Thomson house

This is Thomson House, the grad students' building
This is Thomson House, the grad students' building

As a graduate student at McGill, I have access to Thomson House, a building set aside for the use of grad students. You can go there and get relatively cheap meals. Also there is a pub, a ballroom and offices for the Graduate Students society at McGill. It’s pretty nifty. I went there for lunch with a professor yesterday, to talk about details regarding my TA-ship.

I’m really looking forward to being TA this year. The prof has given me a lot of freedom in the way that I run my “conferences,” which is what they call “tutorials” here at McGill. It looks like I’ll have two sections and I won’t be required to go to the class, except for the days on which the essays are assigned.

The prof said that he has had uniformly good experiences with bioethics students as TA’s in the past, which is good – it just means that I have to live up to his expectations, now! :|

Downtown church

A church in downtown Montréal where you can see its steeple reflected in a nearby glass skyscraper
A church in downtown Montréal where you can see its steeple reflected in a nearby glass skyscraper

Here’s a cool-looking church in downtown Montréal. I like the way that the steeple reflects in the glass building behind it. The first time I walked past, there was an airplane flying such that I could see it reflected as well, but I was too slow on the trigger to catch it.

McGill O-Week

O-Week at McGill
O-Week at McGill

It’s O-Week here at McGill, and I’m reminded of that every time I pass through campus. There are a few tell-tale signs:

  • Students are wearing matching t-shirts, and the girls have cut their shirts up so that you can see more of their skin.
  • Students are drunk in the middle of the day.
  • Students are walking around in groups based on their faculties and yelling at each other.

Student fees

My student fees have been calculated. :| Fortunately, I don’t have to pay until I receive my OSAP.

There are a few interesting charges on my bill:

  • QPIRG – McGill: This apparently is the Quebec Public Interest Research Group. I’m paying $3 to fund their research this year.
  • Transcript and Diploma Charge: I’m paying $19.20 for this. I wonder what this pays for. I’m pretty sure I have to pay the school whenever I order a transcript. I guess it pays for the printing of my degree when I graduate. But then I won’t graduate this year, so what does it pay for?
  • Athletics and Recreation Fee: $114 – not a bad deal, really. I haven’t found any other gyms for $114 a year. Well for 8 months, really.
  • PGSS Dental Plan: I should really make use of this, considering I’m paying $189.75 for it.

Those were the most interesting ones.

Why is that there?

This is the James Administration Building at McGill University
This is the James Administration Building at McGill University

Here is the James Administration Building at McGill. It is a big stone building just to the right of the Arts Building, and that’s where I went to get my student card. I expect that I’ll spend many long hours there in line-ups, just like I did at the Stevenson-Lawson Building at UWO.

But did you notice something strange? Look closely at the photograph and tell me if you see what I see.

Look just above the McGill crest, between the two swirlies over the “ADMINISTRATION” doorway. There’s a frog. Why is there a frog? Below is a close-up. I’ll give you 4 whole points if you can tell me why there’s a frog, and why it’s a slightly different colour than the rest of the stonework above the door.

Why is there a frog?
Why is there a frog?

The best thing in the U-Haul store

The best thing in the U-Haul store
The best thing in the U-Haul store

So after the mess-up with the U-Haul in Montréal, U-Haul generously sent me a gift certificate for the trouble they caused me, Pickles and my parents. I went on the U-Haul store on Sunday night to see just what exactly I can get there.

There were boxes and there was packing tape. There were packing chips and even special little envelopes, but I don’t think that anything could ever top the truck antlers.

Pickles is reluctant to let me get them, even though we have a gift certificate for it. “We’re trying to draw less attention to our car!”

I think they’re hilarious. My little sister says that we should buy them, give one of them to my older sister and my brother-in-law, and keep the other for ourselves. That way, we can affix the one to the front of the van, and rather than being a deer, we can be a unicorn. I would seriously be okay with that.