The Importance of Confidence, or The Barriers Without It

I always thought the process of getting a job was simple and straightforward: you go to school, you learn a bunch of things you need to know, and you’ll be ready to be thrown into the workforce (or at least ready enough).

These past few months have been sobering for me in realizing that this belief is very far from the actual truth. In reality, no amount of education can completely and entirely prepare you for the real world.

Source: ELearningIndustry.com

Don’t get me wrong: school does teach you what you need to know (usually) and prepares you as best it can in a very comforting environment. As a language teacher, my job is to help students use English in the outside world. As a teacher, my job is to teach speaking, writing, reading and listening skills, as well as strengthen them and tailor them for the modern Torontonian society (whose language is CONSTANTLY changing. Seriously. What is ‘the 6’?)

But I’ve come to this realization that I can only prepare my students, just like school can only prepare me. Everything else comes down to how confident I am in my skills, and same goes with using a language.

Continue reading

The Most Important Difference Between (Private) Colleges and Universities

I haven’t ever done a post like this, where I talk about and critique the education system in some way. Well I’m doing that now.

And just on a side note, I think it’s important to discuss and comment on the education system. Not only is it a fundamental system, but it is possibly the most important part of a person’s development.

Recently I have been studying for my TESL Ontario certification (for those of you who don’t know what the TESL is, it is a certification to be able to teach English as a second language). In the second semester of my course, we’ve focused on many different aspects of teaching.

One of these aspects is linguistics.

This was interesting for me especially since I’ve studied linguistics before in my university career. A lot of the information we touched upon was information I had previously studied, so this was kind of a review for me.

Or so I thought.

I think what I learned from studying linguistics was the important difference in learning when it comes to a smaller and more tactile setting, like the one we see in private and public colleges, compared to learning in a bigger setting with a more theoretical and less practical approach, like the one you’d see in university.

So how does that affect what you’re learning?

University puts a focus on theory, teaching you mostly everything there is to know on a certain topic. A lot of this is to present ideas to students for them to critically challenge them. This is one of the great things about many programs at universities: students are given theories and are allowed to disagree with them, provided they are able to balance it with fact. It is a great skill to have.

But that’s also where the problem lies.

Looking back at my notes for my university linguistics class, a lot of the information given was not entirely needed and actually made the material a lot more confusing. That is essentially the thing with university education: the material you learn isn’t for a specific practical value, but rather for dissection and discussion. I wasn’t learning linguistics for a certain actionable purpose, or at least it didn’t feel that way.

Now before I keep going, a lot of programs are not like this. Some of them are practical.

Now comes the private college. I’ve been studying to get my TESL certification, and one part of the program is two separate linguistics modules: phonology and general linguistics (which actually includes a lot).

The module taught the same, or similar, information, but there was a huge difference: each module was taught for a specific purpose, and it was entirely transparent as to what I was to do with the information. When it came to phonology, it was to improve pronunciation for L2 learners. When it came to syntax and historical linguistics, it was for teachers to get a background knowledge when it comes to teaching. The teaching of these modules had a focus.

Now I realize that comparing an introduction course in university to a specialized course in private college isn’t the best comparison, but it is just to point out a similarity that I’ve experienced. The reality is that I, amongst other students, left university feeling as if they have no practical knowledge or actionable skills. A communications major can go into journalism, but the program didn’t make me a good journalist. A course on documentaries was to dissect it, not on how to become a documentarian.

The reason why I write this is because the stigma that colleges face has no real reason to exist. As much as we pretend there is a hierarchy in terms of post-secondary education, there really shouldn’t be. I, as a university graduate, am absolutely not smarter than a college graduate. As a matter of fact, the lack of experience that a college student might have received in a practicum, a placement or a co-op leaves them in a better direction than I am. Yet, with all this, those who go to colleges are unfairly looked down upon and are thought to be inferior.

At the end of the day, I just paid a lot for a piece of paper that tells me I learned a lot. However, I had to go to a private college to fill a void that my university truly couldn’t accomplish.

And that’s it! I’d love to hear your thoughts as to whether you agree or disagree with me, or even if you have any questions! Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

Writing Update – Featured in an App!!

Hello everyone,

It has been a while since I’ve given any updates on my writing. I’ll just cut right to the chase.

In early 2017, I was contracted to write stories for a company called Happy Square Studios, an amazing Toronto-based company that develops apps. It was a short period, but we created some amazing and beautiful stories.

Continue reading

The Traveller: Part I eBook Sale!

Hello everyone!

The Traveller: Part I, my first poetry book, is having a sale over at Smashwords!

14192117_10153636169141566_5508129472355456149_n

From March 5-11, using the code SFREE, you can get the entire eBook for free!

Click here to go to Smashwords!

Continue reading

The Absolute Greatest Thing about Doctor Who: The Regenerations

For those of you who haven’t seen the regenerations of any of the Doctors, please continue this post with caution. I will probably spoil something.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen Doctor Who. I stopped watching shortly after the latest Doctor for so many reasons, but that’s not why I’m writing this.

Continue reading

Let It Go – Chapter One

The following is the first chapter of a story, one that I will continuously add to every now and then. It is not real and hasn’t been properly thought out. I write this as I go along. I literally have no idea where any of this is going. – MM

***

It was raining, and I could hear the drops hit the window of our hotel. It was an unfamiliar place, even though it was the end of our journey. This hotel was conveniently located near the airport, making a mid-night flight a lot easier. I vowed to myself to stay awake, as I would prefer to sleep on the plane. Though whether that occurs seems to be up to chance.

Continue reading

Do You Feel Like You’re Forgetting Something?

There are so many moments where we might want to remember something, like a phrase you want to search on Google or a song you heard in the elevator. Hell, you might want to even remember a video you wanted to record.

But then you forget it.

Continue reading

Fear Sucks. – New Vlog Post

I know it has been a while since my last YouTube video (and I’ll address that in a later post), but recently I did a video called “Fear Sucks.”

Continue reading

The Traveller: Part I is Available in Paperback & Goodreads Giveaway!

As many of you know, my first ever poetry book, The Traveller: Part I, was finally released in paperback! In this post you’ll find some more information, a sale at the Etsy shop, and a GOODREADS GIVEAWAY!

14192117_10153636169141566_5508129472355456149_n

Continue reading

The Floor – Short Story

He found himself awake on the floor. He wasn’t entirely sure why he was lying there, but he knew it wasn’t the result of a fall or anything like that. It seemed to make sense anyhow, as he stared at the rock-like ceiling. He moved his head to the side and saw he was accompanies by piles of dust, thinking to himself that he might one day want to clean it.

image

He was mesmerized by the ceiling, more so by the fact that he could make shapes out of the unsymmetrical popcorn that faced him. It almost felt like looking at the stars, something he remembered doing as a child. “Child” – his train of thought stumbled on that word. That was a much simpler time, he thought, when he saw the world through the lens of a periscope. The changing colours always excited him, and how storms would eventually bring sunshine. It was a simpler way to view the world, one that he had realized was far different from the one he was living now.

Continue reading