Feature / Winter 2018
Plan B: The Power of Reinvention

Scrapping everything and taking a fresh approach can be exhilarating. But sometimes change is not a choice

Illustration by Remie Geoffroi.

 
Earlier this year, U of T nursing student Emma Taylor (a pseudonym) was seriously injured in a car crash. Taylor’s story, “With a Student in Crisis, a Faculty Rallies,” highlights an unsettling truth: our lives can be upended in a moment. In this issue, we explore the idea of “Plan B” – of pursuing change, either by choice or because life demands it – and how knowledge and education can help us achieve the dreams we have, or chase new ones.
 
 
There Is No Magic Formula When Quitting an Addiction
By 28, Marc Lewis been arrested, convicted and kicked out of grad school. But it took him another two years to end his love affair with drugs.
 
 
After the Shooting, a Search for Salvation
U of T sociology professor Jooyoung Lee spent time with 40 people who had been shot – in some cases, multiple times – to find out how they coped and to record how their lives had changed. Their stories are harrowing and instructive. This is just one.
 
 
A New Life After Loss
Over more than two decades, Rena Arshinoff built a successful career in medical science. Then she felt a spiritual call 
 
 
Business Threats Can Arise at Any Time. Are You Ready?
It’s easy to say “be prepared.” Scouts learn it. Even Scar in The Lion King sang it. So why do executives so often avoid it?
 
 
Ghost Effects
Social psychologist Michael Inzlicht launched his academic career on the study of “ego depletion.” His research suggested it was real. Then came doubts.
 
 
Finding Comfort in Food
Edna Staebler was 55 when her marriage ended. She thought she would grow old alone, impoverished and unhappy. Then she wrote a cookbook.
 
 
Make No Mistake
Can a group of Toronto hospitals eliminate medical errors?
 
 
 
Mind Games
Economists have long known that consumers can make confounding choices when presented with too much selection. But they’ve never agreed on why. Enter neuroscience.


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