Monthly Archives: April 2008

Finding Creativity


Lately, I’ve come across a lot of different creative people advising other people on how to be creative.

The bottom line in everything is that creativity and originality and great works of art or literature don’t come from the outside – your education, your fancy computer, your awesome desk and studio apartment, your desire to be famous or rich – but from somewhere WITHIN (well, no kidding). But a few people have put it a few different, and interesting, ways.

Have a look at some of the poems by Robert Bruce on his site knifegunpen.com (especially How To Write A Poem).

Or check out gapingvoid.com; the post How To Be Creative covers this pretty much as completely as possible.

Or read So You Want To Be A Writer by Charles Bukowski.

And don’t be too sad if, upon graduation, you end up with a day job that is not exactly what you dreamed of, in terms of being a famous poet, writer, artist, whatever.

That’s got nothing to do with your ability to be creative.

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Get An Arts Degree! Make Fun of Yourself!


It’s pretty easy to take yourself seriously at this time of year. Exams. Papers. Serious business.

But if you’ve ever felt like the world of your undergraduate Arts degree is closing in around you and you stare at the papers you’re writing and think “What is futility if it is not writing a 23-paged paper on a Henry James novel?” then just know . . . you’re not alone.

Arts degrees can get that way. If you’re in the mood to make fun of yourself, read this post on the blog “Stuff White People Like”. Funny because it’s true?

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A Little Bit About Mekale – RDC B.A. Psych Major


 

(This is the first in a series of interviews with RDC B.A. students. Look out for them in the future).

Maybe you’ve met Mekale already, and know everything about her. Maybe you’ve never heard of her. Maybe you see her around and think “She looks fascinating. I wish I knew some Fun Facts About Mekale”.

Mekale graciously agreed to be interviewed by the B.A. Blog. Here is the interview! Thanks Mekale!

Name: Mekale Kibreab
Age: 21
Major: B.A. in Psychology, 3rd Year
Hometown: Red Deer, Alberta

B.A. Blog: What’s been your favourite class so far here at Red Deer College?
Mekale: Intro to Physical Anthropology or Psychometrics

B.A. Blog: What made you pick this particular major?
Mekale: A fortune cookie told me to . . .
B.A. Blog: My fortune cookies are pretty lame, compared to that!

B.A. Blog: What do you really want to do with your life?
Mekale: Undediced . . . very, very undecided.
B.A. Blog: That’s OK! You still have one more year to figure it out! 😉 What is a B.A. for if not just that?

B.A. Blog: What advice would you give somebody who is just starting out doing a B.A.?
Mekale: Take spring classes, it eases the load for the following semester. What are you going to do with 4 months of holidays anyways?

And now for some Fun Facts About Mekale:

Do you have any tattoos? Nope!
What’s your favourite pizza? Veggie
What was your favourite cartoon as a child? Sailor Moon! (B.A. Blog: Good choice, good choice)
What’s your favourite drink? Nice cup of coffee
What shoes are you wearing today? Sneakers!
Would you rather be rich or famous? RICH!
What is your first thought when you wake up in the morning? Should I skip class and sleep in?
Have you ever been in a fistfight? Yeah and got a black eye . . . but you should have seen the other person!
What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleeping? 3 days but I made up for them with a period of 48 hours of sleep.

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How Much Money Will You Make with a B.A.?


Is higher education worth it? Check out this article, posted on workopolis.com, which provides graphs of median salary in different Canadian cities for people with highschool, a bachelor’s, or a Master’s degree.

Also notice in the article where the advice of a career and admissions counselor is quoted: “she advises students to combine disciplines, because having more than one skill set makes them less replaceable in the work place. She said it’s also important to have very strong writing and speaking skills.”

Definitely skills you will acquire with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

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Summer Job Search Time Again


ice-cream-cone.jpg

Now that the semester is wrapping up (yay, the end is in sight!) it is time to make a transformation from stressed-out student dealing with papers, profs and presentations, to member of the workforce.

The Summer Workforce, that is. And it’s a big change to go from student to employee.

On the “pro” side of the equation, it’s always nice to be getting paid. Plus, for most summer jobs, you get to come home at the end of the day and do whatever you want until the next day. Your evenings, weekends, and other spare time aren’t bogged down with studying and schoolwork. You feel free! It’s also a nice change to get out of the classroom and off the campus and see some more of the world.

I guess there are a few “cons”, too. Your days are more structured – as a student you have freedom while at school. You can go to class or not go. If you’re between classes, you can hang out doing whatever you decide. You pretty much make your own schedule. As an employee, you’ve got to show up at a certain time and stay till a certain time, and the time in between you’re supposed to actually be “working”. That can really bring a person down, some days. You might be making money, but probably trying not to spend very much of it if you’re saving up for school in the fall, and that can be harsh. The summer jobs that are out there aren’t always your dream job – just something to make some cash or whatever is available – and they can be a bit of a chore for four months. You might go straight from school to work and back to school with no time for a holiday.

Now that I’ve kindly pointed out everything that sucks about summer jobs, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Your summer job can help you get a real job. Some jobs are quick-cash makers (like tree-planting in B.C. – wow!) and aren’t really there to bolster up your resume for when you’ve graduated but to pay your tuition or living expenses for the coming year. However, if you really want to add some experience to your resume, there are summer jobs out there that can do just that. Libraries, youth centers, camps and rec centers are always looking for summer programmers and having “program coordinator” on the resume looks pretty good and really builds up skills you’ll use in your career-type jobs. You can always look around for those types of opportunities. Starting your own business during the summer, if you’re of an entrepreunerial mindset, could also look great on a resume and give you lots of experience even if it’s only lawncare or babysitting that you end up doing.

If you can, take a break! School is an intense, focused eight months of the year, and to begin working the day after your last final and quit the day before class starts could make you a bit more money but may also exhaust you, and rightly so. If you can, try to take a little break – a week off after finals or a week off before school begins – to give yourself some down time. If you can afford it and if the job allows, try for two. A chance to get refreshed and finally satisfy your craving for laziness and relaxation. Plus, it’s summer, and it’s the only time in this part of the world that the weather doesn’t pretty much suck! You need time to enjoy it.

Part-time Potential? Sometimes summer jobs can turn into a part-time deal during the school year, letting you work a couple shifts a week and make some extra cash. You might want to watch out for something along those lines. Who knows, if you work as a summer programmer at a library throughout university it could even turn into your first real job when you graduate – you never know what a summer job can become.

Stress or No Stress? Jobs that look good on a resume or could turn into full-time post-school jobs are always great, but they may involve a little more stress and responsibility on your part. If you’re feeling particularly taxed after a trying year at school, maybe you just want to paint houses or serve ice cream or something that doesn’t involve a ton of responsibility or a great deal of brainpower investment.

Anyway, things to keep in mind as you begin the job hunt. You can always go to RDC’s employment page to find summer jobs geared towards students if you need a place to start looking!

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