more academics.

December 31, 2006

i still haven’t received any of my marks from ubc. i’m a bit concerned, but there’s really nothing that i can do until i go away. i figure i did pretty well, especially considering my past record at ubc. my only regret this term (academically-speaking) is not asking for an extension on my english paper.

i’m starting to think of where to apply for grad schools. so far, i think i’m moreso leaning towards doing a m.a. or a m.plan. (or whatever is offered) over a in planning (i’m more interested in the social science side of things than being a glorified accountant). i’ve found a few schools with planning and urban studies programs that i would care to attend:

  • dalhousie
  • mcgill
  • simon fraser
  • ubc
  • toronto
  • montreal
  • uqam
  • manitoba
  • uc berkeley
  • ucla (yes. i know.)
  • hunter college @ cuny
  • lse

right now, money is a factor, so the three american schools are likely not going to happen. another is marks, but seriously, i’m not too concerned about them right now. they’re better than they’ve ever been and i don’t expect them to drop any time soon.

living in halifax or winnipeg would be neat, but i don’t know if i would feel the same way after six months. they’re both fairly small; my cousin harvey lived there for a while (he had a posting with canwest). i remember him saying, in his delightful dry manner, that between the heat, the mosquitos, the cold and the small-town mentality, he’d love to entertain guests but would naturally understand if they decided to stay away. in all seriousness, however, winnipeg appeals to me more than calgary or edmonton (sorry, brendan). i’m not sure why this is; maybe because it was the gateway to the west, or because it still manages to call itself the capital of the prairies in spite of it’s stagnant population.

the states would be a cool place to visit. expensive, but cool. berkeley would be neat; i think that living in california is secretly the dream of the inner kid in everyone. ucla would be neat too, although the thought of actually living in los angeles fills me with provocative disgust. of course, it should be noted that the fact that ucla has an urban planning program at all is filled with delicious irony. either that, or it’s a sign that i should stay well away. hunter would be ultra cool: located in manhattan’s upper east side, lexington avenue, the legendary subway running trains below the pavement. how fucking fantastic.

however, there are a lot of turn-offs about the states. i can’t get married (not that i would want to), public transit would suck in los angeles, my tax dollars would be funding a whole lot of things i do not support (though, by that point, the americans would likely be out of iraq and bush will have left office), i’d be in a foreign city with no connection to anyone at all; astoundingly, i might just feel culturally-isolated in the land of the free.

montreal and toronto are fine cities; i’m very fond of both of them for very different reasons. i would be very hard-pressed to pick one to call home; i’d probably choose toronto, simply due to its added familiarity and a small social network already in place. montreal is a very polarizing place. it’s easy to both love (mordechai richler) and hate (preston manning). toronto does this too, but to a much lesser degree: the riches there seem to keep the dissent quiet.

finding a new home is a hard thing. vancouver will always be my home; i will always have fond feelings toward this city. it’s just a little immature right now. when a sense of self-enlightenment and city pride hits this town, i’ll be back. mark my words.

here’s something interesting:

Barron’s Names Hunter “Best Buy” in College Education

Hunter College has been listed in the new edition of Barron’s “Best Buys in College Education” – the only CUNY school to receive such recognition.

In recommending Hunter as one of a select group of colleges where it says the education dollar goes further, Barron’s praised it as a dynamic “working class college, with an energy that makes the campus sizzle.”

now, i know that it’s hardly a secret that money is a big part of education, but seriously. calling a school a “best buy” is genuinely degrading to the academic community. call me old fashioned, but i don’t care for a costco education.

sigh. i guess it’s like maclean’s. once you could trust their university guide like the immaculate word of god. now, well, i guess it’s up to us gumshoes to do our own research.

then again, if someone cares to do all their research by leafing through a magazine, i suppose they’ll not get too far in school without a shakeup.


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