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Nothing to be done.

Oct. 5th, 2007 | 09:41 pm
location: Dorm
feeling: chipper chipper
dancing to: "Light Years" - Pearl Jam

Today it is Friday and thus far I am having an utterly boring Thanksgiving weekend. Most people from my floor (and I assume the other residences as well) have left for home, wherever that may be. This includes my roommate, so I have the room to myself from now until Monday night. I thought I would highly enjoy being solitary for the weekend, but after two hours I am already so bored! I have been texting people, but it really is not an adequate means of replacing their presence.

I have finished my second Political Science assignment, so I have to spend the weekend writing my first English essay. It is complicated, but I think I have a handle on it. Hopefully. I wrote out an outline for it, though it is not a standard essay where you get a question and must answer it and back up your thesis. Basically it is a two-part essay where you summarize a critique of Frankenstein and then spend the next half saying why the critique is or is not an acceptable analysis of the novel. I am writing about the Feminist critique, as opposed to the Marxist theory or the Psychoanalytic one. We'll see how it all turns out.

Frankly, I don't know what to think about English and my future with the subject. All the kids in my class freak me out because they are very...responsive to what we have been discussing thus far in the course. I have never dealt with that before on this scale for 200 kids. My AP classes were supposed to be geared toward literary kids, but in the end most of the people were just keeners trying to amp up their transcript. Every time I say something in my tutorial class, I feel like an idiot because the TA basically just poses question after question and there are sporadic opinions expressed, but then the TA doesn't follow up or play devil's advocate. He just sits there, nods, and occasionally nods sagely. It's all very strange. Tutorial is alright though, compared to the actual English class on Tuesdays. I sit there for 2 hours while my professor very passionately and animatedly talks about Mary Shelley and makes creepy associations to things that no one wants to hear. Awkward! I like that he is enthusiastic, but after 110 minutes, I want to get out of there. Maybe our next unit will be a bit more bearable.

My favourite class is Political Science, which I have Monday, Wednesday and Friday for an hour. It is a great class because the professor is young and interested in government and has all these anecdotes to tell us. He is very reminiscent of two people that I hold near and dear to my academic heart: Bill Nye and Warren "Beaver" Marcotte aka my social 10 AP teacher. The downside to Political Science is my tutorial class, which is held on Mondays from 2-3. The TA is this crazy girl who is, I swear, 22. She is BONKERS. On a power trip to the ultimate degree. She is marking us on how many times we raise our hand during the class. This marking criteria angers me so much, so I just put up my hand and contribute anything that comes to my mind. It doesn't even matter when I say, though, because it is only me and this other girl who bother to contribute. Despite this, I don't feel like I have a secure mark in the class. She gave 4/5 on my first paper, which I thought was decent considering I am the only first year in the tutorial, but I am pretty sure she took off 0.25 for my (minor) mistake of writing 'Uganda citizen' instead of 'Ugandan citizen'. What a joke! I had awesome examples for a 400 word limit, and yet she is like, "you need to expand on your case studies"...well I would if I had an extra 300 words to spare you crazy lady! I summarized them as thoroughly as possible without glossing over the point of incorporating them. Whatevs. I finished the second assignment, went over the world limit by 150 words and lied about the final count. I tried my best to answer the question specifically, but it really isn't worth fretting over because no matter how many times I email her asking for advice like she encouraged us to do, it takes her 4 days to reply back. I don't have time for that!

I had a math midterm on Wednesday. I will tell you straight up: it is really difficult to do 7 questions that are worth 10 marks each within a 50 minute time frame. Especially when you aren't allowed a calculator and more than one of the questions requires root finding such as -q^2+500q-40 000. Now, I could easily do these questions with a calulator present, but when I only have 4 minutes left, I don't have time to try and guess-and-check which numbers multiply to give me -40 000 and add to make 500. Yep! Definitely am banking on part marks carrying me through.

I love how much my standards (and everyone else's) have already dropped after being here for just over a month. It is truly amazing the power that pressure has over people. No more keeners anymore -- we're all on the same level.

Speaking of low standards, I am off to go eat some tent food. Oh the joy. I wonder what kind of medium they'll find to shove couscous down our throats tonight...today at lunch it was stuffed peppers.

Bon soir!

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Night Dorm Episode 1

Sep. 2nd, 2007 | 09:52 pm
location: Dorm
feeling: distressed distressed
dancing to: Erin's CD

I am in my dorm room tonight...we had an 'ice cream social' tonight where we all got to eat little cups of Chapman's ice cream. It reminded me of elementary school, when they would have those order in lunch days from Subway or Little Caesars or something, and you would get a little dessert like that.

There was a pool party tonight, but I am not attending because I forgot to pack a bathing suit. Yeah, totally stupid. Also, I am really tired, as my mom and I scoured the city and bought a mini fridge and 3-in-1 printer/copier/scanner today, both of which had to be lugged up to my dorm. Quite the feat for two 5'4" people. So, I am holed up in my dorm right now, trying to make the best of a sad situation. I am just lonely. I have met a few cool people, but it is hard when they all live on different floors or different buildings. All I want is someone I don't have to ask fucking preliminaries to. I want my friends.

On another note: the window in my room doesn't have a screen, and because we are up high enough, we can afford to leave it open and whatnot. Well, that may have to change because about half an hour ago I noticed my neck was itchy...yeah: HUGE GREEN BUG ON ME. Awful...I have pictures but I am not sure if I can upload them on my mac just yet. I am still getting to know it.

Yesterday I was moving in and I noticed something hilarious: like, all the dads looked exactly like my dad. I was fooled so many times it is sad. Polos, khaki shorts, balding chrome-dome greying heads.

Will update more as the days progress. Actual classes start Wednesday, which I am preversely looking forward to.

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Um....??

Sep. 2nd, 2007 | 12:59 am
location: Hotel!
feeling: anxious anxious
dancing to: Nada

Soooooooo I am in BC. I am all moved in at rez on the UBC campus. School classes don't start until Wednesday, and until then there is some serious bonding opportunties thrown at me. I didn't sleep in my dorm tonight because I want to squeeze the most time with my mother in as possible, before she drives back to my old homeland.

I am sad beyond words. Not excited one bit.

Life is scary. I think my roommate already hates me.

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Where be-ith my head?

Aug. 8th, 2007 | 09:39 pm
feeling: content content
dancing to: "The Scientist" - Coldplay

I totally forgot that Fourth Comings was out! For some reason I was thinking it was released on August 11th. I am going to buy it tomorrow on my break, as I get 30% off since I work in a Sbux within a bookstore. Am excited! But honestly, I am still in Harry Potter withdrawl. I kid you not. I feel a distinct emptiness when I look at any other book that doesn't have a Bloomsbury emblem on the spine. Hopefully Megan will be able to quell my sense of loss and abandonment. 

If not, I am sure Marcus will provide ample material to keep me depressed. There's nothing like reading about the perfectly messed up boy to magnify the lack of one in my own life. 

Also: I realize how juvinile I sound, talking about teen fiction books and the like. I just don't want to think about the fast-approaching date of my departure (28th) and school. I can't believe I am not going to be going back to my high school, seeing the people I love and am used to, living away from my mother and father and my brothers (one is in Australia, one is in New Brunswick). I will miss my friends beyond measure, including my oven. I won't be able to cook or bake for an entire year! What am I going to do with my time?? Study, I suppose. Ugh.

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I started another blog, just for the hell of it. claireington.blogspot.com

Aug. 2nd, 2007 | 02:36 pm
feeling: curious curious
dancing to: none

Just because it's summer, doesn't mean life's lessons stop to soak up the rays . Here are some things I have learnt thus far into my summer vay-cay:

 

1. Popping popcorn with olive oil (extra-virgin or no) creates a bland kernel, as opposed to popping with canola oil. Nonetheless, if this is the only oil you have on hand, go for it. Denying oneself popcorn because of a specific oil shortage is silly. Just silly. Incidentally, I encourage one and all who are on the popcorn pathway to experiment with their seasonings. You never know when you'll hit a gold mine of explosive and satisfying flavour. I mean, who would have thought kettle corn would catch on? Sugary sweet popcorn that goes for $6 a bag at the Fringe...who'da thunk it? Probably someone with excessive time on their hands and a love of corn and flavour. You could be that person.

 

2. There is no such thing as 'free time'. You may be asking yourself what the hell I am talking about; this is, after all, summertime, a season fraught with short shorts, ice cold beverages and mid-to-late afternoon naps -- relaxing accouterments designed specifically for laziness. Well my good friends, l'image a gauche is my case in point. When you find yourself in need to a task to do and nothing immediately presents itself (you've already flipped through all the channels, surfed all your Internet pages, vacuumed up the dead flies on your window sill...), simply pick up your camera and start clicking. If you are lucky you may get some wonderful shots of whatever you are snapping, be it yourself, the neighbour's flowers (yours have already died due to excess, bored-induced watering), a thunderstorm etc. Who doesn't love a little documentation of boredom? It may just be the highlight of your day.

 

3. Summer parties and get-togethers are a dime a dozen. Firing up the barbeque and calling friends to come over is a weekly occurrence. Because of this, people have become desensitized to the fiesta spirit that only a well-planned kick back can provide and that the heat has to offer. If you are going to have friends over, make it a night to remember by inviting guests in advance; calling someone up the night before and inviting them to your house for a hamburger only makes it seem like you bought excess ground beef. Let's take a step back and remember what being a good host requires: attention to detail. If you go out of your way, people will notice and appreciate the care you put forth. Pouring a jar of salsa into a chipped glass bowl is easy; making your own salsa is cunning, adventurous, and satisfying. Not only does planning a party provide a solution to aforementioned lesson #2, but it provides an opportunity to take pictures, make delicious popcorn, and create memories of a summer well spent.

 

Hopefully these lessons serve you well during this last month of freedom and exorbitant spending.

Cheers!

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My fickle friend, the summer wind

Jul. 16th, 2007 | 12:35 pm
feeling: hot hot
dancing to: Nothing

I am so bored. When I'm not at work, I don't know what to do with myself. It is harder and harder to organize plans with friends because everyone's sched is different and people live across the city. My usual solution to boredom --shopping -- is not an applicable remedy anymore since I am moving away to UBC at the end of August. In short, I can't buy anymore crap that won't fit into a jail cell-sized room. I'm in a little bit of a conundrum, you see.

All I want to do with bake. The temperatures outside, however, make this damn near impossible. Who am I to turn on the oven to a roaring 425 degrees when it's already +35 degrees celcius in my house? And no one even wants to eat the fabled baked goods in question because the heat zaps everyone's appetite. 

Conundrum!

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Books and queries

Jul. 9th, 2007 | 04:34 pm
feeling: curious curious
dancing to: "Happy Ending" - Mika!

Has anyone read The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank? How about The Optimists?

Oh, and new layout.

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I am the living definition of 'bah'.

Jul. 5th, 2007 | 12:17 am
feeling: listless listless
dancing to: "All Good Things" - Nelly Furtado!

So, in my week of summer, I have found that when I am bored, I naturally migrate toward my bed. When in bed, no matter the time or amount of sunlight shining in my window, I will inevitably fall asleep. 

The prerequisites for this event to occur is simply that I am breathing and capable of locating my bed. If I got up at 12 or woke up at 8 am, the effect would occur all the same. It makes no sense. It is dangerous because I realize, now, that is is how people get lazy. I don't want to be sloth, not even for a day; it annoys the hell out of me! Yet the only cure is being constantly stimulated the entire day, something that takes ample effort to put up with. A conundrum of the most pathetic proportions! When I'm not slumming it, this is what happens. I...don't even know.

I am getting more work hours in the coming weeks, though, so I will be busy quite a bit. But still. I need a car. And a license...and lots of spending money. All of these things are, at present, highly unattainable.

Oh, and AP results are coming back? My friend already got hers! I HATE the mail lady! 

Pathetic.

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Goodbye, security blanket.

Jun. 28th, 2007 | 07:07 pm
feeling: weird weird
dancing to: "Thumbing My Way" - Pearl Jam

Last night was the last hurrah of high school, our banquet. Our theme (parodied to hell on SNL) was James Bond '007 The World Is Not Enough. I gave a speech. My hair looked like I had been abducted by aliens and assimilated to adopt their hairstyles. I danced. 



I'm done.

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When 'yes' is just a three-letter word. No more, no less

Jun. 19th, 2007 | 11:46 pm
feeling: crushed crushed
dancing to: "Time After Time" - Cyndi Lauper ft. Sarah Mclachlan

Based on the teen drama television shows and the input I've had from the ORGers over the years, I've kind of put it together that going to one's state school, or a home college/university or whatever one wishes to call it, is considered to be second-rate to moving out-of-state. I don't doubt that this is the case for kids who have The Ivies in mind, as they aren't exactly a dime a dozen deal. Nevertheless, universities in Canada don't quite work like that, and going to your province's university (Alberta, Saskatchewan, BC et al.), isn't considered weak in the least, but rather an accomplishment to be celebrated. In fact, one of my brother's professors at the U of A this year taught at Princeton for 2 years and said that the kids there pay so much for a comparable level of education, if only for the status. Or because it's been drilled into their heads since birth. What she was getting at, in essesence, is that Canadian universities are basically the marked-down designer-brand clothing carried by TJ Maxx (Winners to us here in the Great White North) instead of the exact same, jacked-up Bloomingdales merch that people (happily) blow their pay cheques on each and every month. 

That's being said, I am not going to my 'home school', the University of Alberta. Instead, after applying at Dalhousie (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and the UBC (Vancouver, British Columbia) I've put down a non-refundable $700 payment on dormatory confirmation at UBC. Exciting, right? 

Right. Kind of. 

See, I had been talking about UBC for the past year, yearning to move back to the place I grew up, somewhere close to the ocean where sun is guaranteed in June, unlike here -- thunder and rain and lots of wind this year. I applied there and at Dalhousie because I was worried that if I only applied to one school and didn't get in I'd be stuck in (D)Edmonton for another year or semester, shrieking, "Tall, non-fat, half-sweet, sugar-free, vanilla latte!" endlessly for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. While I wholeheartedly enjoy my job, I couldn't handle doing it for more than a few shifts a week, dealing with psycho customers that refuse to bend their lips around the word 'macchiato'. So, in my self doubt, I applied to schools at opposite ends of the country in hopes that one of them would have me. A few weeks ago I received a colourful package from UBC, an envelope adorned with a greener-than-green hill and bluer-than-blue sky, with a girl defying gravity, positioned between the sky and grass, hands up in the air and smile upon her face. 

Yes!

The acceptance letter was short and sweet and everything I hadn't expected. The Big One. I pinned the letter to my cork board and mulled over the reality that had been set infront of me. I was going to be attending a Canadian Ivy, a school set in the Pacific Northwest, rich with rain, culture, and totem poles. Awesome. Slowly it started to occur to me -- and still is occurring to me, in ever-frequent spurts -- that this meant my departure from my mother and father, my grandparents and friends, my dog, my comfort zone. Seeing as I managed Quebec for 5 weeks last summer with some crazy psycho beside me the whole way, I am fairly confident that I will be able to handle being away from my peeps. Obviously I can't say that for sure until September 1st -- move in day(!) -- but if I keep telling myself, my brain might be able to handle the departure. 

Too bad I am seriously, seriously not jazzed about going. Like I said, I have confidence that I could handle it. I don't want to handle it though. I am so, so, so unbelievably burnt out by school. And friends. And family. In the past month and a half, things in all of those realms have turned topsy-turvy, mirroring the current state of the world's celebutantes. The Memorial Day weekend was probably as disastrous for those girls as it was for me, no joke. So, in my current state of omnipresent anger and frustration, I am a little hesitant to leave school and spend a summer pretending like nothing is wrong, that I will miss certain people, and that I actually give a damn about others. 

To be clear, I have done absolutely nothing to my friends, and yet a select few have decided to take their stress out of me, much to the detriment of my already AP-rattled, fragile psyche. And so it is with constant questioning and self-doubt that I hang out at school during exams, making small talk with girls who I considered my best friends 2 months ago. It's just not right, and I can't do anything about it. I try to make the best of it, but when push comes to shove, these people have shown me who they are and I've recoiled in shock and fear. I don't want be haunted by the ache I feel inside, but its hard to when it is the smallest of my problems and therefore the easiest to think about without having a massive aneurysm. 

I'm a broken heart -- an empty feeling. 

An escape to UBC seems like the perfect cure, except that it is only more stress and worry. Not only will I have to make new friends, but I'll be dealing with profs who hate my work and even more calculus to compute. I resent the fact that to get ahead in life, I'll have to overcome even more immature and/or aggressive people who stand in my way. I thought high school was supposed to be finished. I thought the sun had set on that time in my life once I had donned the cap and gown, thrown down my pencil after the last exam, scraped the last bit of caesar salad from my banquet plate and hung up my hand-made grad dress. Sorely mistaken, sorely mistaken.

I've come to the conclusion that the world has nothing to offer me unless I give myself to it first. I'm going to have to erase and rewind continually in order to get ahead at some point, where the pay off will be fierce and the fall will be imminent. Take everything in stride, preferably in amazing flats and a carbolicious treat in hand. 

Of the three university's slogans ("Whatsoever things are true" (U of A); "Pray and work" (Dal); "It Is Yours (UBC)", I think UBC's is the most fitting. I want it to fit, at least.

So I'm going to UBC. Am I happy about it? No, not really. I understand how incredibly selfish that is of me, as many kids who are exponentially more gifted than myself will never get the chance to apply themselves at post-secondary institutions, let alone stellar ones like those which I have been warmly, kindly accepted to. I'm certainly -- at press time at least -- not jazzed, but I know that a hug from my mother is only  2 hours and $200 away. 

September might be expensive.

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