UBC is an amazing place of imagination, beauty and learning

Fall 2012

Cassandra Elphinstone

Schulich Leader at University of British Columbia

UBC is an amazing place of imagination, beauty and learning. I am gaining an amazing amount of knowledge from the many people and experiences that I have been exposed to in the last two months. The Science One Program I am enrolled in is extraordinarily time consuming but in my rare spare time I have been trying out many new fascinating opportunities. For example, I joined the Varsity Outdoor Club and climbed Mt. Matier in the Joffre range. I’ll be heading out again at the start of November on another weekend long climbing trip just north of Penticton. I have also found time to explore some of the beautiful parks in the Vancouver region and tried rowing in Richmond on the Fraser River. I have run the Grouse Grind twice, a challenging climb up Grouse Mountain, to visit the grizzly bears on the summit and remind myself of my passion for wildlife. The run up the mountain teaches me endurance and a determination which I have found very usef ul in the Science One program I am currently in.

The Science One is a challenging but fascinating program. I love how everyone in the program shares a deep appreciation for science and learning at a deeper level. About a week ago we had Massey lecturer, the physicist Neil Turok, speak to our class and before that a biologist studying sea lions presented his unique research. I have begun to attend the physics and chemistry seminars each week at lunch and in the evenings I try to learn to absorb the obscure jargon of the different fields. Picking up speaking techniques and methods of presentation from these lecturers are two things I don’t think I could gain anywhere else. Through Science One I also heard about a program called GoGlobal which takes students around the world to study in their fields. I applied for a GoGlobal trip to spend three months in a remote town in Costa Rica during the summer of 2013 to study sustainable development and ecosystems. I was asked to attend an interview tomorrow for the trip. Althoug h it is unlikely they will choose a first year student, I am nevertheless excited. I am learning how to think critically, design experiments and write scientific papers outlining some of my newly found knowledge. Each week brings something new and I eagerly await what exciting experiences and learning opportunities lie in the future here at UBC.