Serendipity Strikes Yet Again

Today I was on campus downtown (for reasons I won’t specify) and had to be there for quite some time. At about 9:15 am I was walking into the ASSU office when I say my buddy Zain Shafiq (of Association of Political Science Students Vice-Presidential fame) walking to his office (which is in the same hall but is about six times smaller).

I wondered why Zain was on campus on a Saturday (nevermind the fact that he lives about fifteen minutes away by walk anyway) and he wondered the same. I found out that apparently there was a something called a UofT Day where high school students came and got information on many of the various programs offered by the University. Since I had a lot of time to burn I decided I’d join Zain, and help the APSS guy out.

So we got the University College, and I think we actually trekked back to Sidney Smith at least a couple of times to pick stuff up to jazz up the Political Science department’s booth. We also got t-shirts for UofT Day (which look a lot like this picture). I, of course, wasn’t really representing a department (and ASSU always decides not to participate in this) so I just kind of got it for no reason.

After helping Zain set up the Political Science booth I went around introducing myself to pretty much every booth I got a shot at (considering I was competing with high school students, who kept turning around and asking me about whatever program’s booth I happened to be at). But I think I managed well, during the lulls, to meet a lot of new people. (I also managed to advise some students on how to get into medical school, pharmacy and law — that was predictable. Consider that I was really advising a guy’s mother — they were brown — rather than the guy himself about medical school; and when I tried to address the guy directly, his mother kept jumping back in..)

I met departmental administrators, department faculty, and students in departments (graduate and undergraduate). Many of the undergraduate students were actually members of various course unions (just like Zain). Many faces I knew, many others I didn’t.

What I didn’t like was the fact that they divided the “Arts” from the “Sciences” (the former in the West Hall and the latter in the East Hall). It’s bad enough that most university students don’t have the word “inter-disciplinary” in their vocabularies, but that kind of segregation isn’t helping anything. (It was nevertheless funny to find Fine Arts, Architecture and Music in the Science section). I think they should mix up the booths even more so people don’t all simply rush to ask how to get into medical school, but are confronted by — say Philosophy — on their way over to the Human Biology table. Something might catch someone’s eyes by mistake, and it wouldn’t hurt to help along serendipity.

I’ve concluded that whenever the university holds an event like this in the future, I ought to go and crash it, just like I did this one. It’s a great way to meet new students and university personnel; and, of course, to hand out my business cards (on which I have to write my name myself, because ASSU only has generic “Executive Member” cards). this!

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