Question Block Experiences

After our first two years at Quest we take a class called Question, in which we finally come up with our “Question“. I am in my third year, and Question Block feels like forever ago. So for this blog I decided to chat with a few lovely students to hear about their journey through this class.

Throughout the block students work on a formal document called a Question Proposal. Our final Question Proposals include background research on our topics of interest, the classes we intend to take over the next two years and the books we intend to read. One of the last steps of the block is to present what you worked on throughout the month. Below are some lovely students who donated their time to explain more about the process of formulating a Question.

Name:  Hannah Parschat

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Where are you from? Norway/Germany

What is your Question? How can we encourage agency and cultural identity through language?

Who is your mentor? Dr. Bianca Brigidi (Click here to learn more about Bianca: http://www.questu.ca/bianca_brigidi.html)

What is the best part about finally having a Question? I no longer have to question everything. I know exactly what to question and how to fish an answer out of the deep dark sea of academic knowledge. Another handy thing with a question is that I actually can provide an answer to the (very frequent) question at Quest: What is your Question? Finally, it makes border crossings much easier, because a Question is similar to a major, so when border control requests my major, I finally have a legit and awesome answer: My Question.

What was the hardest part about Question block? Having too many interests makes it hard to choose one to pursue and the rest to keep at “hobby level”. I solved this part by looking at what I actually am good at, and what I know most about, and how I could deepen my skills and knowledge on this topic more academically. Physics and mathematics interest me, but unfortunately I am too chaotic and have few practical skills when it comes to do math and physics. Therefore, taking physics 1, 2, 3 and calculus and spherical trigonometry and other courses at Quest would kill both my GPA and me. Going into music would be difficult to successfully pursue later in a work-paycheck life, and comparing my skills to many at Quest, I am at the beginner level. That’s why I chose languages. The tricky part about my Question is the combination of interests; Refugees and second language acquisition in Norway, and Quechua speakers and language maintenance in Peru. Time and effort eventually found common factors and related them to language.

 

Name:  Farrah Moussa

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Where are you from?  Egypt

What is your Question? How can our cultural differences resolve intercultural differences?

Who is your mentor? Dr. Bianca Brigidi (Click here to learn more about Bianca: http://www.questu.ca/bianca_brigidi.html)

What is the best part about finally having a Question? The best part of having a question is that I can finally answer the question: What is your major? I know that we don’t have majors at Quest, but at least I know what actually interests me and have an idea about what I am looking for in the future.

What was the hardest part about Question block? The hardest part of Question block was the first week when I did not know what I was actually doing. A lot of questions came to my mind: “Is this what I want?” ,, ” Is this a good question? ” ,, “What do I want to get from this question?” ……. I thought I had a strong base before I entered question block and that I knew what my question would be. It seems to me that maybe I had a strong base but I did not know where I was going with this question. This all happened in the first week, until I started to understand what I was doing.

 

Name: Arlette Akingeneye

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Where are you from? Rwanda

What is your Question? What factors contribute to the successful implementation of health policies in East Africa?

Who is your mentor? John Reid-Hresko (Click here to learn more about John: http://www.questu.ca/jhon_reid-hresko.html)

What is the best part about finally having a Question? Being able to finally take courses that relate to my interests. This may sound funny, but I hated the fact that people used to ask me what I study and I didn’t have an answer.

What was the hardest part about Question block? Formulating my question and determining its scope.

 

Name: Herieth Ringo

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Where are you from? Tanzania

What is your Question? How can we effectively eradicate infectious diseases?

Who is your mentor? Mark Vaughan (Click here to know more about Mark: http://www.questu.ca/mark_vaughan.html)

What is the best part about finally having a Question? Knowing which path to take academic-wise and seizing opportunities that contribute to the successful exploration of my question.

What was the hardest part about Question block? Clearly articulating my thoughts while writing a question proposal.

 

For more about Question check out some of our other blogs:

http://questublog.ca/index.php/2015/01/28/choosing-my-academic-path/ by Poema

http://questublog.ca/index.php/2016/02/02/what-is-a-question/ by Rav

http://questublog.ca/index.php/2015/01/06/question-block-first-steps/ by Daniel

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