MICHI HUNTER “What is environmental education?” WWOOFING
Sunshine Coast, BC / 4th year Faculty Advisor: Marjorie Wonham
MAKING CONNECTIONS THE PLACEMENT I spent my experiential learning block at The most valuable part of my EL experience an organic/biodynamic/almost entirely was meeting other like-minded, inspiring, and motivated people who were passionate self-sufficient farm just outside of about sustainable living and sharing their Wellington, NZ, and then a sustainable living festival on the south island, called knowledge with others. Luminate. I found the farm through the WHAT I LEARNED orgnaization “Worldwide Opportunities I was surprised by the different motivations on Organic Farms”. WWOOF is a network behind living sustainably. The farm I worked of national organizations that facilitate at was motivated by the idea of doing placement of volunteers on organic farms. everything themselves, traditionally, and A DAY IN THE LIFE saving money. Other farms I have worked at At the farm, we woke up around 8, had (not for EL) were motivated for breakfast, then went out to weed, plant, environmental reasons. They often had put up blueberry netting, mulch, harvest similar outcomes, but I learned that the first honey, etc. on the farm for about 4 hours. mindset can lead to doing extravagant We learned how to milk a cow, make things, like having your own cow and having yogurt, cheese, and butter, and look after to processing that milk, where sharing a cow pigs, cows, sheep, and chickens. We would may make more sense, or having your own break for lunch (we made all of our meals wind turbine and having to maintain it by with eggs, meat, dairy, and vegetables yourself, versus sharing a larger wind turbine from the farm and bread or muesli that with your neighbours so everyone works less. we baked ourselves) and work again for a I came to realize how important community few hours if we had more work to do and is to truly sustainable living. it wasn't too hot.
“How do we communicate across different cultures?”
VANCOUVER INTER-CULTURAL ORCHESTRA Tangshan, China / Graduated in 2013 Faculty Advisor: Laurel Parsons
THE PLACEMENT I spent one block at the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VI-CO). My tutor referred me to the oganization.
CONTINUED WORK WITH VI-CO I’m currently working on the VI-CO music scores catalogue for future uses in publication and educational outreach. Since there are very few inter-cultural orchestras and the music concept is truly groundbreaking, VI-CO composers and musicians must create all original pieces. VI-CO hopes that this catalogue will act as research resource and make performance material accessible so that others will be inspired to engage in bridging cultures through music.
A DAY IN THE LIFE A majority of my time was put into learning about the organization, especially during the first few days. I wrote journal entries and did academic reading almost daily. I read as many materials online as possible in addition to talking to musicians and directors. My job was very event oriented. Before concerts, I canvassed many community ADVICE centers, radio stations, and TV stations Communicate with your academic and to advertise and book interviews. I also on-site supervisors often so that you know the EL is balanced with your practical and updated and reorganized the VI-CO academic work. Continuously reflect on your website, translated materials, and experience in relation to your Question.This attended rehearsals so that we could can help you get the most out of your EL prepare for the concert. On the day of because there is always more than what you concert, all staff worked from morning can learn in one or a few blocks. Then, network, network, network, network! to midnight both on and off stage. Networking is so important!
BRAD KLEES “What is poverty and how can it be reduced?” GLOBAL AID
Bellingham, WA / Graduated 2013 Faculty Advisor: Mai Yasue
THE PLACEMENT While studying abroad in Bangladesh I volunteered with Islamic Relief (IR), a huge global aid organization that has offices in most Asian and Middle Eastern countries. I travelled to the rural northern part of the country and wrote a relatively short article for them about a village that is constantly threatened by monsoon floods, and what the organization is doing to help them become more prepared and resilient.
THE HARDEST PART The most challenging part for me was working with an interpreter – I always felt like I was just getting a small bit of the whole story being told.
A DAY IN THE LIFE I spent most of my days in the field, walking from home to home and interviewing village residents about their experience with the floods and the programs that IR was implementing (all through an interpreter). I also tailed the other IR development officers to get a sense of their daily work and interactions with the residents, and took lots of pictures that IR ended up using in promotional material.
ADVICE If you are going abroad for another reason beside EL (language, exchange) and also want to do EL, don’t be afraid to figure things out when you are on the ground – who knows what might present itself.
MOST REWARDING The most rewarding part of my experience was producing an interesting article and feeling useful. It was also great to meet so many locals who were very curious about what a Canadian fellow was doing in the boonies of Bangladesh.
Calgary, AB / 4th year Advisors: Ryan Derby-Talbot, Megan Bulloch
“What shapes a body?”
THE PLACEMENT I spent a block at a private school in Calgary collecting data about fitness levels and nutrition in school-aged children. I’m interested in childhood obesity and since kids spend most of their time at school, I decided this would be a good place to look.
WHAT I LEARNED I got some invaluable experience with a subject that I will likely be working with later. I discovered what I like and don’t like about data collection, working with kids, and working with a third party that is also expecting something from your research. NETWORKING One great thing about working with academics and teachers is that they have tons of contacts for grad schools and future research opportunities.
A DAY IN THE LIFE In the morning I would meet with administration and go over any new developments. Then I would spend the rest of the day (until about 3:30) doing ADVICE fitness testing or surveying students. I would recommend that you find an EL During testing breaks I would tabluate experience that will give you a head start data and write up results. on your Keystone. Working with a school or similar institution is a really good idea, THE HARDEST PART I didn’t anticipate how much work there as well; you receive tons of support and would actually be, as silly as that sounds. advice and it makes the process go a Fitness testing takes a lot of time and it whole lot smoother. If I were to do my EL again, I would plan it further in advance! takes a ton of determination to stay There were so many things I didn’t committed and finish what you account for and I had to scramble pretty started–even when you don’t want to. hard.