What happened to the art of note passing?

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Daniel Schneider is a professor in the bachelor of public relations program at Humber College. He enjoys sailing, longboarding and strong espresso. When playing Kahoot!, he goes under the alias, Sam Manella.

Note passing is a dying art. For the millennial of the digital age who might not have truly experienced the act of note passing, I will take you back to my teen-tween years as a student in the mid-1980s. During class, we would write a note on a scrap piece of paper (usually something quite unrelated to the learning outcomes of the day), fold it and pass it to a friend. If we were unfortunate enough to get caught, we were asked to share it with the entire class. “I’m so happy that Johnny and Becky are hitting it off,” the teacher said. “Now I will see you in detention.”

What happened to the art of note passing? It went digital; the scrap of paper was replaced by the iPhone, and messages are constantly passed through texting, instant messaging and even live streaming. It’s common knowledge in the teaching profession that digital technology in the classroom is an enormous distraction and challenge, because we need to jump through hoops to keep the students’ attention. For the most part, when the technology has the ability to bring communities together from all corners of the Earth in real-time, it has ironically made this generation feel disconnected.

At Humber College, the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has identified an opportunity to integrate this digital technology into the learning experience. We could tap into a world of games, apps and interactive platforms all for the purpose of education. Furthermore, it provides a medium that students understand. CTL is doing a research study to identify how effective it is as a teaching tool. Firstly, does it help students to engage in the curriculum in an enjoyable way? And secondly, does it help them to learn anything?

As part of my Teaching Excellence Program (TEP) training, I sat in on the classes of two exemplary faculty from the bachelor of public relations program, Lydia Boyko and Anne Marie Males. I specifically observed their use of the digital platform, Kahoot!

Kahoot! is a polling tool. Basically, the professor projects a question onto the large screen, and the students must log in on their mobile device to answer them. As part of the entire package, there is upbeat game-show music, a time limit for each question, a gong when the time is up and even an element of competition. However, if you’re topping the chart one minute, you can just as easily get bumped the next. That’s showbiz kid, or better yet, that’s Kahoot! From my experience, class engagement is 100 percent every time; I’ve never seen anything like it.

Lydia used Kahoot! to engage students in a test review for her class in marketing communications. Test reviews are a challenge to make interesting at the best of times, but she managed to create informative questions that spark memory, understanding, application, analysis, evaluation and even some creation. Her quiz served every level of Bloom’s Taxonomy, which will lead to the heart of this essay.

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Anne Marie used Kahoot! for a different purpose; she is a program co-ordinator always looking for ways to serve the students better. In her internal communications class, she related the exercise to team building by asking questions like, “How long is your daily commute to school? How many hours do you work a week? How did you learn about our program?” These questions are pertinent to understanding the needs of our students so that we can create a more tailored curriculum and maintain a personalized connection with them. That addresses the second point of this article, the importance of creating a community in the classroom.

Something that I have been struggling with lately is how to get students to engage in more analytical and applied knowledge. They remember information; they understand it well, but they struggle to relate prior knowledge to new learning and to real-life situations. So, if we look at Bloom’s hierarchy, the students are strong on the first two levels, but how can I encourage them to move up the ladder? How can I get them to build on the information they are taught? How can I get them to be the creators of information? One answer is digital technology, and I’ve been using it.

The students know digital technology more than most of their professors do, and I’m OK with that. It empowers them when they can teach me a thing or two; that creates a higher order of learning. Furthermore, let’s look at the skills they are developing when engaging in a game of Kahoot!; in a multiple-choice survey, for instance, they are comparing and contrasting, weighing possibilities, exercising judgement and working as a team. When there is a time limit for each question, it forces the students to think quickly and rely on instinct. But most of all, when we learn in a state of play, our guard is down; we are more relaxed and our creative channels are open to the free flow of information.

The platform is doing exactly what digital technology was meant for us to do (before we lost that personal connection); it’s bringing us together as a community. When we see our pet names (or pet’s names) posted in the top five, we not only feel a sense of accomplishment, but we are connecting with everyone else in the classroom in real-time. It is a true online and offline experience all wrapped into one; we can’t distinguish where the virtual world begins and where the physical world ends.

There is an opportunity for class discussion between each question. I might ask, “Why is A correct and B incorrect? Why did you feel that the answer is all of the above?” I’ve even told the students, “You were actually very correct answering B; it’s just that A is a better answer in this particular context.” Sometimes on Kahoot! the questions can be a little black and white, but it opens the opportunity to discuss the grey areas. Somehow during a fun activity like Kahoot!, people are open to contributing ideas.

As for the note passing, I must confess that I feel a sense of nostalgia and a longing to bring it back old-school style. We could even turn it into a game of Kahoot!-gone-hardcopy. But, I will have the students create the rules themselves; it will make for a stronger learning experience.

As for Johnny and Becky, I wish them my very best in their new relationship. And I hope those who endured many hours of detention have finally seen the error of their ways. Now, I turn this discussion over to my fellow colleagues out there, “How do you engage your students?”


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How to draw in three steps using problem-based learning

Daniel Schneider is a professor at Humber College’s School of Media Studies in the bachelor of public relations program. He teaches brands how to get their positive message into the press. Daniel loves contemporary art, sailing, longboarding and strong espresso.

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Letter of Intent

As part of my Teaching Excellence Program (TEP) training at Humber, I had the opportunity to observe two exemplary professors: Lydia Boyko, bachelor of public relations, and Bernie Aron, bachelor of paralegal studies.

In Lydia Boyko’s class, Writing Lab 5, we learned about the art and craft of speech writing. In Bernie Aron’s Administrative Law class, he covered conflict resolution related to a real-life court case.

After observing both classes, a burning question that came to mind is how can we effectively teach students creativity, instinct and judgement? Whether we are writing a president’s speech or resolving a dispute, these skills are key in the problem-solving process.

What I learned from Lydia and Bernie is the importance of leading through example. Students can see what solutions have been done in the past, what has been successful and what hasn’t worked, and eventually the skills naturally absorb through osmosis.

After studying problem-based learning at TEP, I was inspired to explore this topic further on how students can acquire skills in creativity, instinct and judgement. Reflecting on my former experience in art education, I will springboard into a blog post called:

How to draw in three steps using problem-based learning

If stick figures are your style, you are in good company with some famous icons such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Yes, you too can learn how to draw.

When I studied visual arts at graduate school, we were always taught that the learning begins after we graduate; we were taught how to teach ourselves. After all, artmaking is about tapping into our own personal creativity, not that of our teacher. So, our advisors were always very careful to ask the right questions and guide us, but not tell us the correct answer.

In art, there are no answers; there are no rules, except for the ones that we create for ourselves. We can look to the past, see what has been done successfully and what has been praised in the history of art, but then we have to go on our own personal journey which could last a lifetime.

Now, I titled this post as a three-steps process; the only caveat is that it doesn’t always need to be done in this exact order. You might go to step one, jump to step three, revert back to step two, revisit step one again and so on. In any case, let’s let the creative process begin.

1. Getting started: Define the problem or goal

Amount of time required: 10 minutes to 99 years

I spent a lot of time trying to find a solution in which I hadn’t clearly defined my goal. My advisors in grad school asked me, “What are you trying to draw?” Unfortunately, the visuals were not always so apparent. I was driven to abstract art, particularly the abstract expressionists of the 1950s such as Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman and Willem de Kooning.

My faculty advisors simply helped me to ask the right questions. Have you tried looking at the work of this artist or that artist? Have you tried working larger? Have you tried drawing with both hands? They asked the questions to help me pinpoint what I was specifically trying to achieve.

Along with defining our own problem, we have the opportunity to write our own rules and set our own parameters. I might choose to stay within a certain size, format or medium. Or perhaps I might design a three-step layering process that must be performed in a specific sequence. When there are no rules in art, we need to create our own structure and order.

2. Learn from example: Identify what has worked well in the past

Amount of time required: one day to life

I constantly look at the work of other artists in textbooks, at exhibitions and believe it or not, even on Pinterest. What can we learn from the work of others? Cy Twombly taught me about the action and strength in a gestural line. Betty Goodwin taught me how to draw an anonymous figure with great simplicity. Barnett Newman taught me how sometimes all we need is one stripe to express 1,000 words.  And this is the “osmosis” part of the creative process, when ideas just sink in.

Sometimes I’ll come up with a new drawing style, and maybe it came from somewhere. Or, perhaps it came from several sources. Somehow when we look at enough examples, the solution residually filters through.

3. Experiment: Learning should be like playing in a sandbox

Amount of time required: unlimited

You wouldn’t believe the stuff I’ve tried over the past 20 years in the name of creativity. I’ve drawn with everything from oil stick and lipstick to peat moss and Earl Grey tea. Thankfully I have found my profound direction with pen and ink. The creative process requires an element of play. How can I get more action and speed into a line? How can I get the ink to spatter just so? What happens if I run an ink line through a wet patch? In the end, I’m really the only one who can decide what works successfully and what doesn’t.

This post was written as much for the teachers out there, as it is for the budding artists.

How can we teach students creativity? In the letter of intent above, I spoke of my visit to the classes of Lydia Boyko and Bernie Aron. For instance, let’s take a closer look at Lydia’s speech-writing class. How can we teach students to create a lively lead paragraph, decide on what information to include and what to leave out, or weave the words in a continuous flow? By showing us exemplary samples, including Michelle Obama’s famous speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Lydia let us experience Obama’s natural flow of words that so effortlessly rolled off her tongue. Then Lydia assigned us to write a one-minute introduction about a classmate. It was interactive, and for many students it was our first introduction.

I understand that this is not specifically problem-based learning, but for these students, this is when the learning begins.

And now the learning will continue for the students after the course is complete, and they will need to teach themselves. Eventually, they will set up their own goals, ask their own questions and develop their own solutions. Whether we are learning to draw, write a speech, cook or play music, the creative process is a long and rewarding journey.

Even Bernie’s lesson on conflict resolution is a creative process. He presents the students with two sides of a debate, some facts and parameters, and they need to develop a solution so that both parties win.

In TEP, our lesson on problem-based learning really resonated for me, because this is the foundation of how we can teach ourselves through experience. Lydia and Bernie have given their students the tools to self-learn. And when we get stumped, just ask the Oracle.

There is a great online tutorial on how to play the guitar. Apparently, it only takes three steps; I just might give it a try.

And so, I turn this over to you; what will you teach yourself?

Follow me on Twitter @damagecontrol7 and look out for my next blog post on how to manage your students on a field trip.

Shattering the EDM stereotype

There will always be the fair share of people who are “haters” of the EDM scene and all of the stereotypes that are tied to it. You have the repetitive beats, the crazy mainstream music, the overly intense diehard rave fans, and to top it off, the only dance move anyone ever did to it was the annoying “fist pump.”

For as long as I could remember, electronic dance music (EDM) had always been something that I wasn’t really a huge fan of. As a matter of fact, I actually really hated it. At the time, I could have honestly said that the only type of people who enjoyed EDM were people who probably didn’t know what good music was. Of course I knew that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way, but hey, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion right?

In spite of this all, it’s crazy how one really great experience can completely change your perspective.

My sister and I have always been really close and whenever one of us gains a new interest, it’s inevitable for the other to gain interest in it as well. One day, my sister told me about new found interest in EDM. Knowing my thoughts about it, you can probably guess that I was far from happy. Soon half of our iTunes library was full of EDM and whenever I’d ask her to play music, that’s all that she would play. I honestly couldn’t see myself getting into it like she did.

I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. In the summer of 2014, I agreed to let her take me to my first EDM rave event at the Guvernment (Guv) downtown. Although the club has now closed down, Guv 2.0 is now in the process of being built at the Sound Academy. Guv had always been known as the EDM club. I had no idea what to expect, but all I knew was that it could either go really great or really horribly.

 

While in the lineup, I was surrounded by these diehard rave fans who were already fist pumping before even getting into the club! All I could think to myself was, “What did I get myself into?” I didn’t want to let my sister down, but I really couldn’t see myself enjoying the night.

Once we finally got in, it wasn’t what I expected it to be. It actually looked like a lot of fun. There was just so much going on that I was intrigued. There were lightshows; the music was bumping, people dancing, and people genuinely having a good time.

I guess I didn’t really give the music a chance before since I knew what my views were towards it. It was crazy how many people were there to simply just enjoy the music. Just looking around, you could see people with their arms around their best friend, their sister, or their significant other, just swaying back and forth singing in unison to whatever song was playing. It felt like everyone in that moment was connected. It was a pretty amazing feeling. I actually felt sad that I didn’t know the lyrics to join in.

The different styles of music surprised me. I always thought that EDM was this annoying, repetitive sound that everyone always stereotyped it to be, but I had no idea that it had so many sub-genres within it. You have techno, deep house, trap, trance, and so much more. Guv had different rooms, each playing a specific sub-genre so that you didn’t have to be trapped listening to just one type.

The music had some type of spell over me, like I couldn’t sit down even if I wanted to. I couldn’t help but want to dance! The only thing was that I didn’t know how to dance to it. I didn’t want to be the person to fist pump after knowing how much I despised those who did. After looking around, I noticed people jamming to this style of dance that I’ve never seen before. I could definitely tell it was its own genre of dance although everyone dancing it had their own style to it. I later found out that the dance was referred to as “shuffling” or “cutting shapes.” I was amazed that people danced to EDM, like actually danced. All these people looked like they were having so much fun, I was determined to learn how to do it right away. Even the people who didn’t know how to shuffle didn’t care. No one cared if they looked stupid or didn’t know how to dance. Everyone could tell that everyone was having a great time, and no one judged anyone for it.

These diehard rave fans that used to annoy me so much were actually a few of the nicest people that I’ve ever met. Compared to any club that I’ve ever been to, everyone’s so welcoming and open to meeting new friends. I don’t think I saw one fight happen that entire night. These are people who all have this same interest of EDM and are coming together to enjoy it. I could honestly say that it was one of the most fun nights of my life.

Fast forward to today, I love going to EDM rave events, I love the music, I love cutting shapes, I love the people, and I could honestly say that I love EDM.

It goes to show no one matter how strong your attitude may be towards something, there’s always a chance that one really great experience can ultimately change that for the better.

Have you ever had something you disliked but ended up surprisingly enjoying it after giving it a chance?

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Niki Padua is a public relations advanced diploma student at Humber College. She will take any opportunity to dance when she can, will cook whatever is left in the kitchen, and is constantly craving for the beach and some sun.

Gym Myths vs. Facts – EXPOSED!

If you consider yourself an expert on all things fitness, then I have some disappointing news: all of those lose-weight-quick tips are LIES. 

Some myths have a sprinkle of truth, but could use some clarification. But how do we know what’s true and what isn’t? Here; I’ll show you.

 

MYTH 1: More sweat = more results

Many people wear long-sleeved shirts or warmer clothing to the gym to help them sweat more, thinking it will help them burn calories faster. Unfortunately, this is a MYTH. Your body sweats to cool itself down when it begins to heat up. If you wear more clothes to the gym to try and sweat more, you’re actually just wearing yourself out quicker.

FACT: Staying hydrated is the best way to stay energized and cool for your workout.

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MYTH 2: Running on the treadmill is better for your joints than running outside

This is a common dispute between indoor and outdoor runners. Some argue that running on pavement puts more pressure on your joints and your knees will suffer in the future. Others make the same argument about treadmills. But which is true?

FACT: They both are. Since your knees get sore from holding the weight of your body, it’s best to do full-body workouts. By varying your routine and exercising your legs in other ways (such as using an elliptical or stationary bike) you’re taking the pressure off of your knees and distributing it evenly throughout your body.

Want to know more on the indoor vs. outdoor running controversy?

 

MYTH 3: Stretching after a workout helps you recover better

There actually isn’t any sufficient evidence that this is true at all. Stretching after a workout is good to help the body relax, but has not been proven to help you recover better.

FACT: Stretching before a workout helps to warm up your muscles and prevent them from tearing. The best way to recover from a workout is to stay hydrated before, during, and after.

Click here for the do’s and don’ts  of stretching.

 

MYTH 4: Swimming helps you loose weight

Although swimming is a good workout for your lungs and a handful of other muscles, it won’t help you lose many inches off your waist. Since the water is supporting your body and evenly distributing your weight, your muscles don’t need to work as hard.

FACT: Swimming is known to make people hungry, which may make a difference to people who are dieting or have eating plans.

 

MYTH 5: No pain no gain 

Feeling sore a day or two after a workout is totally normal, and is even a gomona-lisa-with-muscles-flexing-guns.jpgod thing. Feeling pain during a workout is a different story. If your body gets sore while participating in any physical activities, it means you’re doing something wrong or you already have some sort of injury.

FACT: Overworking your body while exercising is, unfortunately, a common occurrence. The best way to keep your body safe while doing any physical activities is to do what feels best at the time. NEVER try and match or duplicate the workout you did the previous day. The more you vary your routines, the better your results will be.

 

Do you have a workout myth you want debunked? Post your questions in the comments.

 

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About the Author: Hannah Cordi is a fitness enthusiast who spends her free time hitting the gym and looking for the best pump-up anthems. As a typical gym junkie, she is constantly pushing the limits and progressing to achieve her goals. You can catch Hannah at the Humber gym or drinking coffee and writing blog posts.

Mental Health in the F*uckboy Era

Sarah Scott is a current public relations advanced diploma student at Humber college.

What is a ‘f*ckboy’? You may be sighing to yourself right now saying, “Oh great, another Igenerational word”, praying and hoping that this word does not end up in Webster’s Dictionary next to ‘selfie’ and an emoji. And while I share the same sense of disappointment of the fall of the English language, I find myself concerned with the fact that these words are created for behaviours and actions that, as a species, never existed until now- at least not publicly. This word has been flooding my Facebook page, memes, Instagram and even popping out of my friends’ mouths as they explain some experience they recently had with a guy. But what exactly is it? Although Urban Dictionary has its own definition that holds some truth, they seemed to have missed the main point. A ‘f*ckboy’ seems to be a term commonly associated with the strangers or acquaintances you casually sleep with. The word is the very definition of itself- a boy you f*ck.

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With websites and apps such as Tinder, Bumble, Grinder and Ashley Madison, casual sex and even cheating has never been so easy and readily available. With the swipe of a finger or a click of a button you can be connected to all the hot singles in your area. What a great invention, right? Wrong. Although the younger generation constantly seizes the opportunity to connect in new and more technologically advanced ways, I wonder how this new hookup-culture era affects our mental health and our ability to develop deep connections. How is a world of meaningless relationships truly going to affect the human race?

Don’t get me wrong, I can see the convenience of using a dating app to scroll through an infinitely large sample size of people to find your new fling. But I keep asking myself, is the convenience worth it? Is the instant gratification worth the sacrifice of not just physical but emotional intimacy?

It is important to remember that it is not the apps themselves that are to blame for our dating epidemic, but the mentality we have adopted in recent years. I truly believe the websites and apps would not have been created if there were not a demand for them.

Although it is natural for a woman to express herself sexually, the dangers she exposes herself to are not just that which can be rhymed off a STI factsheet but include emotional consequences we are only beginning to discover.

The first thing I have seen associated with ‘f*ckboy’ syndrome is shame. Despite the overwhelming amount of pro hook-up media messages and reassurance from friends that having a ‘f*ckboy’ is socially acceptable, some still can’t shake the feeling that what they are doing violates their standards and what they feel they deserve. As I sit back and listen to friends describe their latest sexual encounter, every story starts the same… “You will never believe what this ‘f*ckboy’ did.” “I had a lot of fun with this ‘f*ckboy I met last night.” No matter the context, my friends always describe them using this word. What really concerns me is the fact that many, if not all of them, never use ‘f*ckboy’s’ name. Now, I know that these men’s names don’t really matter, because the truth is most of these men will be gone from my friend’s life in a week or maybe even a month. However, the detachment they have from someone who they are sexually active with seems anything but healthy.

Side effects of these rendezvous’ such as shame, embarrassment and possibly regret have a major impact on self-esteem and overall wellbeing. Although the vicious cycle of wanting to obtain gratification and validation through casual sex may temporarily make you feel desirable and happy, there is evidence that suggests we are more likely to have depressive symptoms including loneliness post hook-up. Because, at the end of the day, casual sex will never give you the fulfillment and happiness a true connection or relationship can provide and at the end of a ‘f*ckboy’ day, you are, in every way, alone.

I am aware that this blog may be targeted on how the hook-up culture is affecting women but the truth is men are just as affected by this. Because despite the macho, social-gender norm that men love casual sex, the truth is it affects their psyche in the same way. All of this is a tell-tale sign that this new ‘f*ckboy’ era is catastrophic for our mental health and our species as a whole.

So next time you are tempted to fulfill your instant-gratification need by hooking up with a stranger or someone you refer to as ‘f*ckboy’ or ‘f*ckgirl’, ask yourself, do you really want to contribute to the death of human connection and intimacy as we know it?

Social Anxiety Killed The Teenager’s Social Life

My name is Khyla Golea, I am a student attending Humber ColleGE School of Media Studies and Information Technology. Do you know what sucks the most about social anxiety? For people who suffer from social anxiety, they could probably pull out a scroll of reasons why having social anxiety is horrible. It’s gotten to the point where sometimes, it feels like me getting ready for a speech and me preparing to jump out of a plane, give me the same unsettling feeling.  However that’s putting it to an extreme, sometimes its even riding the TTC gives not only me but other people that feeling. Social anxiety is hard to deal with.

Let me just tell you about the problems that come with social anxiety.  When you think of social anxiety, what do you think of? Probably people just being awkward right? Think of social anxiety as being an irrational fear of social situations. What sucks even more is the fact that social anxiety even has a scale to it, for example standing up in court is probably the most horrifying thing, or even everyday task like spending time with friends, can set off someones off.

We meet new people everyday, I mean going into public relations, I’ll probably meeting so many people, because that’s what PR professionals must do. But for someone who suffers from social anxiety, this is a problem.  Let me just say this now before people begin to assume, 

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social anxiety is more than just shyness or occasional nerves.  To be completely honest if someone does not suffer from this type of anxiety are they really going to be able to fully relate? What do you think  are the worse things about social anxiety?

Things About Social Anxiety That Suck:

Friends? New Friends? Believe me when I say, that making friends is a real struggle. People always say that, “Good friends are hard to find” but trust me with social anxiety they are REALLY hard to find.  Especially if people, try to stay away from social events.  Then when you finally have a good friend, you cling to them and that’s can also cause a mess.

Shopping is a lot different to people who have social anxiety compared to not shopping with anxiety.  Social anxiety does a really good job at making people feel incompetent.  Honestly when my social anxiety was really bad, I really did not remember how to function sometimes. Like trying to accomplish everyday task, was hard.  Buying groceries, I would make sure no one was in the aisle, and if someone was, I would wait till they leave or if I couldn’t find the product, I would leave without it because there was no way I was talking to someone.  If I finally got all my products, I would count my money multiple times, just to make sure I had the right amount money.

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Getting Invited Anywhere By Anyone!Have you ever felt like the second best? Or felt like someone didn’t “REALLY” invite you, but because they invited all your friends (with the few you have) and they are all going. You’ve been invited because it’s too much of a hassle to personally invite everyone and that it was probably just easier for the host to press “send to all”

instead of type your name. You jump to these conclusions a lot, and because of that conclusion I say no, and I just stay home. ALL. THE. TIME.

But honestly the worse thing about social anxiety is when, since you never go to any social events or go out, people stop inviting you. It makes me feel that would rather just not waste their time with me or that all I’ll do is ruin their event with my shyness. It makes you feel even more isolate that you already do. The constant turning down of invitations makes people you were once close with think that you simply don’t want to be with them at all, which is really the opposite of what you wan to happen. With someone who use to suffer from social anxiety I can guarantee, this is the truth. My friends probably felt that I didn’t want to hang out, honestly I usually do but just couldn’t for no apparent reason.

I mean I could be wrong, but those things that my social anxiety use to control. Those four things are what you to ruin my social life. Enough about me now, tell me what your worse things about social anxiety are?

Five Foods You Mistakenly Thought Were Healthy

As Canadians, we’ve been conditioned to blindly trust what we read on food labels and advertisements. Because why would they lie… right? Well I hate to break it to you, but a lot of the foods that were once deemed “healthy” really aren’t – at all. Here’s a list of five unhealthy foods that you probably thought were good for you (and your waistline).

  1. Milk

We see them everywhere, those commercials and advertisements that claim milk is an essential source of calcium, which therefore helps strengthen our bones and prevent osteoporosis (a medical condition where bones become brittle and fragile). However, recent studies show that those who consume more than three glasses of milk a day suffer from more bone fractures than those who consume less than one glass a day. The very same study also concluded that high milk-drinkers are more at risk for prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes and high cholesterol levels.

  1. Protein Bars

This one upsets me, mostly because I love a good protein bar. But the majority of protein bars available on the market are so high in sugar and saturated fats that you may as well eat a candy bar. In fact, athletes looking for an energy boost before a workout are much better off eating whole foods such as bananas or apples, according to nutritionist Nancy Clark. That’s because anything with calories will give you energy, but it’s important that your sources of food are rich in nutrients. So next time you need a quick snack before a workout, opt for a fruit or vegetable instead of a processed, sugary snack bar.

  1. Soy

Perhaps the most controversial food on the list, soy isn’t necessarily bad for you –so long as you eat it in small, fermented amounts. However, those that have adopted soy into their regular diet might want to reconsider their decision, especially those with any sort of thyroid problem. They are at risk of developing symptoms of discomfort, sleepiness and constipation (yea, I said it). If you’re interested to know more, there’s actually a list of 170 potential health risks related to the consumption of soy, here.

  1. Vitaminwater

Don’t let the name fool you. Although it seems rational to believe that Vitaminwater would be a healthy alternative to plain old water, consider the fact that one bottle contains 33 grams of sugar. And because Americans get 25 per cent of their calories in the form of liquids, products such as Vitaminwater are a huge contributing factor to our obesity epidemic (yes, even we’re struggling with obesity).

  1. Whole-wheat bread

Too much of anything is bad for you, and I’m sure most people know that bread should be eaten in smaller quantities. So when it comes down to choosing what type of bread to buy at the grocery store, should whole-wheat be your choice? Truth be told, there isn’t a much of a difference between white and whole-wheat bread.  In fact, whole-wheat bread is loaded with gluten and if you’re glucose intolerant, that’s a bad thing.

The question now is what bread is actually good for you?  Research shows that people who consistently ate whole-grain breads for breakfast, such as rye, had more balance blood glucose levels.

It’s important to note that, like I mentioned earlier, too much of anything is bad for you. That also means that in comparison, “bad” things in little quantities won’t hurt.

At the end of the day the food we eat is essentially fuel for our bodies. Although it seems that more and more people don’t see it that way. With that being said, with the abundant use of factory farming and GMO’s, is anything we eat really as “healthy” as we think it is?