student life

New era at OCADU re-announced: New students will no longer be able to join Facebook’s “OCAD” network.

Just got this in my student email:

This is a message to all students: The following service will be decommissioned on APRIL 30, 2015 at 9:00 AM: REDIRECT SERVICE FOR THE STUDENT.OCAD.CA DOMAIN. When student email was migrated to Gmail in 2012, the email domain was changed from @student.ocad.ca to @student.ocadu.ca.  To facilitate the transition and avoid service interruption, a server was set up to redirect all email from the old domain to the new domain.  That service is now scheduled to be decommissioned. What does this mean for you? If you have subscribed to any services (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) using your email address with the old domain (student.ocad.ca), you will need to update your email address for each of those services.  A communication was sent out in 2012 to alert students, so it is very likely that those affected would have updated their various accounts at that time. If in doubt, check which email address you used to subscribe to various online services and ensure that your student email address is the current @student.ocadu.ca. Contact the IT Help Desk at ithelp@ocadu.ca or x277 for more information.

This isn’t new; according to them the last time this was considered was two years ago. I mentioned on Facebook that this would mean new students would not be able to join the “OCAD” network. They pulled the decommission. Two years later they are announcing the decommission again.

So what changed? Maybe they forgot. Or they thought joining a Facebook network isn’t something they should care about. Or maybe something else. I don’t know.

Sure, Facebook networks do hardly a thing any more; but it’s still a show of affiliation. April 30, 2015 will still be a milestone in OCAD’s history: Officially denying new students the possibility of showing their sense of belonging to the school by joining a network on Facebook.

maybe i’m still closer to here than there

So three days ago I got an unexpected email that I found incredibly odd, and I’m still mulling what to do next. That said, in the meantime I have talked to a few people and I’m starting to believe this is most likely a result of the “internal verification” that was mentioned more than a month ago.

If this is indeed the case, then it can only mean that I’m still very much officially a student, albeit a student who’s not registered in anything.

I still feel I’m in the twilight zone or something, but at least when people ask me again I’ll have more confidence at how to answer — or what to do when I go to Gwartzman’s again…

liminality

Today is September 11.

Yesterday was a deadline; I mentioned it on Twitter and that got picked up by Sarah Mulholland because after the initial curiosity I started ranting about OCAD’s new website. But my own personal deadline was not yesterday but the day before, and I never knew there is still an “internal verification” (probably just meaning checking if the profs really signed the forms I turned in). Now that even the rhetorical deadline has passed, I’m not sure what to call myself any more.

Danica asked me how I felt when I dropped by at the AV desk today. “Weird,” I told her. And yes, that’s exactly how I’m feeling right now.

According to the registration system, my thesis is still “in progress.”

But that still doesn’t change the fact that my library card has just expired, or that I’m not registered for anything.

Nor do I really want to unless there’s some way to register for something without triggering the full grad tuition fees.

What can I say? This question of liminality just keeps cropping up. No longer here, but not there yet. Everyone, including my advisor, is asking me about what my plans are. I really just have “some sort of a plan” right now.

one year too late

So yesterday I was at 205 because I was to be at an SU meeting and then stayed in the building afterwards because I was trying to see if I could get other things done there or was needed there. Yes, a most atypical day since I usually don’t stay in that building. But since one of the things was to see if a prof happened to be there (and because I don’t want to stay on the 2nd floor and I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay on the 5th floor), I went to the 7th floor, and was surprised when someone called my name.

Danica had told me she’s working for AV now; still, I was surprised to find her working on this side of AV.

Actually, I never associated the 7th floor with AV, even I knew (in an intellectual sort of way) the AV desk is there. Why? Now that I think of it, people in my program (including profs) never borrow stuff from the 7th floor; we all automatically borrow from the 2nd floor, as if the 7th floor AV desk didn’t exist.

No wonder I never knew there’s a common room on the 7th floor until I found my thesis advisor.

No wonder we feel so disconnected. (I mean more disconnected than the typical grad student.)

I wonder: If someone I know had been working on the 7th floor AV desk way back when I was in first year, would anything have changed?

A time bomb, accidentally discovered?

(I’ll adjust the vocabulary so that it’s understandable by most OCAD students. But nothing essential is changed. In fact by adjusting the vocabulary it becomes clear why I say the situation is ridiculous.)

So what essentially happened in the past couple of days was that I have been banned from a studio. The tech specifically requested that I be banned only from his studio, but what happened was that I seem to have been banned from the entire building, including the elevator.

Now this is a serious problem, because there can only be so many reasons how this could even have happened:

  1. The person who made the change intentionally made the wrong changes (malice);
  2. The person who made the change on the computer made a mistake and did not check their work so they never noticed there was a mistake (carelessness);
  3. The person who made the change on the computer did everything correctly but the computer did something else and then lied to the person saying it did what was asked (logic error + bad UI);
  4. The computer is incapable of making the requested change and does not provide any feedback as to what it has actually done (software deficiencies + bad UI);
  5. The computer does random unexpected things from time to time, possibly when people try to make certain changes (random errors).

Any of these reasons are serious, and with the SU office having moved to 205 Richmond they have become more serious than ever. Just imagine, if a student has been unfairly banned from a studio and needs the help of the Student Advocate, they might not actually be able to get to the SU office to get help. Or students could be banned from the SU food bank. Worse, the entire SU staff could be shut out from their own office for no reason.

(Even the second possibility is serious. I have basically been banned for carelessness. But if the person who banned me is as careless as I was they should be banned too =P)

I think this needs to be looked into as soon as possible, before the Fall semester kicks in and make this problem one that potentially affects >4000 OCAD students.

205 Richmond

You know, I have never felt a connection to 205 Richmond, even though that’s supposed to be my building.

But how could anyone blame me? If all a student could do is to go into the building to borrow the wifi and the bathroom (and it’s just the wifi and not even a power outlet), it would be a miracle the student felt any connection. So what does it mean to have the privilege of borrowing the bathroom revoked too? Can anyone say “Not much, I suppose”?

Anyway, since this ridiculous thing has actually happened I’ll have to say it’s a good thing that the Student Union moved into this building and literally took over half of the fifth floor. Honestly I used to think it was a bad idea that they moved here since it’s so far away (for most students and ironically that also includes me, since my home base is not 7220 but 253). But I think the move has accomplished something very important, namely to—what’s the right word? “detoxify”? “cleanse”?—anyway, to make the environment feel less intrinsically hostile.

I really hope the SU will do well here. In a sense, I really hated this building. And yes the SU moving there really sort of caused it harder to hate it as a whole.

Finalist :)

Two days ago I received an email from the RGD which told me that while I didn’t win any award in this year’s RGD Student Awards, I was among the finalists in the “Placemaking” category.

Which made me happy: I have never been trained in EGD, my experience was not exactly EGD experience, and my attempt to somehow steer my INCD studies in the direction of EGD didn’t work out; yet it was my EGD entry that got into the finalist round.

So what should I do next? I wonder. Or am I daydreaming?

“school sucks in the summer”

It is true that working on campus is way better than working at home. At home I have to remember to put my headphones on (which is recent discovery) and I don’t always remember to do that.

But I’ve been much more productive on campus either in the studio or in the Great Hall (but not in the bistro area), even when compared with when I work with headphones on, or even compared to when I work at Robarts.

The fact that campus closes early and isn’t open on weekends really is making me very unhappy. Yes, I’m still unhappy.

A real course this term

This semester we have a real course again. It can even be anything really. But I missed the course add deadline, so what I have is just what I would have had if there were still no electives in our program.

Anyway, it’s an ATutor course too, complete with forum discussions which we have not had for two straight semesters. It’s embarrassing but having seen so many complaints on Canvas, ATutor — with all its numerous and serious failings — doesn’t really look so bad any more.

It’s embarrassing but I feel at home doing these ATutor discussions. I can even fantasize about being able to just do this ATutor stuff and pass program requirements. But of course I know this isn’t real. Unlike another “real university” here which shall remain unnamed, we don’t have course-based programs here; we are an art school, we have higher standards =P

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