Hello everyone! My name is Jess and I am a fourth year Sociology student at Ryerson. I applied for this course because I completed my undergraduate requirements last semester and wanted to find a meaningful, memorable, magnificent way to end my undergraduate career. After spending a year at York U and a year at U of Guelph I finally settled in at Ryerson in the Sociology program and suddenly found myself really interested in school. I’ve always been a “keen” student but I had now found a program (and university) that suited my style of learning. 

I am fascinated by life on planet Earth and have found myself asking “Why?” about nearly everything I encounter through my experiences in daily life. Studying sociology has given me the chance to learn more about many of the issues I have pondered about over the years. I have come to many realizations throughout my formal education in this discipline while accumulating a great deal more questions as well. I am starting to make peace with this circular process by which searching for the answer to one question often leads to discovering a dozen new questions before possibly – but no guarantees! – finding an answer to the initial query. At first, this used to frustrate me but then it dawned on me that part of my being lived for this pursuit of knowledge and to “conquer it” would surely end in anti-climactic disappointment. 

I suppose in its most stripped down and simple form the answer to why I am interested in participating in this unique experiential learning opportunity is because I love to learn. I love to experience new places, hear the opinions of new people, and continually add to my knowledge by immersing myself in the opportunities I am presented with. I look forward to learning a great deal more about the environment, disasters, relief efforts, politics, issues of race and class, wildlife, music, culture etc. etc. etc. during my time in NOLA with the rest of my class!  

That’s all for now!

This picture is of me at the Colosseum in summer 2003 (the year of the deadly heat wave in Europe)