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November 12, 2019 November 12, 2019

Return to school brings steep learning curve

Posted on September 4, 2019 by Lethbridge Sun Times

School’s back, so that means there are a variety of happenings this week. More on that later.
I’m one of the many students heading back to school this week. I’m taking a second degree in Management and New Media at the University of Lethbridge because a little education never hurt anyone, and I need to upgrade a few skills. Time management is not one of them, as I’m already an expert at that. That’s how I get to so many gigs every night.
Time management and picking and choosing a little more carefully, plus an old-fashioned paper and pen daytimer, will still allow me to cover shows and write this column for the Sun Times and stories for L.A. Beat. Though the number of them will change a little now I’m a student again. I know most people use their phones for that. But I’m old school. I like the tactile feel of pen on paper. Besides, you never lose your schedule because your daytimer runs out of battery power or because you drop your phone in the toilet. Only if you lose your daytimer. Do people even take notes on paper anymore or is it all on computer? I don’t know anymore, but I’m excited to learn. Are there even text books anymore or is everything online? One of the profs sent me his course outline and first assignment through something called Moodle and Mindtap plus a whole bunch of internet links. So I already foresee a steep learning curve.
It’s a little scary being an older student. I’m alternately anxious and excited to be going back. There are so many resources available that weren’t when I was going to school. I made the mistake of checking out some of my new professors on the ratemyteachers.com website. Some reviews were glowing, others not so much, but I don’t want other people’s opinions to cloud my bias. I’d rather meet them in person and make up my own mind like I’d rather do about everything.
I did learn, to some dismay that I am a few years older than at least a couple of my profs, which is somewhat disconcerting. Maybe they can teach an old dog new tricks. We’ll see. A lot of my friends my age or a few years younger started going back to school last year so I figured if they can do it with kids and abusive exes and jobs and worldly troubles, then why can’t I? They’ve inspired me. I lead a charmed life.
We’ll see and that’s the point. You should never stop learning. I’ve always enjoyed the learning process. I’m pretty familiar with the campus already, having my radio shows on CKXU 88.3 FM. The new course schedule means my show “Disco Sucks Punkin Old School” is moved to 10-midnight on Wednesdays now. The “Hotrock Blues Beat” remains 8-10 p.m. on Saturdays. And I’m always on campus covering drama and whatnot. I’ve organized my schedule to have mornings free to work, interview, write and attend press conferences. It was a luxury I don’t recall having the first time round.
I even shaved off my beard, so I’ll be clean-shaven like I was the first time round.
The first time round, I learned it was really important to get involved with clubs and activities on campus because a social life apart from school is an important part of the university and college experience. You can find kindred spirits with similar interests in different clubs all over campus, discover bands you never heard of and maybe even find skills you never even thought you had.
During the first week, there is a big club fair in U-Hall atrium with all of the clubs setting up booths explaining what they are all about. I encourage new students to check it out and get involved. There is a club for everybody with every conceivable interest, likely even more now. The first time round I discovered the school newspaper, the Meliorist, and CKUL, the radio station. I also learned that it is important to balance outside interests with course work. The first time round, I got my best marks in my first year and they went pretty much downhill from there once I spent more time in CKUL and the Meliorist than in class and doing homework. I’m smarter this time round. Hopefully. This time I’m doing this on my own with no parental help. If I fail, it’s on me. There’s nobody else to blame. So in a way, the second degree is really a do-over and I’ll see where it goes. Something will come of it.
The university and college experience should be the best time of your life. It is an opportunity get out of your comfort zone, to meet new people, learn new things and discover new interests and maybe even discover new skills you never thought you had, all the while hopefully while getting a degree that will lead to employment and money. Take advantage of it. So I am excited to go back, though it will be quite a learning curve.
As a U of L student, I’m allowed to attend Freshfest ’19, though I’m usually there anyway to cover it for the paper. It is only open to students and guests of students.
The Freshfest Jamboree outside the Students’ Union building Sept. 6 is pretty rap and hip hop-heavy this year. But it is such a popular event that the cheap tickets sold out before they even announced the lineup. I already feel out of touch, not recognizing most of the lineup.
Rapper Classified is the headliner. I’ve seen him perform a couple of times. He puts on an excellent show.
I’ve never heard of Grandson. Grandson’s, a.k.a. Jordan Edward Benjamin’s website, not to mention several of the headliners, are less than useless as they don’t even have bios. Wikipedia says he was born in New Jersey and moved to Toronto. He won a SOCAN prize for his song “Blood/Water” in 2019.
He comes here after an extensive American tour and is playing the Gateway in Calgary the night before Lethbridge.
Also on the bill are New York rapper Bryce Vine, Halifax singer-songwriter Ria Mae, 604 Records songwriter Ralph, Chedda Cheese and talented local rapper Trey Mark, local folk singers Max Hopkins and Bailey Kate and Ollie X.
The Jamboree is 4:30-11 p.m., Sept. 6. Tickets range from $30-$45. The event is only open to students or guests of students.
Speaking of blasts from my past, back in the day, most students used to call the Duke of Ellington Pub on Columbia Boulevard their second home.
Over the years it changed to Pop’s Pub. But they are reopening as the Duke this week with a big parking lot party Sept. 7 with local band 21st Avenue. Also on Sept. 7, the Geomatic Attic starts their new season with Texas/Nashville songwriter Hayes Carll. Unfortunately that show is sold out.
But there is more happening.
If you are new to town and are looking for live music and comedy, there are lots of options.
Good Times comedy club downtown is starting to do Monday night open mics. The Owl Acoustic Lounge has a long-standing Monday night open mic. Every Wednesday there is an open mic at Beaches Pub. The Slice has a regular Thursday open mic and Honker’s Pub on the north side, not only an open mic at 8 p.m. on Fridays, but an afternoon jam on Saturdays as well. The Lethbridge Folk Club has an open mic at 7 p.m. on the second Friday of every month at Casa downtown. They begin Sept. 12.
If you want to laugh, Good Times features an amateur comedy open mic every Thursday night as well. Good Times features live touring comedians every Saturday night for shows at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Mojos Pub on University Drive features local country/rock band the Plaid Ramblers, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. to celebrate their second anniversary. There is no cover for the show.
For live original music, The Slice and Owl Acoustic Lounge are your best bets as they have something happening most days of the week.
Saskatoon bluesman B.C. Read plays the Slice Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 9 p.m. The Slice features Steve Hillis’s tribute to Garth Brooks on Sept. 6.
The Slice goes rock on Sept. 7 with Calgary garage rock duo Scratch Buffalo and local psychedelic rock band the Decadent Phase. There is a $10 cover for that show.
The Owl Acoustic Lounge hasn’t announced their September lineup but they have live music every weekend. Admission is usually by donation, though they have ticketed events every now and then.
Casino Lethbridge also features live music, though they mostly feature Top 40 and classic rock and country bands. This week, country band Driven perform Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. There is no cover for Casino Lethbridge shows.
Lethbridge College has a Welcome Back Bash at the Cave, Thursday, Sept. 5. However, their big opening soiree, Couleefest, is coming up quick. Leeroy Stagger headlines Couleefest at 6 p.m., Sept. 14.

Sept. 4
Slice — B.C. Read
Beaches — open mic
Sept. 5
Slice — open mic
Good Times — comedy open mic
Geomatic Attic — Allan Friesen Bravehearts Victims Services fundraiser $20 recomended donation 7 p/.m.
Lethbridge College Cave — Welcome Back Bash
Sept. 6
Mojo’s Pub — Second anniversary with The Plaid Ramblers
Casino Lethbridge — Driven
Slice — A tribute to Garth Brooks with Steve Hillis
U of L — Freshfest – Sept. 6 & 7, 4:30-11 p.m. This is a Student Only Event. You must be a student or be attending as the guest of a student to gain entry into the grounds. Grab your tickets today at: https://www.showpass.com/
freshfest2019/
This year’s line up includes: Classified, Grandson, Bryce Vince, Ria Mae, Ralph, Chedda Cheese, Trey Mark, Max Hopkins, Bailey Kate, Ollie X, DJ Carpel.
Don’t forget to RSVP for these other awesome events:
Fresh N’ Breezy Luau – presented by the ORS & The ULSU
https://www.facebook.com/events/2320410371558671/
Rumble in the Jungle Cabaret
https://www.facebook.com/events/2477383328986710/
Honker’s Pub — open mic
Sept. 7
Casino Lethbridge — Driven
Geomatic Attic — Hayes Carll
Slice — Scratch Buffalo with Decadent Phase $10
Honker’s Pub — afternoon open mic
The Duke — Grand opening with 21st Avenue
Sept. 9
Beaches — open mic
Sept. 10
Owl Acoustic Lounge — open mic
Good Times — Open mic
Slice — Slice of blues jam with Keith Woodrow
Sept. 11
Slice — Windy City Opry with Sol James
Beaches — open mic
Sept. 12
Slice — open mic
Good Times — amateur comedy night

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