Closing Remarks

Dear QUEUC Attendees,

It has come to my attention that many people do not know why the QUEUC logo is a duck, or why we refer to delegates staying in Lennoxville as our ducks. Some people seemed puzzled (though thankfully not insulted) that we called them ducks to their faces. So allow me to solve the mystery:

The logo is a duck because QUEUC sounds like QUACK.

That’s it. Only reason. Moving on.

Except I hope that you don’t move on. I hope that you analyze and overthink and ponder. That you’ve been inspired by a paper, a conversation, or a question, and that new theories or points of view have opened themselves up to you. I hope that you’ve learnt a new term, or are excited to read a new book or watch a new movie. I hope that you have been reinvigorated, and are ready to defend the Humanities to someone who wonders about the point of it all. I hope that you are ready to interrogate the world around you, and that you have left more equipped. I hope that you host literary Cranium nights, and share interesting articles on Facebook so that other ducks can see and comment. I hope that the community we created over this weekend continues to exist in some small way.

I hope all these things for you, because these are all the ways that QUEUC has impacted me. So thank you with a cherry on top J You are all amazing.

Hope to see your name on next year’s list,

Tabitha

 

PS: Fill in testimonials! I sent you an email on Sunday. These help QUEUC get funding, and remind the university system that the Humanities matter.

 

Attending QUEUC with Allergies

By Unknown 

Edited by Sylvia Duarte

 

To all those Duckies with allergies planning to attend, here is a post to make you feel a little more at ease.

The first and best thing you can do before attending is inform us of your allergies or dietary restrictions.

  • be specific about your list of allergies or allergy
  • tell us your concerns (we don't want frantic and anxious Duckies running around the conference wondering if they can eat something or not)

Find a volunteer or Professor Riddell and inform them of your dietary restrictions and they will point you in the right direction. They can talk to the staff and ensure that what you want to eat won't kill you or make you sick.

We have vegetarian and Gluten Free options. If dairy is an issue, let us know (or maybe have some Lactaid on hand). If you are Vegan please advise before attending so we can ensure that you will be able to eat something.

Just a tip for people with allergies: bring snacks if you feel unsure or want a little something off menu or to tame a random food craving.

Also as an FYI for people who want some little extras or wonder where they can get food at night (if you are a night owl or like to party):

  • there is a Tim Horton's on Campus if you ever need a fix (although they will not be open on Saturday and they close early on Friday)
  • party seekers can go to The Golden Lion Pub for a microbrew or late night McDonald's 24hr window in Downtown Lennoxville (students just walk up to the drive-through window and order [and yes we know we are special here])

Quarterbacks Say: Movies

We asked our quarterbacks and coordinator which movies they like watching on a lazy day This is what they said:

Tabitha (Coordinator) – “Easy A”

Sylvia (Communications) – “Old Disney Channel original movies like Smart House, Get a Clue and Halloweentown are some of my favorites.”

Juliet (Communications & Vetting) – “My favorite lazy day movie is Oceans 11, and I can’t wait for the all-female reboot to come out!”

Rosemin (Vetting) – “I dunno about movies, but lazy days are great for Battlestar Gallactica”

Tori (Registration) – “My favorite lazy day movie would be the Princess Diaries”

Vanessa (Social and Registration) – “21 & 22 Jump Street”

Gabrielle (Social) – “Austenland or A Cinderella Story (or anything Disney!)

How to Present at QUEUC

By Tabitha Hartropp

First things first: your presentation should be between 12-15 minutes. It can be shorter, but please do not go over time, as a courtesy to the other people on your panel.

Why Present?

The goal of the presentation is to showcase the content of your essay to a group of your peers, so that they may gain knowledge and raise critical questions about your topic, in order to further both groups’ understanding. This is also your chance to defend your idea a second time, as the vetting committee will be circulating at the conference on the lookout for quality content for the publication.

The presentation also opens the paper up to a large group of people who may or may not be familiar with the topic, to promote greater learning and analysis. You WANT people to ask questions – that’s how we learn. 

What to Present

When preparing to present, remember that your audience is not reading the essay, and therefore able to process it in their own time. Your audience is listening and does not have the luxury of re-reading complex passages. Additionally, your audience may not be familiar with the source text. Your job is not to be smart: it is to be kind. Summarise your source text before beginning, and review quickly any important theories. When defending an important idea, have it written on a slide, so that the more visual people in the room have a touchstone; same goes for your thesis and any important quotations. If you want to be super nice, you will state a point, defend the point, and then state the point again.

PowerPoint is your friend here. It will help keep you on track and will help the audience know what to focus on. Film presentations can throw up some screenshots; books can refer to thematic images. Powerpoint can also be used to refer to points beyond your argument – ways to push the argument further (a presentation on feminism in Goblin Market could have a slide wondering about the portrayals of monstrous masculinity for example).

One other tip: have some questions ready. At the end of the panel, the floor opens to audience questions. This is an exciting time for discussion but usually starts with silence, as the audience has just absorbed so many ideas. Help them out – raise a few questions yourself. You can also comment on your own ideas here, such as pointing out another angle.

Of course, you do not have to do any of these things. These are merely suggestions, gleaned from sitting in QUEUC presentations for two years. If you do not think you need a PowerPoint, then don’t make one. You need to be comfortable in front of your peers, so you do you.

One thing I will ask: do not read your paper. I have been to QUEUC as a delegate, and presentations, where the paper is simply read, are difficult to follow. Not because the ideas are not good, or the person is not articulate. But because the presenter was a little bit nervous, or forgot people were trying to listen, the presenter ends up speed-reading out loud, and understanding the ideas is like trying to watch a movie in fast-forward. You can read your paper – just make it a dramatic monologue, and not a tongue twisting exercise.

Enjoy your preparations! I hope I didn’t make it sound too scary. It’s fun I promise

Why You should come to QUEUC if You’re not Presenting

By Tori Cryan

cover.jpg

I have gone to QUEUC twice now and neither time was I a presenter. Both times were different but both times were really awesome. I had a lot of fun because QUEUC is so much more than talented undergrads presenting their papers, it is an experience.

At QUEUC you get the chance to hear some insightful, original, and well thought-out ideas from this generation of undergrads from all over the country and beyond. You get to meet, exchange ideas, and become friends with them and other non-presenters which in turn expands your scope of knowledge and perspectives.

The panels at QUEUC touch on many different areas and genres. There are so many interesting panels that at times it’s hard to choose which ones you go to. The panel discussions after the presentations allow you to interact with the panelists or hear the answers to questions you may have never thought of yourself.

Outside of the panels there are some great events that let you be the social butterfly you are or, like in my case, the humble observer you are. Social events like Cranium will test your knowledge in a friendly team competition fashion. Cranium never fails to entertain and amuse and guarantees that you will create memories that last forever.

QUEUC is hosted at Bishop’s University, a diverse university in both its students and faculty and its beauty. The “Harry Potter” campus is quite picturesque and is perfect for sighting-seeing and selfie-taking. The small-town Lennoxville community is both charming and full of history. Any local or Bishop’s student can give you many a story and are very willing to share when asked.

Being a non-presenter means you don’t have to stand and talk in front of a bunch of people, you get to sit back, learn, and participate at whatever capacity is comfortable for you. Registering for QUEUC also means that will be feed! Nothing’s better than someone else making meals for you!

Lastly, QUEUC is a unique experience that you will not find anywhere else. It’s an opportunity you should grasp and take advantage of RIGHT NOW! Go! Register already!   

Do’s and Don’ts of QUEUC

By Unknown

Edited by Sylvia Duarte

 

Do's:

  • Be prepared to listen
  • Get involved in the conversations
  • Give constructive criticism
  • Ask the panelists questions
  • Keep your Panel Chair informed of any changes in your presentation
  • Have fun at the social events
  • Come to the guest lecture

Don'ts:

  • Don't show up without advising about allergies
  • Don't stick only to your group
  • Don't avoid the social events
  • Don't avoid talking to the organizing committee
  • Don't text or talk during the presentations
  • Don’t leave the room loudly during a presentation

If you have any questions e-mail us at QUEUC@Ubishops.ca

Quarterbacks Say: QUEUC

We asked our quarterbacks and coordinator what is their favorite thing about QUEUC. This is what they said:

Tabitha (Coordinator) – “Talking in between presentations about the new topics”

Sylvia (Communications) – “I love listening to the really obscure papers that get presented”

Juliet (Communications & Vetting) – “My favorite thing about QUEUC is the panels, because they without fail broaden my thinking about certain themes, novels, or authors.”

Rosemin (Vetting) – “Conversations you would ooonly have at an English conference.”

Tori (Registration) – “I love attending the panels at QUEUC it makes me feel like there are many things the Humanities can offer.”

Vanessa (Social and Registration) – “Cranium Night”

Gabrielle (Social) – “I like how we all get to work together”

Countdown to QUEUC: Planning your trip to Bishop’s University

By: Maryclare MacIsaac

 

With QUEUC only a few weeks away, it’s time for all of the lucky external delegates to get down to the details and plan your trip here! QUEUC is hosted at Bishop's University, which is located in Lennoxville, a small community within Sherbrooke, QC. The street address is 2600 College Street, Sherbrooke, QC, J1M 1Z7. In this post, we will answer all of your questions about how to get here.  

Getting to Lennoxville…

By Plane: Sherbrooke is served by Pierre-Elliot Trudeau International Airport in Montreal. Once in Montreal, delegates will need to arrange travel to Sherbrooke, which is about 2 hours away.

          Aeronavette (Aeroshuttle) is a shuttle service which operates between Pierre-Elliot Trudeau and Sherbrooke. You must pre-book your shuttle online, and they will either drop you off at Tim Hortons in Sherbrooke or take you directly to your destination for an extra fee. The round trip fee to Sherbrooke is $120 with the shuttle and $90 for a one way seat.

By Bus: Limocar is the main bus line running from Montreal to Sherbrooke. The price of a Limocar student ticket is $35. Once you have arrived at the terminal in Sherbrooke, it is approximately a 10 minute ($15) taxi to Bishop’s University or you can get on the #2 bus (make sure it is going in the right direction) and it will bring you to the campus. The bus fare in Sherbrooke is $3.30.

Driving: Take the A10 East from Montreal towards Sherbrooke. Take exit 140 onto the 410 towards Rue King Ouest. Take the Rue Belevedere S exit from the 410. Turn right at College Street. Bishop's University is located at 2600, College Street, just after the bridge.

 

Note: Another option is to join our QUEUC Rideshare Facebook page. On this page you will be able to post if you are looking for or offering a ride. This is also a good way to find out if anyone else in your school/area got into the conference and a nice way to meet people before the conference takes place.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1774894742832226/

 

If you have any more questions or concerns about getting to Sherbrooke please e-mail us at QUEUC@ubishops.ca

 

 

QUEUC Accommodations

By Tori Cryan and Maryclare MacIsaac

 

Need a place to sleep during the conference? On a tight budget? We've got you covered! Our Adopt a Duck Accommodations Program houses you with local Bishop’s students, faculty or community members. This program gives you the chance to save some money and is also a great way to meet new people, many of whom are involved in the QUEUC organizing committee. Your host will provide you with a roof and sleeping space (bed/futon or couch) for one or two nights, depending on your needs, from the evening of Friday, March 10th to the morning of Sunday, March 12th.

Spots are limited and are on a first come, first served basis, so make sure you sign up fast! Please contact queuc@ubishops.ca to request a spot or to ask any pressing questions about Adopt a Duck! Remember to: specify your name, institution, gender, and any special requirements or restrictions we should note in placing you (e.g. pet allergies, etc.).

If you are a member of the Lennoxville community and are able to take a Duck in for a night or two, please e-mail us!

If you don’t want to go the Adopt a Duck route there are many hotels and motels in Lennoxville and Sherbrooke you can stay at.

 

Motels and Hotels:

Motel Lennoxville, 94 Queen St.

Right around the corner from the school, about 5 minute walking distance.

Preferential rates for visiting QUEUC attendees.

 2 double bed room $90 per night / 1 double bed room $70 per night

(819) 563-7525

 

Motel la Paysanne, 42 Queen St.

Very convenient distance from the school, within walking distance. >10 minutes.

$75 dollars per night

(819) 569-5585

 

Hotel la Marquise, 1700 rue wellington sud

5 minute drive from the school, ~30 minute walk.

  ~$80 per night

 

Hotel Wellington, 68 Wellington street s.

10 minute drive from school.

Prices start at ~$60 for one, ~$70 for two.

 

Grand Times Hotel, 1 Rue Belvedere s.

10 minute drive from school

Starting at ~$150 per night.

Note: Ask for the "Bishop's University Rate" when booking hotels. A discount may be available.

 

We can’t wait to see you!

What the Duckies Need for QUEUC

By Unknown

Edited by Sylvia Duarte

What the Duckies Need for QUEUC

Since the conference is coming up, we figured it would be good to give you a few tips about what to bring for QUEUC.

  • Business casual clothing
    • remember that this is a conference with your peers and that you will be presenting in front of students and some faculty members
  • Bring an open mind and  open ears
    • there will be time for questions at the end of each panel
    • be a part of the conversations discussing social issues and student ideas
  • Bring a notebook
    • you might get new ideas for research or for your next assignments or find new points of interest
  • Bring boots or Wellies (we get lots of precipitation here, some previous Duckies were caught unawares)
  • Bring your Trivia Cracked minds and literary knowledge for our Cranium event!
  • Bring some casual clothes or clothes you use for going out so you can join in the festivities
  • Also, make sure you bring your speech and powerpoint with you (not that I have to remind you).

If you have any questions, email us at QUEUC@Ubishops.ca

Quarterbacks Say: Spring Break Reading

We asked our quarterbacks and coordinator which books they would recommend or would be reading during our upcoming reading week. This is what they said:

Tabitha (Coordinator) – “Heartless by Marissa Meyer”

Sylvia (Communications) – “Anything dystopian, The Hunger Games, Delirium, The Maze Runner, etc.”

Juliet (Communications & Vetting) – “For Spring Break I recommend Zadie Smith’s “Swing Time” (the best recently published book I’ve read in a while), or for a lighter read “The Devil Wears Prada” is always my beach go-to.”

Rosemin (Vetting) – “My reading list: Danielewski’s “The Familiar” (Vol 1), Vassanji’s “And Home was Kariakoo”, Wohlleben’s “The Secret Life of Trees””

Tori (Registration) – “I would recommend The Falling Kingdoms saga by Morgan Rhodes if you have a lot of free time or The Six Crows/Crooked Kingdom duology by Leigh Bardugo if you don’t.”

Vanessa (Social and Registration) – “Beautiful Chaos – R.M. Drake”

Gabrielle (Social) – “To Kill A Mockingbird: I read it for the first time not long ago, and I thought it was a provoking read.”

Good day to you!

By Gabrielle Lesage 

Last time I wrote an article for this blog I focused on why we still read Jane Austen. Why do you think? Is it her writing style? Her wit and sense of humor? Is it because her texts separate us from our reality that is consumed by technology? Okay, maybe that last point was exaggerated. But in all seriousness, I am very interested in knowing what you guys think!

For this article, I want to focus on Austen's relevance. Is Austen still a relevant read? I promise this post will be unbiased; being an Austen enthusiast I may or may not be bias. In the end, I hope to convince you that Austen is not simply an old spinster with a PJ bonnet for a hat. I am here to bring up some points that support my argument in affirming why it is important to read Jane Austen's novels, even 200 years after her death.


1) She is modern: I know that there are many people who have already said that Austen is a woman ahead of her time. Although I agree with these statements, I would like to provide a different point of view. She was a young woman who had a passion for writing and did not let anyone push her around. When she had problems with publishing companies (i.e. young and old white dudes) when they tried to take advantage of her, she took matters into her own hands, and even bought back her manuscript! She knew what she wanted, and she went for it. That kind of action is admirable, and in times like these it is inspiring to see that we can win the battles we fight for.

2) We learn lessons: Alright, I'll admit, the courting rules and constricting social conventions are not what we see today, but we can still learn a great deal from Austen's texts. Be like Elizabeth and stand up to those that insult you. Be like Marianne and live passionately. Be like Anne and realize that our age does not define the rest of our lives. Be like Henry Tilney and have a chuckle or two at the serious things in life. In the end, Austen's novels show us the beautiful truths in our lives, but also the harsh realities we are sometimes faced with.

3) She is an important part of history: We cannot deny that Austen holds an important place in the history of English literature. Although there were woman writers way before her time period, Austen was revolutionary because she tackled serious issues, such as the difficult grip of economics and the choices we have (or lack of) with our own lives, and she did so with humor and wit. She did not shy away from any topic that she deemed crucial to discuss. She would not be silenced because she was fierce and daring.

In the end, I wanted to share with you some of the reasons why I love Jane Austen and her novels by exploring the idea that she is still an important read, even in the 21st century. I like the saying that the past affects our future, and I believe Miss Austen has left quite the mark.

Cheers to Austen!

Ducking Through Midterms Season

 

By Unknown

Edited by Sylvia Duarte

It is mid-semester, and we no longer feel like working. We want a break and we want to go home after a long, hard first half of semester. Our energy is in short supply, and the lack of sleep from the last weeks of school is catching up with us. Most students just want to give up, but now we have to hunker down and study our tails off. Since we all have to suffer through exams, the QUEUC team is here to give you tips on how to survive your finals.

According to an article published by Huffington Post, our delayed and last minute cram sessions before exams are not the ideal way to make it through exams (what a shocker, but we still try). Nerves also play a big part in determining how well we do under pressure. So relax, breathe, and take a moment to read this article about the best ways to study for exams.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/01/10/how-to-study_n_2448530.html

For those of us who choose procrastination as our main method of study, here is the harsh reality: starting to study weeks in advance so you remember all the information, and writing out practice exams are the best ways to improve your final grade. But here is a tip to brighten your day: eating berries and almonds before your exam improves memory, so stock up.

One tip I received from a Finance teacher helped me to wrap my head around why spreading out study sessions is better. Apparently, one hour of intense studying, is approximately equivalent to the same effort level needed for 4-6 hours of physical activity (you might not want to quote me word for word). So short frequent sessions are better for absorbing information since your brain needs a steady workout schedule even though it is a tougher muscle then the rest of your body. Also, sleep is integral to good performance on an exam because we will be more relaxed, and the fog of poor sleeping patterns won't affect your ability to comprehend and formulate your answers to examination questions. Therefore, sleep is not simply for the weak.

Here are some tips from some QUEUC 2015 Quarterbacks:

"Write things out on cue cards. If you can explain difficult concepts on a single little cue card, you're bound to remember it for the exam." - Samantha Maliszewski 

"Trust yourself and relax. You probably know more than you think you do." - Nick Walling

"Try to teach your material to a willing victim...umm, friend. You retain more information when you teach something than just reading over it by yourself. At the very least, try to summarize the concepts in your own words to get a better sense of what you do and don't know." - Megan McLeod 

"Get foam earplugs, you'll stay focused throughout your exam. Also sleep is literally the solution to everything. Take a nap if you feel like studying isnt working anymore." - Ariane Fecteau 

I will not offend your senses by saying 'Merry/Happy Studying' (I hate it when people say this because clearly no one likes studying for exams apart from a few unique academic geek-lings) but rather, good luck with your finals. We have all been through exam season and survived (except maybe first years...), so we can do it again. I hope that these tips help you to make it through midterms or give you new ideas for reviewing course material.

Keep flapping, you are almost over the pond.

A Glimpse into the Vetting Process

By Rosemin Nathoo 

 

The verdict is in! As many of you know, the first "Yes" and "No" emails have been sent out over the past few days. With 229 submissions, an acceptance rate under 30%, and far more eligible papers than we could accept, we figured that you guys may want to know a little more about our vetting process.

You should know that the vetting committee is a diverse group of about 20 of your peers. This means that we are undergraduate English students at BU, and that we critically evaluate your papers from this standpoint. Though we use a careful rubric and a double-blind system, our perspective is quite different than, say, your professors'. In fact, I've found that we're often even harsher.

The first round is when we are as strictly objective as possible. It is a double (usually triple) blind process where at least two different reviewers read each paper thoroughly and evaluate whether it meets the qualifications of a QUEUC essay. Qualities on our rubric include mechanics, structure, analysis, use of primary and secondary sources, length, and (most importantly, in my opinion) originality.

Then comes the fun part. After Round 1 this year, we found 111 solidly eligible papers - all voted "yes" by their group of reviewers -  that's 48%. That's far too many! We had to narrow down to 65 papers - which is where our subjective tastes, our emotions, and our visions for QUEUC came into play. Every year, we narrow down the papers and make our panels during an eight-hour vetting bonanza. Each individual vetter came in this year with their favourite papers ranked from one to about six. From here, we started around the table. Each vetter presented their first pick to the whole committee, agreed or argued with their teammates, and made a decision. Then we went around the table again with the twos, the threes, etc… until we had filled all the spaces. Finally, we got punny, and sorted our very favourite papers into panels. To me (biased, as a very nerdy vetting coordinator), this is where the conference is made. 

The significance of this subjective choosing of our favourite papers is pretty interesting. At this point, the papers that get through the final vetting are not necessarily the most objectively pleasing papers, with perfect grammar and structure. The papers that get through are those that truly make an impact on us, your fellow undergrads, for whatever reason. We are not robots; we read with our own tastes and experiences. We haven't read all the texts you are discussing. But we know QUEUC, and we visualise the conference as we read. This is where factors like originality come into play. This is where your personal style, your heart, and your passion comes into play. And I believe that this is how the passion gets into QUEUC (there is a heck of a lot of it, believe me). We're English students, after all; we're emotional language-lovers. You know us; you are us. This is what it means to be vetted by a jury of your peers.

If you've been accepted, congratulations! Because space is so limited, we only accept our absolute favourites. If you are not presenting a paper this year, remember that over forty qualified papers had to be, regretfully, vetted out, and this in the most subjective part of our process. Try again next year; if you're very passionate about your paper, check the qualifications again, edit, and submit it next year. You never know. And if you can make it in March anyway, be sure to come join the conversation.       

Oh The Places You’ll Go (if you take part in QUEUC)

Written By: Juliet Goulet

As I sit down to finish up my last batch of Graduate school applications I can already predict the list of reoccurring questions: What are your goals/aspirations and what have you done to achieve them? Name a time when you were a leader. Do you have professional experience relevant to this field? As I wonder why creative writing master’s programs bother to ask such repetitive questions, I begin to formulate my equally as repetitive answer: QUEUC.

            During my first year at Bishop’s University I joined the QUEUC communications team out of a desire to finally and meaningfully get involved in my department. Now, as a senior, I have sat on the accommodations, events, and social committees and currently co-quarterback both the Vetting and Communications teams for the 2017 conference. Perhaps my most tangible and useful extra-curricular, the Quebec Universities English Undergraduate Conference has been an integral experience for me, and has helped me shape myself as a Graduate school candidate. I read the application questions again:

            What are you goals/aspirations and what have you done to achieve them? My future lies in writing, in a myriad of different ways. Though my passion is fiction my academic writing has helped to shape my own voice, to condense and clarify my words, and to extend my pen to write things that are meaningful. I believe that my involvement in QUEUC as a presenter and as an audience member have both helped me to improve my own writing skills and ambitions. The academic setting forces me to consider both thematic topics and written prose in a professional and critical light. To be a writer you must first live and breath writing, and QUEUC brings the best undergraduate academic authors together in one place.

            Name a time when you were a leader. This question is always posed with the intent of letting you flex your imagination; does that time you scooped ice cream out the back of a dairy truck count? What about when you participated in medical experiments? How about when you lead a team of volunteers, or organized and introduced panels? The answer to that last question is a resounding yes. QUEUC is a predominantly student led conference. It is us students who rally together to carefully organize the fine details of the weekend; we have to gather committee members, wrangle them together under the same roof for planning, delegate, oversee, and help bring together every little detail that goes into planning such a wonderful conference. The type of leadership that you gain through QUEUC is one that is valuable and applicable to both Graduate schools and the real world.

            Do you have professional experience relevant to this field? My association with QUEUC has been wonderful for helping me to discover my place in the professional and academic spheres; it is a crash course in professional conferences and a small first step towards publishing longer peer-reviewed pieces in my future. Taking part in QUEUC is a whirlwind of meetings, committees, group messages, and anxiety. It is also a brilliantly organized and wonderfully fulfilling experience. I encourage everyone reading this to join the conference in whatever way they can, because you never know where it will take you, or how those experiences will shape your future. As a senior student at Bishop’s it is my final year taking part in QUEUC but, as I’ve illustrated, these experiences follow you forever.

Making a Connection at QUEUC

By Rosemin Nathoo

Like you, probably, I'm not one to miss a nerdy, extracurricular academic talk. My first experience at QUEUC last year, however, was something quite different than what I was used to. As a literature student, I, of course, needed to find the precise language to describe my experience. As a literature conference, QUEUC was quick to provide that language. I don't remember the name of the paper, the name of the speaker, or the name of the person whose biography she had studied. I do, though, remember chewing over the paper's main concept on the long drive home. It was a new definition of the word "utopia". The essayist had read into a series of encounters between her subject and countless strangers, and found that each of those encounters involved a spark of "utopia". Utopia, as I understand, is a space created by and between like-minded people when they meet and truly connect. It's that rare meeting that evokes instant empathy and stimulating conversation. It's a catalyst for social change created with one-on-one human connection. It's a hypothetical new world created between two people: a real, contemporary utopia defined by all the ideals and passions of the speakers. This year, QUEUC has been defined again by our theme and our goal - making a connection. Every year, the student organizers set a theme so that we can put special emphasis on improving a certain aspect of the conference. "Making a connection" means communicating well with delegates, finding them places to stay, and getting them to our little corner of the world safely and comfortably. For me, though, it means utopia. It means coming together with someone you may have seen at a cafe and walked by without a second glance - and suddenly spending hours talking fervently with them about Thomas Pynchon or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and in connecting like that, somehow, starting to make a better world. I'm a reclusive scholar, like many of you. I don't make connections easily, but when I do, they are strong. That utopian moment does not happen to me often, but at QUEUC, the air was supersaturated with those moments. Time and time again, during panels, meals, and trivia, I felt that connection and that hope. And, frankly, that's why you should come. That's why you should come, whether you are presenting a paper or not; come, because we want to meet you! I'm reading through a whole lot of your papers right now, and trust me, I most definitely want to meet you. Come!

Like you, probably, I'm not one to miss a nerdy, extracurricular academic talk. My first experience at QUEUC last year, however, was something quite different than what I was used to. As a literature student, I, of course, needed to find the precise language to describe my experience. As a literature conference, QUEUC was quick to provide that language.

I don't remember the name of the paper, the name of the speaker, or the name of the person whose biography she had studied. I do, though, remember chewing over the paper's main concept on the long drive home. It was a new definition of the word "utopia". The essayist had read into a series of encounters between her subject and countless strangers, and found that each of those encounters involved a spark of "utopia". Utopia, as I understand, is a space created by and between like-minded people when they meet and truly connect. It's that rare meeting that evokes instant empathy and stimulating conversation. It's a catalyst for social change created with one-on-one human connection. It's a hypothetical new world created between two people: a real, contemporary utopia defined by all the ideals and passions of the speakers.

This year, QUEUC has been defined again by our theme and our goal - making a connection. Every year, the student organizers set a theme so that we can put special emphasis on improving a certain aspect of the conference. "Making a connection" means communicating well with delegates, finding them places to stay, and getting them to our little corner of the world safely and comfortably. For me, though, it means utopia. It means coming together with someone you may have seen at a cafe and walked by without a second glance - and suddenly spending hours talking fervently with them about Thomas Pynchon or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and in connecting like that, somehow, starting to make a better world.

I'm a reclusive scholar, like many of you. I don't make connections easily, but when I do, they are strong. That utopian moment does not happen to me often, but at QUEUC, the air was supersaturated with those moments. Time and time again, during panels, meals, and trivia, I felt that connection and that hope. And, frankly, that's why you should come. That's why you should come, whether you are presenting a paper or not; come, because we want to meet you! I'm reading through a whole lot of your papers right now, and trust me, I most definitely want to meet you. Come!

Finalize that Paper!

By Victoria Cryan 

 

Now that the winter break has really kicked off you are hopefully looking at your past essays and wondering what would make them QUEUC ready. For your convenience, I have compiled a few tips for you as you prepare and edit your essay for the January 5th, 2016 submission deadline.

 As you might know at QUEUC we have a 7-8 page requirement for submitting a paper. If you are like me and have an essay that is slightly under the 7-8 page requirement, it may be time to review any notes that you had when drafting your essay. Was there another point you wanted to make but didn’t? Was there another source you could have cited and incorporated into your argument? Did you fully explore all the points of your argument? If you feel like you have nothing to add, take another look at your thesis and imagine counterpoints to it and address them in your paper while disproving them. Remember that a good thesis is arguable and you should be able to come up with a counterargument.

 If you are having the opposite problem and need to cut down your essay to meet the 7-8 page requirement, here are a few things to consider: What are the weakest parts of your argument? Are there any times when you repeated yourself or restated your argument/points needlessly? Do you necessarily need the entirety of long quotations (they can take up a lot of white space)? Is there a source or a paragraph you used only to meet the word or the page requirement of the assignment? If you have difficulties cutting it down because you feel as though all of the points are important, consider combining points and removing one or two pieces of evidence for each.

 For all essay submissions long, short or within range, you should keep in mind these tips: If you have any notes from your professor from when they marked it, make sure you keep those in consideration and address any weaknesses or suggested improvements. If you don’t you could email them and ask if they could give you any suggestions. You should also ask a peer to review your essay and look for any weaknesses or mistakes; as the writer, you may feel like your points are being properly conveyed, another pair of eyes can catch the things you have missed or failed to properly explain. Although you probably have already checked your paper for any grammar or spelling errors, it doesn’t hurt to read it aloud one or two more times before you submit. Finally, put the paper away for a few days and come back to it. After staring at it for hours you will likely start missing things, coming back to it a few days later will allow you to look at it with fresh eyes.

 From all of us at the QUEUC team, we wish you the best of luck with your editing and submissions and a relaxing holiday season. We hope to see you in March 2017.

15 Things English Majors Do When Editing a Paper

By: Rachel Newcombe and Olivia Provencher

English majors have the reputation of only reading books and writing papers. Which is pretty much true (it is called an English major, after all). And even though we chose the read-and-write lifestyle, we have a lot in common with all students in Humanities: the things we do when we write essays.

We sat down and talked about what we did when we wrote our essays, and realized that we did a lot of the same things and felt a lot of the same feelings (so many feels…)

If you’re looking for a break from writing that midterm essay or scrolling through countless tabs of secondary sources on your internet browser,  look at this list of fifteen things we think humanities students’ do/feel while writing papers. Go ahead, see if we’re wrong.

 

1. Saying you’re going to start early but never get around to it until two days before the due date

Air Quotes are key when discussing possible paper prep

Air Quotes are key when discussing possible paper prep

2. Making pages of citations before you even start your paper (because you know you’ll need all the help you can get)

3. Making an outline and congratulating yourself on all that work you just did (it’s not as much as we’d like to think)

High-Five? No? Self-Five? Okay.

High-Five? No? Self-Five? Okay.

4. Thinking ten pages is totally doable, before realizing you only know enough to write six.

Your prof will know what is real and what is complete bullshit.

Your prof will know what is real and what is complete bullshit.

5. Going to the coffee shop to ‘work’ because you think you’ll be more productive, but really you just spend twenty dollars in the half hour you’re there.

Just take my money

Just take my money

6. Realizing your paper is half quotes (and you had the one moment when you thought you were in the clear).

7. Treating your thesaurus like the Bible (it has all the answers…)

8. Secretly cursing your friend in business that complains about a thousand-word reflection (no one cares, I wrote five thousand words this week alone).

I'll come to you when I need economics help, but until then please leave.

I'll come to you when I need economics help, but until then please leave.

9. When you double-space your document and suddenly feel like you’ve accomplished the essay equivalent of a no- hitter (that’s baseball, but what do we know, we’re too busy writing six papers at once to watch sports).

10. Going through your paper to make sure there are no contractions (thereby adding to your word count).

You don't see imperfections at this point. 

You don't see imperfections at this point. 

11. Looking up MLA or APA format even though you’ve done it a thousand times.

12. Citation generators. Gods gift to English majors.

13. Reading your paper aloud and realizing that you have absolutely no clue what you were trying to say in paragraph three.

You're on autopilot at this point.

You're on autopilot at this point.

14. Passing it in and thinking you could win the Pulitzer or you could fail the class – it could go either way.

15. Quitting Microsoft Word application at the end of a long, long semester (YEEEEEEESSSSSSSS)

I Didn't Choose the English Major, the English Major Chose Me

By Vanessa Krascsenics

 

Now I could sit here and write about how I chose to be an English major because I had a profound love for literature and how I wanted to study something that was a true passion of mine. If I told you that, it would be a lie. Honestly, 5 years ago if you had asked me where I would see myself in 5 years, I never would have answered where I am today. Back then my plan was to get a job without having to study any longer but make enough money to live comfortably. My one goal was to never go back to school after graduating high school. Considering I will be in school for the rest of my life, things have changed a bit for me since then. One event led to another, and here I am today studying to become an English teacher and actually enjoying it. I'm going to take a journey back in time to tell you guys how I got here.

Around this time five years ago, everyone was applying to CEGEP, which is the school you attend after high school here in Quebec, but there I was sitting around swearing I would never step foot in another classroom. The application deadline kept getting closer, and the closer it was the more scared I was. I kept debating whether I was making the right choice or not and since I didn't have a job lined up, my plan was not working out so well. I started looking through some programs to see what it was all about and nothing seemed to stand out in particular, so I continued worrying about my choice without doing anything about it. One day in my English class I talked to my teacher, Mr. Giroux, he taught English and Film, the only two subjects I enjoyed, and he asked me “What is the most memorable part of your time here?” Without hesitation I answered that it was his course. These were the only classes I was excited to go to, probably because I thought myself to be really good at making films. Without thinking much about the question, we finished off the conversation and went on with our day. The day before the application deadline I decided that since I was going to miss Mr. Giroux's film class, I would apply to a film program in hopes of making more films because I enjoyed it (and needed to feed my ego). I got accepted into the program about a month later.

Two years passed and to my own surprise, I was still in school. I had sworn to myself at the beginning of this program that this would be the last one. Throughout my time in the Film Studies program, I had made a couple more films and had learnt a lot more about cinema. The most surprising thing to me was that I actually enjoyed studying it. I had met a lot of interesting people, whether it be students or teachers. During the first year I stayed in touch with Mr. Giroux, but by the second year I had become too busy and distracted with my work to continue contacting him. Although I didn't speak to him I knew he was proud that I was pursuing my studies which made me proud as well. By the end of my program I began to wonder about going to University. I had some rough times during these two years which led my grades to drop quite a bit but I was still considering applying to University. Coming from Montreal, my two options were to go to McGill or Concordia but unfortunately I did not have the right GPA to get in, so I stopped looking and decided to do an extra semester in CEGEP. During this semester I became close to many of my teachers and was even more inspired by them. The closer I got to my teachers, the more I wanted to be like them. I don't mean that I wanted their personality, nor did I want to look like them, but I wanted to inspire my own students. I started to think about becoming a teacher myself but quickly dropped that idea when I remembered my grades were not so good.

A month before my graduation from CEGEP, the thought of not being in school anymore scared me quite a bit. I had to start living in the real world and I didn't even know what I wanted to do. For all I knew I was going to end up working at Target for the rest of my life. The closer I was to graduating, the more thought I put into teaching. Even though I didn't have the grades for the education program, my grades were just enough for a variety of other programs. In my mind it was clear that I was going to apply to be an English major because that is the program that suited me best. Not because I had a great passion for literature, but because it is where I could express myself the most. I loved to write, I still do. English also meant I could continue studying cinema which was an appealing factor to me and by that point I knew I still had a lot to learn. I figured I would take my chance and apply for Education as my first choice, and English as my second. The first letter I got back from Bishops was a rejection letter for the Education program, needless to say I was extremely disappointed and was hoping to get accepted into the English program more than ever. I got accepted two weeks later.

A year later, I got my grades up and was able to transfer to a double major. Although the English major was not my first choice, I could not be happier with how things turned out. I got to write more and I got to learn more, not only about literature and film, but also about myself. What brought me to the English program is knowing that what I learn I will be able to pass on to my future students, which includes my old films, which I thought were so great. If it weren't for Mr. Giroux, I would not have cared for English and Film as much as I do now and I hope to be the teacher that Mr. Giroux and others were to me. Again, if you had asked me five years ago about where I would be now, I never would have guessed that I would still be in school. I never really chose to be an English major, I just stumbled upon it and it is nowhere close to being a mistake. 

Beating Writer’s Block Like a True Millennial

By Maryclare MacIsaac

Finals are very much among us, and final essays are in abundance. With this in mind, today we’re talking about how to beat writer’s block using some of our best skills as millennials! (Hint: one gives you an excuse to call your mom!)

These tips are especially useful right now, because it’s time to get the ball rolling on QUEUC submissions! The deadline for submissions for QUEUC 2017 is January 5th, 2017 – so knock out that writer’s block and send in your submissions at queuc.com.

Happy writing!

 

 

 

1.       BLAME SOMETHING ELSE!

It can be all too easy to get down on yourself when you hit a wall during your writing process. We put so much pressure on ourselves in our academics which is healthy to an extent, but not exactly helpful when you’re trying to think creatively. It’s so important not to blame yourself and your own intelligence when you can’t seem to get words on the page. So, here are the magic words: it’s not your fault! When you boil it down, the writing process is really all about inspiration. No matter what is being written, the writer is drawing inspiration from somewhere. Whether it be a person, place, or current event – even the best writers need to feel inspired in order to get started. So if your work doesn’t feel like your best, isn’t a joy to read, or doesn’t even exist yet, the places you’re trying to draw inspiration from are to blame! It isn’t that your creative juices have run dry… they just haven’t even started flowing yet. Your mind is smart, it is creative, and it has a lot to say. You just haven’t found anything that makes it want to say something. And that’s not your fault – but now you need to break up with your current space of inspiration and find a new one. Watch – once you find the perfect source of inspiration for you and your topic, you’ll have trouble staying under the word count.
Now I challenge you to count how many times I’ve said inspiration thus far. Maybe it will inspire you!

 

2.       TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE: CONSULT THE INTERNET AND QUESTION SOMEONE

Now, Google is very much a thing. I am well aware that the entirety, or at least the majority, of your research thus far has been drawn from the internet. However, I am also here to give you a new way to research! Collecting facts from the internet can only get you so far. Facts are boring, and your reader can find these without your help. What keeps someone reading and interested in finishing your essay is the argument. They want to see how you’re going to prove your thesis, and why you feel so strongly about it! A great essay argues persuasively and forcefully. So, here’s where Google comes in! Research arguments rather than facts. Google why something happened, and read forums. You might find someone you disagree with, and you’ll be able to build your argument in your essay off of this. Reading an angle that clashes with your own helps you to answer questions in your essay before the reader gets the chance to question your argument. Nothing gets the juices flowing like a persuasive argument.

 

3.       ASK YOURMOM FOR HELP!

Sometimes when we’re writing, we feel like we’ve left everything we have to say on the page. It’s frustrating when we get this feeling when we’re still only at half of the word count. If you’re writing about a topic that you were previously knowledgeable about, writing about it can actually be tough, because you aren’t the one learning from it. Hand your paper to someone honest who knows absolutely nothing about what you’re writing about, like your mom or your roommate, and have them give it a read – totally blind to what your topic really is. Have them take note of everything they notice as they read it; do they need more information to totally understand the topic? What exactly does the term mean that you used in paragraph two, line three? Who is the person mentioned? Could you define this term? etc. Your paper should be informative, concise, and enjoyable to read, even to the freshest of minds. Your ideas will flow when another set of eyes has given you a list of pointers on how you could achieve this!

 

4.       CHANGE YOUR MIND!

Sometimes the most stubborn writer’s block is simply from a lack of motivation to write about your chosen topic. In this situation, change angles or essay topics if possible. It’s clear when an essay is forced and when the writer is truly interested in what they are writing about. Hopefully, a fresh topic and a chance to research something that sparks your interest a little more will also spark ideas and words upon words on your page! By steering your essay in a completely different direction, your mind is travelling down an entirely different road, free of the writer’s block that you’ve been dealing with. This is the most tedious pointer, but possibly the most effective.