Friday Favourites – Amazon

Anyone else a serial Amazon window shopper? I find the cutest things and add them to a list of things that I think I will eventually buy. Here are the things I fell in love with this week, all of which I would spend my paycheck on (if I had one…. I’m currently on strike and not getting paid). I’ll keep you updated on what I buy and try out!

 

  1. More Coffee Tumbler
  2. Herbivore Bathsalts
  3. Herschel Pack
  4. Daniel Wellington Watch
  5. Yoga Socks
  6. Plant Lamp
  7. I Did My Best Yoga Mat
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Last Minute Easter Dresses

Somehow Easter has snuck up on me once again! Granted, April 1st is a little early for Easter, but I’m still looking for the annual “Easter” dress. Here are some spring favourites that qualify for rush shipping or can be picked up at your local store.

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Gingham Dress 1: 

Gingham Dress 2: 

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Midi Dress

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Yellow Lace: 

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Thick Strap Cold Shoulder: 

A Young Female PhD Student – My first encounter with “innocent” misogyny

I started my Ph.D. in the Humanities in the Fall of 2015. Riding out the energy from finishing my Master’s degree the previous term, I was ready to begin the long winded process of receiving the title of “doctor”.

Every Ph.D. student in my program receives a Teaching Assistantship (TAship). The TA’s assist in grading and examinations for full time courses, and they are also given designated tutorials to help students learn how to work with the material in their given class. Being a TA was a dream come true – I love grading and it was like an apprenticeship before I actually got to direct my own course one day.

Every year there are workshops at the beginning of the year for new TA’s to attend in order to learn the ins and outs of the classroom. During the first session (which had about 60 other keen Ph.D. students from several different departments), I was approached by an administrator. He was tall and thin with white hair and glasses. He asked for a private conversation, and then began whispering to me at a level where the rest of my peers in the immediate area could hear exactly what he said: “You are so young. Students tend to not respect younger women, so are you prepared to deal with the consequences of that?” My jaw dropped. My beet red face was throbbing with anxiety and anger. I was singled out. I was not scared of his warning, but more concerned with the reason why he would feel he needed to approach me before I had even entered a classroom.

When this administrator approached me, he set a very dangerous equation before me: (age)+(gender)+(authority) = disrespect from students. What was left unsaid? This could possibly lead to an ineffective classroom model for both me and my students. This is a bold assumption. This is “innocent” misogyny that seems to come from a place of care… but it doesn’t.

Fast forward to today.

My first year as a TA in the classroom wasn’t easy; the second year was better; and this year is the best so far. I teach full courses in the summer as an adjunct professor at another university. And you know what? I have never been disrespected by a student. My students are awesome. I have excellent attendance from my students. I have excellent evaluations. I feel good about my overall experience.

Further, I have witnessed that students who are held accountable to a mutual respectful relationship rise to that task. I am sure there are the outliers and that some professors (both women and men) have been disrespected in more ways than one in the classroom; however, it seems toxic to expect disrespect before class even starts.

That first conversation with the male administrator illuminated a problem that continues to be confirmed for me: male authority figures at my university judge me by my age and gender and not on my merit. While I may be expected to succeed, it is not surprising if I fail. I have been belittled by that one administrator, my program director (indirect), and the first professor who I worked for (who thought I was too young and unexperienced, and therefore useless. Might I point out that he read his lecture straight from the powerpoint….).

I am not really sure how to end this post. I think this ugly symptom of graduate school is problematic, but definitely not the end-all-be-all of my career or the very capable women around me. I am disappointed every time I have faced a male authority figure who sees my age and gender as a liability, but part of me just loves proving them wrong.

Let’s go ladies.

*PS: I also should add that the university that I teach at in the summer is amazing and gives me hope for equitable relationships in the academic workplace.

Walking on Lake Ontario – Free Toronto Weekend Adventure

Do you ever do something awesome and then immediately feel like you should have had it on your curated bucket list? It’s probably not an every day occurrence, a random enjoyable experience can sneak up on you and you just know that it was bucket list worthy.

This sort of experience happened to us last week (and by us I mean: me, the husband, and the dog).

It was another day of going to the dog park with our pup. We decided to forgo our normal winter area and check our the Cherry Beach dog park since it was above freezing and parking is free. When we got there, we realized the lake was FROZEN SOLID. Not only that but people were walking on the ice… with their dogs!

We had heard tell of this before, but we’re not necessarily all that familiar with winter. In my mind ice = danger. I think of scenes with near death experiences from Its a Wonderful Life, Little Women, The Chronicles Of Narnia, etc. However, how could we pass up a chance to walk on a Great Lake?? & with our dog??

When we stepped our onto the ice I went into oscillating states of happiness and pure fear. Eventually the fear went away and I was able to really take in how amazing this happen stance opportunity was. I could tell that walking on the lake was kind of normal to other people there, but it was honestly something that I would have never known that I wanted to do until I did it. It was beautiful, natural, and a lot of fun!

Monday OOTD – Work Casual

Lately I’ve been shopping the Zara sale and I’ve found so many work appropriate items. This silk top is one of my favorite colors (forest green 👌🏻) and is perfect for pairing with jeans for an easy work casual look.

Silk blouses are actually my favorite to wear to work. They aren’t stuffy and they steam easily in the bathroom while I shower (so no ironing!). I paired it with a pair of flare jeans from Gap and my favorite heeled black boots from Amazon. The flare jeans are about 8 years old… but a closet staple for my long legs! The gold necklace is vintage and a part of my late momo’s (grandmother) extensive costume jewelry collection.

Do you want more work casual looks? Let me know in the comments!

-Forrest

Friday Favourites – Hodge Podge

This week I have been completely bedridden. Whatever is going around, it doesn’t vibe with me. However, I’ve still have some great things to share (including my most recent Netflix binge!).

  1. Urban Outfitters look-a-like dress: Screen Shot 2018-01-25 at 9.11.04 PM.png

I have been on the hunt for this dress ever since October and then I finally took the chance and ordered it from shein. I’ve heard horror stories of websites like this one, but I double checked my measurements and ordered it. It fits so well! It looks just like the one I wanted from Urban Outiftters for a third of the price.

2.  Trollhunters

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Alright, hear me out. This show may look like it is for children under 10 years old, but it is honestly some of the best story telling that I have ever watched. The characters are diverse and dynamic. The pacing of the story is just right. And the main voice actor is the belovedly-lost-too-young Anton Yelchin. I’m seriously a fan girl and can’t recommend the show enough! Plus it is written by Guillermo del Toro – oscar nominated for Shape of the Water. 

3. Sonic Care Toothbrush (Target)

Something really weird about me is that I have a super acidic mouth. As such, I am super prone to cavities and my dentist has been BEGGING me to get an electric toothbrush after he painfully gave me 12 fillings in one year. I put it off because it seemed ridiculous that I could achieve astronomically better results with an electric toothbrush. I was wrong. So wrong. My teeth are honestly cleaner and I believe they are a whole shade whiter after 2 weeks. Lesson learned. I got this light pink coloured one from Target for Christmas and I love it!

4. Lush Valentine’s Collection

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Rose is one of my favourite lush scents, so I go a little crazy around Valentine’s day. I have my eye on some new items this year and I’m definitely stocking up on the best body wash I’ve ever smelled. 

5. Walking on Lake Ontario!

This weekend we went to the beach at Lake Ontario to visit the dog park. We go all the time, but this was our first visit when the lake was frozen at the shore. I have never seen anything like it! Full blog post coming soon!

Friday Favourites | Girl Power

  1. Girl Power – My favourite thing that I have seen this week and possibly this year has been Aly Raisman’s kick ass (pardon the french, but I feel strongly about this) address to her gymnastics coach. Aly vocalized what many victims only dream of telling their attacker / harasser: “I have the power and the voice now; you are nothing.” Not only did she defend herself and other women, but Aly full on attacked the infrastructure of the US Gymnastics Organization. Her conviction brought me to tears and also enlightened me about this very serious issue that seems to have been swept under the rug for way too long. Watch her speech here. 
  2. Getting creative – I finally opened my Etsy shop! I’ve been closed since December and also working on some new products for my Disney loving friends. My favourite thing that I have designed for 2018 are cosmetic bags (and I’m partial to the Mary Poppins one). Mary Poppins CBag
  3. Evaluation Research – this is a very specific thing that may not apply to everyone. As a future professor and a current TA, teaching evaluations are a large part of hiring processes in my life. I have been given tons of research by my union that has informed me of the incredible biases in these evaluations, especially concerning gender and race. Even though the research is depressing and disturbing, I am glad that this sort of research is being conducted to help better the job security of professors. Here are some of the more informative links:
    1. http://activehistory.ca/2017/03/shes-hot-female-sessional-instructors-gender-bias-and-student-evaluations/
    2. http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2014/09/26/345515451/student-course-evaluations-get-an-f
  4. New Girl – I have recently started re-watching New Girl on Netflix and I don’t know why I ever stopped. Often I will choose to rewatch a show instead of starting something new and I really don’t regret it in this instance. I still relate to Jess just as much as I did 5 years ago. The only downside is that it makes me want to get bangs. new-girl3
  5. Crazy Rich Asians – As a Ph.D. student, I read all the time; however, it is rarely for pleasure. I really wanted to read a highly engaging fictional book (for a female audience) and came across CRA on a “Best Sellers” shelf at Indigo and was intrigued. I mean… just look at that cover art! I bought it later at a used book store and could not put it down. The story telling is incredible and the ending leaves you wanting more! The characters are polarizing too – you love the lovable characters and you love to hate the mean ones. It is very much like a Cinderella Story-meets Gossip Girl-meets-Singapore type of feel. I 100% recommend it! Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 12.34.40 PM.png