Introduction

Yes We Can – next year

Yes We Can – next year

[enter extreme reminiscent mode as Liesl shows you the post she made before school began to eat her. and you as well, most likely.]

You know how the beginning of every school year brings that feeling of childish hope, that this time, things will be different, by Jove’s Juice it will be different? You’ll do all your readings, go to all your classes, have the perfect schedule, become idealistically engaged in every class argument, save money, get the perfect job, buy every textbook used, sell every textbook, woo someone of the opposite preferred gender, write a novel, sell ten paintings, study abroad in Japan or South Africa or Ireland, waste just the right amount of time on Facebook, eat regular meals, hand in essays on time, and to top it all off,

sleep?

And with this childish hope, one has the polar opposite, unrealistically negative anticipation of pure, unbridled horrors and trials lurking nearby in the shadowy depths of the registrar’s office of your soul?

That was pretty much how I felt, kids. I guess… I supposed it’s how I still feel, seeing as how it’s only been two weeks since school started.

The first week went by quietly enough; my half-summer of dabbling in/merely dreaming of DIY and Japanese punk rock fashion did not lead to my wearing something fantastic on the first day. Rather, my hair had been stripped of its painful Ghanaian extensions and I had to wear a hat to hide the large, unsightly puff that was my head. I wanted an afro, but apparently they are high maintenance.

That was okay though! I have the whole year to look nice. More important than fun clothes, I managed to have at least one friend in all of my classes. No dashing individual with purple hair has approached me and professed love yet, but I can live without that.

Highlights!

  • I have the same English professor as last year for my English Literature course, thus there was no fear of the manifestation of ‘the crazy professor’ there.
  • ‘Reading Poetry!’ This course is… a little technical, i.e., painfully mathy but… I would still say… that… it is painfully mathy. Maybe I should read more than just that one super-technical textbook, huh?
  • The ‘Politics of Development’, which deals greatly with the developing world, still holds the most practical relevance, in my opinion, and hopefully I will look past any self-absorbed hatred for myself regarding my dwindling activism as of late and actually be propelled to do something. ‘Something’.
  • Lastly, the Graphic Novel! Obviously the one I enjoy the most, not only because I am a nerd (albeit of the gaming variety), but because we have actual close discussion time, and my friends in that course are actually interested in the material! Finally, the archetypal intellectual dudes-in-robes-arguing experience is happening to me.

Extracurriculars this year will include (drumroll for shameless plug) the Game Design and Development Club, tagging along to various LGBT events with my main gay, writing for various U of T… factions of publication, and I know there is a shorter word for that I just can’t think of it, and, overall, having fun while silently gaining momentum in my fervour to start a subversive art movement and take over the world.

So much potential fun to be had, its only inevitable the negativity is still… around… For various death-related reasons, I had a traumatizing summer, and any slight stressor usually sends me into a funk deeper than it need be. One comfort is remembering all the hilarious stories my Dad left me with of his university days… such as losing his ‘pet’ cobra in his dorm and thus having everyone on his floor join in the search for a thing described only as “something unusual”. So, I can only ask now:

WILL OUR HEROINE OVERCOME HER DEMONS AND ACHIEVE ALL HER DREAMS OF THE PERFECT SCHOOL EXPERIENCE AT LAST?!

And will she have such a good time that she’ll be able to stop talking about her feelings and focus on something that is not said heroine herself?!

I plan to keep this hopefulness up until my first essay is due.

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About thirty minutes (read: exaggerating?) before the application for this blogging position was due, I looked at my crazy example post and cover letter (my resume being less crazy) and thought “BAAAAAHHHH HUMBUG. They’d never accept this anyway! BAAAHHHHH” Fifteen minutes before the deadline, I sent it in anyway. It wouldn’t hurt to try.

Then came the first, stiff post on that hilariously disappointing election we had, the slow gaining of the ability to be able to make jokes like that, and the eventual ‘clicking’ with the other bloggers (insert extreme sentiment).

And… yeah. I have to admit, this year probably would have been 703 times more difficult if I hadn’t. Y’know, for the standard, emo reasons… Would have been lonely, no incentive to try new things… no “better understanding of how U of T works, and how you have to make the most of your time here by yourself, and how you are fairly free to experience this place however you wish”. You just actually have to rise from your coffee-stained cave of textbooks and go find/do/start it yourself. Independence is good. Don’t be afraid to go off the path; unless of course, you are actually playing ‘The Path’. Then be as afraid as you want.

Not to mention how much I’ve learned from the other bloggers, just in terms… of how one looks at own their post-secondary stint. I think the aforementioned summertime traumas caused me to remain, as much as is possible for me, in a state of wariness and distrust, thusly… second-year was pretty much a year of absorption. The doing can come when I start trusting the world again.

Hopefully for most of you, you’ll figure out U of T’s independence factor nice and early. This place is like one super old Gothic mansion, the ones with three hundred rooms, secret passages, and attics filled with things the old owners forgot, or didn’t know what to do with, and the occasional ghost. The kind of old house you and your grandchildren couldn’t cover entirely by yourselves. So, um, cough, get started now.

This old house also has exams and a new flat fee heading our way, and if you’re like me, you await the summer with the same, crazy hope displayed in the above paragraphs. A brilliant summer job, money to spend, a portfolio to work on, Final Fantasy Tactics and Fable II to conquer, that sort of thing; all waiting for you after that long, tantalizing exam period. Perhaps your sleeping patterns have been wonky for the past week. Perhaps you’ve had one term paper due after another, totalling to seven thousand. Perhaps you already want to see the new calendar and be seduced by the short, 50 word descriptions of courses that may be far more boring than they sound. Perhaps, summer school (you poor, studious thing). A fifth perhaps; you may miss this year, just a bit.

Whatever you do, kids, good luck. Thanks for reading, and not bombarding us with such intarweb dialect as “lol u suck” or “dis iz gya wtf” or “I do not understand the point of this. Your take on the U of T experience lacks the–” or any such intolerance to how awesome we are. This has really helped me to peek my head from my ornate magic urn of hiding and low HP. I don’t know what else to say. I’m quite happy… I hope I’ve brightened the occasional day for you as well.

– Liesl

2 comments on “Yes We Can – next year

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  1. Dear Liesl: may you never stop doing what you do. This post was so awesome! Although it kind of makes me wish the school year weren’t over so soon.

    Regarding The Path…I think I’ll look into it–in my next life lol.