvert or are managing introverts, this is something to keep in mind since approximately half the population is introverted.

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Book Recommendations

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Quiet by Susan Cain

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Stay tuned for an upcoming podcast episode with Faris on Saturday!

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For more advice about student life and career development, check out our weekly podcast or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Careers in the Arts – Teaching: Interview with Andreia Florea

We interviewed Andreia Florea, a grade 1/2 teacher on finding a career in the arts as a recent graduate. We thought it would be helpful for students to hear about potential careers available to Bachelor of Arts graduates.

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Andreia is a grade 1/2 teacher, with 15 years of experience, 8 of which as a Special Education Teacher and school librarian. After working in the corporate world for 5 years, as a programmer, and then, consultant, she transitioned into teaching.

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What do you think was the biggest difference you found between working in the corporate world and becoming a teacher?

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In the corporate world there’s a lot more flexibility working from home, although funnily enough, we’re all working from home now because of the pandemic. With teaching, you have to have people skills because obviously, you need to have a passion and to connect with the kids. I think empathy is also a huge part. You’re modelling behaviour and I have to be super careful with what comes out of my mouth and because I’m influencing them.

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What kind of transferable skills do you think students gain from a B.A.?

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So many people kind of knock the arts degrees, which I actually don’t agree with at all, because I think they teach critical thinking skills. I always say my degree taught me to think because you’re reading so many different perspectives. That helped me in my life when I was doing my consulting job and then it helped me in teaching.

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What kinds of qualities make for a good teacher?

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The number one thing is you have to want to be a teacher. I find any kind of personality can be a teacher. I think you need a lot of patience just to deal with different learning styles and individual characters and such. You also need to be able to be flexible. In the classroom, you might plan a lesson and realize these kids aren’t even understanding what you’re saying. So you have to figure out a better way for them to learn it.

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Do you have any advice for current students who want to pursue teaching?

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I think a good way to actually dip your toe in would be to volunteer in a school. You’re networking, you’re making connections. So then, once you finish school, the principal or other teachers will remember you. You have to stay connected to the world even before you’re in it. Start to learn about it before you get there. Beyond the volunteering, read the newspaper, see what’s going on. There’s a lot of teachers on Twitter. Don’t be afraid to reach out, even to me for instance.

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Thank you, Andreia, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers! 

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Missed the episode? Listen here:

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For more advice about arts careers and student life, check out our weekly podcast or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Careers in the Arts – Teaching: Podcast Episode Live!

PFAU 16 panel 4 2 300x300 Careers in the Arts   Teaching: Podcast Episode Live!

We discuss finding a career in the arts as a recent graduate with Andreia Florea, a grade 1/2 teacher, with 15 years of teaching experience.

HIGHLIGHTS

Differences between a corporate and teaching career

Transferable skills students gain from a B.A.

Rewards and challenges of being a teacher

Advice for students interested in teaching

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To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute consultation with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Health and Academic Performance: Interview with Dr. Kevin Preston

We interviewed Dr. Kevin Preston on the connection between health and academic performance. We thought this topic would be helpful as a lot of people are struggling with being stuck inside due to COVID-19, a situation that can be taxing on mental, as well as physical health.

%name Health and Academic Performance: Interview with Dr. Kevin Preston

Dr. Kevin Preston is a Chinese Medicine Doctor who lives for creating health and vitality in others. He has been in practice for over a decade at his wellness clinic in Vernon, BC in which wellness is created through a multifaceted approach that balances the mind, body, and spirit. 

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Can you tell us about how meditation benefits one’s health, especially during COVID-19?

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Meditation often gets overlooked. Guided meditations can be really helpful. They give you a direction for the mind to follow. It’s a great place to begin until you get a little bit more practice and you add another minute, and then another and pretty soon you have a deeper focus. I do breath coaching in my practice. You can see when somebody walks in that they haven’t really breathed deeply that day or in months or maybe even years. Their whole system is so tense. You can imagine as a student if you’re not breathing deeply, because of the stress, you’re actually decreasing the amount of oxygen through your body.

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What are some lessons that students can borrow from Chinese medicine to create a more healing space?

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I spent quite a few years in school and there are times where you’re working and going to school and feels like you’re barely treading water. It’s taken all the energy you have to keep up. Those are the moments ironically, that you really need good health practices. Something that’s always been really healing for me is spending a lot of time in the outdoors. Mastering the energy in your body by practising meditation and proper breathing is something students can do cheaply or for free.

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What are your thoughts on how the current school environment interferes with students reaching optimal health?

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In that age bracket, I see this outside of the student population too, everybody’s so taxed and under a lot of strain. People take like less time off now than they used. I think that’s where a lot of anxiety comes from, and especially things like panic or foggy brain. So especially in academics, we’re asked to have our minds and our brains perform really well. I think it’s because we’re just straining our systems a lot and not necessarily supporting them enough.

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What are the first steps that someone could take on their wellness journey?

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Nutrition and hydration are the most important things. The right amount of water varies for each person. I juice and eat lots of green vegetables. Investing in nutrition upfront can prevent costs that come with future illness. Other than meditation and breathwork, Epsom or Himalayan salt foot soaks can be used for relaxation. Cold showers can help relax the nervous system too. Start with the last 30 seconds of your shower and gradually increase the time.

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Thank you, Kevin, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers!

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Missed the episode? Listen here:

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For more advice about the application process, check out our weekly podcast or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely. 

Health and Academic Performance: Podcast Episode Live!
PFAU 19 final Dec 18 1 1024x205 Health and Academic Performance: Podcast Episode Live!

We discuss the connection between health and academic performance with Dr. Kevin Preston, a Chinese medicine doctor and holistic wellness expert.

HIGHLIGHTS

Benefits of meditation during COVID-19

Practical health advice for students

Lessons from Chinese medicine

How the school environment affects health

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To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute consultation with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written and visual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau, Patricia Huang and Lisa Meng. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.