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  • Random Things to Think About: Free Time

    Random Things to Think About

    Written by: Madeline Van Hemert

    What does it mean to have free time? Does it mean that it’s the time to do absolutely nothing, time to think, or maybe time to spend with loved ones? I realize free time takes form differently from person to person but it is still a thing none the less. For me it’s the time to remove myself from people and things and just be in my own thoughts. If it’s nice outside I’ll go for a walk or a run and if not I’ll listen to music and take time cleaning and organizing things. It’s easy to go through the motions and get sucked into working yourself until you are unwell, but it is also important to take breaks and time to yourself.

    As of July 1st, 2014, the government of Sweden will be conducting an experiment in which 8-hour work days will be reduced to 6-hour work days. Check out this link for more information: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/05/sweden-work-hours_n_5446579.html. I guess my question to you would be: What do you do with your free time and would a 6-hour work day be something of interest to you?

    And that is that!

    - Maddy

    Post Categorie(s): Random Things to Think About, Uncategorized
  • Brock Cares Day of Service: Contributing One Call at a Time

    Brock Cares Kels - Copy 2

    Written by: Kelsey Kavanagh

    Getting out of bed early is always difficult task, but as soon as I arrived at the school to participate in Brock Cares Day of Service one rainy Saturday morning, the energy from all of the volunteers was so contagious that I was beaming. My excitement grew as I was introduced to my team, a group of strangers that shared my passion for volunteering, not knowing that they would eventually become 6 new friends.

    When we arrived at our volunteer site, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Matt, an employee, explained that we would be making phone calls throughout the day to encourage individuals in the region to canvas for their organization. As a look of apprehension emerged across all of our faces, Matt went on to explain how this organization saved his grandmother’s life. This was his motivation to make hundreds of phone calls every day with the hopes of gaining funds that will save another person’s life. All of us became inspired to reach out to others in the community and encourage them to volunteer for this amazing organization. By the end of the day, I had made about a hundred calls and only three people had agreed to canvas for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Although this number may seem small, some days Matt would call three hundred phone numbers and not one person would agree to volunteer. So for Heart & Stroke, my three phone calls were considered a big win!

    Making this small contribution to an organization that impacts our community is one of the best feelings you can experience. While my friends were busy doing their hair and makeup for other homecoming celebrations that day, I was making a difference in the lives of others. Brock Cares is an amazing opportunity to give back to the Niagara community and I highly encourage anyone (and everyone) to participate in this unforgettable experience!

     

    It’s not too late to register online at ExperienceBU to participate in Homecoming: Brock Cares Day of Service on Saturday, September 20th.

    Post Categorie(s): Community, Culture, Featured Event, Featured Post, Growth, Leadership, Spirit, Uncategorized, Volunteer
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  • This Week In Niagara… September 12th, 2014

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    Can you believe that Orientation Week is over already?!  It (hopefully) flew by, leaving great memories and friendships that will continue, just like this entire school year will!

    It’s pretty tough during O-Week to venture off campus, or go too far beyond your neighbourhood, but now that we’re back to regular classes, the focus is shifting to establishing a “normal” schedule (what is that?!).  We’re finding classrooms and seminars, figuring out where the closest grocery store or Starbucks is, and learning how to get around campus and Niagara.  This is a great time to try new things and explore new places, making it part of your regular routine before life gets too busy and we focus on other priorities.  I mean, why not?!  It can only make you a better person in the end, having more great experience, places to go back to, and fun stories to share with others.

    This week, Niagara has plenty going on that’s worth checking out:

    • Handmade Market – Friday & Saturday, September 12 & 13 at 13th Street Winery (just passed the St. Catharines General Hospital on 4th Ave.).  Check out over 75 artisans offering jewellery, hand-sewn bags, fashion accessories, preserves, natural bath + body products, original art, home decor, wood products, leather goods, as well as live music, gourmet food and food trucks, wine by the glass and more!
    • Niagara Yoga Expo – Saturday, September 13 from 11:00am-6:00pm in Montebello Park (free).  This is your chance to try multiple styles of yoga by some of the best instructors and studios across Niagara!  Purchase the latest yoga gear, clothes, mats and more from a variety of vendors and take in an evening Kirtan Concert (tickets available on-line or at the door).
    • Thorold City-Wide Garage Sale – Saturday, September 13 from 9:00am-4:00pm.  Visit the Thorold website for more information or to register your address and take part.
    • Country Music Festival – Saturday, September 13 from 5:00-10:00pm at Peller Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake.  Enjoy Canadian country music artist Brett Kissell along with mechanical bull rides, 8+ food trucks, a pig roast and wonderful harvest wines.  Purchase your tickets on-line for $39 + tax.
    • Niagara Regional Exhibition – Thursday – Sunday, September 11-14, Welland ($5 for students, $8 for adults).  “Livestock & Living Well” is the theme for this year’s exhibition, which features livestock races, cattle and horse shows, a demolition derby, illusionists and midway rides – something for everyone!
    • Great Canadian Steampunk Exposition – Friday –Sunday, September 12-14, Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake.  Enjoy music from all over the continent, artisans, workshops, guided tours of the Fort, ghost tours of Niagara, entertainment including dancers, magicians, hot air balloon rides, and even a flea circus.  You don’t have to know a thing about Steampunk to participate, and you don’t have to have a costume – just come on down, explore everything, and enjoy yourself!

    Have a great weekend getting out to #ExploreNiagara, share your thoughts, highlights and photos with us, and please contact Sandy at showe@brocku.ca if you know of anything great happening in Niagara that we can include here!

    Enjoy this great region!

    Post Categorie(s): Community, This Week In Niagara...
  • This Week In Niagara… September 5th, 2014

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    First of all…Welcome (back) to Brock! 

    When you stop and take a look around campus this week, one word comes to mind every time: NEW.  New students.  A new year.  New construction.  New ideas.  New experiences.  New friends.  New goals.  I remember being new to Niagara four years ago, and let’s face it, sometimes being new has it’s “ups”, but it can also come with its fair share of awkwardness!  Things like, where do I go to eat and drink good stuff?  What are some highlights of the area? What is there to do?  I need a new cool hang out spot! The list goes on and on…

    To help answer these, and to pump some cool things my friends and I have found over the years, I’ll aim to post at least one thing here each week that you can do in Niagara!  I hereby challenge you to create a “Niagara Bucket List” for the next 8 months (and beyond! If you stay for the summer, Niagara is one of the greatest places in Ontario to be, in my opinion!) and get out to see what this region has to offer, both near the campus and in the greater area.

    This is an article that helped me when I first arrived and might help you with your bucket list.  If you’re trying not to read too much while you’re resting up for all those text books, let me help you break it down:

    • Did you know that Niagara has a drive-in movie theatre?
    • Is home to a carousel that came to St. Catharines almost 100 years ago that you can still ride for only 5 cents?
    • Over 75 wineries and six great craft breweries?
    • A boat excursion that takes you (in a poncho of course!) right up to one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world?
    • More than enough street food and food trucks to keep you from being hungry for a very long time?

    Niagara also has amazing farms and fresh produce that you can find at local farmer’s markets all around the region, amazing views from the escarpment, the beauty of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and of course, over 1000km of Bruce Trails that you can take advantage of starting right on our campus!

    Aside from these, plenty happens in the area every week.  Coming up this week are:

    • Niagara Food Festival – Friday–Sunday, September 5-7 (a quick walk from the Welland bus terminal).  The Niagara Food Festival offers fantastic food from local restaurants (Niagara has some good eats!), celebrity chefs including Chuck Hughes and Anna Olson, great live music featuring David Wilcox this year and much, much more.
    • Yoga in Montebello Park with Moksha Yoga – Wednesdays 5:30-6:30pm through September 10th (arrive a bit early to get a spot!).  Pay just a $5 drop in fee to join in on what many described last summer as “attending a 60 minute yoga retreat right in our own backyard”.  Bring your own mat!
    • Niagara Greek Festival – Friday-Sunday, September 5-7, 11am-11pm, St. Catharines.  This festival features great Greek food and treats, live music and dancing, and a small market of vendors.

    Farmer’s markets are still happening every week and fresh, local produce is awesome this time of year:

    • Brock University – Fridays 11:30am-1:30pm in Jubilee Court until September 12th.  Find food and wine, fresh produce, desserts and artisans all to the sound of great live music right on our campus.
    • St. Catharines Farmer’s Market – Thursday and Saturday 6am-3pm, and Tuesdays noon-8pm (the evening market will include the regular farmers’ market vendors, plus wineries, food trucks, craft breweries and entertainment).

    If transportation is what’s holding you back, don’t let that stop you!  Google maps can help with the bus schedule if you simply put in your start and end locations and click on the bus icon to find out which bus routes get you to these spots!

    Have a great weekend getting settled in and I hope you also get a chance to explore Niagara.  Share your highlights as well by tweeting #ExploreNiagara.

    Enjoy this great region!

    Post Categorie(s): Community, This Week In Niagara...
  • Body Break: Brock Style

    Written by: Cate Talaue

    Who’s ready to get the ball rolling this September?

    School is in full swing now with O-Week Vendor Fair and classes starting this Thursday. Campus is finally filled with students once more and it is an extraordinary year for Brock as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary this year. Get ready for some of the best events we have seen yet!

    This month is about making sure that you are taking care of your body, whether that means walking to school instead of taking the bus, attending one of the fitness classes that are hosted by the Recreational Centre, ensuring that your personal hygiene is up to par, or ensuring that your body is getting all the essential nutrients in order to function healthily throughout the day.

    I had the pleasure of talking to many students at the Vendor Fair this week, and asking them how they live a balanced lifestyle. Since we are focused on the body this September, here is a compilation of 5 different tips given by students on how to take better care of your body:

    1. “Eat well and eat regularly. I learned early on that the freshman 15 is pretty much inevitable and if I could talk to 19 year old me, I’d tell them that there’s more to life than just Kraft Dinner and pasta. Always buy fresh!”

    2. “I am so happy that Brock includes membership to The Zone as part of our tuition. It’s really convenient to workout in between classes. It does get busy during peak times but that’s a small price to pay when you’re trying to get fit.”

    3. “Self-esteem is a big thing, especially for women. It’s unfortunate that we beat ourselves up if we treat ourselves with a chocolate bar or a sugary drink from Starbucks. I wish girls loved their bodies more. Just eat that chocolate bar, ladies! Be proud of what you look like.”

    4. “I enjoy dressing up; I take pride in how I present myself in public. I feel as if I’m one of few men that aren’t in the Business program that enjoys wearing dress pants and button down shirts. I even do my hair in the morning. I see nothing wrong with it.”

    5. “It’s crazy to think that people would consciously choose to abuse their body. This is the only one you’ll ever have, why wouldn’t you treat it well? If you don’t start now, you’ll regret it later on when it’s too late and you definitely don’t want to be that guy.”

    Visit Niagara Holistic Wellness Portal for similar articles and more information about taking a holistic approach to wellness.

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Post, Growth, Uncategorized
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  • Back to School Basics with CATSA

    Written by: Cassie Hendry

    September is right around the corner and that means it’s back to school time at Brock! But before hitting the books, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), the people who handle airport screening, has a few tips for those flying back to campus to make sure we all get a passing grade at the airport.

    Travelling with electronics

    Electronics will pass through security quickly if you take your laptop out of its case and put it into a bin to be screened. Tablets, cell phones and music players are safe to fly, but to keep everything organized, store them in your carry-on bag during security screening. Keeping these items packed helps you get through security faster. But remember, if you are using your smartphone to show your boarding pass, don’t pack it away! Have it handy to show to the screening officer.

    Pop quiz

    Did you know you can check security screening wait times in advance? Get your smartphone ready and check times for each major Canadian airport online or through CATSA’s mobile app.

    Bringing Mom’s cooking back to school

    Home-cooked meals from Mom and Dad get an A+, but what’s even better is that you can bring them with you! Solid food like breads, cookies, cakes and fruit can fly without volume restrictions in your carry-on bags, but liquid and gel-based foods like soups, sauces and jams need to be checked if they’re more than 100 ml.

    Do you think you can ace airport security screening now? For more information that will help you pass through security with flying colours, visit catsa.gc.ca or CATSA’s twitter feed (@catsa_gc) and Pinterest page.

    Post Categorie(s): Community, Featured Event, Featured Post, Growth, Uncategorized
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  • LEAPing into Brock: Travis

    LEAP Travis

    With a new school year approaching and a bunch of #BabyBadgers entering Brock in September, we decided to try a new approach to student blogging. Check out incoming first year student Travis Greene’s vlog about his incredible experience at LEAP and his excitement for attending Brock in the fall.

    #BrockLEAP

    Post Categorie(s): Community, Culture, Featured Event, Featured Post, Growth, Leadership, Spirit, Volunteer
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  • LEAPing into Brock: Nikki

    LEAPing into Brock: Nikki

    Written by: Nikki Lee

    With all of the excitement of university approaching, I was anticipating the start of the new chapter of life. Going to a new school and starting fresh can be frightening, but I was able to “LEAP” into the school spirit by attending the “Leadership Engagement Achievement Pride” program.

    By attending, I got an amazing vibe from the school, familiarized myself with the campus, and met amazing people who I am excited to start my journey with at BROCK. Overall I had a fantastic time and it got me even more pumped for 1st year.

    This program enhanced my leadership skills significantly as well. There were so many fun filled activities increasing team building, academic integrity, and social skills.

    Not to forget…THE FOOD WAS AMAZING! The first night we went downtown for dinner, and ate at an incredible Italian restaurant that I will certainly be returning to. It gave me a taste of the delicious meals I will be enjoying next year. As a group we explored downtown, and had the chance to get to know the area and seek out the best restaurants and places to go. I am so thankful that this program gave me the opportunity to discover my love for the city of St. Catharines.

    The program leaders were so welcoming; by the end all the campers and counselors were all a BIG BROCK FAMILY! LEAP was my first step as a Brock Badger, and I am even more excited for September. Thanks for the memories!

    xo Nikki

    Post Categorie(s): Community, Culture, Featured Post, Growth, Leadership, Spirit, Volunteer
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  • This is how we RAK

    random_acts_of_kindness

    Written by: Coby Fewings

    With a couple months left in the school year at one of our Student Life staff training meetings, we were given the 24 day challenge. For this challenge we had 24 hours and $10 to make as much of a positive impact as we could. Below are some examples of what our Student life team did for this challenge.

    One group took the ten dollars and split it into change, then they took the change and taped it around the school in different spots along with friendly messages. As a quick example they posted a loonie on a vending machine with a message saying “you look better with a smile on”, this message had quick returns because as the group walked away a student found it and said that it made his day.

    Another group looked around campus for different groups around the school they could help, they decided on Rosalind Daycare, right beside Lowenberger. They set out to buy toys for the children at the center. They purchased bought two balls, two puzzles, an air hockey board, a top and a slinky.  There were guidelines given by the daycare – highly recommended that soft toys are not donated.

    “Overall, I would say it was a great experience because we finally had an excuse to visit the center and play briefly with a little girl that was waiting for her mom. The staff at the daycare center was grateful for the gifts.”–Group member

    The third group used the ten dollars to make a donation to the 5 days for the homeless campaign that was running during the timeline of our challenge. Then they also put together some e-cards for fellow staff with encouraging and friendly rhymes. “The best part about the e-cards was when the staff actually found out that it was something out group did, they look like the cards made them happy”–Group member

    This challenge was a great way for groups to come together and do something good for the school/community, it also showed us as a staff how far $10 could go. It is important to remember that even though there is a specific day to RAK there is never a bad time to randomly show kindness to others!

    Post Categorie(s): Community, Featured Post, Growth, Leadership, Volunteer
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Goodbye

    ambika2

    Written by: Ambika Sangaran

    In the past 4 years loneliness had crept into me. I had the chance to live however I wanted, but only because I had no one waiting for me at home. There had been times I wondered, would anyone even realize if I’m to go missing?

    There were days I achieved what-I-thought were great things, but, actually, when there was no one to share my joy, excitement, sadness, fears or tears, they didn’t feel that special at all. All of my emotions sometimes basically dying down into loneliness.

    But, was that all? Of course not!

    Ordering a cup of coffee is easy, isn’t it?

    It took me two years to find the magic word: “Double Double”!

    Life was pretty good. There were times I biked, walked or hiked with no pre-determined direction. I traveled. I achieved quite a few things. They were good times that I can go on and on about, if you would share a meal or drink with me–most of the stories have yet to be told.

    My experiences here have taught me to appreciate what I always took for granted, both the good and the bad.

    From loneliness I found community, in fact many communities which welcomed me. Here’s to OPIRG, ECO, ISA, BUSU, BUSAC, SLCE and TREN all of which will be missed dearly after graduation!

    Learning the importance of friendship, through my two besties: M and L. You are the reason I survived Brock! I am bidding farewell to you, not knowing whether I will ever meet you again. But, that’s life, isn’t it? The memories will stay!

    And to all those people that came into my life, a heartfelt thanks to you, the impact of your support will last a lifetime.

    With the end of the year comes a time of reflection. Living on your own, starting somewhere fresh isn’t easy and there will be hard times. Finding the good in the midst of the bad is what Brock and the people I’ve met have taught me.

    A learning experience no doubt–thank you Brock, and goodbye!

     

    Post Categorie(s): Community, Culture, Featured Post, Growth, Leadership, Spirit, Uncategorized, Volunteer