Instead of keeping writing that I am too busy (which does not make sense), I have been writing no article on this blog for almost two weeks. But during this period of madness, I managed to work on non-academic stuff:
The McGill Tribune is a student-run newspaper which embeds contributions from students, about various topics (politics, campus current events, science, sports…). It is published weekly, both in paper version (on-campus and free) and online. Every week, the editor sends us a list of stories, and contributors are free to reply and send a draft article.
Until now I did not send any paper; but last Tuesday I decided to « take action »: let’s write a top-eight of things you need to do before leaving Montreal! On the one hand, I was directly affected by this issue (as I will obviously leave Montreal soon, and definitely!); on the other hand, this April 10 issue is the final issue of the 2012-2013 year (so it would have been a pity if I had written no article at all).
Then, since today, McGill students have been able to read my contribution in Page 13:
Last minute Montreal chores and must-sees
Seven things you need to make sure to do before this semester runs out
If Montreal is not your hometown, you’re probably leaving in late April or the beginning of May—or maybe for good, if you’re an exchange student like me. Here are seven tasks to take care of—administrative and otherwise—before you go!
Find a solution for your accommodation:
If you live off-campus and your lease will extend beyond your departure, you should consider a sublet, or a lease transfer. The Off-Campus Housing office provides information on its website, and plans sessions on Fridays in order to help you in your search for the right sub-tenant. This way, you won’t have to pay rent while you’re not there.
Redirect your emails to another email address:
During the summer, you probably don’t check your McGill email account on a daily basis. So, you can change the delivery destination of the emails to another address: the IT Knowledge Base has a tutorial for that purpose. Then, Minerva notifications for course waitlists—and other administrative emails—will be received directly by whichever account you choose.
Return books to the library:
Don’t leave Montreal before you make sure that all the items you borrowed have been returned. McGill libraries and the Grande Bibliothèque du Québec will remain open during summer. Thus, library fines will continue to accrue! Since the fine for an overdue book is $5 per day, the total fine can really take its toll. As for the textbooks you bought this year, you can re-sell them next September if you don’t want to hang onto them.
Pack as soon as possible:
In order to prevent last-minute madness, prepare the items you will bring on your travels far in advance. Select what will be taken home and what remains in Montreal. Then you’ll be able to know if you need to consider shipping anything or bringing an extra suitcase with you.
Visit the Redpath Museum:
Maybe you’ve experienced a lecture in the Redpath Auditorium, but why don’t you go upstairs? Dinosaurs, stuffed animals, and mummies await you. Unlike most other museums, the Redpath Museum is free, and right here on campus!
Visit the Espace pour la vie:
It’s much more pleasant to go to the Botanical Garden when it gets warmer and sunnier. But the Butterflies Go Free exhibition closes on Apr. 28, so if you’re one of the lucky ones whose finals end a little early, try to sneak in a visit. The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium is also located two steps away and opens on Apr. 6. Both are at the Viau metro station. Similarly, going to the Île Sainte-Hélène can be nice, as snow will have melted.
Rent a BIXI:
Many students do not have bicycles in Montreal during the winter because black ice and snow make riding more hazardous. But how do you find a bicycle for a few weeks in April or May? You’re in luck; BIXI stations are currently being reinstalled. Get a 24-hour pass (or more, depending on your plans), make sure that there is a BIXI spot at your departure and arrival points, and then enjoy! Your BIXI can serve for casual trips and longer entertainment rides.
This list is a part of a broader list. As written above, this second term is my last term in McGill and I will leave Montreal, but not for the summer: I do not even know whether I will return to Montreal later. So I already have a very, very long to-do list of tasks I have to do before saying « farewell » to Montreal. There are a lot of administrative stuff (e.g. cancel my cellphone subscription), but also more pleasant things (I really want to meet an « urban raccoon » again!). A friend of mine also planned a party, softly entitled Please make me drunk so that I don’t have to say goodbye to everyone in tears…
And readers do not know that this article has little to do with the draft I sent to the editor. Indeed, there were eight (not seven) things to do, and even the title changed! I also guess that there were several mistakes and incorrect turns of phrases (here is my original draft: To do list before leaving Montreal for the summer). That is a corollary of non-fluent contributors in newspapers’ management.
PW – The Migratory Martlet