June 23rd, 2007


Little Tidbits: June 22nd

(Composed yesterday, Friday June 22)

~ Tomorrow we’re going to Yarmouth. I’m excited, because Yarmouth, while not a city, has things like supermarkets, real restaurants, and bars. Last night, I had run off the movie showtimes for Empire Yarmouth tomorrow, and I took time on the bus, as Danielle usually does, to make the announcement: “Good day, all the world! This day, we are the Friday, 22 June…” and at that point my groupmates cut me off. So much for parodying the information sessions and the French language simultaneously. Anyway, the movies playing in Yarmouth tomorrow night leave a bit to be desired: Two films are part threes, two films are part twos, and the other two films – though aimed at substantially different audiences – both end in “Up”: “Knocked” and “Surfs.” We’ll probably just linger over dinner with a few beers.

Yarmouth is also a port of entry to Nova Scotia, and if I am at the chance, I’ll get to see the ferry terminal and the ferry to Maine. I like that sort of stuff.

~ I won “Funniest Student” in our equivalent of a yearbook/grad poll, but due to a mix-up with the computers, that page didn’t get printed in the Album Souvenir, so Fiona told us one afternoon over hamburgers who won, from her memory. I kind of like having won something and being the only person who knows about it. Of course, now you know, but you probably weren’t here at Sainte-Anne.

~ Often when we come home to Bellefontaine after work, we discover all the windows and many doors open, even when it’s chilly outside. Today we were tempted to put two and two together when we also noticed Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back playing in the living room. ;-)

~ Compounding the slightly bizarre situation, we sometimes come back to find all the heaters turned up all the way, even when it’s reasonably warm outside, prompting the other guys to have this exchange:

“Geez, who keeps turning up the heater? It’s a sauna in here!”
“There’s a guy from Africa here; who do you think?”

~ Work’s fine. Everyone is nice to each other, and nice to me – it’s easily the least turbulent job I’ve ever had. It’s also a job that won’t make me say, “I will NEVER work in ______ (fill in the blank: a restaurant, at data entry, a call centre, etc..) again!” Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased as punch that it’s finally Friday, but the job is humane unlike any of the other ones I’ve endured. I wonder how much of this humanity is related to the nature of the business (small grocery store) or the ownership (family).

I spent most of Thursday helping a guy strip and replace tiles. Boy, was that ever hard work – they don’t often give easily! This might be good, because for a lot of the times the chisel would give, I’d scrape my hand on the rough plywood covered in old glue, which would inevitably result in bleeding. I think one of my pairs of jeans is a write-off, too, as I sat in tile fragments a few too many times. Even now, Friday night, I’m noticing little teeny bits of tile on the floor of my room. Hoo-boy. We’ll be back at that job on Monday, but at least the tiles near the porch and the cash registers are pretty much done, and we’ll just be hitting a few tiles here and there throughout the store.

Anyway, remind me if I ever build a house: Metal roofing, vinyl siding, and hardwood floors except for ceramic tile in the bathroom. If I have to have outdoor steps, they will almost certainly be made of concrete, unless it’s connected to some sort of deck. Sure, the initial outlay would be a pain, but the low maintenance would be more than worth the expense.

I wonder if metal roofing makes a racket when it rains?

~ We’re getting July 2nd off. With pay. We don’t actually deserve such a thing because we weren’t working for the necessary 15? days of the last 30, but the bureaucrats have taken pity on us. That last four-day week will go by quickly, not to mention that there’ll be the huge crowd of Summer-session students here at the university.

~ Help. I’m getting dangerously close to wanting to come back here. The odd thing is, I’m not particularly fond of French, but I need it in order to be economically relevant for 21st century Canada. It’s also good exercise for the brain, possibly in a similar fashion to math. I plan to write a (lengthy?) e-mail to Hughie tonight expressing interest, albeit with a boatload of questions as is my usual fashion. I can’t really wait to hear back from UBC, because the automatic entry bursary is extremely time sensitive.

As I understand it, a few things are different about the year-round program; for instance, I don’t need to worry about the internet, as access will be included and provided in student rooms, and if I need to use English websites I can do so with my door closed. (English music is a no-no in the immersion residences, however the regular program students often play English music or video games in their residences, and there will be English music by times at the Château. I’m more or less indifferent to those sorts of changes, but I am pleased to hear that the internet will be more readily accessible for the regular session.)

There are also occasional bus journeys to Yarmouth, and once you’re off the bus and in Yarmouth, English is permitted – the reason being that most people in Yarmouth (as with most Nova Scotia centres) don’t speak French! (This is also part of the reason why exits during the spring and summer sessions are limited to Acadian-owned ma-and-pa stores.)

But come to think of it, being isolated and out of touch is one of the magical things about being here.