January 29, 2015

U of A Round Dance: Sharing Traditions and Celebrating Community

You may have heard about the Annual U of A Round Dance, but do you know the traditions behind it? Shana Dion, Director of the U of A Aboriginal Student Services Centre, shares with us the history of the Round Dance and some of the experiences you can expect to have.

For many students at the University of Alberta, the Round Dance is an event they look forward to every year. Some students, however, have never heard of the Round Dance - and that’s okay! At the Aboriginal Student Services Centre, we hope to share with everyone in the U of A community a long standing tradition within First Nations’ culture.

January 19, 2015

Strategies for University Reading

Sharon Stearns, Student Learning Advisor at the University of Alberta Student Success Centre, shares her strategies for tackling your assigned readings this semester. 

The beginning of the new term is the perfect time to re-evaluate your approach to reading assignments. Most university reading is found in non-fiction textbooks, whose style may be clear and straightforward yet less than engaging. Thus, you have to develop a reading system that enables you to emerge from a text with a solid grasp of its content, no matter how dense. It is important to accept that reading non-fiction requires a fundamentally different approach than reading the latest, greatest novel. In general, you should consider a single reading assignment as being comprised of distinct stages and driven by specific strategies.

January 12, 2015

'This is not a tip sheet': Why reading about writing can only get you so far

Tip sheets are an excellent resource, but they can only help you so much in writing. U of A Student Success Centre's Rob Desjardins, Graduate Writing Advisor, explains. 

Eighty-five years ago, the Belgian surrealist RenĂ© Magritte painted his most famous canvas. It features a tobacco pipe floating over the handwritten caption “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (“This is not a pipe”). Magritte’s point was clear: images, however realistic, can never bring us to the fullness of reality.