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December 2012


Totem Times

Totem Park’s monthly magazine

Season’s Greetings Also in this edition: Letters from your RLMs. P2 Trad vs Suite Style P3 Skiing. P4 Survive Procrastination. P6 The Joy of Reading. P8 The Noble Art of Fencing. P10 1st Year Perspective. P11 Vancouver over holidays. P12

Photographer’s cornerP14 Elections 2012. P16 Holidays from the world. P17 Commitee updates. P18 Genetic engeneering. P20 Exams and Nutrition. P22 Totem Times Fun. P24 Stress less for Exams. P26

Read online at

Letters from your RLMs Totem park North RLM (Dene, Nootka, Kwakiutl and Shuswap Houses) As we enter into December the air is a little more brisk and the atmosphere a little more festive. The month brings a lot of stress with the beginning of final exams but can also be a very relaxing time as well. You have all been able to make it through midterms now so at the very least you should have a better idea of what to expect during finals. This time around, however, you won’t have classes to balance with your studying. Your pure focus can be on each individual final exam. Of course exam scheduling does not work out to everyone’s benefit, but creating a study plan early on and sticking to it will be a key to your success! Before you know it you will be filling in the last bubble on your scrantron card for your last exam and feeling so great that you’ve made it through the first four months at UBC. Congratulations on making it this far already! Time has flown by. Be sure to enjoy your time off. Take time to catch up with friends and family, share some of the memories you have already made, new friends you have met and challenges you have faced. Rest, reflect and energize yourself because before you know it you will be back in Totem and starting it all over again! Thanks for a great semester. Kyle Lethbridge

Totem park South RLM (Haida, Salish, hmsm and qlxn Houses) Welcome to December, Totem! This truly is one of my favourite months of the year. Starbucks has become a winter wonderland, Gingerbread lattes have returned to the world, and winter break is just around the corner – bringing friends, family, and delicious holiday treats.The arrival of December also means that many of us are just a few finals away from successfully completing our first term at university. Congratulations! It is hard to believe this term is coming to an end. As you may have noticed, life at University never seems to slow down and there are always numerous priorities competing for our attention. Before this racing clock moves ahead to Term 2, I encourage you to take a breath and remember everything you have accomplished so far. As my good friend Kierkegaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Take some time to understand everything you’ve experienced so far, and let that understanding influence your next step forward. So, enjoy December while it’s here! Study hard, pass your finals, say goodbye to friends, travel, celebrate the holidays, and eat good food. Then come back and be excited. Term 2 has the potential to be even better than the first. Kait Hazzard


Trad vs Suite style by Eden Imbeau, proud Blowfish since 2009 So you've lived for a term in Totem! Now, for second year, what housing is right for you? UBC offers a variety of on campus residence ranging from trad style housing in Totem Park and Place Vanier, to a range of suite style housing including the towers of Walter Gage and the yearround availability of Fairview's townhouses. I have had the privilege of being a resident and a residence advisor in both Totem Park and Walter Gage. I started my housing experience as a Blowfish on Salish third and have returned to these same halls as an Advisor for my fourth year. In the time in between, I've lived in Gage, with the chance to experience what the 2nd floor was like as a resident and what the 16th floor was like as an RA. Why did I choose to live in residence and to become an Advisor? Simple! I love being a part of the UBC community and think that living on campus with other students is the perfect way to stay involved. Other perks of living on campus: I'm able to walk fifteen minutes and be in my seat for class, I'm able to meet and live with amazing people from all over the world, being able to identify yourself to a floor connects you to others through house pride - and I get sick from riding the bus. While I love living in residence, there are also perks for living off campus: to be able to separate school time from home time, to be able to live in a house with all your first year friends - you are able to brew your own beer. Living in residence with people from around the world has expanded my taste palette as it has given me the chance to cook my favourite foods for my roommates and them for me. Potluck socials in Gage are always interesting as an array of food is brought to share. Living in residence in second year improved my grades as I learned how to better manage my time because my core group of friends lived on Blanca in the "Nine Person House". Being able separate my study and sleep time from socializing time allowed me to concentrate better and enjoy my studies as the two didn't interfere with each other. Think through your reasons for where you want to live next year because your housing will greatly shape your overall experience at university. Just because your friends want to live off campus or on campus doesn't mean that you should. Living off campus is an option and one that is preferred by many. However, many students end up off campus due to missing the deadline for the housing lottery draw. Apply to the housing lottery in second term for your chance to continue living on campus!



Mount Seymour  Easily accessible by car or $12 round-trip shuttle bus from Londsdale Quay  200 acres of downhill ski and snowboard terrain  39 trails plus many acres of off-piste terrain  Student All Day Pass: $44  Student Afternoon Pass: $34

Grouse Mountain  15 minutes from downtown Vancouver  The public transit system offers regular service to and from the base of Grouse Mountain every half hour. Catch Bus 232 Phibbs Exchange or Bus 236 - Lonsdale Quay  26 ski and snowboard runs, 14 night runs, 4 chairlifts, 2 terrain parks plus the Cut Jump Line  Beginning of Season Lift: $39.95  Full Day Lift: $58  Night Lift: $48

Whistler Blackcomb  125 km North of Vancouver  With 8,171 acres with over 200 trails, Whistler is definitely a UBC favourite  1 Day ticket: $98  You can also opt to stay at the UBC Whistler lodge for approximately $25 a night!

HAPPY WINTERING… whether it be rain or snow! 5

Student Survival Guide: Procrastination Edition by Tanjot Gill Procrastination, it is an aspect of human nature and an inevitable hassle of University life. Let’s be real here, you tell yourself you’ll get that assignment started in a little while and that while turns into quite a long time and then all of a sudden, it’s forgotten! Then suddenly, a few hours before the deadline your friend decides to call you to complain about how annoying that assignment is and you find

Illustration by Wei Jia Shi

yourself thinking, “what sort of Exolinguistics is she speaking in?” But then, it all starts coming back to you, she is asking about that assignment you set aside two weeks ago! In that moment, who would have thought you could feel so many emotions within such a short span of time? Take out a camera and film this scene because your reaction could be nominated for the Oscars (just saying). You keep telling yourself to calm down and just do what you can and you somehow manage to put something together that could pass as a completed assignment in the three hour span you gave yourself. Let’s not even get started on getting back that assignment and seeing what mark you got! But in all honesty, procrastination is one of the toughest habits to rid yourself of. The point of this isn’t to take you down memory lane and bring back those horrifying emotions, but instead to help orient you in the right direction so that when the next assignment rolls around you won’t need to panic.


astinat r c o r P g n i t h Tips for Fig



T ip #1 : making changes to your habits isn’t like an on/off switch. Even though it is possible for some people to take a total 180 degree turn, making abrupt changes to your life can cause you to hit a breaking point and fall back into old habits. T ip #2 : tackle that assignment one step at a time; don’t let it pile up last minute as it will hinder your ability to come up with clear and concise thoughts. T ip #3 : make a schedule for yourself just so you know what to expect in the upcoming weeks because convincing yourself that you can keep it all in that head of yours isn’t the brightest idea unless you are a genius (which is possible considering you are attending UBC, just don’t risk it!). T ip #4 : force yourself to start early, literally! Why not create a beautifully crafted cake rather than making a mud-pile of flour in the last minute? T ip #5 : plan to start on your assignment or lab report one week before it is due. Once you get started on it, you get an understanding of how much time you will have to invest in it throughout the rest of the week. Even if it means just glancing at the outline or looking at the rubric, getting started ahead of time on that assignment gets the thoughts and ideas going. T ip #6 : believe in yourself and change your mind-set. If you tell yourself that you’re the kind that pulls all-nighters on almost every one of your assignments, you are already setting yourself up for failure. T ip #7 : break up the time allotted for your assignment into intervals. Dedicate half an hour to an hour on one task and give yourself a five-minute break, watch a funny video on YouTube. After that break, get right into working on that assignment again. If you have multiple assignments, labs or essays to complete, alternate between them as well. It’s no doubt that this is all easier said than done, but just remember that it can be done and it will make your years at university just slightly more enjoyable. Good luck out there.




The Noble Art of Fencing By Kuba Karpierz

When I was young, I didn't choose the thug life, and it didn't choose me. Instead, me and my friends would whittle sticks down, removing all of the knobs and pointy bits, and then fight with them. It was great fun, but apparently it was unsafe, which is why when I turned fourteen, I got steered towards fencing. Now I never quite understood why metal swords were safer, but I digress. The club I joined consisted of big kids (adults), the trainer, who was essentially Mr. Miyagi, and a girl, who was about my age. And the social hierarchy was: the adults beat me (almost literally), Mr. Miyagi lectured (tortured) me, and the girl… Well, she was under the impression that she could conjure up spirits with her mind. Not that I wasn’t smitten by her; I was fourteen after all. I just wasn’t certain that she should be learning how to stab people. Now, after about a year of this, she stopped showing up, and being the only person under 5 feet did not bode well for my life expectancy. So life moved on. But ever since that fateful day (year), I’ve felt the need to fence. I didn’t choose the gentleman’s life, it chose me. Fencing is a fighting sport, but a classy one at that. Fights aren’t long and drawn out - it’s simply a contest of speed and position, and each match ends about as quickly as it begins. It’s also mostly safe, despite my doubts, as there is plenty of protective gear. If you’re interested in checking it out, there’s a fencing club on campus, which holds practices on most Monday and Wednesday evenings. They provide the equipment, for a small drop-in fee, and away you go. I highly recommend you try it at least once, if only to be able to say you got away with stabbing someone. 10

First Year Perspective by Alexandra Ramirez

It’s difficult to believe that it’s December already. It feels like only

yesterday I was trying to navigate the maze of construction on campus for

the first time. I can’t remember where the weeks have gone, and the midterm period is all just a hazy memory that I’ve mostly blocked out for the sake

of my sanity and general wellbeing. Though, in hindsight, I was expecting them to be much worse than they really were. I studied frantically for the first two, trying to know everything that there is to know. Of course, only a portion of that was actually tested on and in not as much detail as I

imagined. Expect the worst, prepare for the worst, and end up pleasantly

surprised in the end is my method. As long as I don’t get to the give-up-andlet-the-chips-fall-as-they-will stage along the way, that is.

Now it’s almost the end of our first term of university with only one more hoop to jump through: finals. They’re the largest factor in most of our

marks and possibly the most annoying things to study for. After all, who’s

looking forward to going through three months’ worth of notes and readings for however many classes we have? I’m certainly not. I’m also not looking forward to spending all my time in the study room or one of the many

libraries again. I’m just glad that I’m fortunate enough to live on campus so I don’t have to camp out in Irving. Those floors do not look comfortable.

All the same, I’m not feeling the heat of finals just yet. Or rather, I’m not

allowing myself to. I refuse to let myself stress over them just yet. This is partly because my first final isn’t until around mid-December, but also

because I’m determined to live a little first. After midterms and papers I’m feeling burnt out and need some time to relax. Perhaps I’ll go off campus some more and do a little retail therapy or, on my student budget, some

window shopping therapy. Then when that’s all said and done, I’ll head back

to Totem at a reasonable time and get started on my studying. I swear there will be only minimal procrastination on YouTube and Facebook. Well, maybe.


Vancouver things to do during the holidays:

by Julia Mills

Hey Totem! Are you going to be spending your winter break in Vancouver, and are unsure of what to do? Well, here are some fun holiday adventures for you to fill up your blissful school-free break!

Grouse Mountain From November 24th until December 24th, go explore the Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain! This magical celebration includes fun daily activities such as antler making, outdoor ice-skating and mountaintop sleigh rides through the beautiful forest. You can even watch classic Christmas movies on the big-screen mountain top theatre. Be sure to stop by for these fun activities, and you might even get to see Santa!

Stanley Park Bright Nights Train Stop by Stanley Park for the annual Bright Nights train that runs for the whole month of December. Ride the train, watch animated displays, listen to holiday classics, sip warm cocoa, and feast on fresh popcorn or roasted nuts. This is a great activity for people of all ages!

Canyon Lights Celebration at the Capilano Suspension Bridge It is well worth the trip to the scenic North Vancouver to see over 25,000 twinkling lights at the Suspension Bridge! Enjoy the festive atmosphere while exploring the Treetop Adventure, the Cliffwalk and of course, the lit-up main attraction, the Suspension Bridge!


Vancouver Christmas Market The Vancouver Christmas Market is back for its third year from November 24th to December 24th on the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza! Based on a centuries old tradition of the German Christmas Market you can sample delicious food items, find a unique Christmas gift, or just enjoy looking at what the different vendors have to offer. Enjoy seasonal music and great entertainment of authentic folk groups!

The Nutcracker Come see Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet dance the classic Holiday show, the Nutcracker, with stunning costumes, timeless choreography and a brilliant score, It runs from December 14th to 16th at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Magic of the North at the Vancouver Aquarium Visit the Aquarium when it is transformed into a Winter Wonderland from now until January 3rd. Participate in crafts and carols while checking out the awesome creatures that live at the aquarium! You don’t want to miss the Christmas tree that is turned on by the electric eel, or Scuba Claus swimming in the tanks!


The photographer’s corner Photographer: Emma Douglas

TFL Winners, Haida 1st



Election 2012

By Albee Rothman

This year marks a change in our neighbor to the South. Anyone can tell you who won the presidential election, and there is nothing surprising there; the interesting outcome of the election is the legislation that was passed in several states. Maryland and Maine joined the ranks of Conneticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington, DC, and Canada in approving legislation legalizing same-sex marriage. These two states however are the first to approve same-sex marriage through a popular vote. This indicates that the trend will continue; within the next few years many states will approve same sex marriage, and there even be strong legislation from the US federal government. In Washington and Colorado recreational marijuana was legalized to differing degrees. In Washington State, marijuana was fully legalized for adults above the age of twenty-one. The federal government still considers marijuana to be a criminal offense and there is a disconnect between federal and local law enforcement; overall, most states are moving toward rather than away from the legalization trend. This could have huge implications for the federal position on legalization-quite simply the US federal government could not afford to fund a “War on Drugs” if they also have to wage a war on states' rights. A final recently passed, and potentially trend setting law, was Califonia's reform of the “three-strikes” law. Prior to the law being passed, anyone who committed three felonies could be imprisoned for life without parole. Actual examples of “third strikes” include stealing a VCR, using cocaine, and stealing pizza from children. The reform changed the law to only punish “violent or serious” felonies. The three strikes law has received much criticism in the past, and this reform is viewed by many critics as a step in the right direction. California was one of the first states to adopt a “three-strikes” law and it is speculated that other states will follow in California's footsteps. For those of you who go on reddit, TLDR: looking to get hitched to someone of the same sex? Well now you can do it in two more states, though you might as well just stay in Canada. If you are interested in marijuana, wait until you are twenty one and go to Washington instead of smoking up in the “Magic Forest” and finally, if you plan on committing felonies in California make sure that they are “violent or serious” in nature.


Holidays from Around the World Gabe Baron

December is here and it’s the height of the holiday season. It is a time of chilly winter weather, exams, and winter vacation, and most importantly, time to spend with our family and friends. There are a variety of other holidays that are celebrated by people around the world.

 Dongzhi Festival (冬至) This is the Chinese winter solstice festival celebrated every year on December 22. This day is the winter solstice - the shortest day of the year. During the festival families typically go to worship their ancestors. The origins of this festival can be traced back to the yin and yang philosophy of balance and harmony in the cosmos. After this celebration, there will be days with longer daylight hours and therefore an increase in positive energy flowing in. It is celebrated with the eating of tangyuan (湯圓) or glutinous rice balls in soup.


 Hannukah Hannukah is the first holiday of December. This year it falls on December 8 and it goes on until the 16th. It is an important Jewish holiday, which celebrates a miracle when the last days’ worth of oil lasted for the 8 days, that were required to finish the ritual. It is celebrated by lighting one candle on every evening on a special candelabrum called a Hannukiah, until on the last day all the candles are lit.

  Kwanzaa Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, as “an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society.” It is celebrated from the 26th of December until January 1st, and it is a time for people to get together, and each day contemplate one of the different principles: Unity, Self Determination, Responsibility, Purpose, Creativity, Faith, and cooperative economics.

 Now that you know of all these other holidays you can celebrate there is no reason you won’t have something to celebrate all December long. Happy Holidays!


Committee Updates Outdoors initiative On Top Of The World by Andrew Hill Ascending the mountain was no small feat. Not everybody made it all the way up; those who did suffered greatly due to the demanding trail and the penetrating rain and wind. Far above the tree line, we marched on through snow and ice until we came upon the highest standing rock. We climbed up, and 4200 feet above sea level, there was nothing left to do but to shout at the top of our lungs in victory. Yet, all we could see was fog. Disappointed, we began our descent. But not even ten minutes had gone by when the heavy clouds disappeared. In front of us there lay a sight so breathtaking no camera could even attempt at doing it justice. Mountains, waterfalls, and the ocean surrounded us on all sides. This was our reward, and it was unforgettable. Despite the cold, climbing the Lions Peaks was the most rewarding experience I’ve had thus far at UBC.

Global Citizenship Greetings and Happy Holidays from the Global Citizenship Committee. We hope you enjoyed our Movember celebrations, including the joys of celebrating beauty in all its forms and our highly successful art auction! Not to mention the fantastic Blood Drive that had a great turnout, thanks to all you beautiful souls! If you are interested in learning more about how to donate blood or just to get involved, please check out You can save a life! Hang around for next semester when we really get things rolling with all things Global. If you want to get involved just send an email


Coffehouse, photograph by Emma Douglas

Coffee House Hello Coffee House patrons! Finals are coming up and high levels of stress are becoming apparent as sweat pant wearers walk groggily through the halls at 3am. Thanks for coming round to one more night of kicking back, chillaxing and listening to some killer performances from none other than your fellow ridiculously good looking Totemites. Our next event will be the first Wednesday in January, look forward to seeing you after the holidays!

Communications See pages 1-28. Read it, love it and share it.

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter and facebook.


The Totem Times


Musical Greetings from the musical committee! I’d like to take this time to look back on the past term. After weeks of debate, we selected a musical from an exhaustive list of options, we held auditions for cast, band, and crew, and we have now gotten things started with a kick-off gathering for all those involved. Things start getting intense in January, when rehearsals will start up and we start preparing for the big production. The musical will be performed in March, on the 14th, 15th and 16th, and we expect all of you to show up for the big debut. If anyone is still interested in being involved, it is not too late! While our cast and band are basically full, we are always looking for more people to get involved in smaller crew roles, especially if you have sewing skills, an eye for fashion, or excel at painting in detail. If you are interested in being involved or want to find out more, please contact us at: As you study for your exams, we encourage you to take breaks to refresh your mind. Make a playlist of your favourite songs, sit back and just listen. It will be a refreshing change from the monotony of studying. Last but not least, good luck; you’ll do great!

Sustainability Sustainability is wrapping up an exciting term! Some things to look out for in December are: blending a smoothie using... a bike!?, a clothing swap, and sustainable holiday crafting. Please keep an eye out for ads around Totem Park for more information. Want to join the most green ad keen committee in Totem? Send an e-mail to Meetings are held on Tuesdays at 6 every other week. On the horizon for next semester is a planter box project, beach clean ups, and composting in residence buildings! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Hope to see you soon. Love, Totem Sustainability

Enjoy the holiday break and stay safe! Jazz Hands, The Musical Committee

Rec ‘n’ Rez The Rec n’ Rez committee put on a very successful Halloween Dodgeball Tournament in October. We had ten registered teams who came out dressed in costumes to play on a very rainy Saturday afternoon. The top two teams, HMSM 5th and QXLN, advanced to the inter-residence dodgeball tournament and represented Totem well. Our first ever surfing trip to Tofino took place in November. All 24 spots were filled, and participants spent a fun-filled weekend on Vancouver Island hiking and surfing. They were fully dressed in wet suits from top to bottom


Genetic Engeneering

by Zach Moshansky

December, 2012 - With the current human genome mapped, and ongoing research into the field of bio-genetics, comes a great possibility to start seeing genetic modifications and genetically modified organics make their way into our daily lives. We already have genetically modified foods that have been deemed safe for human consumption and with an ability to insert specific genetic traits into a plant, it is hard to imagine that it will be much of a stretch to apply the aforementioned modifications to human medicine. There is already controversy regarding stem cell and embryonic research so it is quite imaginable that the ability to choose ones hair colour, eye colour, skin tone, muscular build, or even predisposition to disease that this will eventually make it’s way to market in one iteration or another. The ethics of this practice can be argued on many fronts as the definition of what should be an allowable practice will vary significantly among different cultures and most likely even within the same cultural subgroup. Some question what affect this will have on our mortality if we are able to grow replacement parts and undergo surgery to replace organs or reattach missing limbs. It is arguable that some believe that this will affect our concept of mortality, but it is important to consider the impacts modern medicine had on people’s lifespan as we went from an average life of 40 years in the 1800s to the more common modern day lifespan of 78 years.


Like many other things in life, this is also impacted by wealth. Is it fair for someone of a poorer class to be unable to afford life saving procedures afforded by genetic engineering? Or could you turn down a child with degenerative muscle disease because their parents don’t believe in the ethics behind it? There is also a question of what limit is there to bio-genetics and where do we draw the line, is it going to be at plants that can produce steak? Chickens that shed their wings like iguanas only to regrow them later? What about guard dogs engineered to be as fast as a cheetah, as poisonous as a cobra, and as tough as a grizzly bear? There is little doubt in my mind that the applications of such technologies could lead to disastrous consequences. However this isn’t the first time in human history where we have faced such a choice. With the discovery of modern medicines also came the invention of biological weapons. The discovery of nuclear fission lead to both nuclear reactors that can provide energy as well as nuclear warheads powerful enough to erase countries from the face of the earth. Like many things in life, it is important to take a rational approach to decide what the outcome of research into a field such as genetic-engineering should be. We could end world hunger, cure diseases that ravage the body and mind, ensure that every child born is a happy and healthy baby, stop animal cruelty in the meat industry, and even put an end to global warming and help stabilize our planet’s ecology. Endangered species could even be brought back from the brink of destruction. As with all things in life, there are tough morale and ethical decisions to be made; however, with proper knowledge and careful work with the oversight of others, this could be the next turning point in the 21st century. To me this all seems so incredibly futuristic and high tech, really the thing that sci-fi movies are made of, but weren’t computers the same when we first used them? Or the prospect of putting someone on the moon and bringing them back?


Exams and Nutrition!

by Ghazal Haghnegahdar, 3rd year diatetics


studying#for#your#back9to9back#exams.#You’ve#made#it#so#far#and#it’s#just#the# last#little#effort#before#you#can#be#set#free#for#the#winter#break.#Focusing#so#

much#on#studying,#we#tend#to#let#good#nutrition#slide#down#our#priority#list.# So#here#are#some#tips#for#nourishing#your#body#and#boosting#your#energy# to#make#it#through#the#exams.##

Choose brain enhancing over brain blocking foods! Protein9rich#foods#lead#to#longer#energy#and#mental#awareness.#These#foods#will#keep#your# energy#up#during#your#long#exams!#Some#examples#include#eggs,#fish#and#nuts.#


candies,#white#bread#and#pasta,#cookies,#and#muffins.#Instead#choose#mostly#whole#grain9 based#carbohydrates,#as#the#high#fibre#content#in#these#carbohydrates#help#keep#you#full# longer.#Some#whole#grains#include#whole#wheat,#brown#rice#and#quinoa.## Prepare these quick snacks/meals to pack with you: •

Fruits and vegetables: apples, bananas, oranges are easy to grab and go. They’re rich in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and B vitamins. Enjoy your vegetables with your favorite dip or, even better, have them

with hummus for added protein. You can also have apples with peanut butter; it tastes great and gives you energy to carry on studying. • Photo#by#Dendroica#cerulea#

Head to the grocery store in the bulk section and select your favorite nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews. Add some dried fruits like

cranberries, raisins and apricots. They’re great to munch on while studying. •

Grab some granola and add them to your yogurt. They have lots of protein and are energy boosting.



Boost your brain with water and reduce caffeine consumption: Drink enough water before and during your exam. Your body consists of 60% water, so by drinking water, you will replenish your body fluids, which will give you more energy. Add lime, lemon or cucumber wedges to your water for some enhanced flavor. So what about coffee? After studying all day, it’s easy to over-consume caffeine to keep yourself awake! The effect of caffeine varies from person to person. Caffeine could have positive effects, such as increased concentration and alertness. However, in some individuals caffeine can cause disturbance of sleep, headaches, and nervousness. High caffeine intake has been shown to be associated with slight decline in calcium balance. Finally, get enough sleep! It’s easy to get into the habit of studying late and cramming all night. Having a good sleep the night before the exam gives you enough energy to carry on with your exam. To be functional during exams, you need both healthy nutrition and adequate sleep! Take those tips with you and start packing your day-long snacks and meals and start studying to ace those exams!

Ghazal Haghnegahdar 3rd Year Dietetics


HOUSEROSCOPES Salish This month brings tiding of joy for you (maybe even some extra sour cream with your perogies order). Keep your relationship with Haida nice and strong, and everything will go smoothly. Keep away from overly large puddles as they may be a passage to another universe. On second thought, maybe step in them. Haida Salish may try to be sly with you this month, stay on alert, but remain amiable. Exams will be a breeze for you, granted you study long and hard. A stranger will come into your life and change it for the good, be open to it. Dene You tigers are going to have an unforgettable month. The Winter Formal will have introduced you to people you will remain good friends with throughout the year. Someone you haven’t talked to in a while (possible from Nootka) may be an ally during this time, go out and find them! Nootka This month, you will shine like the lion you are. You are ready for exams, and you are going to rock them. The winter break will unite you with old and new friends and you will have a great time recharging. Take time to reflect on the semester, it will be useful in the next!


Shuswap Everything comes together for this month. All you have been working hard for will neatly fall into place. New opportunities will open themselves to you. But take some time from your busy schedule and have some fun, you deserve it! Kwakiutl A new opportunity or friend will enter your life. Make sure you treasure it/them! The exam time will zoom by and you will be in the holidays surrounded by people who are important to you. Take time to reflect on your semester, it will help you loads in January. həm'ləsəm' December will be your time to shine, despite and seeming grey clouds. You will persevere and get through it. You may be caught in the rain one day, so make sure you take your umbrella or rain coat! The holidays will be such goodness for you, but make sure you eat healthy; I see a t(of)urkey in your future. q'ələχən December will be full of neat surprises for you; despite reading this, feign surprise! Make sure you see your floormates before you go away for the holidays, they will miss you for the week. Eat healthy and drink lots of water for exam time; you will be great!

Totem Tales Here is where you get published! Each month we’ll add another chapter to a story written by you, the residents of Totem Park! You can send in submissions for the first half of each month to This month’s submission is written by RJ Reid!

your Write ory! st own

The hand on my shoulder caused me to scream louder than I ever had before. The veiled woman’s face became one of horror and she turned and ran away at an incredible speed. I tried to run away too, but the hand stayed firm on my shoulder and instead I fell to the ground still terrified. Whatever was behind me was horrendous enough to scare away the veiled lady and I just wanted desperately to get away. “Ho, ho, ho, you’ve got yourself into quite a predicament,” said a loud and warm voice. I looked up, the figure behind me was a large man dressed in a red suit with white trim. He appeared old with a bushy white beard and he was smiling widely at me and offering me a hand up. It was Santa Claus. “It’s December now,” he said as he helped me up, “You don’t have to worry about ghosts that’s for October. Come with me to the North Pole and you can help me make gifts for all the children.” The option seemed much more appealing than finals so I hopped in a sleigh with Santa and took off for the North Pole. This would have been a great ending except for the fact that Rudolph’s nose burnt out part way through the journey and the sleigh then hit some turbulence. This did not seem to bother Santa but I was thrown this way and that as I tried to cling on to Santa’s arm. A particularly large bump caused me to be thrown straight out of the sleigh and go hurtling out into the night sky. So much for Christmas at the North Pole.

Secret Message Sudoku

It’s just like a normal Sudoku except that there are no numbers. Instead, figure out the secret message within the sudoku.



A word by you Health and Welness Commitee.

Final exams. Booking flights. Going back home. Finding temporary accommodations. December is a busy time for every university student, but you don’t have to let stress beat you down. Indeed, these final exams are quite important and for many of us, it will be the first time we take an exam of this magnitude. But don’t be afraid. With proper planning and staying healthy, you are bound to be headed for success. Try following these tips to help plan your December so you can succeed.

Stay active Many students stress out too much about exams, resulting in countless hours at the library, sitting and studying. Although studying is important for success, don’t forget about your body. Keeping your body physically healthy through physical activity is essential for maintaining focus and overall balance. Try to do some sort of physical activity a day for at least 30min to help stay healthy; this can involve something as little as taking a walk or run, riding a bike, or going for a free swim at the UBC pool. It is good to exercise your brain, but don’t neglect your other muscles so your brain can re-charge and you can de-stress.

Eat healthy It is always easy to go to the grill and get chicken strips and fries. They taste good and are quick and fast. But don’t forget that your brain is fuelled by what you put in. Eating healthy foods like fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, and other healthy choices will allow you get all those essential minerals and vitamins necessary for optimal function.

Manage your time The best way to reduce stress is to manage your time. As soon as you can, plan out your days: state what you are going to study and allot time for it. But also allot time for meals, exercise, or other activities that are important for balance. By planning out your days, you will have a clear idea of what you need to focus on, how long you need to focus on, and you won’t miss out on any meal times or exercise time. Doing this will allow you know maximize your effort per time and will decrease your December stress. December. It may bring some challenges and it may be tough, but don’t forget: here in Totem, we are a community. We are a pillar of support that you can lean on. Everyone here strives for success, and what better achievement is there than to succeed with each other?


Message from the


Hello beautiful Totem Park! “You will never “find” time for anything. If you want time, you must make it” (Charles Buxton) Finals are coming here, and we thought of a few tips to help you get ready! 1 - Class notes! Your professor is the one testing you, not the author of your textbook. You got clues about what will be tested in class, as well as problems/clicker questions! So review your class notes! 2 - Use visual aids Try to summarize the material in simple maps that will give you a quick overview of the topic. Colour codes can be very helpful too, especially if you are a visual learner. Bonus tip: You can put those diagrams up on your ceiling, so that you can read them when you are lyingdown on your bed, or just look up when you are completing an assignment. 3 - Discuss the material with friends Study groups are the best to help you figure out whether you are on the same page as everybody. “Do I need to know this?” “Did I get this right?” Bonus tip: Try to come up with challenging questions for your friends. This will help you get a solid grasp on the material. 4 - Put a limit on your study time Make an organized schedule for your week, highlighting when you will be at the library, what subject you will be studying for, and what chapter you will read. This will motivate you, and help you make sure you complete everything on your to-do list. Make sure you take breaks! 5 - Eat healthy and exercise We all know that we need exercise and our food groups to be healthy. Watch what you eat. Greasy foods that are high in sugar will satisfy your hunger for only a short while and make you tired. Eat around 5 small meals during the day. Exam time is not the time to change your diet or exercise routine though. If you have been eating a burger and fries every day for lunch, we suggest you keep doing what you were doing throughout the terms as you might be depriving your body of what it is used to (even though it's not healthy). You don't want to inflict more stress on yourself. 6 - Sleep enough! The day before the midterm is not the night you should be pulling an all-nighter! Your brain stores information a lot better when you get around 8 hours of sleep. Cutting down on that time will lead to you forgetting important information during your test. Therefore, start studying early and sleep well! The A -Team wishes you the best of luck on your exams! You can do it!



Totem Times

Totem Park’s monthly magazine

The Totem Times - December 2012  

The Totem Times is Totem Park's monthly magazine.