Name: Fiona Duncan
School: Concordia University
Program, Year: Honours in Western Society and Culture at the Liberal Arts College, Minor Art History, Minor Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality, graduated May 2010.
What was the deciding factor that made you choose this school? The Liberal Arts College (LAC) Great Books curriculum and promise of small seminar style classes. Plus, my mom is a Prof, so discount tuition.
What do you love most about your school? The LAC (this is getting repetitive!) But really, the LAC was the highlight of my university experience. The Art History and Sexuality departments were incredible as well but there’s something very special about the curriculum, the profs, the students, the whole community that inhabits that little brownstone on Mackay. And then there’s the city. When you go to Concordia, you aren’t a Concordia student so much as a Montrealer who attends classes at Concordia. And Montreal is amazing.
What’s your best advice on how to meet new friends? Montrealers can be standoffish; don’t take it personally.
Where’s your favourite place for…
A cheap dinner:
Patati Patata (4177 Boulevard Saint Laurent), hands down. Burger, frites et salade, demi pitchet de Blonde… two can eat and drink there for just over $20.
Brunch: Reservoir (5475, Rue Pare)
Lunch: Around my neighbourhood (the Mile End): Sparrow, Green Panther, Depanneur Le Pick-Up; around school: Kazu, that fresh dumpling place on Lincoln, The People’s Potato…
Coffee: Olimpico most days but when I’m downtown it’s Café Myriade.
What bars do you frequent the most? Sparrow is my local. Sometimes I go to Korova, and Idee Fixe on hot summer nights. For shows, it’s usually Sala Rossa, Casa or Il Motore.
Where do you go if you wanna dance? My living room or my best friends’ apartment (we call it Hermie Island). With the occasional after-party.
Do you have a favourite clothing store?On the high end, I love Les Étoffes and Reborn, though I do most of my shopping at the Fripe-Prix Renaissance on Saint-Laurent at Jean-Talon and on the Internet (online shopping addict). And, of course, there’s my vintage clothing shop on Etsy, The FAD Pop-Up Shop. (
Where’s your favourite place to study? My bed, with four pillows propping me up, legs outstretched. During finals my household would refer to my bed as “Fiona’s office.”
Do you have a hairdresser/salon you’d recommend? The talented and beautiful Isabelle. She cuts and colours hair out of her apartment in Little Italy. Ask enough girls with great short cuts and you’re bound to come across her number.
What has been your favourite class thus far? Probably the 20th Century class at the LAC, or Professor Streip’s special seminar on subjectivity and humour; “Sexuality and Public Discourse” in COMS; “The Life and Work of Frida Kahlo” in Art History (offered again this Winter 2011).
What’s your best piece of first-year advice? Get a bike. Ride it.
What do you love most about your university town/city? The Smile End.
Got any weird /specific tip that would only apply to your school? Concordia is very diverse school, in its student body but also in that some undergraduate programs are outstanding while others are not so much. In the former category I’d put most of Fine Arts, including the Art History department, The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Communications, the International College, the Liberal Arts College, the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, the History department (there are more, I’m sure, but that’s where my knowledge ends). You can make your Concordia education your own but no one is going to guide you through that, you often have to discover the gems yourself: check out some of the smaller colleges or programs, ask fellow students, take some classes at McGill, do an exchange abroad.
Anything else you want to share with first year students? Enjoy it.