A Joint Response by Western TAs Siobhan and Atle
Molly McCracken’s provocative opinion piece “‘My MIT TA isn’t from FIMS…’ Wait, what?!” has inspired discussion among and between undergraduates, graduate students and administration, and even outside of FIMS. It is important to address here what is essentially a conflation of issues, which are issues nonetheless. As we often tell our students when it comes to reading texts and events, there’s a lot more going on here than meets the eye, or the ear in this case. Nevertheless, the article is timely and presents an opportunity for TAs to respond, and report particularly on what our union is planning to do to address this shared concern of giving undergraduates a better learning experience. Before addressing the broader criticisms of the article here, we must note MIT 2000 is an isolated case of administrative neglect not directly related to the sort of systemic problems raised by Ms. McCracken. Continue reading →
Lowering our Standards? Cross-Faculty TAs Impede Learning
One morning this week, I forgot my earphones for the bus ride. I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop, but I couldn’t help but listen in on two second-year FIMS students sitting next to me and discussing their courses.
What I heard was disheartening, but not new. It exposed a problem I have seen growing out of control over the time I have gone from a naïve frosh to a slightly more critical, though still naïve, senior.
The students were discussing their final essays for MIT 2000. They began to complain, not about #firstworldproblems, but about a real issue: their Teaching Assistants’ inability to help them. Continue reading →
No matter how you take your OJ, pulp Magazine is a refreshing glass filled with the diverse talents of the London arts community. A zine based out of the Visual Arts Department at Western, pulp has earned itself a slot on popular downtown store shelves. With support from the likes of American Apparel and City Lights Book Shop, the ambitious magazine quenches readers’ thirst for local artistic expression.
Jacqueline Mok, a third year visual arts student, pioneered the zine as Editor-in-Chief in September. Known for her whimsical, child-like characters, Mok explores a variety of mediums with her art—from screen-printing to video installations.
After discovering the London beyond Richmond Row, this young artist became eager for a citywide community. “I wanted to encourage students to go out, and create opportunities for them to meet established artists,” says Mok, emphasizing that students are often oblivious to the dynamic arts scene. Continue reading →
FIMS courses run the gambit from covering the realities of global communication to the ever-popular Tales of Tinseltown, all offering valuable insights and learning experiences. You voted, FIMS, and here are your favourite courses.
The mitZine isn’t in Kansas anymore. That’s right, the Zine is now in technicolour – or should I say, technocolour? Inside this month’s issue you’ll find a special article by FIMS’ own upper-year instructor of the year Selma Purac, the mitZine awards, political cartoons (a Zine first), as well as all the social, political, and entertainment commentary we all know and love the Zine for. This issue is a feast for the eyes and the brain that you don’t want to miss out on. Pick it up this week in the UCC and NCB or read it after the jump. Continue reading →
The CDC information session will be held tomorrow, March 26th at 12:30 in NCB room 114.
In recent faculty news, FIMS has decided to introduce a new Certificate in Digital Communications (CDC). Akin to a certificate in Writing or Professional Communication, FIMS’s CDC will be made available to Western students at large, including FIMS students, with the exception of those in MTP. Upon completing the certificate, students will graduate with an extra (and free) sheet of paper—and, more importantly, a line on their résumé—that indicates that they are, in fact, sufficiently equipped to communicate in this brave new digital world.
At a very basic level, FIMS’s administration professes that the new certificate is designed to “Boost [students’] professional or academic career[s] by mastering the communication tools of the digital age.” More than this, students who complete the certificate will, in turn, receive “excellent preparation for a career in social media,” as it combines both theoretical and practical media knowledge.
Within this context, the primary goal of the certificate would seem relatively unproblematic; the CDC merely intends to provide students with an opportunity through which to develop employable skills in the “digital age”. When taking into consideration recent discussion surrounding FIMS’s politics, however, the issue becomes slightly more complicated.
The mitZine and the MITSC are happy to announce the first-ever FIMS Film Festival, coming to the McKellar Theatre on March 1, 2012. We are accepting submissions (read more after the jump). The afternoon will feature student submissions, a People’s Choice contest, Oscar-nominated FIMS instructor Keith Tomasek, and TIFF 2010 “Official Selection” MODRA, starring MIT’s Aleco Gammal. Come out to support your peers and enjoy an afternoon of great entertainment! Learn more about submissions: Continue reading →
Tuesday’s Rogers Chair event gave FIMS students the opportunity to weigh in on the question “What is FIMS and is it working?” A panel of undergraduate and graduate students offered their takes on the program, followed by a general discussion about FIMS and its interdisciplinary mandate. I was fortunate to be one of three undergrads asked to speak, and my presentation addressed some of the overarching, structural issues facing FIMS’ undergrad programs. With this article I hope to bring some of these issues into the online public sphere. I encourage feedback from anyone in FIMS or beyond. Continue reading →