Do I Have To Die Before UTM Shuts Down?

Kimberly Johnson


There was a time when news of a winter storm brought a sense of hope to my soul. As a child, it was tradition to crowd around the big grey box (remember those?) at 6am and wait for the weather man/woman to announce the cancellation of your board’s school day.  The night before, my brother and I would pray extra hard that tomorrow our dream would come true, and then (because we shared a room) we would fall asleep under the gentle glow of street lights reflecting off of piling snow.

That was the dream.

And then I grew up and went to UTM.

Now, if there’s anything I know about this school, it’s this: if there was an apocalypse and zombies were feeding on the limbs, brains, and hearts of faculty and students, UTM would still be “open and proceeding as normal.”

While I appreciate UTM’s “Go get-em” spirit, sometimes I just wish UTM wasn’t so persistent on staying open. Frankly put, sometimes you gotta shut down, take a nap and wait for the storm to pass.  Sometimes, Kim must return to her blankets away from the mean, horrible thing called snow.

On a certain Tuesday a few weeks ago, there was a particular storm that ravaged my beloved Mississauga. I awoke, rather disgruntled, because mornings aren’t my thing (unless a coffee is promptly handed to me…then and then only are they my “thang”). I glanced out my window and gasped. My beautiful city was under attack. Snow flew everywhere and my surroundings were despicable. I immediately grabbed my phone to check Twitter. I scanned my feed.

Surely this will be the day. Surely classes aren’t running. Not with this abomination called snow, I thought. Nothing. It was 8am, which means my fears were realized. I had school. My brother didn’t.

My heart sank and so did my stomach there after as I got ready. I slipped on layer after layer, wrapping myself in sweaters and jackets. I looked like a very terrified brown snowman – scratch that – a super hot, mostly disgruntled, terrifically brown snowman. I examined myself in the mirror and muttered a line from “Sexy Back.” It felt fitting.   I wobbled to the door, mumbled a prayer and that speech from Brave Heart (even though it has nothing to do with my particular predicament), and I left my home – that sweet comfortable home. I journeyed across the wintery tundra, muttered the twenty third Psalm like an old man with conviction, caught my bus and wondered:

Do I have to die before UTM shuts down?

Getting Stuck on Exam Questions



Exams. Everyone hates writing them, and by the time you’ve been writing nonstop for an hour, you just want to finish.  But, you can’t… because now you’re stuck on this one question that you can’t seem to conquer.

Don’t you just hate that?

When you’re stuck on an exam question, it’s either because:

1) You haven’t studied enough.

2) You studied too much all at once that your brain is now fried.

3) You’re so overwhelmed that you don’t know where to start.

4) Writing in the RAWC Gym terrifies you.

5) You’re sleep deprived.


6) The question is just wack.

And if you’re writing your exam in the RAWC Gym, it certainly doesn’t help that the scoreboard is counting down the minutes until the exam is done.


Now, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and don’t be afraid to clear your mind.  Everything you’ve studied will come flooding back.

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How to Walk into Your Professor’s Office Like a BOSS

You’re sitting in class, taking notes, comprehending today’s lesson.  You stop typing.  You gasp.  You have absolutely no idea what the professor just explained to the class.

“If you have any questions, stop by my office during office hours or schedule an appointment if those hours don’t work for you,” your professor announces at the end of class.


Scary, isn’t it?

…But, it doesn’t have to be.


There will come a time when you have to make direct contact with your professors.  But don’t freak out, professors are there to help you, not hurt you.  So stop watching those Frankenstein movies and you won’t feel like a victim. Just follow these guidelines to tackle your anxiety, and talking with your professors will no longer seem like a scene from a horror film:

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