Category: 2019-20 (Page 3 of 5)

Why CMU is an easy place to miss (in more ways than one)

It’s nearing the end of the break before the winter semester begins, and it’s a bittersweet time. My family took down our Christmas tree just yesterday, and the student classifieds page on Facebook is sending me notifications about used textbooks for upcoming classes.

But as family and friends have been asking me about university, I’ve found myself continually saying that I truly cannot wait to go back. To step back into the warm and welcoming arms of the CMU community, to begin wading into new ideas and new appreciations and new revelations, to sip coffee and have sincere conversations, and to spike a volleyball or two in between it all. CMU is such an easy place to miss.

And it’s strange to me, the idea of me not going to school at CMU. Of missing out on all of the goodness that CMU has shared with me over these years. The fact that people can drive through Grant and Shaftesbury and not be filled with memories and inspiration is something I am continually trying to wrap my head around. With one different choice or turn or decision, I could’ve missed out on CMU. And I’m so grateful that I didn’t.

So, to conclude this jumble of sentiments: CMU is such an easy place to miss, and it’s a place you certainly don’t want to miss (if that possibly makes any sense). I cannot wait to see all of my classmates, friends, and professors once again. And, if you’re contemplating joining us one day here at Grant and Shaftesbury, I hope I’ll see you soon, too!

Chloe Friesen is a 3rd year Communications and Media student.

My last Christmas at CMU | Guest blogger Emily Hiebert

As I took the stage for my final performance at Christmas at CMU, I wasn’t sure if it was all real. Who would have known that five years after starting at CMU I would still be in choirs even though I was not a music student? I guess singing has always been a part of who I am and how I wanted to spend my every day.

Emily Hiebert (centre) with her choir friends graduating in 2020, at their last Christmas at CMU concert.

Singing in choir and, to be honest, everything about my time at CMU has seemed really natural. It hasn’t been dull or unengaging, but natural in the way that I know CMU was where I was supposed to be. I stayed in choir for all five years of my degree because, even though I am not a music student, I found a community in choir. I found a place where I can express and be who I am.

Being a part of the CMU choirs gave me a space to grow and learn in ways that are not possible in a classroom. I learned what it means to be a part of a cohesive team that only works when each member is contributing. Everything I do or do not do affects the choir as a whole.

Understanding and learning about my role in this community has also taught me that I cannot just worry about myself. Being a part of such an intricate community meant I had to learn that what I do matters but what we do together matters more. This was so important to understand especially in the preparation for Christmas at CMU.

At first, singing at Christmas at CMU felt like a job. I would get exhausted thinking about having to perform the repertoire eight times and for two different choirs. In the end, though, I was always sad that it was over. But this feeling never stayed for too long because I always knew that there would be next year.

Christmas at CMU features not only choirs, but also music ensembles like concert and jazz bands, guitar and handbell ensembles, and many others.

This year I had a similar feeling, but when it was over, I felt a different kind of sad. The only way I can describe how I was feeling is the German word verklempt (which means being overcome with emotions). I was overwhelmed with sadness that my days performing at Christmas at CMU were over because I’m graduating this year. But I was also overjoyed to have had the opportunity to sing in such amazing choirs and to be a part of such a beautiful event. I was also super excited to be able to come back and listen to the choirs and get to hear the high descants during the carol sing instead of sing them.

With my emotions in tow, I left Christmas at CMU grateful for the spirit it gave me, the people it surrounded me with, and the music that fed my soul.  

– Emily Hiebert, 5th-year Social Sciences student

From music to microscopes | Guest blogger Malcolm Reimer

As a student ambassador for CMU, I spend an evening a week having conversations on the phone with grade 12 students from across Canada. Almost all of the time, I talk to two kinds of people about their post-secondary plans, goals, and dreams.

The first type are those rare students who seem to know exactly what they’re going to do with their lives: the aspiring doctors, nurses, and veterinarians. They’re often the hyper-motivated ones, and they’re probably admired by the adults and teachers around them and ever-so-slightly feared by their classmates.

The other type, the wide majority of students I talk to, are the ones who don’t really know what they’re going to do with the rest of their life and would like it if you would stop interrogating them about their future, thank you very much. These students, like most of my classmates in grade 12, haven’t made solid plans for university or work yet and aren’t sure what they want to do.

So if you’ve ever been asked about your future and have no clue how to respond, I feel your pain. One of my friends in high school got so tired of being asked what she “wanted to be” by everyone she met, she resorted to one answer: a pirate. In my opinion, that’s actually not a bad choice.

I enrolled at CMU in the Bachelor of Music program, taking classes like Music Theory and Music Skills and History of Music… you get the idea: all music, all the time. In grade 12 I had auditioned on the piano for CMU’s School of Music, and I had a picture in mind of becoming a music teacher or band director, like the teachers I’d most admired in high school. I wasn’t really sure this was the right choice, but it was enough of a plan for a first year. I knew that I wanted to study music, so I did.

CMU students Anna Schwartz and Malcolm Reimer

What I wasn’t expecting was that even though I was in a relatively structured program, taking mostly pre-determined courses, I would end up discovering some entirely different interests. I took a biology course as an elective, just because I liked biology and I had the high school prerequisites.

But as I continued with the course, I found that I was more and more interested in science. I had the chance to have deep conversations with professors who worked in their fields and who could answer questions about potential careers. My professors were researching interesting things like self-regenerating flatworms and strange parasites that live inside three different animal hosts over their lives.

The more I talked to them and the people in my biology classes, the more I found myself drawn to the whole field. By the end of the semester, I was more conflicted about what I “wanted to do” than at the beginning. By the end of the school year, I was ready to switch majors.

This often surprises people, and I get a lot of questions about how it was possible to make such a big change in my university plan. The answer is that I would never have been able to make that choice confidently without all the resources that CMU offers, from academic advising to career planning and everything in between.

If you’re a high school student perilously close to graduation, you know there’s a ton of pressure to have a plan for your career and life, or at least that’s what it feels like. Choosing a university and a degree can seem like a massive, life-changing decision.

But no matter what classes you take at university, the most important part is not the material you’ll learn. What’s far more valuable are the skills you develop in those classes and the things you discover along the way. University can reveal new options you never considered before.

– Malcolm Reimer, 2nd-year Science student

Geese-building and journalism: Tackling important issues with CMU’s investigative journalism team

Tuition Freedom Day at CMU

CMU does things differently. If you’ve worked here, studied here, or even just visited campus, you know this is true. And one of these things we do differently is tuition.

When I first heard about Tuition Freedom Day in my first year of studies, I was confused by the event. Didn’t students here just pay tuition for the year and continue on like every other university? The answer was of course, no, because CMU does things differently.

Tuition Freedom Day marks the end of the fiscal year that is paid for by student’s tuition, and celebrates the beginning of the year that is paid for by grants and donations from the Manitoba government, churches, and individual donors. And so of course, in CMU fashion, we have a party to celebrate and thank the lovely people who make our educations possible through their generosity!

Some highlights of the event include addresses from church representatives, alumni, students, and donors, music from our ever-talented crew of music students, and FREE pizza!

It’s a heartwarming event, and my favourite part has always been watching the donors interact with the students during lunch. They see the learning, discovery, and growth of our student-body, and it’s our chance to thank them for making it a reality.

So come on down to the CMU Chapel on Wednesday, November 20 at 11:30 AM, and let’s all celebrate Tuition Freedom Day together!

– Chloe Friesen, 3rd-year Communications and Media student

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