"You Look Beat Down" (and a stroll down memory lane)

Is it a bad thing when multiple people tell you that you look beat down (or a variation of this – ie. “You look really tired”) within a one week period?  I'd heard about the way this program wears you down, especially if you go straight through in three semesters, but was going pretty strong well into my second semester so thought I would be able to continue my run into my final term.  But between student council stuff taking way more time than I expected (and being way more stressful than I expected) plus a job hunt and a pretty heavy semester in general, I admit it – I'm beat! 

The good news?  One month from today and barring a major meltdown (true, which could very realistically happen but at least would be entertaining for onlookers) I will be officially finished my Master of Library & Information Science degree.  (Technically, our last day is December 8 but because I'm in a joint distance class with U of T, we're on their schedule so our last class is in the evening on December 13.  It could've been worse – originally it was scheduled for December 20 I think.) 

I can't believe how fast this year has gone.  It seems like only yesterday that I sat down in Orientation at 9am on January 3 with Michelle D. from Regina (with Emma M. on one side and Jessica Van M. on the other), having absolutely no clue what to expect.  Emma and I got talking and I found out she'd been in Regina at RCMP training before having to leave due to an injury so that gave us some common ground to chat.  (Emma also later told me she was jealous that Michelle and I knew each other already, having met each other in Regina before coming to London.  I think we may have been the only two in our cohort that did know someone else there!) 

I remember our collective shock at hearing that we would indeed be having our first evening class that day (that wasn't really clear from the advance materials – some people thought we'd have orientation then not start classes until the next Monday with the undergrads!) and then how grateful we all were that Professor Trosow realised what a long day we'd had and let us out early. 

I remember that our orientation also finished early so I decided to head home (a 10 minute walk) and ended up walking part way with this tall guy with blonde-brown hair who said he was from Victoria and a philosophy major. 

“I read some study in <obscure academic journal> that said librarians are the most left-wing profession around.” 

(me: “yeah…and?”  also: who the hell does this guy think he is – don't they screen for left-wing credentials at library school?)  Turns out that guy who I didn't know what to make of on day one became one of my best friends in the program.  (I still don't know what to make of him though!)

Anyhow, I get home for a bite to eat and to relax, only to have everybody's worst nightmare – late for your first day of school – realised!  I somehow got it in my head that our night classes started at 7pm but when some niggling doubt made me check my schedule at 6:30pm, I was like “Arrrgggghhhhhh!”  I sprinted to class in six and a half minutes, snuck in the back of the room as quietly as I could (trying to be as casual as one can while huffing and sweating all over the place) only to be invited to move closer to the front, along with some of my fellow back-rowers, by the prof who has poor eyesight. 

The next morning I was up bright and early for my first cataloguing class.  I'm not much of a morning person usually but I remember how excited I was that morning and how I thought “yeah, this feels right.” 

I'm debating doing a list of personal highlights from the year but that'll have to wait for another entry. 

Here's my first-ever photo in London Ontario.   I remember driving out of the airport thinking, “do people randomly pull over on the side of the road to take pictures like they do back home?” 

Comments 2

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    oh this YOU LOOK BEAT DOWN piece made me feel so sad and homesick (and I live here in London!) Homesick for that first semester of possibilities. When we didn't quite know what was what. That great feeling of the blank page.
    I hope you submit something for the CLA Student Essay contest, Jason. You have up to a year after you graduate and the deadline is March 31, 2007 so you'll be eligible. It doesn't look like anyone from UWO has ever won. So, step up to plate buddy.
    The arrival at the airport shot was especially touching. I hate that fucking airport. It's so full of itself. And the Commissionaires are so rabid. They took away the Kiss n Fly & I asked a commissionaire if people were taking too long at the Kiss n Fly, and making out or something that they had to take it away. He took the question very seriously and nodded gravely. Indeed.
    No snogging allowed.
    It's all emo-days from here on in, I think.

    Posted 15 Nov 2006 at 4:48 am
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Thanks for the tip on the CLA contest. When I'm graduated but unemployed next month, I'll need things to direct my energy towards. Perhaps I'll steal someone's pun – “It was the best of terms, it was the worst of terms” for a title?
    London Airport is pretty funny – lots of smaller airports have that delusion of grandeur though. A kissing ban is crazy – gives a whole new meaning to that crackdown on fluids on flights. (Uhm, that sounded dirtier than I meant it to.)

    Posted 18 Nov 2006 at 12:19 pm

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