Spring is here and my parents have started planning their garden by growing tomato seeds indoors. In about a month’s time, these seeds will have grown into small plants that will be transplanted to the earth outside when the weather is warmer. There was an interesting article published in the March 17th issue of Current Biology that discusses how scientists were able to regrow a moss plant that had been frozen for 1,600 years. They just let it thaw and watered it. According to the authors, it is the first study to report the revival of a frozen plant or animal after such a long period of time.
Starting undergraduate studies is definitely one of the biggest transitions in anyone’s life. This gets even more significant when you come from a different country. As an international student, I faced a lot of changes as well. The biggest being to stay alone – away from your family. Change is life’s biggest truth, regardless of whether one accepts it or not. But one can only take a certain amount of change at a time.
Change is life’s biggest truth, regardless of whether one accepts it or not.
I arrived at Montreal two days after the beginning of the semester. As with many other international students, I had some delays in getting my visa. Luckily I had my uncle over here with whom I stayed for the first week. I was overwhelmed by the sight, when he dropped me off at the Roddick Gates for the first time. I could see the McGill flag flying at the top of the arts building. I had a feeling that I came to the right place.
Things started to move on pretty fast afterwards. Honestly, you don’t have much time to fit in at McGill. The professors go into full gear, assignments keep on piling up and exams start to knock on your door sooner than you even realize. It’s good in a way that you don’t have time to sit and feel bad for being away from your family. Well, I never did. Friends, in this case are a crucial element. It’s always nice to have people who are in your shoes. We supported each other in our bad times, shared our happiness and learned to overcome obstacles together. This really makes the transition much smoother than one can imagine.
It has been one semester now. In fact, it’s almost the end of my second semester. When I think of the first days, it feels like as if it was just yesterday! I can see myself to be quite a changed person. I can live independently. Never thought of that before; can’t believe it even now. It’s the beginning of a new life. And yes, I accepted the change.
I am pleased to introduce Mushfique, the Turret’s newest blogger. He joins some of his fellow students from this semester’s Communication in Engineering course in contributing to the blog about his experiences as a new student at McGill. Mushfique is an electrical engineering student from Dhaka, Bangladesh who will be staying on in Montreal this summer to take part in McGill’s Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering. Welcome to the Turret Mushfique! We look forward to hearing about your experiences as an international student in engineering.
While we are getting excited about the great opportunities that emerging technology brings to higher education and busy with creating distant learning modules, online tutorials, videos, and MOOCs, research from Concordia University’s Department of Education says that “Yes, students like technology, and yes, they want it in the classroom — but they still want classical instruction.” Read more at here.
Writing about one or more aspects of electric vehicles is a popular term paper topic. Beginning this week, the STM is testing an all-electric bus on select routes in Montreal as a possible option to help decrease its greenhouse emissions. I was pleasantly surprised to read in the Montreal Gazette that the STM already owns hybrid buses (part diesel and electric). An electric bus, depending on the model, costs 7-14% more than a hybrid bus, and 50-70% more than a diesel bus. The STM aims to purchase only electric buses when it starts replacing its existing fleet in 2025. I look forward to riding on one!
Image from STM