• This Week in Niagara…February 12, 2016

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    With this week being Family Day (three cheers for a long weekend!), to do and see in Niagara on Monday with your family or friends:

    • Richardson’s Farm Sugar Bush – starts Monday, February 15 from 9:00am-3:00pm and continues on Saturdays through March. Come to the farm to watch the sap be boiled and enjoy some piping hot pancakes, sausage and pure maple syrup! Take a wagon ride to the sugar bush for a guided tour of how we collect sap, using both buckets and modern pipeline. Be sure to browse around the market before you leave and take some maple syrup or tempting treats home with you!
    • Braden’s Hot Chocolate Festival – Dundas Valley Conservation Area from 11:00am-4:00pm. The Story: In January 2012, nine-year-old Braden Marshall asked his dad if he could open a lemonade stand. While he told Braden that it would be a good idea for the summer, he then asked his son what could be an alternative to lemonade for the winter. The answer was hot chocolate. From that conversation sprouted the concept of the Hot Chocolate Festival, a unique outdoor winter festival to be held on Family Day, providing the community with a fun way to spend time with their families. Join in this year to celebrate the 5th annual festival! Free admission, activities & entertainment, and cups of hot chocolate by donation (all proceeds are donated to the Hamilton Conservation Foundation, which are used specifically for the preservation and maintenance of the Dundas Valley Conservation Area’s natural environment and cultural heritage). Parking is limited, but free shuttles are available from Dundas Valley Secondary School.
    • Winterfest – at Heartland Forest from 11:00am-3:00pm. Find great food, craft, nature knowledge, prizes to give away, indoor and outdoor activities for the family as well as a campfire!
    • Free events in St. Catharines on Family Day:
      • Free Public Skate | 11:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. at Seymour Hannah Arena
      • Free Pop Up PLAY Tent & Fun Zone | 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the Kiwanis Aquatics Centre
      • Admission by donation at the St. Catharines Museum 10:00am-4:00pm
      • Free Swim:
        • Leisure Pool:  8 – 10 a.m.; 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.;  2 – 3 p.m.; 4 – 7 p.m.
        • Lane Pool:  3 – 5:30 p.m.; 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

    Also, take the opportunity to be downtown and participate in the “WalkSTC – Your Downtown Photo Competition”.   Visit the website for details on how you can share how you see downtown’s architecture, people and its hidden gems in a variety of categories.  #WalkSTC

    If you’re a student in the area and celebrating Reading Week and not having classes this week, go cheer for the Niagara IceDogs, Niagara Lock Monsters or Niagara River Lions at a game at the Meridian Centre, or find a show at the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre!

    Have a great week, Happy Valentine’s Day and enjoy getting out to #ExploreNiagara!

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, Featured Event, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
  • Connecting with Brock Faculty may be your Key to a Successful Career

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    Written by: Josh Nunn

    Hey Badgers!

    Have you met your professors yet?

    No, I do not mean have you attended class and made eye contact with the person who will be lecturing at the front of the room for the next eight weeks. I mean actually going to the front of the lecture hall and introducing yourself and then following that up by making an appointment during or outside of their designated office hours to connect with them. A time to ask questions about the course, their research, and share your goals as a University student.

    Many students find themselves intimidated by the thought of a face-to-face conversation or meeting with their Professor. Do not fear, here are some keys to success in establishing those valuable connections.

    Incentives to get to know your professor:
    — Course work can be challenging and professors can provide guidance as well as academic support along with your Teaching Assistants.

    — You may struggle with an assignment or go through a life event that requires you to ask for an extension or late paper submission, miss a class, or even review an exam score.

    — In order for your Professor to differentiate their instruction to your needs or the needs of other students’ they need to get to know you, your interests, and learning profiles. Many Professors look to get feedback on their teaching.

    Letters of recommendation are much easier to get if you have gotten to know your professor and they know more about you than which course of theirs you took.

    — Professors are always looking for knowledgeable and dedicated students to work on research projects when they receive grant funding.

    — Professors have highly developed networks and connections to community partners, businesses, and leaders. When the subject of employment or internships are on the top of your mind, professors may know of colleagues or professionals to direct you to.

    Mentors for life. Although the average course is 12 weeks in duration, over a four year undergrad, taking multiple courses with the same professor you may find that their guidance is invaluable.

    Two ways to get your professor’s attention:
    1. Establish your reputation with professors by sitting at the front of the lecture hall and be attentive. Plan on speaking at least once in classes where participation is encouraged.

    2. Read course materials and listen to lectures with a critical lens. Offer your insights and follow up with questions outside of class. Your attentiveness will be appreciated.

    You have now established a valuable connection. One that will serve you well during your studies here at Brock and beyond.

    Post Categorie(s): Brock Life Hacks, Featured Event, Featured Post
  • This Week in Niagara…February 5, 2016

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    This week is a bit quieter, but still features a great event to participate in:

    This Saturday, February 6 is the 9th Annual Niagara Social Justice Forum, which takes place at Brock with a theme of “Building Solidarities”. The day features workshops, performances, exhibits, an info fair, and more. The day is free (but requires registration), and includes free parking, childcare and light vegan meals provided. More details about the day are available on-line, along with the link to register …come out and join 200+ community members in this great day!

    Have a great week and get out to #ExploreNiagara.

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, Featured Event, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
  • Avoiding the Hangry Badger

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    Written by: Angela Mott

    Food prices here at Brock have always been a topic of contention, from BUSU election platforms to student clubs, to petitions and the demand for affordable alternatives. But the fact of the matter is that food prices are increasing everywhere. The trend across Canada is an increase in prices for many of the most desirable food items. As a student living on an already stressed budget, after tuition, rent, and bills, I am committed to getting the most out of my grocery money. The best way to save money on food while at Brock is to simply not buy food at Brock – make your own lunches and pack them every morning – we even have microwaves now to help with that.

    However, I understand it is not feasible for everyone to meal plan and meal prep every week, and so often, we are stuck in lecture, or in between meetings on campus, and hungry. The longer we stay hungry, the more likely we are to become HANGRY! No one wants to be hangry, or deal with a hangry badger here at Brock. So where can we go to get an affordable and relatively well-balanced meal here at Brock? With a little motivation, there are a variety of options for a Badger to turn to in times of HANGER.

    1. Avondale – across the street by East Academic
    Cheap: I mean, $2.99 Ham & Havarti sandwiches, made fresh and grilled to melty perfection
    Variety: Naan, homemade soups, hot dogs, scratch-made banana breads, fruits, dips, all kinds of sandwiches
    Friendly: Some of the nicest service I’ve had at any location near Brock, take the time to get to know the people that make your food (That’s advice from someone with 10+ years in the hospitality industry)

    2. General Brock – between Academic South and Welch Hall
    Affordable: awesome prices without the unnecessary inflation found in dining halls and Market, with a variety of $4 deals offered daily
    Variety: Pizza, convenience store candy and snacks, a ton of protein bar options, and now even Halal options are available at GB
    The team: The staff and management of General Brock are awesome, and genuinely enjoy their job, which makes dealing with them a pleasure, and the rocking tunes don’t hurt either

    3. Nobu’s Noodles – International Center (East side of Campus)
    Authentic: This affordable noodle bar is prepared with authentic Asian flavor, unlike the Fortune Cookie, with dumplings and noodle bowls all available with a variety of proteins for under $7
    Quiet: Unlike the hectic pace of the Subway line, or the barrage of people in Market, this hidden gem is just far enough off the beaten path to be a nice quiet spot to grab a quick and delicious lunch

    There you have it badgers, there are affordable options on campus, for those days that you forget your lunch, or never packed one in the first place. The more prevalent dining services on campus are catching onto the need for affordable food as well, with a range of options in the residence dining halls and Market for under $5, $7, and $12, dependent on the day of the week. Perhaps my drive to find affordable food on or near campus came from never living on campus, so I never got used to the dining halls or Market as a place for lunch. Either way, I hope this helps you find a delicious meal here at Brock!

    Post Categorie(s): Brock Life Hacks, Featured Event, Featured Post
  • This Week in Niagara…January 29, 2016

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    Happy Friday to you! This week we have some great things happening:

    • Icewine Festival continues this weekend: January 29-31. This features events happening all around the region. Check the website, pick up your Discovery Pass and plan your experiences!
    • Bar Bands, Burgers & Beer – Friday, January 29 at Robertson Hall (85 Church Street, St. Catharines). Join in for The Robby Grand Opening event – entry is $10.
    • Icebreakers Comedy Festival – January 28-30, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Check out three different venues and 18 great comics throughout this weekend and be part of CBC Radio’s “Laugh Out Loud” live recordings. Get your tickets online.

    Have a great week, have some laughs and get out to #ExploreNiagara!

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, Featured Event, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
  • The Golden Rule of Time Management

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    Written by: Guled Hassan

    During your university experience, you’ll probably notice that time management is one skill set that takes a long time to develop. But fear not – as a fourth-year undergraduate student that’s currently writing his blog post at 3:30 AM on a Monday morning, I can tell you now that it’s easier than you think!

    Seriously though, even though I still sometimes deal with the consequences of not managing my time properly, I can assure you now that it’s much better than it was in my first year.

    Growing up, I’ve always heard about the importance of time management, but unfortunately I only truly realized the importance of it in my first semester of university. Before my first semester, I attended a Brock orientation program called Smart Start. The program aimed in assisting the transition for new students into university life, and was extremely eye opening. Fast-forward 3 months later and I was knee deep in unread lecture notes and last minute seminar readings. I grew tired of going to bed at 3 in the morning only to wake up for an 8 AM seminar that felt like it lasted 56 nights, which then eventually led me back to my bed right after. I usually had no time for dinner, and for the times that I did, it was usually past my roommate’s bed times and I’d settle for instant noodles and boiled hot dogs. I was always late for the bus and my laundry was never done when I needed it. Oh, what a time to be alive.

    Then out of nowhere I remembered something I had learned over the summer: the 8/8/8 Rule! It was a guideline that split the hours in your day into three 8-hour segments, each with a specific goal in mind.

    1. The first 8 hours were the most important and my favorite: sleep. Having approximately 8 hours of sleep per day is extremely beneficial and can help keep you energized throughout the day.

    2. The next 8 hours involves your homework and classes, but don’t worry! It’s not all dedicated to homework specifically, it just means that between your lectures, seminars, assignments, and reading, 8 hours should be committed dealing with that.

    3. Lastly, you have your 8 hours of YOU time. Whether that be volunteering at a local community center, listening to your favorite Purple Reign song, or watching Beast Mode tear up Sunday night football, 8 hours should be dedicated to doing something for yourself. I personally use this time to catch up on episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and also to record my Justin Bieber tribute album.

    These things take time, but if you’re able to manage your time properly through guidelines like the 8/8/8 rule, then you’ll realize that things like early morning lectures or late night seminars aren’t as bad as they seem!

    To be perfectly honest, it did take a while at first to get the hang of it, but when I was finally able to organize my time, I had plenty of time left over – I could have biked to Pluto and back! I had so much more time I was finally able to install a new DS2 into my monster laptop! Sorry for the nerd talk, but you get the point. Anything is possible if you manage your time properly!

    Post Categorie(s): Brock Life Hacks, Featured Post
  • This Week in Niagara…January 22, 2016

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    I hope 2016 has been bright so far for you. Although it’s chilly outside, there is plenty of great events taking place inside this week:

    • RenderThis Student Film Festival – Friday, January 22 with the doors of David S. Howes Theatre on the main Brock campus opening at 6:00pm. Check out 2–10 minute short films created by Brock University and Niagara College students during an evening that also includes an Audience Choice Award.
    • New Year’s Vendor Market – Saturday, January 23 from 10:00am-2:00pm at the Grantham Optimist Club (free). Check out 35+ vendors of all kinds and bring a pair of new socks or mittens for a chance to win gift baskets of prizes from the vendors.
    • Niagara Lock Monsters Opening Game – Sunday, January 24. This is one of Canada’s professional indoor lacrosse teams (lacrosse) who are part of the Canadian Lacrosse League. See them play the Southwest Cyclops at the Meridian Centre as one of many sports teams calling Meridian home.
    • Icewine Festival continues this weekend: January 22-24. This has featured events happening all around the region from the Icewine Market at Peller Estate Winery, Trius Icewine Tours and the Twenty Valley Winter WineFest. Check the website and plan your experiences!
    • Downtown D’Lish is in its final stretch and wraps up on January 30. Check out 3-course lunch and dinner menus from participating restaurants in downtown St. Catharines ranging from $15-$40.  This is a great opportunity to get out and try a new local restaurant before the end of this month (remember to make a reservation in order to get the D’Lish menu options)!

    Have a great week and get out to #ExploreNiagara!

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, Featured Event, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
  • Getting Involved at Brock with Omer Suhrawardy

    A Day in a Life Banner

    Written by: Brad McGarr

    What influenced you to get involved as an Athletic Trainer at Brock?
    When I was in first-year, I didn’t really know the direction that I wanted to go. I had many ideas of what I wanted to do, but didn’t have a clear direction or path that I wanted to take. I saw the opportunity to become a student athletic trainer as a way to try something new. I was excited when I learned later that semester that I had been offered a position with the varsity men’s basketball team.

    My first year with the team was tough because I was the new guy who had to work his way into the culture of this team, while learning how to treat potential injuries. Joe Kenny, one of the head Athletic Therapists here at Brock, really helped me through the learning curve. He supported me, mentored me, and has definitely been a huge influence towards my career path.

    What has been your most memorable experience working as an Athletic Trainer?
    There is not one single experience that I can identify as being my most memorable one. I’m grateful for all of the knowledge and having been given the opportunity to gain hands on experience. Some of my best memories with the team have been the road trips and traveling. We even traveled to Sweden last year. The road trips were the times where I got to bond with the players and get to know them, providing me with some of my best memories.

    Where else have you been involved at Brock that has helped to shape your university experience?
    I have made it a goal to get involved in many different things in order to help me grow as a person and to get the most out of my time here at Brock. During first-year, I was a part of the Residence Action Council as a building advocate. This experience helped me to become more involved in the different aspects of residence and also to have my voice heard. The last two summers I have had the amazing opportunity to be involved with the Smart Start team. It has been a huge part of what has shaped me into the person I am today. My confidence as person and in my public speaking skills grew through this job. It has provided me with some of my best summer memories and some very close friends too.

    Where do you see yourself after Brock?
    I have a couple of ideas – on top of applying for Athletic Therapy programs, I am also interested in becoming a Chiropodist. A chiropodist is a medical specialist who works in the diagnosis and treatment of foot disorders. I would love to open up my own clinic and give back to the community, hopefully continuing to make a difference in the lives of the people that I get to treat, whether I am a Chiropodist or an Athletic Therapist. I know that the life skills and knowledge that I have gained as an Athletic Trainer will help me to excel in whichever path I choose to take after I graduate from Brock.

    What is one piece of advice that you would give to fellow Badgers?
    Some of the best advice that I can give is to never idle around – keep busy and trying new things. Don’t be afraid of new experiences, stay involved and always ask questions. You never know what you could be missing.

    Post Categorie(s): A Day in a Life, Featured Post
  • Your Guide to Finding Student Housing Accommodations

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    Written by: Kelsey Kavanagh

    Making the transition to living off-campus can be a tricky one, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Lucky for you, the Off-Campus Living & Neighborhood relations team is here to help. We are going to go over the WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN and HOW’s of house hunting to make sure you have the best off campus experience possible!

    Kelsey's blog photoWHO
    Who should you live with?
    To begin, it’s important to figure out who you will be living with. Roommates can make or break your off-campus experience, so make sure you choose wisely.

    Be sure to discuss lifestyle issues with potential housemates such as:
    – sleep, study and cleaning habits, noise tolerance etc.
    – privacy and overnight guests
    – socializing and party habits
    – how will bills be split
    – how will problems be addressed with one another

    WHAT
    What should you be looking for in an off campus accommodation?
    Cost
    Make sure you have a rent price range in mind that you are able to pay on a monthly basis before looking at any accommodations. Know what’s included in the lease cost (utilities, internet, cable etc. this way you have a good idea of what you will be paying for each month and if there will be any extra costs.

    Safety
    It’s very important to keep an eye out for safety features in any housing option you consider. Things such as: working fire alarms, smoke detector, fire exits, fire extinguishers, are all things to check for.

    Landlord
    Your landlord can have a large impact on your off-campus experience, so it’s important they are someone you feel comfortable with. Setting up a meeting to go over the lease with your landlord is a good way to get to know them a bit better before signing.

    WHERE
    Where should you live?
    We have listings throughout St. Catharines, Thorold, Niagara, and Welland, so there’s many options in terms of locations to live, your choice will depend on which area best suites your needs! When deciding on a location there are a few key things to keep in mind:
    Transportation: are there bus stops close by? How long is the bus ride to Brock?
    Proximity to amenities: Grocery store, shopping, night clubs
    Neighborhood: It’s good to have an idea of the type of neighborhood you will be residing in. Who is living around you? Other students, families, elders

    WHEN
    When should you start house hunting?
    The peak time to house hunting is February through March. Most leases begin May 1st so you will want to have started looking before then. Don’t rush into signing a lease in fear of not being able to find a place. There are many more beds than students in the Niagara region, meaning there are always accommodations available for lease at any time of the year. So take your time!

    HOW
    How should you go about looking for housing?
    Plan to dedicate a few days looking at different housing options, booking numerous appointments within a small time frame makes it easier to have an accurate comparison between housing options.
    – go to these viewings with a checklist of your accommodation needs. Prepare a list of questions to ask the landlord when you meet
    – sign wisely! Don’t be impulsive, make sure you have weighed all your options before locking yourself into a lease
    – know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and that they are all being met before signing

    If you still have any questions or concerns, be sure to visit the Off-Campus Living Office in the Involvement Commons (MCA204) from Monday to Friday at 8:30am-4:30pm. Other contact information: ocl@brocku.ca or (905) 688-5550 x 3721

    Post Categorie(s): Brock Life Hacks, Featured Event, Featured Post
  • This Week in Niagara…January 15, 2016

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    Coming up this week we’ve got a few things going on in Niagara:

    Also, with it being cold and windy outside, that can only mean one thing – its icewine season! This Friday-Sunday, January 15-17, is the opening weekend of the Niagara Icewine Festival! With Winter WineFest this weekend on Main Street in Jordan Village (free), you can build a great wine experience with a variety of ticketed events at wineries across the region from there. There will be fire pits and warming stations to help you keep toasty, but be sure to dress for the season! Being outdoors is what makes it so Canadian. Also don’t miss the Winemakers’ Barrel Rolling Challenge for a really good laugh and high drama!

    In the mood for music? Friday, January 15 at 7:30pm is Guitar Wars 2016. Catch 3 of Canada’s Best Guitarists and premiere blues artists at Club Capri (36 Cleveland Street, Thorold). Tickets are available one-line or at the door ($15 in advance, $20 at the door).

    Have a great week, enjoy the snow and get out to #ExploreNiagara!

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, Featured Event, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...