J.J. Bardoel

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Silhouette Intern

Compass Information Centre has recently announced that bus route Northlink 8 Guelph–Hamilton, frequently used by students, will cease to operate on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.

Aboutown had been running the route in affiliation with Compass since August 2010, however due to the influx of fuel and insurance costs and decreasing presence for inter-city operations, the route was forced to be pulled. “We receive no subsidization from any government source for inter-city and mass transits,” said Jeff Sich, Northlink Coordinator.

Any signage regarding the route has quickly been removed at Compass in the hopes that students will help inform the community. “The timing is not good for the students, because they are all on exams obviously,” said Debbie Good, Compass Manager. “We just want to make sure that students are not expecting that service to be there.”

Along with the Guelph-Hamilton route, all other inter-city routes through Aboutown will also cease on the same day. Students still looking for transportation in the area will still be able to use GO Transit and Greyhounds, which both run at comparable prices to the Aboutown route.

“We have received a couple of emails regarding the cancellation that was announced on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013,” said Sich. “We anticipate more in the New Year. All are disappointed with the announcement.”

Full refunds for customers who purchased tickets for future use will be available at Compass until Jan. 17, 2014.

J.J. Bardoel
Silhouette Intern

Humanities has introduced a new honours program to McMaster, Justice, Political Philosophy and Law, following approval from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The program is the outcome of two years of steady preparation from the Department of Philosophy.

The program went through a long process of approval from department faculty, the university and the ministry. Those advocating for the program creating a detailed brief outlining the programs structure, aims of the courses and benefits for students involved, as well as the unique traits the program could potentially bring to the campus.

“In our case, the consistency with President Deane's Forward With Integrity was an important part of the case we made for the JPPL,” said Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Elisabeth Gedge. “The JPPL Program will instantiate the values set out in FWI in a unique way.”

The main focus for students in the JPPL program will be to help develop an understanding of law and legal institutions, as well as perspective on political and moral theories. The ideologies will be reflected throughout the wide range of courses available, ranging from law and global politics to feminist jurisprudence and human rights.

The majority of students already involved with the program are currently aiming to attend law school, although Gedge emphasized that JPPL will also prepare students for potential careers in other fields, including politics, philosophy, human rights or public policy. “More broadly, JPPL should appeal to any student interested in becoming an informed and engaged Canadian and global citizen,” she said.

The centralized focus on law with the heavy emphasis on philosophical reflection and theology make the program unique in Canada.

Those in the program say the program’s feasibility is based on its faculty; the Department of Philosophy currently has two faculty members with law degrees, and a professor who is Chair in Constitutional Studies.

“It builds on strengths we currently have in the Philosophy department in areas of legal philosophy, political philosophy and applied ethics,” said Violetta Igneski, assistant professor in the Department purchase propecia of Philosophy.

The program hopes to offer experience and opportunities for internships, placements and community engagements in legal clinic, round tables and immigrant centres. Senior undergraduate students will also have the benefit of the Department of Philosophy’s active membership in the Ontario Legal Philosophy Partnership, a joint agreement between the philosophy departments of McMaster, York University and Osgoode Hall Law School, which allows for constant collaboration between the three parties.

In order to qualify for the program, students are recommended to complete Humanities I with at least three units of Level I philosophy, along with submitting a supplementary application form in March of their first year in McMaster. Enrolment will be limited, with roughly 60 students expecting to be admitted.

“Lots of students and parents ask, ‘What can I do with my degree?’” said Igneski. “This program has an answer to that.”

J.J. Bardoel
Silhouette Intern

We all had that friend growing up who couldn’t seem to sit still. No matter what the teacher said, their parents threatened or friends demanded, they would much rather be jumping around, pretending to be an animal, pirate or some miscellaneous sports star. It’s not because they were bad, they were just off in their own world, with their own rules. Their greatest play toy was their mind; their imagination. 

The switch that most kids have to turn their imagination on and off is distinct in most cases. When the story book was closed, logic and reason was turned back on. But for a lot of kids, the ability to phase seamlessly back into reality is something they lack. An overactive imagination is when the ideas that bounce around in our heads begin to bleed into actual vision. Some consider it dangerous. Is having an active imagination a bad thing?

In my house growing up, having an overactive imagination was considered a gift. When I was a kid, telling my parents about the stuff I was thinking was often entertainment for them. The feedback I got from all my crazy ideas influenced me to be more creative. I sought out more ways to get my thoughts out. The support my parents gave me to continuously find a creative outlet allowed me to explore different forms of art.

It was when the pencil crayons turned to pens, and the dinosaur drawings evolved into writing stories, that I felt fulfilled. Writing was where anything that I thought of could become physical. Instead of sitting in class, completely tuning out, I would write down what I was thinking. It was like turning on the faucet of my mind. My imagination led me to finding what I passionate about. Sure, I may daydream in class, but at least I have an idea of what makes me happy.

Coming from a household where having an imagination was so encouraged, it’s difficult for me to watch children nowadays grow up being numb to the childish behavior my peers and I were allowed to participate in.

Children aren’t allowed to be children anymore, because they have to grow up so fast. Childhood was a time to ask questions and explore what it means to be young.

Imagination is now a label for kids who are restricted by the uniform model of what society expects from youth. Imagination is not a hindrance, it is a vital part of self-discovery. 

J.J. Bardoel
Silhouette Intern

The teacher puts the paper on my desk. I have a pen in one hand and the other is clenched because I can’t remember anything I studied.  The same pessimistic mantra repeated over and over in my head as my eyes flicker through the questions, “I can’t do this, I can’t do this.” This is the most common scenario I’ve experienced during my time as a student. I have always had self-doubt; if I could do anything well, it was criticize myself. No matter what it is I do, the idea that the paper I just handed in is unreadable, or the job interview I gave wasn’t sufficient enough, negativity is something that constantly lingers with me. I’ve not only worried about others’ critiques, but often my own.

I am my own biggest critic, and although some call it being a perfectionist, it borders on insanity. I’ve never had a problem telling someone else how there paper was, in fact I feel obligated to compliment other people. However, no matter what my fingers pound on the keyboard it doesn’t suffice. It is only in the last couple of months, as I take the steps closer to my impending graduation, that I’ve realized how big of a problem it’s been. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it, it’s that I wouldn’t let myself do it. Why is it that I tear myself apart like I do?

For much of what I do my inner thoughts are negative, and it took a long time to realize why. I’ve never been one for self-analysis, mainly because I wasn’t sure what I would find (or if I wanted to know).  I needed to understand why I kept putting myself in this cynical bubble and got deflated when I didn’t do as well as I wanted to.

My self-doubt wasn’t because I was as useless as I thought I was (thank god), or I wasn’t capable of being successful, but because I was so busy comparing myself to others. I was making a false image of what I was supposed to be, and when I didn’t match up, I didn’t feel the need to try. It didn’t matter how much studying I did, I was doomed to fail before the pen hit the paper.

It’s completely normal to make expectations for ourselves. It gives us a goal to reach for. But before you start that assignment or cram your last bit of studying before exams, don’t tell yourself what you can’t do, because you may believe it. If you think about the reason you’re studying and apply a little positive reassurance to that knowledge, you may be that much closer to achieving that goal.

Self-doubt is a big problem for some. Don’t doubt your abilities. Next time you find yourself struggling, analyze the problem, and don’t critique it. Self-improvement is always important, not self-deprecation.

You can do it.

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