I wasn’t too sure what SHAD was before I applied. Was it just a summer camp? What do we even learn? I heard great things about it and I wanted to have an inspiring summer. I didn’t know if I was qualified enough for it, but I realized that at least I could try.
When I got my acceptance letter in the mail, I was ecstatic! Being a SHAD Fellow really meant something to me! The alumni all do amazing things, and that could be me too someday. I chose Waterloo as my campus because I want to go into engineering in the future, and I’m interested in pursuing their engineering programs. The computer science program at my school isn’t the greatest, and I feel that there isn’t much female involvement in this field. When I went to SHAD, that all changed. I met people who were like-minded and shared similar goals as myself. Our Program Director is actually a professor in Electrical Engineering and Knowledge Integration at Waterloo. It was amazing to actually meet people in the industry and learn from them.
What really makes SHAD special are the people. The only two words I can use to describe the people at SHAD are Canada’s best and brightest. I have been inspired multiple times here, and going to SHAD has now made me set even more goals, setting a path of steps ahead of me to take.
We played fierce games like Capture the Flag, climbed rock walls, acted as tributes in the hunger games, flag football, and much more rec. We also learned different cultural dancing like the flamenco and Bollywood. One of the coolest things we did was learning kung fu!
I also learned more about the concept of design. When we got the topic of the SHAD project, we used this model called the W-cycle, which would allow us to ideate, synthesize, assess, and reflect on our ideas, and create new iterations of them. It taught me to look at problems in a different way, to fall in love with the problem and not the solution. It’s revolved around the concept in which Einstien once said, “If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem, and only five minutes finding the solution.” This is a mindset I’ll carry on when tackling problems in the world and creating my own social enterprises.
A really cool workshop I went to is making digital touch-interfacer synthesizers with music. It was taught by a professor of systems design and a professor of music.
Coffee house and music night were really fun because I got to witness all the talent we share! We had a multitude of talented pianists, guitarists, ukulele players, dancers, singers, card-magic, rubik's cube professionals, and more! It had a great theme with decorations that related to card decks. At our SHAD program, we each got a card deck with 54 of the same exact card, and throughout the month we would trade it with other people so we would end up with a full deck in the end! I had an amazing time singing and playing the ukulele with everyone! With our busy schedule at SHAD, there wasn’t much time to practice but I love how we can just improv together with no practice needed!
The best thing about SHAD is really the people around you. They really are Canada’s best and brightest! I felt myself become inspired everyday. We had something at our campus called SHAD seminars, where every SHAD would host their own mini workshop. We had seminars such as hunting, programming a graphing calculator, kung fu, soccer, making games using powerpoint presentations, newspaper layout, and several more! We all had so many things to learn from each other, and I am beyond grateful to have spent a month with such amazing individuals. We had guest lecturers from a variety of fields, such as business, engineering, nuclear energy management, design, architecture, which really gave us an insight of different things we could do in the future.
I also loved our staff and PAs! They were always there for us whenever we needed advice and they would hold panels and roundtables frequently to share their advice. They could be silly when they wanted to, but still ensured that we were on “SHAD Time” which meant we would have to be at the lectures at least 5 minutes before they started. Sometimes while we were just hanging out in the common room, our program manager would come up and say “You’re looking a little too casual.. SHAD Time!” which was one of the many memes we had of this month!
SHAD was not only a time for learning, but a time for reflection. The Cyprus Lake camping trip was the perfect time for that. We escaped our design project time, technology/social media, and it was a great time for us to all bond together. We didn’t need to worry about how we looked or what was happening in the outside world. We all roughed it up in the wild and cooked our own food, hiked, slept in tents, and sung by the campfire. This trip really made us all reflect on our lives, and what SHAD meant to us. Why are we here? What is our purpose? This trip gave us memories to last, and beautiful views of the water and nature around us. It was such a beautiful, clear night, and we got to see fireflies buzz around the campfire.
Although SHAD has not helped me decide between pursuing computer science or computer engineering, it has opened my eyes to so many different fields and opportunities. SHAD has changed my perspective on life. Instead of wishing someone good luck, from now on, I’ll wish them success. When finding a solution to a problem, I’ll spend more time defining the problem and understanding that there could be multiple solutions for one problem. I know that learning never stops and our success never stops here. SHAD is not the best month of my life. It is the best month for my life. I’ll forever be inspired by all the people I met here and I hope to keep in touch with all of them! I’ll continue to try to explore different experiences and really make an impact in the world using all the things I learned this month. I am proud to be a SHAD Fellow. Thank you SHAD, thank you to the program at University of Waterloo, and a huge thank you to all the 54 for making this such a memorable month!
Although I've been at SHAD for 26 days, I feel as if I just arrived. My morning consisted of setting up the venue for our Open Day event with rest of my committee. Later, the rest of my fellow SHADs came to join us in greeting our guests. The event consisted of project showcases, speeches, variety show, a pledge as SHAD Fellows, and a recap video. As well, we had the pleasure of presenting our projects to President Santa Ono.
After, we went back to our residential building to change into more comfortable attire for our afternoon walk to the beach. At the beach, we had the opportunity to take some amazing photos and enjoy the company of each other while having our last meal as a community. Afterward, we had a silent walk back to Totem to reflect upon our month here at SHAD. Lastly, our day ended with month book signings.
It is hard to condense such an eventful day into few words but I will try my best. With an earlier start to the morning than what is typical, the SHAD MUN students were invited to City Hall for our second “unusual breakfast” of the program. After a great meal with the Deputy Mayor, we were brought to the chamber to listen to Mayor Dennis O’Keefe and finished off our last two SHAD Speaks of the program in the council chamber.
We then headed back to MUN campus to prepare for the events of the day. Being able to show off the projects we’ve been working on and the experiences we’ve had all month with the community of SHAD and of Newfoundland was the great pleasure of Open Day.
Later that afternoon, we met again for the closing banquet, where we shared the more formal side of the SHAD program with our families and each other. Shortly afterwards was the SHAD MUN Variety Show, Canada’s Best Variety Show, where we demonstrated our quirks and talents. The acts ranged from “Punny” stand up, to a sing-along of Disney’s “Lava”, to the guys of SHAD MUN all performing “Misty Mountain”. The SHAD MUN staff did a hilarious comedy act pointing out all the flaws in our house projects. The entire room erupted into fits of laughter.
To end off the night we walked around the campus one last time, and reminisced about the life changing experiences we had at Memorial. SHAD has opened our eyes to the passions and experiences of students across the country, creating a truly unforgettable experience.
Today, SHADs at UNB spent the majority of their day preparing tomorrow’s upcoming Open Day. The day started off relatively early at 8:30 am, when all 79 SHADs split up into their various Open Day committees and got to work. Some of these committees include setting up the decorations, planning for the banquet, and helping with the technical aspects of the day.
After lunch, the group headed over to the Student Union Building to take a big group picture, where we all aligned ourselves on the grass in order to spell out the word SHAD. This was followed by a few more hours of Open Day planning and a dress rehearsal for the Variety Show until supper.
The SHADs then proceeded down the hill to practice our group singing act at Dineen Auditorium. While we were there, we were given a lecture by Tim Andrew, who entertained us with his wacky and creative theories of how the dinosaurs really went extinct. We headed back to the residence to yet again make our final preparations for Open Day and polish up the EP posters that we had been working hard on for the last couple of days.
Overall, the SHADs at UNB had a relaxing and stress-free day in contrast with the few days prior working on EP. We worked hard for the big event coming up tomorrow and hope to make a lasting impression on our guests.
For me personally, I had a great time here at SHAD. As I enter these last few days at UNB, I’ve come to realize that this month really has been the longest shortest month of my life.
Like most weekdays, we kickstarted the day here at SHAD Waterloo with an hour of recreation. Today, it was Bollywood X, an energetic cross between traditional Bollywood dancing and a Zumba dance class, and we had a blast working up a sweat, following an instructor and dancing along to some Bollywood remixes.
After lunch, we had the opportunity to meet with representatives of all the major faculties of the University of Waterloo and ask questions about programs. Next came our final session on Matrices, led by faculty member Elissa Gelleny, where we learned how to determine the inverses of matrices and then discovered some real-life applications.
We got to spend the rest of the afternoon designing a mini-golf course using masking tape and various found materials, and then had a great time playing some golf.
Pictured: Josh HB, left; Spencer Zezulka, bottom, Chloe Ryan, top, and Josh HB, right
After dinner, Tom Lee, Chief Education Officer for Quanser, a global leader in control systems and modern engineering education, came in and shared his thoughts on literacy, politics, the philosophy of education, and engineering.
We finished off a wonderful day with a surprise movie (Hidden Figures, 2016) and pillow party.
As the month of July has flown by, SHADs at the University of Calgary have gradually grown on the PAs and program directors and gained their trust.
After a short train ride into the heart of Calgary, 64 excited SHADs arrived at one of the largest malls in Calgary. With over 160 stores, life-size chess, and a large playground complete with a bouldering wall, the CORE Shopping Centre stunned many of us into silent awe and amazement. Over the course of the morning to early afternoon, we wandered in between stores and even outside onto Stephen Avenue where we found music and buskers on the sunny pathways.
SHADs playing inside the CORE Shopping Centre
Downtown Calgary, Stephen Avenue
Among our multiple project deadlines, this field trip was the perfect opportunity for us to relax and enjoy the company of our fellow SHADs. Over the last few weeks, all of us at the University of Calgary have grown from strangers into lifelong friends. On behalf of everyone at SHAD Calgary, this July was unforgettable and we would undoubtedly do it all over again if we had the chance. And who knows, maybe we will be the first ones to build a time travel machine.
My name is Sathvika and right now I am spending my summer here at SHAD Queen's, and I have to honestly say, it has been the best summer of my entire life. I have made so many lifelong friends and am so excited to take the lessons that SHAD has taught me back to my home in Calgary, Alberta.
So there are a few cool things happening here at SHAD Queen's. Yesterday, we voted on the project that is representing us at SHAD cup in the fall and I am so excited to help out the winning company, Biogest, take the amazing project to the next level!! Another super amazing and fun thing that happened yesterday was SHAD olympics where my house team and I competed in several different challenges against the other houses in order to get the chance to decorate our PAs with shaving cream. It was so much fun!! Lastly, I wanted to mention the final activity that we did tonight, where we took our room name tags and put them together to finish a puzzle within our houses. To me personally, this activity really emphasized the strength of the community that we created here at SHAD Queen's.
Those were some of the recent experiences that really resonated with me, but there are a lot more that I couldn't fit in this blog post! So thank that you SHAD for an awesome experience that has shaped me as a human being and helped me connect with people that I know I will stay best friends with for the rest of my life!
3 days. I cannot believe that we only have 3 days left with each other. We thought the first week was the slowest week ever however now we realize that the month has passed in a blink of an eye. We are currently trying hard to enjoy the very last bit with everyone, before we have to face the sadness of departure and farewells. With the program coming to a finale, everyone is frantically working away on their projects. Long work hours and all-nighters are predicted for the last few days.
Here are some highlights from this weekend. It was solely spent for relaxation and fun. On Saturday, we drove about 2 hours north from Toronto to go to Barrie. Bus rides are always exhausting, but fun. They are filled with laughter, singing, deep conversations, and of course, sleeping. When we arrived in Barrie, we couldn’t help but feel disappointed. It was supposed to be a sunny beach day, but instead, it was a rainy one. But when we were each given $15 and were allowed to do anything we wanted for 4 hours, we immediately got excited and were rushing off to go swimming, go to restaurants, and to simply explore downtown Barrie.
After coming back from Barrie, it was time for Coffee House! There were numerous acts including singing, improv, jazz quartet, and dancing. Everyone who performed made the night one of the most memorable ones of this month.
The next day we had staff workshops! I got to join the cooking workshop and we were taught some useful recipes. We cooked pasta, chicken, salad and some rich and creamy cheesecake balls made with crushed oreos and cream cheese, dipped in melted chocolate (mmm). It was a really fun and tasty workshop!
After the morning, we went down to harbourfront by walking, taking the TTC (subway) and then streetcar (typical downtown Toronto things!) Thankfully, the weather was wonderful that day and we were able to walk around harbourfront for free-time. For lunch, our group got the chance to go to Miku, a gorgeous Japanese restaurant. I highly, highly, highly recommend it!
On the same day, we had the best and the most interesting dinner experience ever. We were taken to a lecture hall, and were all confused to see vertically cut vegetables on covered desks, with bowls of water and stacks of rice paper. It was all from Bento Sushi, the biggest sushi company in Canada. We had an educational rice paper wrap session, and were taught how to make our own rice paper wraps! We also ate sushi and for some SHADs, it was their first sushi experience ever. They were given the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and try something new!
This last weekend of SHAD was amazing however nothing can last forever. I’m deeply sad that this month is coming to an end. I’m going make sure to spend the last days of SHAD to the fullest and to never forget these precious moments of our lives.
Today was the final day for our entrepreneurship project business plans and everyone on campus could feel the tension. To ease some of these tensions, the UNB cohort took a trip to Downtown Fredericton which was only a short walk from our campus. The first stop on our tour of the town was the Market -- a local farmers' and community market where a variety of foods, goods and treats were available. Out of all the choices for local delicious foods, I chose a barbecued hot-dog for breakfast fresh off the smoking grill, piping hot fried mini-cinnamon sugar donuts and coffee which was roasted locally. There were even infamous New Brunswick Donairs! Supporting local communities has been a component of the EP theme we have been exploring this month and it was great to get to interact with locals and understand the theme firsthand.
After that, smaller groups were free to explore different stores in the downtown area. A few group favourites were the "Owl Used Book Store" which had walls upon walls filled with used books of every genre and "Tony's Music Box" which graciously allowed 79 students to jam out on their instruments.
The remaining time left in the day was the final time our entrepreneurship groups had to complete our business plans. Many students spent the time deliberating and making final tweaks to their plans to ensure the feasibility and depth of their company ideas. All groups were able to submit their plans on time following a very late night.
Today we had a field trip in the morning, which meant no morning recreation! This was a blessing for all of us weary night owls to hit the snooze button and get an extra hour of much needed sleep. After breakfast, we packed and drove to the starting point of our hike to Cape Spear. As always, the bus ride was filled with songs and laughter. Once we arrived, we were separated into three groups using a few complex mathematical operations that involved modular arithmetic. At last, our two hour trek began!
The rocky terrain and previous night’s rainstorm meant that the path was quite tricky to navigate, but we made it to the end unscathed. The view during the climb was breathtaking - as expected of the gorgeous natural scenery that Newfoundland has proved to boast.
The end of our hike was rewarded with delicious burritos from trusty Mustang Sally’s. We sat at the edge of Cape Spear - the easternmost point in North America - and pretended to see Europe over the horizon while we ate. We even spotted a few minke whales!
Everyone was exhausted on the drive back to campus, but we were revived at the announcement of a two hour pool trip. We had a great time with slides, diving boards, inflated obstacles, and of course, a mandatory game of water polo.
After a flavorful dinner of Indian cuisine (Tandoori chicken is a personal favourite), we finished the day with some committee and House meetings.
Although I say it every day, I do believe that today was the best day of SHAD so far - even without the birthday songs and cake (which will never be forgotten). I'm sure that the rest of our final week will be equally memorable. Before that though, SHADs will need to buckle down for plenty of House time and the business plan submission tomorrow!