Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Thornton Effect

Been living in a room with barely any furniture sleeping on a floor in a pile of my bagged personal belongings. I can't wait to move into my new place, set up and just live there. After living on campus three years in the "mature" upperclassmen student house at Mount Allison University I can't wait to just BE in my OWN space. Those three years in Thornton were awesome though and I wouldn't take it back for the world. Now for summer. Being in a new place, being in a new space will be great. After three years in residence not counting summers was a truly amazing experience and the things you learn about other people, learn about yourself, learn about society and learn about the individual will propel me forward for a long, long time. There's even something I call the "Thornton Effect" and looking back I'm not sure if I coined the term exactly but I know I had it's effect in my life. To define something as amorphous as the Thornton Effect isn't easy per se but I'll give it a shot. A house like Thornton houses roughly eighty five people from multiple countries, multiple political backgrounds from all over Canada. Many different personalities all packed into one of the smallest houses on campus who have to get along, or at least coexist in the same cohabitat for eight months. So what it is is that when all these people first get together the first two weeks is like a hormonal dustup social shakedown with people's jigs and jags clashing in a wonderful smash of social friction. Friendships are made, people butt heads, people make their initial reputations for better or worse. Bold leaders emerge, blind followers follow. People's imperfections almost caricture and cartoonize individuals and reputations are built. If you're a whiny person you'll be see as negative. If you drink all the time you'll be seen as self destructive. If you are friendly and supportive people will want you around. In time individuals figure out it's easier to be easygoing and accept people's differences rather than taking a stand on every issue and pissing everybody off. Essentially people learn that they have to make sense, they figure out that their actions affect others and these reactions come back, good or bad, to the origin of the source. A good example was when I was talking at the dinner table with a fellow Thorntonite and I told her my age and she said, "You're SO OLD!" I took it in stride, she was twenty but a VERY mentally young twenty and I didn't feel like calling her on it. Can you imagine meeting someone of African descent and saying right in their face, "You're SO BLACK!" or meeting an overweight person and saying loudly in their face, "You're SO FAT!" She was totally oblivious in every way that she discriminated against me because of something I couldn't control. My age. I'm proud of my age, my experiences, my travels and even proud of my flaws. A few months later I called her on it ad she was a little embarressed but in time she understood how and why people see each other. Not for what we are (tall, short, thick, thin, white, black, yellow, red, straight, gay, athletic, overweight) but for what we do to others. University isn't high school and if the one thing I learned in university so far is that what you do follows you, how you treat people is how they'll treat you and being oblivious to others will bring about some humbling experiences but the best part is is that we can learn from them. If you don't learn from them due to pride you will be seen as socially self destructive by the majority and avoided by most. The golden rule really pays off, I just wish more people knew it. After spending time in Thornton I'd say people are more considerate, more easygoing, more aware and have more true confidence than they did the first day they walked in there. I believe in the Thornton Effect and hope that it lives on.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Summer 2010

I hope this summer is a blast. I can live without fields of empty drunkeness and I could really do with a nice summer rounded out with wholesome activities. Tired of being a bog of unhealth. I am 28 and three years of university has made me progress in many ways it also has made me regress in a few others and I wouldn't mind a calm, relaxed summer to prepare for the next academic year that's coming up. BBQ'ing? Yes. Fondue party? Yes. Running outside alot? Yes. Intense weight training? Yes. Occasionally dragging a couch outside on a sunny day and playing guitar on it? Yes. Movies with friends? Yes. Right now summer is waiting to arrive behind these gray clouds and cool wind gusts that raise the gooseflesh. I feel bad for not being able to go outside and enjoy myself today. I guess it'll be one of those "TV days" dammit. Once May 1st hits I'll be back on a health kick like no one's business working out harder than an upper middle class yuppie. Maybe its practice for when I'm a yuppie. Every year I take about three to four weeks off of running and the gym, once around December, another around the latter half of April to let my body and mind recharge and I'm at the end of my April break right now. My first couple weeks back in the gym will be very painful and my running sessions will be very wheezy. I wonder what this summer will bring. Any ideas? Now to make breakfast for lunch....

Vampire Edmonton Oilers 1999

It was a dream during grade eleven. Looking back I blame the hormones, maybe it was stress, maybe I was worried about the future. Who knows? The sheer wonder of youth's audacity can never be understood and understanding my own would never work. So at this time in my life I would wake up around seven a.m, get my brother ready for school, make breakfast for the both of us and set him on his way to the bus for 8 a.m. Sometimes I would doze off on the couch while CBC played in the background (we didn't have cable, a car or hot water if it matters) and enjoy my twenty minutes of quiet time before I had to leave for high school and make the ten or so minute walk. My dad would have already been gone to work for about two hours before I even woke up for my weekday routine. In my slow doze I somehow went down the tunnel of sleep and found myself in a befuddling dream, one of those where you don't know you're dreaming until the very end and the moment of clarity hits you.
*enter dream*
I was an agent of some clandestine police agency Canada doesn't like to admit exists. I was dressed in a dark gray suit, had prescription shades on and had an earpiece so I could hear orders. My friends and I all were on the job investigating the random disappearences of people during Edmonton Oiler games. The West Edmonton Mall and the Skyreach Centre are conjoined like some proud Anglo megalith superstructure stretching for six city blocks in any given direction. We had to seek any revelant information, any lead, anything. After we systematically swept the place by breaking up into many teams of two we only had one last place to check in the whole area and the game was roaring, the crowd's ebb and flow could be heard like a freight train and we were very high strung and kicked down the locker room doors for the Edmonton Oilers after flashing our badges to security. What lay behind those doors made me realize I was asleep and obviously my mind was being ridiculous. The Edmonton Oilers locker room was lined with coffins colored blue, white and orange and a number was on each coffin along with the players' names. There was a "C" and an "A" on a couple coffins by the front. The Edmonton Oilers were vampires and lured select fans back here and drank their blood like a team activity. My mind shook and I didn't wake up yet, I just realized I was asleep and in that moment my point of view shifted and I lifted out of where I was standing and started floating up and passed through the roof only to see the worst part of it all. This West Edmonton Mall/Skyreach Centre megalith was on an iceberg and was floating away into the darkness of a night time ocean. With that revelation I woke up with a startled grunt and realized I was late for class.
*exit dream*