Welcome back, Ooks!
Wondering what an Ook actually is? Short for Ookpik (or properly, Uppik), the Inuktitut word for snowy owl, they’re a traditional Inuit toy made from wolf or sealskin. NAIT’s original ookpik was a gift to NAITSA from the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources in 1964. The original Ook went missing and while a reward for his successful return – a five-course chef’s table for six at Ernest’s was offered – he was never found. However, NAIT’s Inuit elder, Peggy Richardson, crafted two ookpiks in the traditional style as a gift for the institution’s 50th anniversary.
There’s more to being an Ook than just attending your classes during your time at NAIT. As you get settled into your schedule, I encourage you to take advantage of some of the extracurricular opportunities avail-able to you on campus. While it’s important to do well in your classes, some of the most valuable moments during your program will come from things you do outside of lectures or labs.
You might recognize a pattern from the editorial staff at the Nugget – we’re all huge supporters of getting involved on campus. Whether that’s joining us at the Nugget office on Tuesdays, stepping up for a role in student governance, or joining one of NAIT’s many student clubs, there’s a perfect opportunity for you. That might sound cheesy, rah-rah, school spirit, right?
When I did my English degree at the U of A, I never really got involved on campus and after graduating, I really regretted that. When I decided to come back to school, I promised myself that this time I would make the most of the opportunity! I attended NAITSA’s Pirate Party. I showed up early for the Nugget meetings every week. I went to my first hockey game and cheered on the Ooks. I turned classmates into friends and made a habit of gabbing about class over a cup of coffee. As a result, I know that when I walk across the stage in May, I’ll have much more than a pretty piece of paper, I’ll have a community beyond my tight-knit group of friends.
Sure, you’re here to learn. But I think it’s important to think beyond your deadlines. Invest some of your time doing things that help you create a community. After all, you won’t always be a NAIT student but you’ll always be an Ook.
– Danielle S. Fuechtmann, Editor-in-Chief
Image via NAIT.