Ask Ellen- November 26th

After a short hiatus, the “Ask Ellen” column has returned to The Athenaeum. Follow along for answers to all of your most pressing questions.

How was your trip? Do you miss me???

My trip was life-changing. For those of you that don’t know, I did a study abroad program last semester called Semester at Sea. It was the most incredible thing that has opened my mind to so many things I could never imagine and so many new opportunities. If you want to know more about it, I’d be happy to answer specific questions. There’s far too much to tell because there was so much that happened. For now, I will say it was the best four months of my life. I missed everyone here at home and am very happy to be back. It’s bittersweet because I miss my SAS family as well when I’m not with them.

American politics!

What to say. I understand it, but I truly believe that we see a different side to their politics than they do. You can be the judge as to whether this means that Americans have been brainwashed. I think that we definitely need to recognize American politics and all Canadians should be educated on the matter. More and more Canadians, especially students, have been interested in it because it has been so laughable, shocking and terrifying recently. It has been in the media for so long that people ages 16-35 have picked up on it and have continued to follow along. I have noticed that we don’t actually know enough substance about American politics and we need to continue to educate ourselves and others around us about the facts and numbers of American politics. This can help us to understand our own politics as well. Unfortunately, there is so much happening within our country that I am trying to just keep up with Canadian politics at the moment. We should definitely be concerned with the politics of other countries around the world, but it is even more important to be concerned about the politics in our own country, because way too many Canadians don’t understand them. For example, voting. Everyone should vote. Even if you feel like you don’t know why you want to vote for any of the candidates, pick one based on anything you understand. This is so important.

Fun fact: In a conversation with 15 educated American university students, no one knew who our prime minister was and more than half of them thought we had a president. This is so sad and can be changed with education.

What is Semester at Sea? Did you like it?

Semester at Sea is a program based out of Colorado State University. It is one semester long and happens twice a year; I went this past semester. Acadia does not offer it through their study abroad program, but I found out about it from a friend that did it a few years ago (shout out to David Langley)! It was an independent study abroad, which meant that I did everything myself. The only thing that was challenging was the application process. It is geared towards Americans, so it took 10+ extra steps to get accepted and get the visas I needed. I travelled on a refurbished German cruise ship to 11 different countries. They included: USA (Leaving from San Diego, then to Hawaii), Japan, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, and Portugal. I travelled a bit after the semester was over and made it to 16 countries in total. There were 600 students onboard and 300 faculty and staff. I was one of 6 Canadians that got accepted, and the only east coaster. I got 12 university credits. DID I LIKE IT? What is not to like? I travelled around the world without having to take time off from my studies. It was INCREDIBLE. I saw so many places, people, things, in such a short amount of time. My memories are endless. I recommend it to anyone and everyone. Message me to ask more questions because I love talking about it.

I’m trying to save money and I’m thinking on how to cut expenses for hydro, how do I convince my roommates to all take same shower to help cut costs?

Well, I don’t think you should be trying to convince your roommates to all take the same shower, especially if not all of them are into that sort of thing. I do however have some good ideas for cutting back on water & energy costs:

  1. Do not leave your tap running while brushing your teeth or doing the dishes.
  2. Turn off your shower in between washing and rinsing.
  3. Hang-dry your clothes instead of using the dryer.
  4. Hand-wash small items of clothing.
  5. Hand-dry dishes without running the water. Or, make sure the dishwasher is full.

A really good idea to enforce these things in your household, whether it be with your roommates, kids, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. is to create signs. For example, putting a small sign next to the sink or the shower head to say, “don’t forget to turn off!”

For more information about some very efficient and sustainable ways to reduce hydro costs, talk to some of the ESST or CODE professors at Acadia!

Why did the hatchet give me cancer

I can’t answer this question in an educated manner.

Why are Acadia students mooches

You know, Acadia has the highest tuition in Canada, so people are broke and need a way to save some money here and there. Mooching helps.

Ellen Merchant is a fourth year Politics and English double major. If you feel like asking her a question, you can ask it right here.