Dear Golden Gael: Help!

The Writing Centre is there on Stuart Street to answer your cries for essay help.
The Writing Centre is there on Stuart Street to answer your cries for essay help.

Dear Golden Gael,

The amount of red ink my professor used on my first English essay left me seeing red. I don’t know what happened because in high school I never got anything lower than a B. I thought my paper was worthy of an A. What can I do to improve my marks on my essay?

Early Shakespeare Sonnets Suck

Dear Early Shakespeare Sonnets,

Don’t worry—it’s a learning experience. It happens to everyone! But there is help from the folks at the Writing Centre on Stuart Street at the bottom of University Avenue. They offer one-on-one tutorials and a number of courses that run in the Fall and Winter terms. Visit them, or check out their website at Best of luck on your next essay, and remember: in most programs, a 65 is all you need to stay alive!

Dear Golden Gael,

I’m taking first-year physics and first-year calculus. My head hurts. Is there anywhere that I can find someone to help me with my courses?

Mathematically Challenged

Dear Challenged,

The Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Society has a service for Arts and Sciences students to help you called Mindfind. Volunteers at Mindfind will match you with a tutor who has received greater than 75 per cent in the course in which you need help. It does cost seven dollars per hour but if it helps you get through that tough requirement, it’s worth the cash. Drop by the CORE at 183 University Ave to sign up. Several of the other faculty societies offer similar services.

Dear Golden Gael,

I know it’s July, but I still don’t have a place to live. I’m from the U.S., and I’ve never been to Kingston before. Will I have a place to live in the fall?

With hope,

Dear Homeless,

If you don’t want to pitch a tent in the JDUC, you have a number of options. Call Residence Life to see if they can squeeze you in: 533-2500 or There is also a listing of houses and apartments available for rent at The International Centre also has listings for international students, and you can find that database at Finally, another underappreciated option is the Science ’44 Co-op. This is a group that provides housing for Queen’s and St. Lawrence College students. A majority of their houses have a meal plan, and require three volunteer hours per week in the kitchen. You can find out more information about this group at Remember, there are plenty of places in Kingston to live, if you take the time to look.

Dear Golden Gael,

I had my 19th birthday last weekend and my friends and I went out for a wild night of partying. But I’m starting to worry about what happened that night. I think I might have caught something—I don’t remember using condoms. I’m pretty scared thinking about all the things that might be wrong. Where can I go for help?

Best wishes,
Partied Out

Dear Partied Out,

First, happy belated birthday. Secondly, get yourself down to Health Services in the LaSalle Building, located beside the Writing Centre at the bottom of University Avenue. There you can see a nurse right away, or make an appointment to see a doctor if you need one. The wonderful nurses at Health Services have seen it all, so don’t be embarrassed.

Finally, pay a visit to the Sexual Health Resource Centre (SHRC).There you can find information about a plethora of sex-related issues, including ways to prevent any future sexually transmitted infections. The SHRC also sells condoms at the lowest price in Kingston and sells sex toys at cost.

Also, the SHRC “Sexperts” present guest speakers on a variety of issues, and can also present an information session for almost any type of gathering. You can find them in the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC), in room 223.

Dear Golden Gael,

I am entering my first December exam period at the University. My diet is lousy and my exercise and stress relief is lousier. I swear my hair is falling out just thinking about all the things I should be doing instead of writing you this letter. What should I do?

Psych Case Study

Dear PCS,

First off, it was not a waste of time to write this letter. Go down to Counselling Services (upstairs in the LaSalle Building at 146 Stuart St.) and get a slot to talk to the triage nurse. This person will assess who is the best person for you to talk to. Counselling services offers a range of services from personal counselling, to cross-cultural counselling, learning strategies development, career counselling and a Peer-Mentor Program. All these services are available to all students. You can find out more at their website, or you can just go down and talk to them in person.

Dear Golden Gael,

I was out late one night studying at friend’s house in the Ghetto. I didn’t get done until 1 a.m., and it was a scary walk back to my residence. Is there anyone on campus who can help me get home safely?

Walking Alone,
Living in Kingston

Dear Walking Alone,

Yes, there are teams of people who would love to walk you home: the folks at Walkhome. Teams of two walkers will accompany you from anywhere from West campus, on the west side, York Street on the north side, Lake Ontario to the south side, and Ontario Street to the east side to anywhere else within those boundaries.

The service is available from dusk until 2 a.m. on weekdays and 3 a.m. on weekends. Just call them at 533-WALK (9255), or visit them in the JDUC to arrange a walk. You can also use any blue lights or phones on campus to get in touch with Walkhome.

Where to look for more resources

The Grey House
Located at 51 Bader Lane east of Victoria Hall, the Grey House has nine different social organizations working out of it, including the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG), an organization focusing on social and environmental justice; the Queen’s Women Centre and its library of resources; the Education of Queer Issues Project (EQuIP) and Queen’s Amnesty International.

AMS Clubs Night
Feel like getting involved this year? Look out for advertisements during frosh week, and a gigantic banner draped across Grant Hall during the first week of school that will advertise when you can browse and sign up for campus club offerings.

Queen’s First Aid (QFA)
QFA provides a 24/7 emergency response system on campus. Responders are student volunteers trained under the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade System who will provide first aid to anyone on campus. If you have an emergency on campus and require assistance, call 533-6111. If you’d like to get involved with QFA, they hire in September and in March. Anyone with Standard First Aid and CPR “C” training can apply to be part of their team.

The Campus Observation Room (COR)
The COR provides a confidential place for intoxicated students to spend the night during Frosh Week and Alumni Weekend. Staffed by nurses from Hotel Dieu’s Detox Centre, the COR is located in Vic Hall’s basement and is open from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Anyone can bring an intoxicated student there, provided he or she can still walk with some assistance.

Words of Wisdom

Jon Thompson
Editor in Chief, Golden Words
Program/Year: MA History, Year I

Where did you live in first year? Not in residence! All the cool kids
are FYNIRS (First Year Not in
Residence Students).

Best part of first year: My HIST 121 class, where my instructor would
utter such gems as “Well, that’s like comparing ‘getting high’ and
‘Thursday afternoon.’”

Worst part of first year: I was studying for my December PSYC 100
exam, and because I didn’t have time to make dinner I ended up eating cold ravioli out of a can and drinking Sprite. And I remember thinking to myself, “Well, this is it. This is what your life has become. Way to go.”

Advice for incoming frosh: If you take PHED 103—Introduction to Attack Dog Training—don’t wear steak sauce as deodorant.

Regrets: It took me until third year
to realize that there’s a big difference between “good” marks and “good,
considering how little effort I put in” marks. Get in the habit of kicking academic butt early, and you’ll be laughing when your friends are getting their med and law school rejections. Except, then they won’t be your friends anymore, because you’re being such a huge jerkhole.

Adrienne Quane
Orientation Roundtable Chair
Program/Year: Nurs ’06

Where did you live in first year? Brockington House

Best part of first year: Meeting my new best friends during Frosh Week, and skipping PHIL 157X to see Great Big Sea in Jock Harty.

Worst part of first year: [Having to wear] sandals in the shower.

Advice for incoming frosh, in a sentence: Don’t touch the
cheese sauce.

Regrets: Go out there and do stuff! There will always be time to study, but some events on campus only happen once a year. Whether it’s a coffee house, a ball or charity event, New Year’s at a campus pub, sports days at the PEC, joining a club or committee, or just hanging out with some of the amazing people you’ll meet on campus. Study, but remember that there’s more to life than school—you’re only here once.

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