Thursday, 25 August 2005

It's Raining Pens?

It’s raining in St. John’s! How happy does this make me? Very.

It’s lovely when it rains here and there is no harsh wind or cold or snow or ice. It’s very much like Vancouver then… And yes, I get that this is very sad of me…here I am, experiencing a different culture and place, a different sense of space, and all I want to do is force it into the same package I just came from. And yet, it gives me joy and comfort, so please—cram it with walnuts, people!

The only thing about rain in St. John’s is that I no longer carry an umbrella as a regular thing. In fact, I no longer own an umbrella. Let me tell you, this thought keeps me up at nights…but it’s usually just too windy and crazy here to use one. The first time I whipped my little folding, backpack-sized, push-button controlled, black umbrella from my bag, it was promptly ripped from my hands like matches from a two-year old and hurdled mercilessly into a ditch. I went to retrieve it and as soon as I was holding it in my hands again the wind gusted so hard that it blew the prongs inside out. I admit, though it was not very environmental of me, and just plain mental, I tossed it back in the ditch, and that was the last umbrella I owned in Newfoundland.

However, without an umbrella, and without the rain-proof hoodies everyone here seems to have, it gets a might soggy. Especially when one is wearing a distinctly UNwater-proof hoodie made of fleece, such as I was wearing yesterday. I had to go from work to the tailor to pick up a pair of pants that were being repaired. I really wanted my pants back, as they are my favourite pair, so even though, as the bus carried on through the streets of St. John’s, the rain began to really sluice down I decided that nothing was going to keep me from my pants. (Yes, I am aware that was a huge run-on sentence...but I am so lazy that it makes more sense to just keep typing on then to actually use the delete key and change it...)

I got off the bus a few blocks from the tailors, and by the time I walked into the shop I was completely soaked through. My shoes, pants, sweater, etc. were saturated with water. Plus, I’d been splashed by quite a few passing cars since most people in St. John’s don’t know how to drive in the rain, and any nooks or crannies that were left somewhat undampened were now as drenched as the rest of me. We will not discuss the nooks and crannies further. Once I picked up the pants I realized that there was no use in waiting for the bus, it being a physical impossibility to get any wetter, so I walked home. It was so ridiculous that I couldn’t help chuckling a bit, so I must of looked insane to the cars driving past. This drenched maroon hoodie with a fat grinning face coming at you in the makes you shudder to think about it. No wonder they continued to splash me. They were probably saying, "Get away from me, scary drenched hoodie!" Poor things. I was so wet by the time I got home that my clothes were actually heavy on my body, so I got a nice workout as well.

And the pants are mine at last!

I finally have all the paperwork in and am registered for grad classes. I can’t believe they start in less than 2 weeks. I haven’t had any holiday yet!! Wah. I’m feeling a distinct mix of awe and fear towards the Masters Program…someone in the know might call it a “numinous” experience…heh heh. Those of you not in the know, mind your own business. I will get my own mailbox in the grad room, and important messages will be placed there for me. Things like, “Hi Grad Student, can we interest you in spending some more of your hard earned money?” or "Hi Grad Student, I am another grad student with nothing really important to say but just wanted to put something in your mailbox in the hopes that someone will put something in my mailbox."

Still working on my thesis topic, and trying to decide what exactly I want to spend the next 2 years studying, researching and writing on. I am apparently interested in everything and nothing at the same time and am a complete freak of nature.

Well, cheers, and here’s to coming in from out of the rain.
(oooh, lots of prepositions…)


Friday, 19 August 2005

The Fat Lady Has Not Sung...

So, where the hell have I been?? If only I could remember the last several months…then I guess I could explain the stolen Rembrandt and small herd of miniature ponies in my apartment. Ah well, a mystery they will remain.

However, I do have a hazy memory of a moving truck, and lots of studying. Well, a moving truck and some studying, to more accurate. Yep, this summer I both moved, and graduated my B.A. with a double major in English and Folklore. I’m off to bigger and, though not exactly better…different things now.

My move was fairly painless. My movers were…how to put this kindly…assholes. They had three guys working, which basically meant that one man could be actually working while the second man smoked and the third acted as look-out. And I even gave these SOB’s popsicles… However, the furniture got moved, my pockets were emptied, and I was alone at last. It’s been a weird thing to be out of our little Folklore House, but infinitely quieter! Anya has packed her bags and moved on to bigger and better things in Ontario, so I’m missing her quite a bit. But I’ll call her frequently, and Leslie and Gillian are still here for a semester or two, so we haven’t completely disbanded.

My new apartment is located right in the downtown area of St. John’s. It seems funny to think that when I first arrived here in 2003 I was in the boonies in Kilbride, and have steadily progressed further and further towards the ocean and the city. I’m thinking that next year I’m going to move into a small underwater dwelling in the harbour, and will eventually, if I continue the trend, find myself in England.

My bachlorette/divorcee pad is a small 2 bedroom. So, I have a fairly regular-sized bedroom, a wee kitchenette, a normal apartment bathroom, a tiny living room, and a nice-sized office. It is the land of various sizes in there. The living-room and office face onto Prescott and it’s great to be able to watch people stumbling up the hill in an assortment of drunken states on the weekends. Sometimes they have to lay down in the street to catch their breath. Awesome. I’m close to Bannerman Park, shopping, about 800 churches-historic or otherwise, and a kick-ass movie store. And for those who know me, I think I had you at “office.” I really love my place and think that it’s going to set me up for an awesome year or two here.

And speaking of which, what the hell am I doing in St. John’s for another parcel of time after I’ve completed my B.A.?? I’m doing my M.A. of course!

Yes, I’ve applied for, and been accepted to, the Masters Program for Folklore here, and am staying to work on my second degree. I haven’t finalized what my thesis will be yet, but I’m desperately hoping to include some subject matter from British Columbia in general, and Vancouver in specific, which would mean I would get to come home to do some research. Regardless though, I’m here for course work and some research and writing. The M.A. program is generally 2 years, or 6 semesters including summers. I’m hopeful that I can complete the writing of my thesis within this time, but often another semester or two is needed to get the work done. Since I really don’t have the time or money for this, I’d like to kick my generally-procrastinating butt into gear and just get it done. Wish me luck.

After the M.A. I’m going to have to make a few decisions. My wish is to go directly into a PhD. Program somewhere, but I’ll definitely have to do this outside Newfoundland, and most likely outside Canada. It’s unhealthy and unwise to do all three degrees at the same spot, but for Folklore programs my options are limited to a few schools in the States (erg) and a few in Europe. I’d love to go to Europe to school, but the education system is different and this may affect my ability to find work in Canada. Then again, I have to get through my M.A. first, so I’ll worry about this later. The PhD. Program is about 4 years at most schools, but again some people take longer to finish their theses.

I’m diligently working at the library, and trying to get everything organized for the fall. Lots of wackiness should ensue with me in the Masters Program, and I’m going to try to update this more often, so stay tuned. The intrepid explorer Venus has not yet left the building!!

Have a great summer, and hopefully see some of you around Christmas!

Oh, and my email is for those who would like to write, and you can also leave comments after entries…