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Archive for the ‘peace and conflict’


Yet Another Anxious High School Kid TM

Hey Aska,

Firstly, thank you so much for this site! I’ve been checking it every few days since i found out about it, and thanks to you I’m slightly less likely to have a full on panic attack when i apply to uni.

I’m starting grade 12 in an Ontario high school in the fall, and i want to apply for social sciences at uoft, probably for either International Relations or Peace, Conflict and Justice. My grades aren’t /amazing/, but I’ll probably have an average in the mid to high eighties when I have to send them in, so…ok?

I do a lot of extracurricular stuff- I’m the president of a social-justice-y club, the editor of the school newspaper and I will have
been a “senior mentor” for two years, and I know I can get recommendation letters from each of these. (sorry if this sounds like the pretentious part of a resume, I can’t help it) Even if these positions would be irrelevant with regards to admissions, would they (or recommendation letters) help me with anything else, like getting into the college of my choice, school clubs or scholarships?

Also, do you think International Relations or Peace, Conflict and Justice would be more relevant to a career in human rights?

Thank you so much!


hey there,

i’m glad my sass and bad humour calm you down, kid. i mean, it’s kinda weird, but i’ll roll with it. what’s your deal? are you a sucker for pain? if so, uoft will be the perfect choice for you. it’s a match made in a 9am calculus class!

while i appreciate the vagueness of your question about admissions and the probably unintentional john green reference, i still can’t give you a straight answer. i’m not about to risk going against a decision made by admissions. all i can do is point you to this chart right here; feel free to compare and contrast, and draw your own conclusions.

as for your extracurricular experience, you’re exactly right. it will all mean diddly-squat in terms of admission to the university, but it will come in handy for scholarship applications, the experience may be valuable when it comes to joining clubs in university, and it can – potentially – be useful for college applications.

not all colleges in the faculty of arts & science require supplemental applications. in fact, most don’t. the only colleges that actually require an application are victoria college and trinity college, because they’re kooky like that. if you’re interested in either of those colleges however, their student profile application forms will be your chance to shine.

finally, your program question: IR and PCJ are two peas in a pod. you can’t go wrong with either of them. i wouldn’t worry so much about which one will be more relevant (especially since ‘human rights’ isn’t that specific a goal in itself). a better way to narrow them down is to look at the practical implications of each choice.

for example, you’ll need to determine is whether you’re after the specialists or majors in IR/PCJ. the difference between a specialist and a major is that a specialist asks that you complete more credits (13.0 for IR and 12.0 for PCJ), and therefore, one specialist is enough for you to obtain your degree. majors require fewer credits (both IR and PCJ require 7.5 FCEs for their majors), and therefore if you’re in an IR or PCJ major, you’ll have to supplement it with either one other major, or two other minors.

content-wise, all four options (the IR specialist, PCJ specialist, IR major, and PCJ major) are pretty similar, but there are subtle differences in terms of which courses you would need to take for each. study each program on the course calendar to get a feel for which would be the best fit for you.

if you really can’t decide, consider a double major in PCJ and IR. they complement each other wonderfully.

my final piece of advice is this: keep your options open. all of these programs are type 3 programs, which means that even if you meet all the prerequisites in first year, you still may not get into the program, since there are limited spots for enrolment. what i’m saying is: backups are non-optional, and be ready for plan B to become plan A.

but don’t worry about ANY OF THAT right now, because you still have a year left of high school and subject POSt enrolment is at least two years away. a lot can happen in two years, so take it easy. enjoy your summer break. play pokemon go. try to be a kid again.

you can start by closing this tab and looking at prom outfits in the next one.



P.S. thanks for providing the perfect title for this post in your e-mail subject line. i love the self-deprecation. keep it up and you might even be as great as aska, one day.


i’d go with peace

Hey Aska,

What have you heard about the peace and conflict program at the Trudeau centre? What are the employment rates?

Thanks in advance.



is ASSU taunting us?

I was wondering around one day a few weeks ago, and I came upon a sign that
said, “Get ______ now!” or “_____ available now!” or any variation thereof. My
memory is on summer vacation, and I forgot what _____ is. Apparently, it’s
content is a publication of sorts that rates/reviews/grades the profs/course,
by the students! I think the title had anti in it? Or maybe it had an “a” in
there somewhere. Helpful, I know.

Does such a thing exist? Or is my mind hallucinating at the sheer thought of
returning to school? If it does exist, what is it’s name and where can I get

Thank you!


coping with psychology

What’s the deal with PSY100? I have heard horror stories about it
being SO DIFFICULT. Is this true? Why is it so hard?



eco100 vs eco105, like the rock and hulk hogan going head to head…

I’m failing Calculus. Should I take ECO100y? I heard it’s heavy on the math. Would I be better off in ECO105?

well, eco100 is tough on math. i know people who have failed. however, if you are in calculus right now, and enrolled in the course/program for a good reason, you might got on just fine. eco105 is not for people who are declaring economics as their program of study. most people take it for distribution requirements, or for international relations. this leads me to beieve that it is not math-heavy, because that seems to be the area most eco100 students have problems with. if you want to make your program of study economics, take eco100 and get extra help with the hard parts. if not, yeah, go for eco105, especially if you are sick of math. here’s the website, as well as the anti-calendar to choose your prof wisely.



the rantings of an unsatisfied student (or how the anti-calendar lied)

The anti-calender has LIED!
I have a math course with a professor that is absolutely the worst! The average is somewhere in the 40’s, half of the work is so impossible to do that my tutor couldn’t even help me! And half of it is so easy that it does not prepare you for tests or realistic questions and you fail! The prof is an ass about it, will not bell marks like most other impossible professors, and NOBODY I have spoken with thinks much of him-in fact everybody HATES him! BUT, the all-so-wonderful anti-calender has just praised this professor in this particular course with compliments that made me sick and glory that made me scream like a donkey. It made him out to be a wonderful professor that students just loved. What the hell! Has it been tainted with theevilness of a higher evil power?? I am scared to use it to choose my next classes now! LIES LIES LIES! (more…)


it’s every student’s favourite time of year, course evaluations, and whether my opinion means anything…

How much do those course evaluation sheets we fill out really matter? I mean, if enough people claim that a professor is horrible, would that do anything? Or if there are recomendations for changes in a course, do they really take them seriously?

these evaluations are not used direstly by the departments or the faculty of arts and science. they matter a lot. they are given to the profs by assu (arts and science student union) so that they can make the ever-popular, ever-useful, ever-praised anti-calendar, which askastudent heartily endorses. the anti-calendar is good for the following reasons. 1. it gives students a method of quality-control of their profs and their courses, which would otherwise only be controlled by the departments and the faculty.
2. it gives students a method to choose the courses and professors that they feel will be the most beneficial to their education.
3. it gives profs and departments honest and unmitigated opinions of the students.
4. it gives students the opportunity to vent the seething frustration that develops over eight months of lestening and not talking back, and quells the desire to write hate mail.

you know, that prof who uses the word ‘peruse’ 4 times a lecture, as though the likes of john milton and scott fitzgerald require merely an eye-wandering to comprehend. or the t.a. who perfers emails to office hours, as though seeing the students one-on-one makes them seem a little too much like real people.

so use this power, and use it wisely my friend. it is one of the few priviledges granted to students. it holds the power of publication



polisci and the anti-calendar: stacking the votes..

hi! i’m going to be making m choices for frist year courese soon, and i was just wondering exaclty how reliable was the anti-calender? i’m stuck between choosing a first year pol sci course and the anti-cal says that all of them are great. does this thing ever help?



polisci at UofT and beyond, a comprehensive study

how does the PoliSci Dept. at U of T compare with that at other universities?


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