Post-secondary students must learn to manage stress

The joys and the challenges of moving away from home to attend postsecondary school are two sides of the same coin, says Polly MacFarlane, director, personal & crisis counselling & learning skills in York University’s Counselling & Disability Services, in an article published by Nov. 4.

For most students, it’s a time of self-discovery. “It is an opportunity to discover things about yourself, to learn things about yourself,” MacFarlane says. “What are my values? Who are the people I want to have around me? How will I learn to be with myself and be comfortable with who I am?”

A sense of autonomy and a distance from their nuclear families, she says, help students set their own boundaries and form their own opinions on everything from alcohol and drug use to eating and exercise to relationships and career paths.

But for many, the new independence can be overwhelming, she says. Unaccustomed to managing their own time, some make a social life their first priority, skipping lectures or falling behind on reading, and find themselves unprepared for exams.

Others struggle with busy schedules that include part-time jobs they need to help pay for their education as well as school, personal and family commitments. “Students face a lot of stress when they come to university,” she says. “And learning to manage that stress can be a struggle.”

Most universities and colleges, MacFarlane says, have services to help students build organizational and academic skills. York, for example, offers workshops in everything from time management to note taking.

Wireless robot goes where divers fear to swim

This marine robot is called AQUA, and its creators believe it will help researchers better explore and collect data in the planets’ oceans, wrote New York-based Chinese television station NTD.TV Nov. 5 in an article that accompanied a video report featuring Michael Jenkin, professor in York University’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, who is one of AQUA’s creators.

Jenkin believes his robot will open new vistas for deep-sea exploration. “Diving gets more dangerous the deeper you go. It gets more dangerous if you are in an overhead environment. So you can remain a reasonable distance from the robot and in reasonable safety and have the robot and have the robot do the more dangerous thing. And so that allows you to have the robot go into shipwrecks or explore partially collapsed environments instead of putting the operator at risk.”

Just what the world needs: Durban III

Here we go again. The United Nations is planning Durban III, one more racist “anti-racism” event – this time to take place in New York City in September 2011, wrote Anne Bayefsky, political science professor in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, in an article for the National Post Nov. 5.

The original conference, and the non-governmental forum that preceded it, were held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001. That notorious platform for violent, pro-terrorist and anti-Semitic rhetoric included such speakers as Yasser Arafat and Fidel Castro. It ended just three days before 9/11. Now the UN is going to mark the 10th anniversary of its historical gathering of hate-mongers to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the death and destruction that such hatemongering has wrought.

In the next three weeks, the Obama administration will have to vote on the General Assembly resolution containing the “modalities” for September’s New York City UN bash. The administration should not only vote no, but must also respond clearly and unequivocally to the following question: Does President Obama plan to attend Durban III, and will his administration take immediate steps to prevent the UN’s use of New York City as a vehicle to encourage anti-Semitism under the pretence of combating racism?

Insurance to cover damages when the vows break

Because the “for poorer” part of marriage vows often comes with a nasty split, couples have a new type of contract to consider: divorce insurance, wrote Postmedia News Nov. 5.

Divorce expert Anne-Marie Ambert expects the insurance to arrive soon. “If you get this (insurance), you’re really stating, ‘We’re not going to make it,’” says Ambert, professor emerita of sociology in York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.

  • A scholar at one of Canada’s leading law schools predicts Canadian couples will one day have a new type of contract to consider: divorce insurance, wrote Postmedia News Nov. 5. The controversial insurance, recently unveiled in the United States, will come to be “offered widely” in this country, where nearly two in five marriages – 38%  – are dissolved before the 30th wedding anniversary, predicted James Morton, adjunct professor at York’s Osgoode Hall Law School. He’s unsure, however, of how well the product will take off.

$50,000 Grange Prize winner exhibited at York

After a 40-day public vote, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and Aeroplan announced that Toronto-based artist Kristan Horton is the winner of The Grange Prize 2010, wrote Nov. 4. The $50,000 prize is Canada’s largest photography prize, also granting $5,000 to each of the runners-up, and is the only major Canadian art prize whose winner is chosen by the public.

Horton’s multi-disciplinary practice includes sculpture, drawing, photography and video. His acclaimed Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove project was seen in a series of over 40 photographs exhibited at the Art Gallery of York University and was accompanied by a publication illustrating all 200 diptychs (2007).         

First Canadian-born black justice is focus of documentary

Linda Carter has put three “intensive” years of work into “The Making of the Judge”, a one-hour documentary on Justice George Carter (LLB ’48), the first Canadian-born black judge in the country, a long-time Etobicoke resident who is now retired., wrote Nov. 4.

The documentary is set to air on OMNI-TV 1 on Sunday, Nov. 7, at 9pm with a Portuguese-audience version hitting the small screen on Sunday, Nov. 21, at 8pm.

Born in Toronto, the oldest of 14 children, George made early strides toward his eventual position. After a stint with the army during the Second World War, he returned home and graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1948. The future judge had to shop himself around before articling in 1945 with B.J. Spencer Pitt, the only black lawyer practising in Ontario. In 1947, he worked for Sydney Harris (who is featured in the documentary), a Jewish Canadian.

George went on to open his own practice on Bay Street in 1952. In 1979, he was appointed as a judge in the Ontario Provincial Court and later to the Ontario Court of Justice, where he served for 16 years.

Figuring it out on the roller rink

Kailah Macri and Murielle Kaschl have qualified to represent Canada in the junior division at the Roller Figure Skating World Championships in Portimão, Portugal Nov. 24 to Dec. 4, wrote Canoe Sports’  Nov. 4. After the worlds, Macri plans to return home to Canada for Christmas and hopes to go to York University next September.

On air

  • CTV News reported on York grad and CTV reporter Galit Solomon (BA Hons. ’00) receiving a Bryden Alumni Award Nov. 4.
  • Jillian Steinberg (BSW Hons. ’10), a social work grad from York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and a recovering anorexic, took part in a panel discussion on eating disorders, on I-Channel TV Nov. 4.