Friday, August 26, 2011

Summers Past

This concept of normalcy; I've often wondered if it exists. At university everybody seems to eschew it in favour of finding his or her own path, but I think overall everybody is just a little off. I'm not here to get into a philosophical debate (trust me, I'd lose). Sometimes I just think that even in this little micro-universe I'm not exactly "normal," whatever that means. Who's ever heard of environmentalist theatre major whose obsession with Springsteen led to a love of 1970s muscle cars? What kind of theatre student loves the stereotypical guy thing.

This whole post is a little more personal than I like to get on this blog. It's also incredibly off topic, so forgive me.

I think one of the great things about university is you can explore different interests and find a niche. You're exposed to ideas that weren't necessarily part of your experience growing up. The pool of people is just that much larger. However, I've found a certain type of person which is great, but there's still that hometown girl in me. The girl who remembers struggling to scrape by in an old used car. There's a part of me that will never quite fit in in a world that's dominated by the upper middle class (which is a shame). Most people from my hometown are married with children now. They've got solid jobs and work hard. I think all day.

I'm glad I chose the path I did, but I think I'll always identify a little with the people left in my hometown. They're the people who shaped me. They're my family and my neighbours. I never really fit in there either and I wouldn't go back, but their influence is profound. Sometimes I miss that life. Running downstairs and hopping into my friend's beat up 80s camaro and driving, walking for an hour in the August heat just to get to the coffee shop with board games,dancing down at the local hall, trekking into the city for an outdoor concert that we saved for months to buy tickets too, those are the memories I'll cherish. Those high school summers defined me. I grew apart from those friends and I miss them. We're different people now, but a part of me will stay lost in those summers, the same part of me that doesn't quite fit into the university mold.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pencils and Books and Pens

It's back to school time again, my final year of it. That's a weird feeling. Most people I know have graduated (this whole two degree things takes a little extra time) and I'm trying to figure out how I'll fit back into the swing of things (as I do every year) without everybody around. But that's all for later. Denial is a great thing.

The most important thing on my mind right now? School supplies.

Seriously, who doesn't love scouring the aisles of Staples for the latest and greatest erase-better-ers or the smoothest writing tool this side of the twenty first century? I get sucked in by the hype, what can I say. The pencils freshly sharped, the pens still working, the miles and miles of white out tape at the ready, it makes me think that this is the year I'll be organized. So what if that falls through by the end of semester, it all gets done doesn't it?

On top of all the school supplies university means (for many) dorms, apartments and basement suites. I remember the first year conundrum of what to bring, what to bring. I read horror stories about tiny rooms that wouldn't fit a quarter of the average person's closet; I witnessed some of these horror rooms first hand. I was determined not to over-pack.

I managed to fit my entire life into a single suitcase. I brought nothing extraneous. Five shirts, one pair of jeans, one skirt, runners, flip-flops (for the shower of course), and a pair of ballet flats. One rug because the floor would obviously be disgusting. No prints, there was no room for decoration. An extra box filled with text books and my school supplies were in one case in my pure along with my ID. Bare bones living, that's what I envisioned and yes I still got made of for over-packing by my family.

But you know what? I overdid it. Sure rooms are small, but they're not so small that you can't make yourself comfortable. Bring you favourite clothes, bring some photos for your walls, bring a mini-fridge. Trust me, you'll want to make room for that fridge when the floor thief starts taking things out of the communal one. Making your dorm room comfortable is essential; you'll be living there for the next nine months.

Those ads that are in all the papers right now want you to bring way too  much granted. But aren't they fun to look through? I love picking out my favourite things and buying maybe one, the cheapest one. Back to school is a great time to surround yourself with things that you love, that will make you comfortable and prepare you for the grind ahead. I've got my text books and pens at the ready and maybe I'll sneak in some contraband candles this year, because that seems safe.