Posts tagged ‘school’

November 19, 2017


On November 6th-7th I completed the Examination for Architects in Canada (ExACs). This is the culmination of a ten year journey! I felt fortunate because Vikkie, my friend from the beginning of undergrad, was at the same point as me and we were able to go through the experience together. Since Vikkie lives north of Toronto, she came and stayed at my place for the two nights before the exams. The exams were at the Exhibition Place and so it was only a short drive from my place. I was thankful to have a ride with Vikkie instead of biking or transiting there!

The exam was made up of four sections that were each three hours long. The first section included questions on programming, site and environmental analysis, cost management, coordinating engineering systems, schematic design, and design development; the second section was code research; the third section was final project (anything related to building materials, systems, and details); and the fourth section was bidding and contract negotiation, construction phase – office, construction phase – site, and project management). My brain was pretty overloaded approaching the exams and six hours was a lot of time to try to stay focused in one day. At the beginning of each exam I would always have this dreaded feeling of “what if my brain just shuts off and won’t let me finish this?”, but then I always made it through! The first exam felt the worst, perhaps because the content is so diverse or perhaps because I got more used to the experience with each sequential exam. I surprised myself when I left the last exam thirty minutes early!

Vikkie and I were completely exhausted afterwards, but we still decided to join Susan for dinner and drinks at Indie Ale House to celebrate! What a hard push this was! I am thankful to God for bringing me to this point. Now I’m going to forget this exam ever happened until I receive the notice in February of whether I passed or failed! I am hoping I will not have to go through this whole experience again!

June 30, 2015

Thesis Defence!

Ready to begin The day finally arrived for me to defend my thesis! I defended on Wednesday June 3rd at 10am. My parents, some good friends from Maranatha, and a few friends from school came and watched. In the gallery I set up a mini exhibition of four posters with a table of coffee and snacks from Monigram. I presented for half an hour and then sat down and answered questions posed to me by a panel of critics that included my supervisor, two committee members, and external reader. I was very nervous for the presentation and it threw me off that I couldn’t see the audience. I finally felt like myself again when I sat down for questions. I feel like the presentation could have been better, but this was a learning experience and I’m sure I will improve with practice! Afterwards the panel left to deliberate and came back to announce that my thesis was accepted with only a few small revisions. My thesis document is now available for download from UWSpace. I will also have a link to a video of my presentation up shortly! Presenting The panel

August 13, 2014

Peer Review

A few weeks back the grad students organized a peer review evening. Each of us took our turn to present our work and get feedback and critique from our peers. I found it very helpful to get a fresh perspective. We had the first few presentations outside but then it got far too cold and buggy and so we relocated to the living room. We were at it until 1am! Photo by Chanel Dehond.

Peer Review


May 25, 2014

Celebrating 26

Crazy faces

The past two weekends were celebrations of life. On the weekend of May 10th I went home and celebrated Mothers day and the birthday that I share with Mom and Sis. I stayed over at Jen and Chris’s place on Friday night, which resulted in the crazy sister picture above. We had a lovely family gathering on the Saturday evening and it was the first time we had seen Al in a while because of her long jaunt to Australia for work. I can hardly believe it but my parents bought me a used DSLR camera for my birthday! I am super excited to jump into the basics of photography with the portrait lens that came with the camera, and before the summer is out I’ll probably get a lens that will allow me to take landscape shots. You’ll be seeing more photos from me from now on! On Sunday Jen, Chris, Kish, and I went on a nice hike in Short Hills. Jen took photos and created two lovely collages from the hike.

Big kissesSitting chillingHike collage  Woods

The following weekend I celebrated my birthday with church and school friends. On Friday evening the Devos’ hosted a birthday BBQ. Leah, Bethany, Caitlin, Tiffany, Kyle and Hannah, Curtis and Kira, and Brent and Cathy were all there and we had a lovely evening of food and conversation. On Saturday Vikkie, Ali, and I drove up to Elora Gorge for a hike. I had always wanted to go there and so there couldn’t have been a better day to make the trek! The day was beautiful. Vikkie prepared an AMAZING picnic lunch that we ate at the lookout. It consisted of a delicious quiche and a fruit tart. Unfortunately I had a cold for the entirety of the weekend and am thankful my friends stuck by me to celebrate anyways! The photos of Elora Gorge are compliments of Vikkie.


So excited



Elora Gorge

Vikkie is super talented and she made me beautiful earrings for my birthday. They were to replace the ones I lost at Christmas when little Grady got into my toiletry case and sucked them down to pulp because he thought they were candy. They sure are sparkly and shiny so who could blame him? I will try my best to take better care with these ones! This photograph is taken by yours truly! :D

Paper earings



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November 23, 2013

Coffee House

Monigram Coffee House 2013 057

What could be better than coffee, friends, and some great music? The Coffee House on November 14 that I helped to coordinate was a great success! There is so much amazing talent at our school it’s insane. And even when we had gone through everyone on the original line-up, we had additional musical people come up and perform, some who I don’t think were even architecture students. The event was held in the upstairs space of the Monigram cafe. The space was jam-packed, but the brick walls and the lights created a great atmosphere. The string of ornaments that people made also looked lovely. Although the space was too full for us to sell the ornaments there, they are now selling for donation at Monigram. People sometimes aren’t buying them because they don’t want to make the tree look bare, but are donating anyways! We raised almost $500 for the Cambridge Shelter for Home for the Holidays! To top that all off I performed for the first time!! I played Learning How to Die by Jon Foreman and Caravan by Passenger. The whistling part in Caravan actually sounded really great in the microphone! Another highlight was Chanel and Stephen’s original song with guitar and harmonica about preparing a homey, post-studio day culinary dish that included a very interesting combination of foods that included sweet potatoes, yellow mango peels and onions sliced in two directions….  It was a great night!


November 2, 2013

Lil’ Red

Pocahontas, Prison Inmate, and Lil' RedThis weekend was the annual halloween party that is always planned by the third year class. Mila came and visited and there was also a good number of master students that came out which made it a great night. I decided that I would be Little Red Riding hood and that I would take the opportunity to sew my very first garment! I found some red fabric and a basket at the thrift store for a total of $4. I looked up a pattern for a hooded cape online and eyeballed something similar. It’s a bit messy, but overall I am very proud of the final product. I think that sewing is something I would like to get good at. I had some fun modelling my new look!

Frolicking in the forest

Kickass Lil' RedClose up shot

November 2, 2012


On October 20th I finally graduated with my Bachelor of Architectural Studies!  In the afternoon we had the official Convocation at Waterloo with the rest of the faculty of engineering, and then later that evening we had a nice reception at the architecture school in Cambridge.  Here are some candid photos from the evening:

Waiting in line

Photo by Terri Boake

Robes, certificates, and flowers!

Photo by Terri Boake


October 1, 2012

GRE, Nuit Blanche, & Grace Toronto Weekend

Many of you may look at these three titles:  GRE, Nuit Blanche, and Grace Toronto, and have absolutely no idea of what I’m speaking.  This weekend I went to Toronto with the main purpose of checking out a housing prospect, and writing the ‘General Record Exam’ or GRE, a graduate entrance exam for studying in the United States.  I later realized that my visit coincidentally aligned with the annual all-night art event ‘Nuit Blanche’ on Saturday night, and I was also looking forward to revisiting my previous church called Grace Toronto on Sunday before heading back to Cambridge.

I arrived by bus on Friday evening and the first item on my itinerary was to visit my potential housing option.  The place is suitable for short term and so I decided to take it for a minumum of three months.  I will move in tomorrow already and start work at my new job midweek.  This has all happened so fast.  I was hosted both nights by friends of mine who were previous coworkers from my last sejourn in Toronto.  On Friday evening I was sick of studying and so we went to a great Korean restaurant for dinner and caught up.  Already I was being reintroduced back into the multicultural diversity that is Toronto!

The next morning I headed to my exam.  I spent the last several weeks studying for it, and even that could not completely prepare me.  This was my first time doing an official computer-based test, and I felt so oddly displaced when I was writing it.  It was four very grueling hours long!  My score was very average, and so I will have to make the difficult decision to choose whether or not I should rewrite it.

That evening I joined my friends to a small get-together as a tag-along.  I didn’t know anyone at the event but the two friends I came with, but still had an excellent time.   We stayed in and chatted until the early morning until we finally decided to go out and explore some of the Nuit Blanche activities that were happening in the city below.  There was a large percent chance of rain, but the night stayed fine with only a soft mist coming down now and then. Many of the art installations in Nuit Blanche can be hit or miss, but there are always a few select ‘treasures’ that make the late night/early morning trek worth the while.  We stumbled across two such exhibits that were wonderful to behold.

The first one we went to was number 19: The Toronto Consort: Forty Part Quartet by Janet Cardiff.  It was a beautiful sound installation sculpture that was made up of a circle of 40 speakers, each with its own voice.  When you closed your eyes, you could imagine an entire choir encompassing you.  You can also check out this video I found on YouTube of this same sculpture at another event.

The other treasure we found was number 12: Jeng Yi: Tent & Semaphore.  It was a live performance of several percussion works inspired by rituals of Korea.  Not only was the drumming fantastic, there was also some amazing dancing.  The dancers had these interesting hats that had ribbons attached to them, so that when they made motions with their heads while they danced, the ribbons would follow along tracing beautiful patterns around them.  I’ve never seen anything like it!

After checking out these two events, my two friends and I (now departed from the bigger group) walked quite a ways from Bloor down to King to check out an installation done by a fellow friend and previous co-worker.  Her project was number 79: Lenticularis: GUILD.  It was a sculpture composed of a field of very light fabric that caught the light in a wonderful way and would billow and move at the slightest air movement.  It hovered just above the height of an average person, and standing under it and looking at it from a horizontal angle made me imagine I was looking at the reversed horizon line of a roiling sea.

By the time we got to this last event, it was six in the morning and we were a very spaced out trio.  We took a taxi home and I fell asleep as soon as I hit the covers.  I only allowed myself three hours however because I really wanted to go to Grace Toronto the following morning (because we all know that it is never actually morning until one goes to sleep and wakes up again).  It was a beautiful day though and after a Tim Hortons coffee (they quite literally exist on every street corner in this city) I was chipper.  How the congregation has grown since I was there last!  The service was very good and quite challenging which is also a good thing.  The message focused on 1 Peter 1:1-12 and really challenged the congregation on what it means to live a courageous Christian life and take part in the joy unfailing that is offered to us through Jesus Christ.

After the service I walked to the Greyhound station and headed back to Cambridge.  I decided to be absolutely lazy that evening and save packing until the following day which was to be moving day!  After spending an entire weekend in Toronto and returning, the following day I would go to Toronto and back yet again to get all of my belongings over there.

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August 10, 2012

Field Cushion

Field Cushion is a landscape installation designed and constructed by fellow classmates Petra Bogias, Vikkie Chen, Andrea Soto, Lisa Wong, and myself.  We designed the piece partly for our fourth year landscape course and partly for the Common Ground landscape art exhibition in which it took part.  We approached the design by way of trying to create an artificial field of replicated objects that takes on many of the inherent characteristics of grass, but then at the same time defies some of those rules by allowing the form to become an architecture.  The form is a long band that begins on the ground, later lifts up to become a wall, and finally becomes a canopy before falling back down to the ground.  From the road the installation is an object inhabiting a field, but on approach from the other side it becomes a place to be inhabited.  The lower parts of the sculpture offer comfortable seating to the visitor at varying levels, and the wall and canopy offer privacy and shade.  The installation is comprised of thousands of strips of 1/2″ foam that are woven in a pattern across a 1/2″ mesh grid that is 3′ wide and 50′ long.  When first installed, Field Cushion was white and stood in stark contrast to the landscape; however, over time the foam is discoloring and turning a golden brown, and insects and plants are beginning to inhabit the field.  Before long the Field Cushion will not be distinguishable from the surrounding landscape.

June 5, 2012

Studio in Cambridge

I have been home for over a month and my experience in Uganda is already beginning to feel like a dream.  It will forever be with me however, and I was definitely blessed and changed by it.  What’s strange is that I always say the word ‘home’ even though I’m always living the life of a nomad.  I almost get frustrated at how adaptable I am and how easily I can adjust to a new place.  I have fallen in love with every place I have lived and I can’t seem to pick one over the rest.

Because I have called so many places home, I now have a good reason to write about my ‘home’ here in Cambridge where I am going to school for the summer.  I have lived in this city on and off for the last five years as I have worked to finish my bachelor degree.  The architecture building is a renovation of what used to be a textile factory.  We are about a half-hour drive away from the main university campus, and so we are a small tight-knit community of our own.


This past Thursday I had my first studio project review.  We are designing a type of rehabilitation center for people transitioning to the use of wheelchairs.  You can check out my project boards below.  Just remember that this is the project at a developmental stage and that there is much more to be done!  Enjoy!

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