Campus Living

Winnipeg’s Greatest Summer Job

Much ado about walking

July 5, 2013

I mentioned my dislike of walking the other day. Walking is a thing, downtown. Yesterday, I walked to the Hydro Building (just in time to witness the Farmer’s Market packing up – shoot), to the Concert Hall, to the RWB, and home again.

In other words, my legs are ACHING. The upside? My calves look fantastic, and I feel more alive.

Walking is not the solitary culprit for my pain. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet offers adult classes, and I was very excited to sign up for one. I have been dancing since the age of five, but I’ve never taken a class at the RWB school. The quality is top notch, but you do pay a pretty penny for it. Of course, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives out there.

I could write a whole blog post about all the opportunities available to adults (young and old) in this city looking for drop-in and registered classes for all kinds of dance. But for now, let me just say that there are lots: from hip hop at Creative Creations to ballroom at Ted Motyka, both of which are mere steps away from my new place.

One of the first attractions I attended specifically to blog about was the Dinner and a Movie combo at Bodegoes. The restaurant was kind enough to give me two gift certificates, so I dragged a friend to grab two boxes of delicious noodles (with plenty of leftovers) and then see Much Ado About Nothing at the Globe.

Much Ado… I was lucky enough to see it at SXSW (and watch the talk with Joss Whedon, cast, and crew), and I have been itching to see it again ever since. This movie may look and sound super arty (black and white, original Shakespeare text, made on a micro-budget), but it is surprisingly accessible. Whedon brings the language to sparkling new life. The modern context allows the character of Beatrice to shine and….

Oh no, this is turning into a film review. I didn’t mean to, honest (but you can read this one instead).

Regardless of what film you see, the Dinner and a Movie concept is a great one. We had many options to choose from for food and theatres. The restaurant closed at 9 pm, so we had just the right amount of time to make it to our 9:40 show.

The Globe didn’t seem to follow their schedule, though. We arrived at 9:40 on the dot but still had to sit through pre-show chatter (unusual) and lots of trailers. The movie only truly started at 10:05, 25 minutes later! I don’t understand why movie theatres would make an audience wait so long, particularly for a late night movie on a weekday.

Despite some holdups and inconveniences, it has been a lovely week so far, thanks in part to things like this generous offer from Bodegoes.

This weekend, I am also looking forward to more fun exploration. Maybe I’ll check out an art gallery, go see something at Cinematheque, or just chill out in Old Market Square. Wherever I go, I can assure you that I will be walking there.

Illegal microwaves!

July 4, 2013

I never lived in residence when I was a student, and I am learning that there is big difference from this place and a regular apartment.

It is ironic that a residence attached to a Culinary Arts school has a policy against heat-generating appliances in the dorm rooms. Also, there is no shared kitchen. If I were studying cooking, how would I do my cooking homework without even a hot plate?

I am being a little sarcastic – surely, the students here must be tired of cooking at the end of the day. But this residence is open for students ANYWHERE to stay, whether they are at Red River College, the University of Winnipeg, or Robertson College (these are all schools within the immediate vicinity). So, for those of us who don’t spend our days preparing food, it is a little frustrating that we aren’t able to do so in our rooms.

Apparently the official rules say we can’t even have microwaves in our rooms, but when you move in, there will be a microwave ready for you. I think that maybe the Campus Living office means I shouldn’t bring a second microwave, or have one in the bedroom of the double rooms (like the one in which I live). Even so, let me tell you, it would be nice to have even a toaster oven. I’d love to eat my own toast instead of having to go downstairs.

Microwave

Illegal microwave? I think maybe I’m just not supposed to bring my own.

The residence gives you a meal plan with your room, which allows you to partake in Culinary Exchange‘s meals (a restaurant that is open to the public as well). The food smells great, and the prices for breakfast are the lowest I’ve seen in the Exchange district. This interesting arrangement is meant to prevent any chance of fire in a student’s room while simultaneously driving business to Culinary Exchange.

I think if I was fresh out of high school, still new to adulthood, I would not be bothered by the inability to cook. When I was 18, I lived off of Kraft Dinner and Campbell’s tomato soup (both of which I can make with this microwave). However, one of my goals for this summer was to learn to cook healthier food, and I can see this foiling my plans. At least there are healthy options in the area.

I was in a bit of a tight spot this week because the IT at RRC had trouble setting me up with my identification (system maintenance, I heard), which made it impossible for me to get a meal plan set up. So, no cooking, and no meal plan. Thankfully, there is a Farmer’s Market every Thursday at the Hydro Building, about ten blocks away. I am really excited to go find fresh produce today, so that I can make salads and sandwiches and other cold dishes. Another of my goals this summer was to eat locally produced food, so this new Farmer’s Market is going to help me achieve that goal.

My friend Miles has started an Eat and Learn series out of his home just out of the downtown area. It’s an informal, DIY approach to sharing knowledge. Last weekend, he made us a full vegetarian Indian meal while we all learned to use Photoshop.

Food

A fantastic vegetarian banquet. Miles knows his spices. (My iPhone camera doesn’t do this justice)

I requested that he teach me some recipes for cold dishes, and so this weekend he’s going to show me how to make a cold Spanish soup. All I need to track down now is a blender.

So, while having no stove or oven seemed at first to be a bit depressing, I know that I can eat salads and things until my meal plan gets set up (it could even be ready by the end of the day). Then, I can truly experience life here in residence.

—– (edit – 11 pm) —–

I just found this post on Reddit, and it is making me rethink my decision to grow up and stop eating KD.

Canada Day weekend: free fun and fireworks

July 3, 2013

The move-in has been an extended process. The long weekend was spent unpacking, remembering things I had left at home, running back when I could, forgetting more things… Lather, rinse, repeat, ad nauseum. I’m still lacking things like dish soap or a garbage can, but I hope to obtain these things in the near future (a trip to Giant Tiger is in order).

When I first stepped out of my new residence on Friday, I spotted Andrew Milne and his truck, newly painted and emblazoned with the title “The Museum of New Ideas”. Turns out Andrew had unveiled it earlier in the day and was about to pack up shop.

Museum of New Ideas and Andrew Milne

Andrew’s first exhibition in Winnipeg drew quite a bit of attention.

The Museum is a travelling exhibition of new works, as well as a darkroom and studio. This particular show was focused on the history of textiles, specifically relating it to computing.

Andrew’s project is a perfect example of some of the cool things that pop up in Winnipeg’s Exchange district regularly (and randomly), and I thought it was a good omen to see it on my first night living downtown. I left The Museum of New Ideas feeling excited for my 6 week stay.

Canada Day weekend has to be one of the most pleasant experiences in Winnipeg’s core. People will openly greet each other when normally they may try to avoid eye contact. Two young guys on bikes zoomed past, and they yelled “Happy Canada Day!” to the world. Little things like that make this day a little brighter.

Many of my friends know that I can’t walk far before I start to complain about being tired. Normally, I find walking for long periods of time to be particularly harrowing, but living downtown without a car is rebuilding my stamina.

But even if I didn’t want to walk to the free events on Canada Day, there are options! There is a free shuttle provided by Winnipeg Transit to get you to and from the three major locations: Osborne Village, The Forks, and Assiniboine Park. People feel free to use these shuttles as they please, as proven by this image on Twitter (I am not sure how this fit on the bus, to be honest).

Considering my tendency to prefer wheels over walking, I intend to take other free busses this summer. I know I’ll be hopping on the Downtown Spirit if I am heading to Broadway for something, or onto the free Folk Fest bus when I want to go to Bird’s Hill Park for some music next weekend.

I’m a Winnipegger; I love free things. The free stuff this Canada Day weekend was a blast, starting off with an art gallery on wheels and ending with fireworks. Of course, because there were so many cool vendors in Osborne, I ended up spending a bit more money than anticipated! But I am happy to support local craftspeople like this rad chick from SkateBetty:

SkateBetty image

Sheena from SkateBetty at her first Winnipeg showing (Osborne Village, July 1, 2013)

Recent news has come out about an incident at the Forks on Canada Day. A young woman hit a child and a man with her car, then proceeded to bite a cop who was trying to get her out of her car. I’m sure you’ve heard about it already, but in case you haven’t, take a look at this Free Press article.

There is a bad egg every few dozen, but news like this is still shocking. I’m just thankful that no one was hurt, and I’m thankful that the majority of people on Canada Day were friendly and considerate. Judging by the cheers at her arrest, I would say that most of us feel strongly that this positive Canada Day spirit should not be soiled.

There is power in numbers, and while crowds of people blocking traffic may seem frustrating to a driver, to a pedestrian there is a wonderful sense of community and security. If you’re driving on Canada Day next year, please be patient and understanding. You could even roll down your windows and have a conversation. Just don’t bite anyone. Please.

Readers: What did you do on Canada Day? What has been your favourite Canada Day activity over the years?

Wednesday – Winnipeg Song of the Week

July 3, 2013

This is the first of a series of short posts featuring Winnipeg music that I love. I am not a music expert, but I have a variety of music that I love that I would like to share with the world. And since this blog centres on Winnipeg, why not focus on local artists?

I’ve been walking a lot downtown these past few days, and there is one particular song that continues to pop into my head as I go. I think it’s because the tempo is perfect for walking at a leisurely pace. And it’s just a feel-good song.

It’s important to note that this song is a few years old, and that Grand Analog has a couple of new tracks available for download on their Soundcloud here.

Nailed it.

July 2, 2013

At 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 26, I was driving downtown for a job interview at 8:30 a.m. My massive hurry led me to forego normal dental care rituals and opt for the alternative minty gum solution, but I felt confident that I would be able to impress the panel (albeit at a safe distance).

My hands firmly on the wheel in front of me, I could finally see the eyesore they presented. I’m the kind of person that does her nails maybe once a month and allows the polish to chip away on its own. Unfortunately, this means that 75% of the month, my nails are an atrocity – maybe not the best when convincing someone to hire you.

Nails image

Would YOU hire digits like these?

I was to be interviewed for Winnipeg’s Greatest Summer Job at Red River College’s student residence, a job I wanted badly (even the name of the gig is enticing – imagine it on a resume!). But my nails were unseemly. Surely, the interviewers would see through my cracked veneer of a young professional when they saw my nails looking like that.

I crossed my fingers, parked with five minutes to spare, and ducked into Berns and Black Salon in hopes of convincing the staff to let me borrow some polish remover. I was sorely disappointed to learn that they are not open that early, so I hung my head (à la Charlie Brown) and sulked away.

I slumped next door to Parlour Coffee, hoping irrationally that baristas stock nail polish remover. Standing in line, I realized that I could see the salon interior… and in fact, I could walk over… and, yup!

With caution, I approached Mallory, the manager. The intrusion into her space was not unwelcome, and she was gracious enough to give me some remover and some swabs.

I may be exaggerating when I say the manager at this salon got me this job, but it’s a fun idea, anyhow.

Anyhow!

I suppose I should introduce myself to you. My name is Kayla, and I got this really cool job where I live in residence at Red River College in Winnipeg’s Exchange District and blog about all my experiences.

I did not get this job because I had fabulous-looking nails, but rather because I am interested in online communications. When YouTube was still a newfangled thing to most people, I was voraciously consuming video blog after video blog in an effort to connect with others around the world. I started making YouTube content, which fed my interest in filmmaking. One Film Studies degree later (from the University of Manitoba), I find myself making videos professionally (often for web). My freelance work in video production has made me very self-motivated and deadline-driven, which are precisely the qualities that RRC was looking for.

My wide variety of interests tends to get me involved in a lot of communities: from hip hop dancers, to board game enthusiasts, to amateur theatre troupes, and beyond. I hope that my time spent living in downtown Winnipeg will only further expand and enrich my connections to the diverse population of this fine city.

And you get to read all about it here, on this blog! Please comment on any of these posts, let me know about any events or recommended places to go or people to meet. And if you know the secret to life, the universe, and everything, well gosh darn it, I would love to chat about it!

Meet Kayla Jeanson, RRC’s “Blogger in Residence”

June 30, 2013

Blogger in ResidenceKayla Jeanson works and lives in Winnipeg as a freelance filmmaker and videographer, having recently graduated from the University of Manitoba’s Film Studies program. She is heavily involved in the contemporary and hip hop dance communities, and the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and she has also studied at the School of Contemporary Dance.

Her penchant for telling stories visually has always been tied to the written word, and so it is with much excitement that she approaches the opportunity to be a “blogger in residence” at Red River College.

There are two things that she plans to do while working Winnipeg’s Greatest Summer Job:

  • First, she wants to develop her writing style and figure out new ways to connect to people using social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and YouTube.
  • Second, she wants to dig into local culture and evaluate the pros and cons of living in downtown Winnipeg’s Exchange District. From festivals to food, museums to markets, she wants to explore the unique, homegrown businesses that are accessible to students living at RRC’s residence.

To arrange an interview with Kayla and to arrange tours of the residence, please call Conor Lloyd at 204.795.2864 or clloyd@rrc.ca.