Posts Tagged ‘School’

Thangachi’s Corner: Body Image

By Editor - April 27th, 2015

Thangachi's Corner: Body Image

That’s what left me flabbergasted in the middle of a Phys-Ed class, staring at a wide-eyed six-year old as basketballs bounced around us. It took me about three seconds to recover—I felt my response would momentarily shape this child’s perception of body image, and I wasn’t going to let an opportunity like that pass by without making a change worthwhile:

“Skinny?” I responded. “Forget about being skinny! What’s really important is being strong and healthy and happy. That’s what we should care more about, don’t you think? That’s why we do exercise and play games in Phys-Ed—to make our hearts strong and healthy. You’re beautiful just the way you are!”

Chronicles of a Tamil Freshman – Part 4

By Editor - February 23rd, 2015

Chronicles of a Tamil Freshman – Part 4

Being an Arts and Science Major, Tanya was enrolled in a wide variety of courses—Writing and Informal Logic, Calculus, Climate Change & Global Warming, and Biological Processes were a few on her course list this term. Breathing heavily, Tanya ran down the corridor of GBS (George Benjamin Science Building), and found room 145. She looked down at her phone, and saw that it was now 8:37 am. “Great, I’m late to my first class on my first day of University. There’s only like five billion people in there. What a way to be remembered,” Tanya sighed.

Tanya slowly opened the lecture hall door, and prayed that her professor wouldn’t make a scene. She tip-toed up the staircase in the center of the hall, and scanned the room for an empty seat. She didn’t make it very far, before she began attracting everyone’s attention.

“Welcome to your first lecture in Writing and Informal Logic, otherwise known as ENGLISH 1Q03. Today we will be cov—”, the professor paused mid-way as he began his lecture. Tanya slowly turned around, and was met by his fuming expression.

Chronicles of a Tamil Freshman – Part 1

By Editor - January 5th, 2015

Chronicles of a Tamil Freshman – Part 1

With one swift strike, she hit the snooze button on her rusty Sony alarm clock and once again the room was silent. Her room was small with cream coloured walls, a twin bed, a wooden desk scattered with registration papers and to-do lists, a sliding closet opposite the bed, three labeled suitcases stacked in the corner, and a bulky Persian rug that gave the space a retirement-home feel.

Fifteen minutes passed, and the alarm jangled again. Tanya opened one eye and peeked at the clock. “Ten more minutes”, she mumbled, whacking the snooze button once more. She closed her eyes, and exhaled deeply. She had a big day ahead, and was in no hurry to let it begin. The comfort, however, was short-lived.

It was then, that she heard it.

“TANYA?!” her mom hollered from downstairs, wearing an old-fashioned, brightly coloured Tamil nightie.

Tanya knew how angry her mother became if, god forbid, her morning tea ran cold. Eyes wide, she channeled her inner Vijay and lunged out of bed. She showered, brushed her teeth and carried on with her usual morning routine. She brushed her short, wavy, black hair and clipped it back with one-too-many bobby pins. She slid open her closet and put on a red sweater and dark jeans that complemented her slender figure and olive skin tone. Feelings of fear and excitement welled up inside of her, as she knew she’d be moving into her college dorm room in just a few hours.

Thangachi’s Corner: Early Birds and Night Owls

By Admin - October 23rd, 2013

Thangachi’s Corner: Early Birds and Night Owls

October 23, 2013

CTYA’s Blog has started a new Feature every other Wednesday called “Thangachi’s Corner”. “Thangachi’s Corner” is a comfortable space to discuss relatable topics and issues relevant to the Canadian Tamil youth of today. For more information about this feature or to suggest a topic, feel free to e-mail us at!

Written By: Keerthana Raveendran


It’s that time of year again. Midterms.

Ah, midterms, characterized by not only their long nights and early mornings, but by the dependency of coffee they force on us as well, reducing us to a state of sleep deprivation and binge study-eating to make up the difference.

The midterm season has begun.

Some of us, we’re night owls. We chug our caffeinated beverages and stay awake until the early hours of morning, finding progress in the still quiet of the dark once everyone is asleep. We set goals for ourselves and use sleep as a bribery tool, taunting our tired consciousness with the claim that the eyes can finally rest after one more chapter. Progress is a path to blissful reward.

And then there are early birds. We rise with the sun, or at least we claim to; we’re usually awake well before that golden orb makes its way across the horizon. We too work in the still quiet of the dark, but effective studying usually comes as a result of the sleep already sacrificed—If I’m going to wake up at this ungodly hour, I cannot let my precious sleep die in vain. Progress is then a valiant gesture avenging lost rest.

There is much controversy regarding whether it is more effective to be a night owl or an early bird, and while I can’t speak accurately to that, I can say this: seven to eight hours of sleep is not a luxury—it’s a necessity. And it’s probably in your best interest to claim them.

While it may seem more productive to lay a few hours of sleep to the wayside in favour of memorizing another chapter, you’re actually missing out on a great deal of potential for consolidation. Let’s take a look at why that is.

The sleep cycle is divided into two chunks—a period of non-REM sleep that is subsequently divided into four stages; and a period of REM, or Random Eye Movement sleep—this is when all of our dreams are constructed. While all stages of the sleep cycle have a role in the development of our brains, Stage II of that non-REM sleep is the one you’re going to want to get. It effectively puts all those hours you spent cramming to use. As it turns out, this stage consolidates long term declarative memories—that is, it reinforces the memorization of facts and figures. This way, when you wake up, you actually remember everything you learnt the night before, rather than feel as though your learning memory slipped away into unconsciousness the moment you opened your eyes.

So subjecting yourself to three hours of sleep before an exam? Probably not a good idea. You may find yourself waking up in a panic and reviewing your notes yet again. Sleep gives you an edge in that it helps you rely more on your long-term memory than your short-term memory, which is only going to help you in the long run.

During midterms, and the period of finals that follow all too soon, you are going to be doing a lot of studying. You will read a lot. You will have no social life. You will probably cry a little. But try not to sacrifice sleep if it can be avoided. After all, it is the furthest from being a waste of time.

Now that that’s over with, go ahead and take that as an excuse to take a nap.

Stage II of the sleep cycle and all.

About the Author:

Keerthana Raveendran, known by her flock as Thangachi, is an aspiring author with an eye for the eccentricities of the Tamil Canadian culture. As an unemployed student with a mountain load of student debt, she is currently broke, so you will probably be able to relate to her. As a writer, she has a special kind of wit that is present on the page and absent during the awkward conversations you tend have with her in person. Thangachi is currently a Masters student studying English at York University.

Read More by Keerthana!

Need Online Research Help? AskON.

By Editor - March 5th, 2011

Need Online Research Help? AskON.

askON is a real-time chat information service that offers immediate, interactive, and knowledgeable research and reference help on-line. Using chat, askON staff provide research guidance and can help you navigate the Internet, your library’s services, and other online resources; including several significant, full text magazine and newspaper resources licensed for the use of Ontarians by Knowledge Ontario.