School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

The Lake Shift - Day Three

By Colette Steer, July 26, 2016

The sun is shining, the sky is blue and who wouldn’t want to be here. After a great evening of discussion with Maggie Berg, today was the day to see if any of the conversation really spoke to the grad students. It seemed it did.

I know myself when going to conferences or seminars, that if I can come away with one thing that will help me, that is a win for me. I got back to camp and one of the comments to me, was “I wasn’t sure if this camp was for me, but after last night’s presentation from Maggie Berg, there is so much I can take from that and use not only in my own writing, but I can assist my daughter with her writing too”.

As I wandered around the biology station, the grad students were either still busy writing or now starting to take a break. Some had gone to Chaffey’s Lock after lunch for a local ice cream. They either got there by car, some walked and some canoed. Some went for a dip in the lake from one of the many areas to go swimming, some just sat and chatted and some checked back with their families to see how they were all going.

That evening our guest speaker was Hélène Lawler, an academic writer, editor and dissertation coach. The topic for the evening was “Making it to the finish line: motivation and momentum”. As it was such a beautiful evening, we held the session outside the dining hall. Now I may not be an academic, but I loved the discussion on free writing and reverse outlines. It seemed I was not alone. One exercise was to write for four minutes, just write down whatever comes in to your head and don’t stop. People get writer’s block, this group had no problem writing although their hands and wrists were sore from actually writing and not typing. Even our Associate Dean got in on the act and was scribbling away. I did try to distract her writing, but alas I failed on that note. It was fun trying though!

So it was down to Earl cottage for another camp fire, more marshmallows and great conversation. More of us did cover up though so as not to be bitten by those pesky mosquitoes. Day 3 – a winner.

Summary of Day 3

graduate students writing at the lake shift

  • Writing – keeps on going
  • Swimming – absolutely
  • Canoeing – yes
  • Ice cream trek – at least 3 groups
  • Bear Sightings – 1
  • Loon sightings - 2
  • Deer – ok, they are easy to spot now
  • Stick insects – 1 in Curran Cottage
  • Possible case of poison ivy – 1