Outside the classroom

A day in the life

Outside the classroom


I’ve met so many people through teatime that I can say hi to on campus now. Every day that I am on campus, I see someone I know and it’s great.

Practicing the art of a good conversation


“In English, you learn how things affect people,” says honours student Jackie Ngyuen. “From the get-go, you’re learning about people.”

That, she says, affects how English majors get along in and out of class. Because discussion forms the core of our instruction, students connect by exchanging ideas and conversations continue outside the classroom.

“I’ve met so many people through tea time that I can say hi to on campus now. Every day that I am on campus, I see someone I know and it’s great,” she says.

If you look at the raft of social activities that take place in our department, you’ll see students and faculty practising the art of a good conversation, honing our wit and developing a creative cultural intelligence.

  • Teatime Tuesdays: Students gather to drink tea, eat cake and talk books every Tuesday afternoon.
  • Verso, Undergraduate Journal of Literary Criticism: Verso allows undergraduate students a hands-on opportunity to assemble, edit and publish an academic journal.
  • Literary contests: We host many chances for students to show off their literary skills. Some involve parties, like our Halloween Varma Contest for Gothic Literature, some romance, like our Valentine’s Day Sonnet contests, and some prestige, like the Honourable W.H. Dennis or Clare Murray Fooshee Prizes.
  • Speakers series: Most Friday afternoons, the department hosts a speaker series, where faculty, graduate students and guest lecturers give talks on their recent research. They are well-attended and wine and cheese usually follow.
  • Honours Colloquium: Undergraduate Honours students present their work to their peers. It’s a great opportunity to debate your work and good practice for future work in graduate studies.