Violence Close to Home

Over the last few years, I think many Canadians have developed a habit of pointing south of the border and shaking their heads at the insanely common occurrence of gun violence in the USA, but what do we say when it turns out we’re not as immune to gun violence as we thought we were?…

The Heart of Teaching

Imagine that your spouse comes home late from work one evening carrying a large shopping bag in each hand. Sitting in the kitchen, you peer at the bags and notice they’re full of disposable napkins. You take another bite of your dinner as your mind tries to run through a few plausible scenarios in which…

Art of Decluttering: Photograph it then Purge

In anticipation of my move abroad, I’ve been clearing out items from my bedroom to make the transition out of my parents’ home easier. I don’t plan to move back in with my parents after this two-year contract in Vietnam, so it’s important that my items are few and easy to pack. I’ve always been…

A Letter to My Future Self

In the midst of spring cleaning my home, I found some cards and letters from old friends and admirers. It hit me with a wave of nostalgia to read these letters from the past. I had kept them because I felt compelled to remember positive moments from my past, but ironically I’m not the person…

Birthdays and Death Days

I’ve always thought birthdays are a bit strange. Why celebrate the child on a birthday when really we should be celebrating the mother? It’s no easy feat for a woman to carry a child within her uterus for nine months. She must execute extreme care about her diet and her drinking/smoking/exercise habits, all while dealing with…

The Mystery of Sleep

Many people suffer from sleep problems—sleep apnea, sleep irregularity, narcolepsy—but within primary literature (science from the source), there’s a lot of confusion and disagreement when scientists are asked: “what is sleep?” The question of why we sleep is of big debate among sleep researchers. We know there are cycles in our sleep and that it’s a…

Strangers in the crowd

I used to feel so alone in the city. All those gazillions of people and then me, on the outside. Because how do you meet a new person? I was very stumped by this for many years. And then I realized, you just say “Hi.” They may ignore you. Or you may marry them. And…

Japanese citizens didn’t loot after disaster struck in 2011

During times of disaster, many people suffer from a severe case of individualism, a condition defined by a lack of concern and/or empathy towards other people in situations where one cannot be benefitted. This often results in theft and chaos as people scramble to obtain scarce resources. I bring up this overgeneralized definition of individualism because…

Why I will (hopefully) have a successful career

A few years ago, I attended an inspiring lecture by Larry Smith, an economics professor at the University of Waterloo. During that lecture, Dr. Smigh told a room of 100 hundred undergraduate students, including myself, why we would will fail to have a great career. He then told us how to fix it. I mean…