Student Life

Jad does things! Wearing all black

Hi! I’m Jad Abukasm, News Editor at The Concordian, and in this segment, Kayla runs my life!

[Upbeat music]

Kayla did not tell me why I was supposed to wear all black until the very last day of the challenge.

“It’s an experiment. I want to see something,” she texted me.

“So, I’m your guinea pig?” I replied.


I think that from now on, Kayla won’t hesitate to try weird stuff on me and I’m kind of questioning why I got involved in this…

I own a total of two black shirts and one pair of black jeans. Do the math and you quickly realize that 1) I will be wearing the same jeans all week, and 2) that I quickly need to find three shirts or else I will end up smelling like my running shoes. My dad was kind enough to lend me two of his shirts—that, by the way, look bomb on me—resulting in re-wearing the same shirt only once. At least I have a bunch of black socks and a new pair of black Vans.

During the week, I tried finding out why the hell Kayla would ask me to do this. I went online and discovered some not-so-reliable scientific websites that mentioned people wearing black either experienced high levels of anxiety and sadness or that they have mysterious and “sexy” personalities (whatever that means). Am I surprised? Yes. Am I more so confused? Yes.

During the week, I noticed that I got a lot of compliments on my outfits and people told me I looked on top of my sh*t. I was only wearing a black shirt tucked into black pants—but I didn’t complain **insert sassy emoji.**

Friday comes and Kayla texts me “I wanted to know if wearing all black would affect your mood, especially with the socks because I know you use those as a form of self-expression,” and this was when everything started to make sense. I realized that throughout the week, I was feeling so much more confident and less self-conscious, to Kayla’s surprise. I think that I used to try matching my personality to my outfits which would only result in me stressing about what others thought about my appearance. Wearing all black in contrast to my vibrant personality really made for an interesting duality.

Now, the big question: will I keep doing this? Obviously, wearing all black every day was fun and empowering, but I also own three times as many other clothes that I love. However, what I really learned here is that clothes don’t define who you are and you shouldn’t use them as self-expression if it is a source of stress. From now on, I will think less about matching my clothes to my character and just be myself. And yes, I did go to Marshalls and Winners on Friday to buy more black shirts.

Graphic by @sundaeghost

Student Life

Jad Does Things! 300 squats a day

Hi! I’m Jad Abukasm, News Editor at The Concordian, and in this new segment, Kayla runs my life!

[Upbeat music]

This week, Kayla challenged me to do 300 squats every day for a week. Here is how it went down.

Day 1:

Today was great! I managed to do my squats in 17 minutes which is very good considering I haven’t properly trained in two months. The workout went smoothly since I divided everything into three sets of 150, 100 and 50, respectively.

Day 2: 

I didn’t have time to do all my squats before my classes so I ended up stacking them little by little throughout the day either in Faubourg’s bathrooms or hidden somewhere in the library. Yes, there was awkward eye contact…

Day 3: 

I donated blood today and the nurse told me there’s no way I could do my squats… Kayla is kind of disappointed.

Day 4:

After the radio show, I finished my squats in The Concordian’s office, divided into four sets of 75, 75, 100 and 50 squats. Honestly, I think I should have taken the day off after my blood donation. I was breathing heavily, felt dizzy at some points, and gosh did it hurt. I managed to finish in 16 minutes though!

Day 5:

I came back home very late after covering an event so I needed to find a way to squat as fast as possible. I did 10 sets of 30 squats and finished in an amazing 15 minutes!

Day 6-7:

Squatting doesn’t hurt anymore! I’m waking up without any soreness which is great! It was way easier during these last two days.

Overall, I think squatting every day is not about the number of squats you do, nor the time it takes, but more the fact of reserving a certain time of the day to do physical activity or practice self-care. I felt well awake throughout the day and, although my legs were burning while using the stairs, I think I will keep awkwardly air squatting whenever I’m not working out. Maybe not 300 a day, but at least a few! After all, my glutes look way rounder now!

Graphic by @sundaeghost

Student Life

The fashion chronicles

Do you have items in your closet that you almost never wear?

Maybe it’s a ratty old T-shirt from a highschool volleyball tournament that you don’t have the heart to get rid of. Maybe it’s a tight pair of shorts that you hope to fit into someday. Maybe your style has simply changed over time, and a few ghostly remnants of your old self are still clinging to the hangers.

Or maybe, if you’re like me, you’ve collected a handful of clothing items that look really cool, but you just don’t have the guts to wear.

My closet is full of these pieces — funky sweaters and jackets, novelty T-shirts, pants and dresses with bold hemlines, the list goes on. Usually, these clothes are purchased with specific outfits in mind — outfits that, if I’m being honest, will likely never come to fruition. These looks are meant to be worn by who I aspire to be, not by who I am now. In reality, they are probably destined for nothing more than collecting dust in the back of my closet. Tragic.

But Lilly, you might be thinking, if it bothers you so much, why don’t you just suck it up and wear the damn clothes? Who cares what people think! 

To that, I say: good point.

Last week, I vowed to bring some of these clothes out of hiding. I did so by wearing a variety of these aspirational outfits for three days in a row. Here’s how it went:


Day one 

The look:

-A pair of white, wide leg jeans with a cropped hem

-A large, cheetah-print sweater in black-and-white

-An oversized blue puffer jacket

-A black newsboy cap

-A pair of classic Doc Martens

On the spectrum of Bratz doll to early 20th century dock worker, my first outfit sits somewhere in the middle. That morning, after frantically cornering my roommate and demanding she give me her honest opinion, I was graciously informed that I looked like a character from Clueless. Whether she meant it as a compliment or not, this was an extremely reassuring thing to hear, as it was pretty much exactly what I was going for.

Mixing a loud colour with such a bold pattern was a little out of my comfort zone, and the addition of the hat and shoes certainly didn’t help tone things down. That being said, I really enjoyed how the whole look came together and I received quite a few compliments. The only thing missing was a shoulder bag with a tiny dog peeking out of it. Next time!

Day two 

The look:

-A pair of high-waisted, acid-wash jeans

-A fitted black turtleneck

-A huge faux-fur coat

-A black beanie

-A pair of brown Blundstones

I’ve always liked the look of mixing casual and formal items together, so I decided to pair this extravagant faux-fur coat with a laid back pair of jeans and a beanie. To me, this outfit looks like the aesthetic intersection of a fancy divorcee and her angsty teenage son, which, come to think of it, is exactly how I would describe my personality — how very fitting.

Wearing this outfit wasn’t nearly as nerve-wracking as wearing the first one, but I was still unsure as to whether I would be able to pull it off or not (jury’s still out, guys). Regardless, this look was the comfiest damn thing I wore all week, and it definitely kept me nice and warm.

Day three 

The look:

-An ankle-length, navy-blue a-line dress with a floral pattern

-A long, cream-coloured sherpa peacoat

-A sparkly gold scrunchie

-That same pair of classic Doc Martens

This dress let me live out my ultimate Little House on the Prairie fantasy and for that, I am eternally grateful. To keep the outfit looking a little more snazzy and a little less scullery maid, I decided to edge things up by adding the boots.

As someone who rarely wears dresses, I really felt at ease in this look and it has inspired me to seek out more, similar items. Above all, I’d say that this outfit was my favourite out of the three!

What began as a harrowing and anxiety-inducing endeavour ended up being a lot of fun, and I was surprised to see how much the whole experience boosted my confidence. While I don’t think I can sustain dressing this extra every single day, I’ll definitely be experimenting more with my wardrobe from here on out.

Photos by Laurence B.D.


What your iPod playlist says about you

What do your musical preferences say about what type of person you are? The Concordian conducted an experiment where writers asked strangers if they could check out their iPods to see if they could deduce their personalities based on their playlists.

If Lauriane’s iPod says anything about her, it’s that she’s a person who loves variety. She clearly can’t be easily defined, but I’m going to try. First, you’ll find the staples of most young women’s iPods: Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Carly Rae Jepsen – you get the idea. You may be under the impression that she’s your typical teeny bopper, but she’s full of surprises.

The mix of classical music and show tunes, such as Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” and “Defying Gravity” from the popular Broadway musical Wicked, make me think Lauriane’s a prim and proper sort of person. Maybe she’s that studious girl sitting in your class frantically taking notes, or the timid one in the corner.

However, the numerous dance hits on her playlist, like “Sexy B*tch” by David Guetta and Akon, prove that Lauriane isn’t the quiet girl she comes off as. I bet she loves to let loose at the club, while belting out a Lady Gaga song and moving her hips Britney Spears-style. The fact that she also has some songs by En Vogue, Nelly and Daddy Yankee make me think that she’s not afraid to get down and dirty when given the opportunity.

With a little bit of classic rock thrown into the mix, Lauriane is obviously not only someone who likes to let loose, but who loves a good party and a great song to rock out to.

-Marco Saveriano

Flickr photo by Sucello Leiloles

One must never judge a book by its cover…but they never said anything about an iPod. I took Concordia student Briana Musto’s iPod and here are a few notable songs that jumped out at me:

“Yesterday” – The Beatles

“Dancing In The Dark” – Bruce Springsteen

“I’m God” – Clams Casino

“Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” – U2

“Miss You” – Ed Sheeran

“Tennis Court” – Lorde

“The Scientist”- Coldplay

“November Rain” – Guns ’N’ Roses

“Leave Out All The Rest” – Linkin Park

“Take A Walk” – Passion Pit

“Wipe Your Eyes” – Maroon 5

“Video Games” – Lana Del Rey

I can picture Briana being the type of person who enjoys tea, (Earl Grey? Mint? Maharaja Oolong Chai?) in the morning to go with her Coldplay, U2 and Ed Sheeran songs. Something that keeps her calm and relaxed. There’s also a lot of music in her playlists with acoustic instrumentation. Briana seems to take pride in her Italian heritage. She stays true to her roots with her inclusion of Italian music from artists like Tiziano Ferro, Zucchero and Il Volo.

Finally, I will admit, I was thrown off at the song, “I’m God” by Clams Casino: she doesn’t have a God complex…but I could be wrong. After listening to the song, I can deduce that it’s great, and so I guess we can say she’s humble.

-Julian McKenzie



Experimenting in the public space

In his Public Space and the Public interest Class, Soukwan Chan, a professor from the university’s department of geography, planning and environment, assigned his students to come up with a multidisciplinary project in three weeks to encourage interaction between strangers in different public areas by using the urban settings themselves as a stimulator.

Photo by Paula Monroy

Of the ideas, Chan asked the class to rate the ones which stood out, and the students favoured the Nov. 20 public library installation set up on the corner of Guy St. and de Maisonneuve Blvd, which cost the group $50 and consisted of a bookshelf holding over 150 books, a sofa and two chairs.

Concordia urban planning students set up a library installation on the university’s campus in an effort to stimulate human interaction in public space, impressing fellow students by making use of the space and getting strangers to interact with one another.

“Sometimes artists create public art that is just there to decorate, and it’s not meaningful to the place,” said team member Elizabeth Thongphanith. “The comfortable setting of the library, we thought, would spark interaction with the built environment.”

The library setting was meant to play up the “democratic nature of public libraries,” said team member Patrick Serrano. He explained the group theorized that the majority of users would be students coming from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

Based on their data, the group counted 156 users throughout the 13 hours of the installation. While the group expected 28 per cent of users would engage in conversation, 7 per cent ended up doing so.

The group attributed their results to climatic factors, believing there were less users due to the cold weather. A time-lapse video was also produced, which includes interviews with those who used the space.

“[People] want to see more, not exactly this experiment, but a better use of the great space we have that nobody uses. People liked the idea that finally something new and interesting was happening,” said group member Brett Hudson.

Chan explained the projects showed the importance of building more possibilities for interaction in the public space. “We are concerned about others less and less,” said Chan. “We rely more on the virtual world than networks to communicate, to connect. … The stores that have automated doors, for instance, have eliminated even the smallest possibilities for interaction.”

The groups came up with a wide variety of projects, including a farting machine designed to force awkwardness at main street intersections and notes seemingly written by secret admirers or friendly unknowns the students then passed to strangers in an effort to evaluate gender interaction.

“In all these experiments we realize that people are comfortable with spaces,” said Chan. “But there’s value in trying to break those bubbles and to try to get people to interact with each other.”


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