Ben Lickerman (2021)


When the weather was nice I would bike out east, pick up some lunch on the Drive, and sit on the front step of the Community Centre I was partnered with for the 20/21 FNIS Practicum. The Centre itself continued to be closed in compliance with the latest in a series of ever-evolving provincial health orders, but my trips out to Britannia’s benches nevertheless became something of a routine throughout my practicum experience, a necessary reminder of the community partnered in this research project over the course of a distant year.


1. What was the highlight of your Practicum experience?

Much of Practicum’s promise hinges on the chance to synthesize the rigid durability of academic research with the beautiful messiness of community work, the chance to collaborate on and carry out a project porous to the flux between these two worlds. For an undergraduate program, this is a rare opportunity. And in a city such as Vancouver, where the University of British Columbia carries considerable sway over currents of capital, where community welfare is often left in the undertow, Practicum promises the chance to engage this town/gown tension in its full complexity.


2. What is one thing you learned from your Practicum experience?

The training necessary to undertake Practicum is well-found in the theoryfields of Politics & Self-Determination, Media & Representation and the 300-level Seminars, but the stamina necessary to balance the rigors of research with the reality of community work in the context of a year-long intensive, in my experience, were sourced elsewhere. With the screen of my laptop replacing the face-to-face relationships so crucial to my first four years of university my regular visits to Britannia were a chance to revitalize my energy and remember why this work matters. Stamina, like community, can be found in the most unlikely of places.

A copy of the full report is available here: