Thursday, December 13, 2007

My appreciation....

Today is December, 13-th , 2 days ago we finished our exams and EAP program. I want to say that for me it was a special and unique program and I really learned a lot. Exactly one year ago, my English was at such a low level, I couldn't imagine that I can improve it significantly and would be able to write, speak and read like I do now. I was eager to achieve English proficiency in order to have a chance to become a student at the university. I know that it is important to continue improving English skills further, but things I have learned till now are so valuable that without them I would have been completely lost! I feel lucky that I had such professional teachers with great personalities and remarkable qualities who made it possible for me. Scott and Sandy, thank you so much!!! Thank you for motivating and inspiring me, for helping me and making the learning process so interesting!! You are such great teachers. I am sure, everyone who gets a chance to be your student is very lucky! And we definitely were fortunate, because not always a person gets a chance like we got in EAP3 with the teachers. And as I have said before, I feel extremely lucky that I had such wonderful instructors ( through the whole program)! I wish you all the best!!! Also, I wish everybody to have great, unforgettable holidays and good rest!

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Writing exam is over now...

Hello everybody! Can you believe it, the first and one of the most difficult tests is already behind us, yeee! I was so nervous in the morning, but forced myself to calm down. You know when I am nervous, I feel like this nervousness is killing my brain or something, so I was afraid of situation being stuck while I am writing ( you know like a black out). The day before I reviewed a lot of material about mind and everything that connected to it, and thought that I would probably write an essay related to dreams, like interpretations and stuff. May be I should have... In this case it could have been more interesting for me and for Scott, but when I saw the question about the energy source, I thought it will be easier to write. So, I changed my mind, and wrote an essay about the geothermal. I decided, since it is a final -more importantly is to follow the rules and do not try to write something extremely interesting! I have only one regret, I wish I could review this topic one more time yesterday. But, hopefully everything will be fine with it ( fingers crossed). Monday is going to be also very intense, I have 2 exams: the reading exam and also the oral interview. I must stay positive and believe that everything is going to be fine! I will rest tomorrow and will obtain some energy from sport ( Maja, don't forget about scatting tomorrow) and on Sunday I will review some reading strategies! I am so tired and need a lot of energy to finish the exams! I wonder, what is the best source of energy for humans? Food and sleeping is obvious, but what else? Good mood, sports and fresh air I believe. I guess, I could write an essay about it. It would be more interesting, imagine my thesis statement: Positive thinking, sport and fresh air are the best sources of energy which a person needs in order to be strong and survive in this world ......ha-ha Do you agree? So get some extra energy for yourself during this weekend. OK, I wish everybody a good weekend and a lot of luck in the upcoming tests!

Saturday, December 1, 2007


The finals are approaching and only a few days left till the writing exam which is the most challenging one. Scott said that he might give us a topic to compare things ( contrast or comparison essay), so today I decided to practice a little bit and compare cats with dogs -kind of childish, but useful. Moreover, I couldn't resist and wanted to dedicate at least one column to cats -my favorite creatures. I do like dogs too , but cats - I just adore them, may be I was a cat in my previous life or just because I have always had cats since my early childhood, I don't know. What I know - they are smart, sweet, graceful pets who possess the greatest qualities in the world. One who says that dogs are superior to cats, I won't argue, I will say - may be, but any way it's debatable. We can't say for sure who is better, it is silly, but I want to present some benefits of having a cat over a dog from my personal point of view. Unlike dogs, cats are usually indoor pets and don't have to go out. It means two things. First- you don't have to get up early in the morning in order to walk a dog( imagine if it's freezing outside) as well as to find time to do it in the evening. Second- if you decide to take a trip ( up to 3 days), you can easily leave a cat along at home with no fear, you just have to provide him/her food, water and a litter box. Isn't it simple? In contrast to cats, dogs cannot be along at home more than a day, they are not independent as cats. Another special quality of cats is that they have an ability to reduce stress. I think it has been proved that they have a special influence on people, they actually reduce blood pressure!!! Have you heard an expression - "therapy cats" who can cure? Honestly, when you are patting a cat, you feel relaxed and get the feeling like all your stresses flow out. Although dogs might also have these abilities, I believe that cats are more tranquil than dogs. Many people say dogs are smarter, however if you have a goal to train your cat, it is absolutely possible. Similar to a dog, a cat can understand perfectly your intentions or feelings. Also, both dogs and cats are very loyal to their owners. OK, in conclusion I must say that in spite of the big responsibility, having a pet is a great joy. Each person chooses according to his/her preferences, but I am definitely more attracted to cats rather than dogs. They are sooooooooo cute!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Two weeks left..........

I can't believe it, only 2 weeks left until the finals... It sounds surreal to me because it seems that we just started this semester a few weeks ago, so to say that 3 months are almost over - kind of unbelievable for me. I thought it will be like forever in the beginning, I got used to go to the classes every day. Just imagine, in 2 months from now it is going to be totally different, we are going to study along with the native speakers ( hopefully all of us will pass this level). I feel scary and excited at the same time. I wonder what do you feel? Probably, we'll have more homework than we have now and it will be much harder because we will have to deal with so many things. We obtained our language skills in order to understand lectures and absorb information in our future studying. In fact, we learned so many useful things, so many strategies which I am sure will help us. I am really amazed by international students who just pass TOEFL and start studying without any preparation. There are so many rules we need to know as international students, I personally believe that if I had tried to go straight to my faculty, I would have probably failed everything. Now I feel more confident and know for sure that I will perform better. Also, I am amazed by the students who manage to study successfully and work many hours simultaneously. They deserve praise with no doubt. I have a great example - my sister. She is working full time ( sometimes even overtime), she has a child and a house to take care of, plus she is doing her Master Degree. I call her a super woman because I don't think I could do the same. I know there are many similar examples that show it is possible. I wonder what is the secret- strong mental or physical health? I know that sometimes there are cases that you don't choose, you just have to do it. Part time job I guess is OK, I had this experience before, I studied and worked, but I didn't have such intensive studying though. Hmmm, depends on many things, like how many responsibilities do you have? If you have too much, it is really hard to cope with all, only the strongest individuals can do that.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Four perfect seasons in Calgary!

Today I decided to dedicate my topic to the weather in Calgary. Since I've been here almost a year and had a chance to observe all 4 seasons, I can surely say that I am pleasantly surprised. I know that the weather could change unexpectedly, but even if tomorrow will be heavy snowstorm, still, I will say that I am happy with the weather. The thing is, before I came in Canada, I had heard many complaints about the climate in here. So I expected that it will be something like in Siberia. Instead, I found that it is mostly shiny and the air is dry, as a result lot's of sun and low humidity soften the severe cold in winter. In summers there are some really hot days, but not so many. This fall season - is the most beautiful and soft period I've ever seen in my life! I wonder, if this year is kind of an exception or may be it is indeed the result of Global Warming. Well, I am curious whether we will have -40 this winter or not? By the way, I have no idea if there is a rule that tells you to stay at home when it's too cold in Canada. For instance, I remember when we had something near -35 in my country, we remained at home because all our classes at school would be cancelled. Many of us wore special boots during the winter, I think in English they are called "felt boots" (from special wool), actually I really miss them, they are funny but so warm! Also, I remember that when it was too cold - wearing 2 pairs of gloves didn't always help me and the first thing I did when I entered home is running to the bathroom in order to put my frozen hands under the extremely hot stream of water for a few minutes. So, I haven't experienced such things in Calgary yet, may be I will , I don't know. In the meantime I enjoy the weather...Actually my main point is that despite everything we can always find beauty in every season and I am glad that they are changing 4 times a year in Calgary, otherwise it would be boring.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Vision or my new "eyes" !

This week was kind of difficult for me because my headaches increased, so on Monday I realized that I couldn't read nor could I look at the computer any more. I felt terrible pain and pressure in my eyes , mostly when I was reading or tried to focus on something for more than 5-10 minutes. I felt lucky that I had managed to do the most of the "due assignments" during the past weekend, and honestly somehow despite the discomfort I could hand in everything on time ( I just hate to postpone things). So , again, I felt no energy and was scared what is wrong with me, so I called to the ophthalmologist ( an eye doctor) who said that they cannot accept clients without a special letter from a family doctor. Ok, I went to see a family doctor who said that I need to see an optometrist - one who gives prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses. So I called to a clinic to make an appointment and found out that the next available date is only next week. I knew that I can't wait any longer and kept searching for other places until I found an optometrist for this week (for yesterday). Unfortunately, I had to skip listening quiz, but I was so desperate, I couldn't relax, my eyes were so tensed and my brain couldn't think of anything else except this discomfort. Finally I was examined by a doctor who said that it could be migraines that caused the pressure as well as my vision decreased in one eye significantly. Eventually, I got new prescription and ordered new glasses. Actually, a sales person said at first that they should to be ready in a week or so, but seeing my reaction changed 1 week to 1 hour!!! Yeees, I was so happy! So I got new glasses, and I think I feel better now although it always takes some time to get used to the new pair of glasses. I don't know, may be I have to change lighting on my desk and stop reading in the bed in a horizontal position ? The one thing I know for sure, when I studying intensely I must let my eyes rest or make some special eye exercise every hour or two. Otherwise it will cause another impairment of my vision. People who have 100% vision - it is such a gift! You should be careful and follow all the rules in order to keep it. I wasn't following them and it turned out badly. The thing is I won't be able to study if I disregard these important things such as to keep a proper distance when you read ( at least 30 cent.) or sitting up when you read, etc. In short, take care of your eyes carefully, protect your vision! I know it's hard, especially when you read something interesting or surf the Internet ( you kind of forget about time), but we must remember how hard our eyes work........ I am so glad we have 4 days off and a small amount of homework because my eyes are still very tired and I'll just let them rest for a while.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Dreams!!! interesting! I had never thought about it so deeply until we started studying this topic in class.Now I know many versions why people are dreaming, how many times at night and what dreams can mean. Some people believe that dreams can predict the future. Others just associate images from a dream with the events that happened recently. Honestly, I looked at a dream-book few times, but all seemed kind of silly to me so I just dropped it. Moreover, many times it predicted me such terrible things and I thought if I read it, it might effect me and change the reality because I'll start to believe in it... So it is better for me not to turn to the dream dictionaries. In my opinion, dreams could mean unresolved problems and reflection of our daily life, or just the fact that our brains stay active during the night and try to select the whole information obtained during the day. Usually, if I think about something too much ,99% I will see it in my dreams . What worries me - why does my mam frequently see terrible things that related to me in her dreams( especially in the last year)? For example, in her dreams I emerge as injured or almost dying, or crying for help. She always calls me after these scary dreams and checks if I am OK, and also begs me to be extra careful. Why does she have these dreams? Does she worry too much about me all the time, or may be it is kind of warning? For sure, I don't want to search for the answers in the dream-books. They will probably foretell something unpleasant or frightening. Since I am really impressionable person, I would prefer not to know... But it is really interesting to write an essay about dreams , if someone sees fire in his/her dream is welcome to ask me about it because I am already an expert.....

Have sweet dreams!