Author: Molly Kay

A Closer Look into UofT’s Faculty of Music

When I first entered the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music building (just across the road from Vic), I was fairly surprised by the interior. This faculty is one of the highest-ranking post-secondary institutions for studying music in the country, yet the inside was outdated and lacklustre. Most people know that the arts, in general, often receive little funding, and the Faculty of Music is no exception. Last month, I had the pleasure of speaking with Gordon Foote, the faculty’s Professor of Jazz Studies. Regarding the program funding, he said, “What the faculty really needs is a major donor...

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I Don’t Feel Safe on Public Transit

I started taking public transit by myself at the age of 14. Like many kids growing up in a big city, this meant commuting to a high school halfway across the city. I remember my mom obsessing and worrying over the thought of me taking the bus all by myself. She said I would have to be extra careful because I’m a girl, but I never really understood what she meant by that. City transportation opened up many opportunities for me; I got to see a side of my city that I had never seen before. I fell in love with the freedom that came along with...

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The Strand Reviews UofT Drama Fest, which Celebrates Student Theatre

  Every year, the University of Toronto Drama Coalition hosts its annual Drama Festival. This is an entirely student-run event; each college from the St. George Campus and groups from the Mississauga and Scarborough campuses are eligible to submit a play written and performed by students. This year—marking the 80th anniversary of the original competition—the festival ran from Wednesday February 10 to Saturday February 13. Thursday Night: Krystal Naval   On the second night of the Drama Festival I saw the WINDS production Our Cake to Eat and UC Follies’ Saltwater Forests and What She Said, the latter of which...

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Is the Joy of Reading Obsolete Because of School?

There is no doubt that university makes us better readers. It provides us with the skillset to analyze texts more efficiently and to become better critics in general. However, considering the quick pace at which we are expected to finish readings at the university level, one might argue that we actually miss out on the entire literary experience. Students are rarely told to read slowly and just enjoy the text for our own pleasure. Furthermore, once we finally manage to get through our seemingly never-ending list of readings, many students cringe at the prospect of cracking open a book for fun. So, is pleasure reading a dying art? As a humanities student, one of the things I look forward to most about breaks from school is the opportunity to finally read for my own enjoyment. As much as I enjoy several of my assigned readings, what I really enjoy is being able to read a novel at my own pace, without the stress of an upcoming assignment or a test on its content weighing over me the entire time. Perhaps the overwhelming pressure to complete our readings and assignments for a strict deadline can be blamed for taking the joy out of reading. Or maybe, after having dissected a novel or text for weeks, it seems impossible to enjoy literature ever again because it is so intellectually draining. It...

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ROM Special Lecture Offers Insight into the Culture of the Gulf

On November 10, I attended the tenth annual Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum. Each year this event strives to encourage and promote civility, empathy, understanding, and awareness of contemporary issues. This year, I had the pleasure of listening to Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President of the Sharjah Art Foundation. She spoke about arts, culture, and community in the Emirate of Sharjah. Born in the Emirate of Sharjah, a state in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Al Qasimi is the daughter of the emir. Despite her traditional and conservative upbringing, she has always been...

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