Photo Poetry: Aurora Borealis

My first Northern Lights were magically inspiring. The Aurora Borealis danced over Edmonton on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, and I was lucky to finally see them. It had been a dream of mine to watch them dance and they did not disappoint. Despite the city’s light pollution, I got to experience this wonder. It led to my first shot at photographing the aurora followed by lots of aurora-inspired scribbles the day after. At the height of my creative mood, I interwove the two into five photo poems. Check them out in the gallery.More

5 Tips for Surviving and Succeeding Your Comprehensive Exams

Last week, I was invited to give a guest talk on my experience with comprehensive exams for the graduate students who are currently taking “MLCS 798 Comprehensive Exams Colloquium”, taught by Dr. Victoria Ruetalo. She kindly invited me to share my tips on surviving and succeeding your comprehensive exams. This blog post is an overview of my talk. More

Dissertation Work at Elk Island: A Poem

Recently I have gotten back to writing poetry. I hadn’t written poems in a while (read, years) and I had forgotten how wonderful of a place a poem is to pour your soul out. Also, poetry can make even dissertation work sound great, so here goes.More

PhD: A day in the life

This blog was originally written for the “PhD Day in the life” series from the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta. The original post published March 10, 2020 can be accessed here. This series portrays the daily lives of PhD students in the department. Half awake I grope around in the…More


I’m Malou. Currently a PhD student in Transnational and Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta, I write about life as a graduate student, with all it’s ups and downs. This blog is for my love of research, books, and grad life and sharing this journey with you!

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