Graham Christie talks about fourth year

A day in the life

Graham Christie talks about fourth year


One of the things I love about history is that it’s so interdisciplinary. If you’re interested in English, art, music—it’s all there, incorporated in history. There’s something for everyone.

Building a foundation

Graham Christie had never been further east than Quebec City when he decided to move to Halifax for school. He had stayed at home in Regina for his first year of university but knew he needed a change.

“I wanted to move away from home and immerse myself in the university experience,” he says. “Dal looked like the whole university package to me. Staying at home felt like the same old, same old. But luckily it was an easy transition. Halifax is a lot like Regina. The people are similar—everyone’s really friendly. Of course the scenery’s totally different, but in a way it felt like I was at home.”

Graham initially chose Dal because of the Canadian Studies program and the Law & Society minor option. But after taking some different courses he decided to switch to a double major in History and English.

“I like learning about the past and how it influences the present,” he says. “I feel like Canadian history is often overlooked, but I’ve always been interested in the history of my own country. I got a bit of it in high school, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy me. I wanted to learn more.”

It was the right change for Graham. He has been able to learn more about Canadian history than he imagined, thanks to the diverse range of courses he discovered in the program.

“My favourite class was probably the two terms of Rough Justice,” he says. “It introduced me to a part of Canadian history that’s not often told. It shows you how Canada was built and all the mistakes that were made over the years. A lot of Canadian history glosses over the darker stuff, but it’s interesting to learn how it all influenced the country and our culture. The two parts cover everything from early native treaty rights to pop culture and comic books.”

While he loves the range of ideas he’s been able to study and debate in the program, Graham says the focus on research papers has challenged and improved his time-management skills.

“You can’t leave them to the last minute because there’s so much work you have to do before you even start writing,” he says. “Coming from high school, you’re not used to the volume of research you have to do and the amount of detail you have to put in your work. But I’m definitely a better writer now than when I started at Dal. I look at some of the papers I wrote in first year and now they seem so crude.”

Next for Graham is applying to law school, with a possible focus on intellectual property and copyright.

“I’ve been taking all these courses on legal history but I’d love to study the actual legal side of it to build on what I’ve already learned about the historical aspects.”