9. Looking Back - William Matheson's Journal
Jul. 1st, 2011
05:57 pm - 9. Looking Back
During the night that becomes Friday morning, Meteghan:
This has been an unbelievably frustrating day. I didn’t get enough sleep and even though I drove myself to work this morning and had no excuse not to be on time, I was still a little bit late. It’s not serious – it’s not like I have to beep into a computer or phone or anything, but it’s rude just the same.
And later I lost the “floor plan” I was working on because I left it unattended while I was helping the CAP assistant with her posters (basically showing her an ultimately better way to do what I’d done in an awkward way earlier in the day), and it made me see scarlet, red and orange. See, if you let the workstation idle for any length of time, it shuts down by itself and subsequently returns to life – with everything reset to the way it was before. You were working with a free program (say Inkspace or GIMP) that wasn’t installed by default? Have fun installing it again! I suppose I was the foolish one for not saving my work before I got up, but I only thought I’d be a minute and then I lost track.
Like I said, scarlet, red and orange. I didn’t raise my voice or yell or anything, but the 10-year-old girl who practically lives there scolded me nonetheless, saying something like: “This is a library. Misfortunes happen to people all the time, but we don’t go crazy because of them.” Something like that, anyway. I suppose another maxim to add would be: “Don’t cry over spilt milk.”
Another dumb thing about the computers is that the CAP survey continually interrupts you. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle of typing a sentence. You have to check off everything to make it disappear, then you can (finally) get back to work.
It would be better if the computers weren’t really CAP computers but were instead seamlessly part of the library system. In Halifax, one can simply sign in with one’s library card. Just your card number and a simple 4-digit password, and it goes into the computer – there’s no book to sign in to, no survey to complete. The downside is that time is much tighter – when the clock runs out, you’re done – unlike the computers here where you can go indefinitely as long as 1) nobody else booked the machine 2) the library isn’t about to close and 3) you don’t leave your work unattended for more than a microsecond.
Tonight was moving night. This week I’ll be staying in Meteghan with Nick and another Languages at Work participant at Nick’s mother’s house. It’s ridiculously convenient to the library, but campus – where all the social things will be happening – is a very long way away. And I just realized that’s not the half of it – I won’t be able to drink! Not unless I crash, that is. I suppose I should hang around there a lot this weekend and hope for an instant girlfriend. Maybe I should also buy a lottery ticket and a lightning rod while I’m at it.
On that note, I think that’s my biggest disappointment with this program – and it’s got nothing to do with the program! Objective 1 was to learn French. Objective 1a was to find a little friend – not the Scarface kind, either.
Instead, I learned a lot about myself – including many things I didn’t want to know, especially with regards to how other people perceive me and why. Many people just don’t want to be around me because of my personality and the things I say. (I still make friends here and there – some people will invariably love me in spite of myself – but my functioning in groups leaves a lot to be desired.) Do I need a complete social overhaul? If want I want is to be deemed cool by everyone, yes. The fact that I need such adjustment doesn’t make me a bad person or a total reject, it’s just something I need to work on. With the talent I have for making people laugh (sometimes), once I get going, it should be a breeze.
But on the other hand... why do I care? I don’t need everyone to like me, for the simple reason that I don’t feel the need to like everyone I encounter. Many people are total bores. Everybody’s got a story to tell, but only a few are interesting and not everyone is a gifted teller. And why do I always need to be taking the high road just to keep my head above water with certain people? It’s all take and no give! Forget it. I don’t even know what I’m driving at here. In any case, I’ll continue to endeavour to be kind, courteous, considerate and polite – there’s really nothing more I should be expected to do.
Socially, that is. If I want a girlfriend, that’s going to take a lot of work. I think I know what I need to do to improve my chances. First off, I must become fit. Secondly, I must polish a talent to the point where it gleams so brightly as to rival the very stars. Thirdly, I probably need to be not living with parents or family, but I say that carefully. Some people don’t care, and sometimes it’s completely irrelevant – here, for the whole program, nobody gave a shit! Rich, poor, careered, not – it didn’t amount to a hill of beans.
Getting back to that second point, a few people have been telling me (sometimes repeatedly) that I ought to be getting into theatre. A lot of times they assumed I was already! I haven’t been auditioning because I thought that since I was never going to be picked to play the fit, handsome love interest that there was no point. But wake up, Will! - that’s not the only part there is to play. Everything has character roles. Granted, in Romeo and Juliet there wasn’t much left for me – with Friar John, I didn’t have a lot to work with. And maybe I’ll have to audition 25, 50, 100 times to get one part (if I’m lucky enough to find auditions that are open) – or no parts at all. It’ll hardly have been time wasted.
Mr. Zinck: “50% of all actors live below the poverty line.”
But do I really want to slave in front of a computer for the rest of my life? It’s bad enough that I spend virtually all my leisure time in front of one!
And maybe, just maybe, if I get myself in shape and am in the right place at the right time, I can play that love interest after all. Or live a healthy life free of chronic pain, which is something more precious than any role or any girlfriend.