Photo of Nicholas Paquin

Nicholas Paquin

Degrees:Bachelor of Arts Honours in History (June 2021)

What is your favourite thing about the program?

Definitely the people I met. There’re of course, my friends. There’s Tanya and the rest of the history department’s administrative staff, who always have our back. There are the profs who taught me so much, pushed me to excel, and support me and my peers however they could.

In HUgS, I made a bunch of friends and had some really great times playing board games, answering ridiculous trivia questions about nuns and some lady named Queen Elizabeth, and laughing as we watched Outlaw King together. This year, HUgS gave me the opportunity to do some really great stuff. We surveyed and published a report on student welfare that opened communication between students and teachers and, I hope, created positive change for my peers. Thanks to our discord server being so popular and far-reaching, we expanded our exec from 3 people to over 20. Finally, we are in the early stages of setting up a new committee on decolonization, antiracism, and inclusion, which we hope can make our student society and department a more welcoming place, potentially through workshops, events and guest speakers.

What will you miss the most?

I would say HUgS, but thankfully, I can stay connected through our server! Everything else that I’ll miss, I already have been missing for over a year: chatting on the fourth floor and getting shooed away by Joan, walking into the office and have every question under the sun answered by Tanya, discussing readings or lectures with my friends before and after class, and trudging up flight after flight of stairs in the greenhouse we call a staircase (ok, maybe not that one). I’ll definitely miss stuff like Marc’s demonic grin whenever someone did something hilarious in HIST 3005, the rhythm of Dr. Patterson’s engaging lectures, or the amazing conversations I had the joy of taking part in in Dr. Hillmer’s seminar.

What is your favourite reading/book/text from the program?

I really enjoyed reading the amazing tabloid gossip that is Gregory of Tours’ Historia Francorum, especially when I got to write in his style for an assignment. As much as a lot of what they covered was pretty heinous, my readings on Paris and on witchcraft were also really interesting and taught me a lot about subjects about which I knew far less than I had assumed.

What’s next for you?

Thankfully, I won’t need to miss the learning side of all this, since I’ll be pursuing a Master’s in Public History at the University of Victoria next fall. Maybe after that, I’ll hang up my robes and teach skiing. Or I’ll try to help make the world a better place by working toward better and more accountable history education. Probably both.