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.


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.

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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. 

The Traveller: Part I eBook Sale!

Hello everyone!

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


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

Click here to go to Smashwords!

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Words Unspoken About the Orlando Massacre

I’ve had a few people asking me to do a video on this topic, and for some reason I felt it wasn’t right. I didn’t want to throw my face into this debate, especially with all that happened.

I want to first take the time to offer my prayers and sympathies to the victims of this massacre, the families, and the LGBT community. It’s not fair that this happened to you, for one man to take away the security you’ve fought so hard for in the past few years (and continue to fight for).

By Ludovic Bertron from New York City, Usa –, CC BY 2.0,

It seems really strange and surreal to see the name ‘Mateen’ on the news. I’ve never really known anyone who has had the same name as me, and it seems like an abuse to the name for someone to go and commit this horrendous act. I don’t want to make this a thing about myself, but I feel that it’s necessary for me to share this with you.

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Donald Trump and Rhetoric

Donald Trump has changed American politics.

Now that he is the official Republican contender for the presidency, the Republican party has to accept the campaign that Trump ran on. Trump is known for wanting to ban Muslims from coming to America and saying that most Mexicans are rapists.

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Are Conservatives Too Late to Supporting Same-Sex Marriage?

Surprisingly the Tories have officially ended their opposition to gay marriages in a surprising 1036-462 vote at the Conservative convention. Canada legalized same-sex marriage 11 years ago.

Now many are criticizing the party for being too late to make such a declaration, considering that same-sex marriage has been legal for over a decade.


I think the opposite. I think this is a great step for the party itself.

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WWE Theory: What’s Going to Happen to AJ Styles?

Yes, I’m writing another WWE post. I’m sorry I’ll get back to politics soon.

Anyways a lot has happened since Extreme Rules: the qualifying matches for the Money in the Bank event have already happened, Jericho has stopped screaming, and Seth Rollins is back.

But most importantly, a lot has happened to AJ Styles (who, I will admit, I’ve never truly been a fan of). He is no longer a contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, he was knocked out of the Money in the Bank qualifiers by Kevin Owens, and he lost his best friends Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. So at this point, nobody really knows what is going to happen to AJ Styles.

WWE via Wrestling Rumors

Well, here’s what I think.

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Mike Duffy Cleared on all 31 Charges

After months of news articles and court visits, the verdict finally came out on Mike Duffy. Justice Charles Vaillancourt has cleared Duffy on all 31 charges as the Crown failed to get a single charge of fraud, breach of trust and bribery.



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Canada’s Human Rights Confusion

Stephane Dion made two major foreign policy announcements in the past coming days: one on North Korea and one of Saudi Arabia.

According to the National Newswatch, Dion condemned the announcement that North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb. On the other hand, the Canada-Saudi Arabia Arms Deal is still going through despite the executions that took place early January.

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