Some Strange Tide

'Cause how else does a prairie girl get to the Maritimes?

Spain Part 2
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Right, so because someone (mother) gently hinted that I needed to update this again, I bring you the long-anticipated first installment of SPAIN, Part 2: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Eat Trail Mix.

So, after a lovely month passed in Ontario, bumming about the cottage, visiting long-estranged family, and having Once Upon A Time marathons with a now-graduated University pal, I hopped a plane Thursday night to return ‘across the pond’. The flight was better than the return flight to Canada, to say the least.

The Friday I arrived was relaxing. No hassle, no fuss. Get off the plane, show passport, grab the transport to the hotel and nap. Yes, I know you’re supposed to let your body adjust and stay awake during daylight hours, but Spain has this lovely thing called the Siesta, which basically translates as ‘nap’.

I spent one night at that hotel and left the next morning to catch my train up north (I type that and think ‘Nunavut’, but that’s the furthest possible thing from the truth)

My train trip up to Logroño is divided into two different parts: Madrid to Zaragoza (Saragossa for you English), then Zaragoza to Logroño. The first stretch from Madrid was as painless as normal. Lovely accommodations, smooth journey, quiet coach. The food was…questionable this time (I think they gave me some sort of…fish dish, and I don’t know what that salad was supposed to be). But the dessert was good.

When I got off at Zaragoza, I had half an hour until my next train was supposed to arrive. I headed straight for the loading area, since it was basically deserted and I could continue reading quietly in peace. About 10 minutes into my reading, one of the station workers came and told me my train was going to be delayed. By an hour.

I began to sort of internally panic, because I didn’t want my landlord to have to wait an extra hour for his wayward resident. However, the man came back 5 minutes later and told me there was another train going to Logroño, leaving at 5:45. I booked it up to the customer relations office and said in somewhat incoherent Spanish that I needed my ticket changed. (I managed to get the “can I change my ticket” part out nicely. It was just trying to explain why where I faltered. I couldn’t remember the word for ‘delayed’)

The train I switched to was more like the Ontario GO Train (…I don’t really know if Calgary has an equivalent, so you Albertans just google that) Multiple stops in tiny towns, no assigned seating, and happy but annoying noises every time we arrived at a platform. I settled down in a seat, basically cocooning myself in there with my suitcase, backpack, and bag of miscellaneous goodies.

The whole time, I was nervously looking at the clock. I told my landlord 7:30, and I was really hoping I’d arrive within 5-10 minutes of that. But as the clock got closer and closer to that time and the town names remained unfamiliar, I began to worry. Would he wait for me? Or did he have super-important Spanish plans that couldn’t wait for the random Canadian?

Finally, at 7:50, we pulled into Logroño and I rushed up to the entrance of the station, looking for my ride ‘home’. No one. He wasn’t waiting in the lobby, he wasn’t pulled up to the curb, he wasn’t anywhere. No faces were recognizable, and no one was waiting.

I told myself not to panic. I went and looked at the arrivals screen, and noted that the train I was supposed to be on wasn’t scheduled to arrive for another half hour. Maybe Mr. Landlord had seen this and was going to return. So I sat outside, perched on my suitcase, waiting. 8:30 rolled around, and no one showed up. Maybe he had parked, then, and I was supposed to find him? I lugged all my stuff to the parking lot and looked around for his car. Nothing. Well, that was just perfect.

I once again headed to the pickup area, dropped my suitcase, and sat back down. I’d give him until 9.

And then 9 rolled around and he still wasn’t there. I pulled out the map he’d given me back in July (thank God I’d  taken that with me) and looked for the closest hotel. Luckily, it was only 3 or so blocks away. Once again, I gathered all my stuff and rolled my suitcase to the hotel, ignoring the amused looks of Spaniards (Here is where having some sort of identifying mark would’ve been nice. Maybe a maple leaf on my shoulder, branding me as ‘Out of Town, please have mercy’. It works if I’m wearing tank tops. Something to ponder)

Anyways, I found a hotel that’s got nice rates and is pretty inexpensive (so long as I don’t stay here more than a week, because then I’ll probably be crying). I ALSO USED SPANISH IN A NON-SCHOOL CONTEXT FOR THE SECOND TIME! GO ME! And actually, I think it worked better that time because I knew exactly what to say (incidentally, we did a unit on hotels last year. I should suggest doing a unit on ‘travel mishaps’, just so there are no more incoherent Canadians trying to explain that their train is delayed)

My room is nice (there’s a bidet. This is something I’ve never actually seen in Canada and frankly, I don’t know what to think of it), the Wifi is free, and I’ve got 3 beds. There’s a restaurant downstairs, which I didn’t actually make use of last night because I was so emotionally and physically drained by the time I got to the hotel that I dug up some trail mix and snacked on that.

I also e-mailed the landlord to apologize for the train kerfuffle and figure out when I can actually get my key and have my own room back. However, I’m still in the hotel as I type this. Checkout time was 45 minutes ago and I still haven’t gotten word from my landlord, so I kind of…can’t leave. It’s not all that bad, though. I think I’m going to nap now while I wait for him to wake up, check his e-mail, and rescue me.

ALSO: Scroll down. There are a few post-dated entries that I’ve finally put up, just to make your reading experience all the more enjoyable. 


Back in the USS--Canada
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Yesterday was my much anticipated return Canada side, and I wish I could say it went smoothly. Well, alright, it’s not like terrible things happened, but I didn’t actually get off the plane until 7 hours after I was supposed to.

Everything up to getting on the plane went smoothly. Bag wasn’t overweight, I didn’t forget my passport or anything technological, and I found my seat without trouble. You know, the little stuff that makes you happy when it goes well.

And the first 7 hours of the trip weren’t horrible either. I slept a bit, then watched a whole slew of movies (Pretty Woman and The Avengers among them). However, about an hour our of Toronto, the pilot came on the intercom and told us that, due to horrible weather in Toronto, the airport was closed and we were being diverted to Montreal.

So we backtracked a bit and landed in Montreal, where the pilot told us to standby for further information. I guess when they don’t know, you don’t know either. So we all sat in our seats like obedient little passengers, waiting for confirmation that we could get off soon. I was supposed to land in Toronto about 3:15, where I’d wait an hour for my parents to drive in from Hamilton to get me. Well, that wasn’t happening. They’d probably beat me to Toronto at this rate.

About an hour later, the pilot again came on saying we weren’t getting permission to go through customs here. Cue the chorus of groans and “What, we’re stuck on this plane for the rest of our lives?” I texted my mom to let her know I was still in Montreal, so they could take their sweet time in Hamilton. 10 minutes later, the pilot came back on saying “Well, actually, the weather has cleared up in Toronto, so we’ll just refuel and head back!”

Refueling took another half hour. At this point, I was thankful I had absolutely no connections this time, because I would have assuredly missed them all. Then we were again in the sky and an hourish later, we finally landed in Toronto. And then waited. Again.

Apparently, all the redirected flights had come back to Toronto and were now waiting in a queue to pull up to a gate. We were the 32nd plane in said cue, so we were going to be sitting for a while. I once again texted my family to tell them they could just stay at my grandma’s house for another hour. By this time, I was about 3-4 hours overdue.

We sat on the tarmac for about an hour more, some passengers complaining unhappily, all of us hungry and tired, with sore legs to boot. All the while, I was texting my parents updates (‘stuck’ ‘still stuck’ ‘still number 32’ ‘I’m hungry’) and asking that in their generosity, they bring Smarties when I finally got off the plane. Heck, in that time I even began watching The Sound Of Music, figuring I could get a good chunk of that finished while we waited.

However, 13 minutes into that, the pilot came on and said we’d been bumped to the head of the queue (Parents figure it was because the crew was reaching overtime and no one wanted to pay them that. I maintain that they figured they’d soon have a mutiny on their hands and all the passengers would walk to the nearest gate)

Whatever the case, we all sat down (again) as the plane finally pulled up to the gate. And then we all rushed off, thankful to be close to food, family, and just land in general.

Getting through customs was surprisingly easy (I figure it’s because they had such an influx of people that if you appeared non-suspicious they didn’t give a fig). The officer was most surprised that I was bringing $30 worth of stuff back into the country after a month. (The bulk of my spending was food, and all that was consumed)

There was a serious delay in luggage retrieval, sadly, as a flight from New York was getting precedence. Yeah, I don’t know why. I wasn’t about to question. But 20 minutes later, my bag finally arrived and I was left to navigate the strangeness of Pearson Airport.

And then I found my lovely family waiting just outside the luggage area, and they did indeed have Smarties because they are fantastic like that.

Right, I’m going to go sleep now. Stupid Jet Lag.


Madrid
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Greeting from Madrid!

Wow, that sounds so tourist-y, but I couldn’t resist. So, obviously, I’ve completed Step 1 of the “How to Return To Canada” plan AKA Train ride from Logroño to Madrid.

Sadly, it was a rather uneventful day. Call the cab at 8, arrive at the station by 8:10, get on the train at 9:05. The train leaving from Logrono isn’t exactly…the cleanest. If you remember the post I made about arriving in Logroño, you’ll know I didn’t really want to talk about it. However, this ride was quiet, and mostly empty so it was actually decent (No angry Spanish woman yelling at everyone or glaring at people for no apparent reason). I had to squish my suitcase in between my seat and the seat in front, though, since there was no room on the baggage rack.

Upon arriving in Zaragoza, I did have an incident that made me frown, if only because I one missed body language cue equaled the assumption that I don’t know Spanish. Basically, the ticket lady at the Zaragoza train station asked me if I spoke Spanish and understood her. She had just finished giving me directions to my train platform, and apparently hadn’t seen my head nod of “Yep, thanks, got it!”. So she repeated and then asked if I could understand her. (My speaking skills may be on par with a 7 year old, but my listening and understanding are pretty high up. I may not understand everything, but I did understand that my platform is up the ramp and to the left. Common sense would’ve told me that even if you didn’t. Right, I’m being mean…)

The train from Zaragosa to Madrid is lovely~. Reclining seats, actual room in the luggage racks for my case. The employees come by with warm hand clothes, then they come by again with drinks, and finally they offer you food. Airplane food is universally recognized as gross. This stuff, plain though it was, was amazing. A small ‘sandwich’ (bread and cheese, let’s not kid ourselves), a slice of lemon cake, a chocolate, tea. Just…fantastic. Needless to say, I was very content during that train ride.

I actually had a slight moment of panic when the train stopped in Madrid where I thought I’d gotten off too early. The screens at the front of each car were telling me “Next Stop: Madrid”, but I was pretty sure I was in Madrid, so I left the train. And then couldn’t recognize the station, like I thought I’d be able to. However, my ticket told me I’d arrive at 1:10, and it was indeed 1:10. So I shrugged and figured that at the very least, I was in the right city.

Needless to say, I was.

There’s an entire fleet of taxis waiting just outside the train station, and the drivers just usher you towards the next available taxi (I guess they have a system?). So that part was easy. I just gave the guy my destination and we took off. Except for the part where he missed the exit (but he turned off the meter, yay!) it went by smoothly.

The hotel is pleasant. Easy to miss, but elegant. My little room is comfortable, the hotel provides free drinks (coffee, tea, etc.) to guests, plus a buffet breakfast

And apparently, this whole ‘affecting confidence’ thing works. I decided to venture forth from my hotel so I could A) Get cash money and B) Scope out a place to eat. Considering I have absolutely no food (except for the few candies that the hotel staff put on my desk), I actually have to…eat out. I’m thinking something with substance—there’re a lot of Irish pubs in this neighbourhood (I know, how adventurous. But I’m on the outskirts of Madrid with no map to tell me where I’m going, and I really don’t want to get lost with less than 24 hours until leave I for Canada)

Right, getting off track. Basically, I was waiting to cross the road when a woman on the other side yelled out to me, in unaccented English “Hey, do you know where the Metro is?” When I answered in the same language that no, I did not, she said “Oh, sorry, you looked like a native here.”

So I traversed up and down the street (my journey up one side ended when I found the “Erotic” bar and promptly turned around. There’s not even anything past that except highway.)

You all know of the lovely siesta idea here, right? When it’s too hot to function so everyone naps while all the stores close down? It’s when I went out wandering and apparently it’s not a time tourists like. I present “OVERHEARD IN MADRID”:

Cranky Tourist Man: **** It’s closed?

Placating Wife/Girlfriend: Hon, it’s siesta time. Everything’s closed.

CTM: What, does that mean I can’t eat? Honestly…

Me: -looks at the menu a bit more while trying not to laugh-

Said restaurant “Sushi and Buey” is on my list of Places to Eat Tonight So I Don’t Starve. The menu looks pretty good, and I can get a good meal for less than 20 Euros (although…only slightly less than 20. But it’s all good, so long as I have enough to get snacks tomorrow, I’ll survive)

Promptly after finding places to eat, I decided it was indeed too hot to function and promptly returned to the hotel. Where I started writing this. The rest of the evening will consist of food, reading, and sleeping early so I can be up and out by 10. I’m so exciting.

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Days 1-7
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Right, I'm going to show this thing some love. I have blog posts. Basically diary entries from my first few weeks here in Spain. 

..Oh, yes. I'm in Spain, for those who don't know. I'm sure most of you readers do, though. To be precise, I'm in Logroño, the capital of the La Rioja region. They're most famous for wine here. Here, have a wikipedia entry for more information.

Anyways, blog posts for the first week, more or less. Enjoy!


Click here, because this is almost 4000 words long and painful to look at!Collapse )


A deep sigh of relief...
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Someone up there really loves me this week, it seems. Why?

Well, Wednesday I was having slight spasmodic issues as I had a Spanish Midterm the next day, followed by a WWII quiz Friday. And I had to add to that the readings for my Post-Con Canada class. And an Enviro History project. And a Spanish presentation. And a WWII essay. So, in short, I was an over-stressed, unhappy camper.

Then I checked my e-mail and Lo and behold:

HIST 2783 (Canadian History since Confederation)

CLASS CANCELLED MARCH 8”

 Post-Con class was cancelled. I took a deep breath and resumed studying Spanish.

Thursday, just before the midterm was to start for Spanish, the professor sighed deeply and told us that she’d be in Ottawa until Tuesday night, meaning we didn’t have class that day. Just to reassure us that it wasn’t a dream, she sent out an e-mail:

“Queridos estudiantes: 

Quiero recordarles que el martes 13 de marzo NO tendremos clase.”  

(Basically: Dear students, I want to remind you that Tuesday, March 13 we will NOT have class)

Well, that was another load off my chest. So I sat down and began studying for my WWII test. A few hours later, I went to check my e-mail and:

“The test which was supposed to be held tomorrow, Friday March 9, has been
re-scheduled for Monday March 12. If anyone is still on campus tomorrrow
afternoon I have a film on D-day.”

Why people wouldn’t be on campus, I didn’t know then and I don’t know now. But needless to say: WHOOOT. THURSDAY WAS MINE AGAIN!

The weekend was spent studying, and picking through various websites about the oil sands and swearing about the fact that any historical timelines for it WEREN’T IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. And more panicking, because I wasn’t sure I’d get this project done for next Friday, especially since I hadn’t seen my partner in a few days.

Then, this morning in class, the professor sighed deeply and informed us that he had fallen behind on his marking. Therefore, he was giving us an extension on our projects. To next Wednesday (the 21st). Joy abounded throughout the classroom.

I was pretty much walking on sunshine as I headed back up the hill to finish the last bit of reading for my quiz this afternoon. Nevermind that I’d only finished 1 hour out of the 6.5 hours of class I normally have on Mondays.

And then I checked my e-mail and:

“Hi

Tonight's class (Monday, 12 March 2012) is cancelled as I have come down with a stomach bug and am not able to lecture. I will see you all next week.

Bob”

My night class is cancelled. Which is depressing, as it’s History of Medicine and it’s a fantastic course. But I’d rather not have the professor puking up his guts while trying to tell us about asylums. Plus, this is more of a chance to get Enviro done.

Now, I was giddy when one class was cancelled. And relieved when a test was postponed. But this is just getting excessively scary. (Especially since I had been mentioning to my friends that all this term, I've never had a class cancelled). How trustful should I be of this?


Teacher Quotes!
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While studying for my Environmental History final last week, I was practically glued to my notebook. As such, I found a bunch of the more hilarious quotes the professor for this class has spouted over the weeks. And I felt I should share them with you! You're so very welcome!

WARNING: There's one or two instances of swearing in the below quotes. Nothing completely vulgar, but it's there if you want to shield the eyes of kidlets.

"Our population doesn't just expand. We also kill shit in large quantities" [talking about the mega-fauna extinction]

"Where he goes is real, and if it doesn't blow your mind, you have no soul" [Seriously, this is freakin' amazing]

"And do you ever really think about almonds? Uncultivated, raw almonds have enough cyanide in one of them to kill a person, and we still eat them. How did we get to that point? Did we just think 'Well, it killed Thag, but we're going to keep trying!' ?"

"Aurochs would've kicked 7 types of shit outta us and eaten us in the process."

"No one would ever call a bison domesticated. It's 2 tonnes of anger."

"Dogs have been around forever. Cats just sauntered in."

"Cats are good at one thing besides taking a message and getting back to you: they kill pests"

"Plants are easier to domesticate than animals. They don't bite you, they don't chase you, and the don't kill you if they catch you."

"...and you're up shit creek without a paddle" [I...don't remember the specific context of this. Wait, yes, it was about crop failure. But it can apply to anything]

"And Manchester wine is just wrong. I'm sorry, all Manchester produces is dismal and depressing." [The Professor is biased, as he's from a different part of England]

"They don't make anything in Australia but drugs and criminals." 

"I loooooooooooove disease!"

[After we've listed off Heart disease and Cancer as being the main killers of humans today]
Professor: *laughingly* You've got the one that killed my dad and the one that killed my mom, in order.
Class: *Awkward silence*
Professor: Whooa! Gallows Humour. 

[Still listing off killers of human population today]
Student: What about that liver disease?
Professor: *stops to think* Cirrhosis. That's big in Russia. Yeah, sure I'll put it. *turns to glare at student* Plus, I also have to now spell it. Thanks.

Professor: And how did hunter-gatherers die?
Random Student: Bears!
Professor: Yes! Bears! I'll put that as 'misadventure'. I died of a bad case of bear.

Professor: Anyone know what Typhoid Mary did?
Student: She made pies?
Professor: Making pies. Nice one, James, because she's seen in that picture making a pie! NO! [She was actually a cook, if you're wondering]
 
[talking about how they locked Typhoid Mary up]"...but then they'd let her go, because she hadn't meant to kill all those people. And she went back to doing what she did best. Well, what she really did best was KILL people."

"They should make a movie about it [the inquisition into the Spanish Flu] starring Harrison Ford, because it's so awesome.


Classes, Part 2
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WHAT IS THIS? IS THIS A POST? 

Yes. Yes, I think this is. In the tradition of last semester, wherein I made a post about how I found my classes after the first day, this is the exact same thing. Just with different courses. Kind of.

Environmental History- Prior to flying back to school, I checked ACORN (which is basically the website where professors upload their Powerpoints, course outlines, extra readings, whatever) to see if my new courses were up there yet (Yes, I'm that kind of person, you can stop laughing now). And what did mine eyes see but a clearly labelled box that said "Presentations". 

Needless to say, I panicked. We've gone over this, I'm not a presenter. The Toastmaster club was a but a misguided attempt to change that. (The certificate said it worked. I can't find the certificate to remind myself of that). 5 minute presentation in front of a FULL class of around about 60? And this time the class would be full everyday, since the professor for this class is recognized campus-wide as being fantastic. 

Going to class Monday, however, I learned that I had jumped to the wrong conclusion. At least I hope. The projects are supposed to be a 5 minute audio-recorded powerpoint presentation that we send in to him. Not a 'stand in front of the class and squeak' but a 'send your voice and research to the professor' type of deal. Which is a relief. 

(...I mean hi, dad. One of these days I won't panic when faced with the probability of talking. I swear!)

The class itself looks fantastic. The professor has the tendency to veer slightly off topic and be ridiculous, but it's all relevant to the class (I'M LOOKING AT YOU, SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR). He even admitted to doing so, which makes it easier to realize when he's doing it.

WWII-  Same teacher as WWI, and he was fantastic. Monday's class was literally 10 minutes--he went over the course outline, then dismissed us all.

And the Turkey jokes reappeared! Well, sort of. He retold some of the old jokes from last term while talking about the aftermath of WWI on Turkey. There was actually a pretty good reception to them, as well. 

Spanish Convo- once again, same as last semester. Same teacher, same people. No changes to report as of yet. 

History of Medicine- So, this is my only 3 night hour class this semester. And normally, even on the first day of classes, the professor will keep you for the entire three hours because they don't want to miss even one class. Not so with this professor.

So, first things first. The professor--the Dean of Arts at this school--enters the room and I first think "What is my Uncle doing here?" For reference, the Uncle in question has shaved his head and has an earring. So does this Dean. 

He passed out course outlines, then started to explain it all, as most professors do. However, he peppered his speech with various expletives that had the whole class in stitches because really, we're all about 4 years old and people in authority swearing is just downright funny.

Now, this class is huge. 150, when it was supposed to be capped out at 60 or so. It's just that popular. And how many of us are history majors? 6. How many are biology/chemisty/psych/kinesiology majors? 146. More or less. So it's a history course full of science majors. The Dean proceeded to give a rant about how Science majors are the worse at grade grubbing, and how he wouldn't stand for any of that because he honestly didn't care. He told us the story of a Science major who, getting a 16/50 on his midterm, appealed to the professor to raise his mark to 17. The professor refused to give it to him, and said that he'd remember this student's name as well as the fact that he was a total asshole. His rant concluded with the (quite true) statement that any Arts student would be giddy to get an 82 on a paper, as opposed to thinking it was the end of the world. 

He also doesn't want to do more work than is humanly necessary. As a result, there will be no single-person papers. Instead, so he's not marking 200+ papers (there's a second day of this class with just as many students), we're doing group projects. He figures that with groups of 6 or 7, he won't spend his entire summer marking. (There will be more on this...unpleasant development...later) Needless to say, I feel that I could get away with writing something irreverent here, so long as it detailed the history of some disease. 

Post-Confederation Canada- once again, a continuation, but this time with a new professor! She started off class by showing us this video, then as normal it was outlines and expectations and freedom!

I'm a bit concerned that it'll be less "HISTORY" and more "CANADIAN CULTURE", since the first slide of her powerpoint on Thursday was all about Canadian culture and the fact that we have a beaver as a national symbol. It got more into the actual historical aspect after a while though, luckily.  

Spanish Grammar- same as last term. Nothing amazing to note. 

Baby got back
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Look Ma! I made the schools "Photo of the Week"!



That's me. The one showing the ridiculous amount of back as I lunge forward to stab an insufferable git a FRIEND from fencing. How can I tell? Well, I'm the only lefty in the fencing group. Also, those are my yoga pants. 

(His, by the way, is not considered a point. It's considered a 'flat', meaning that while his sword might've hit me, there's no bend and thus it is not a point.)

But yeah, apparently the Facebook group for the class of 2016 has started a 'photo of the week' thing, and this week it was of a fencing duel in action. 

Real post tomorrow about 1) the end of classes/how I found my classes this year and 2) Exams. And how much they suck

An open letter:
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Dear roommate's boyfriend:

I like you well enough, You're a pretty awesome guy. Sure, knocking on my door at 1 in the morning to ask if I can help you with something, even after I clearly stated an hour ago that I was going to bed, please don't disturb, doesn't win you any points. Neither does claiming you knocked because 'you couldn't tell if my light was on or not'. Does the concept of 'the door is closed, signifying to many people 'please go away and don't knock if you want to continue to have a happy life'' pass you by? 

Wait...getting off track here.

ANYWAYS. Like I said, you're a pretty awesome guy and I don't mind the fact that you're basically my third roommate. HOWEVER, all door knocking aside, I am not your relationship counselor. When you call to ask if I can let you into the building, the response "Sure, I can let you in"  does not translate into "Oh, of COURSE, tell me all about your relationship issues AGAIN."

I'm kinda trying to study for the 2 exams I have tomorrow. My precious study breaks will comprise of me, the good Doctor <3, and knitting. NOT listening to you moan about your girlfriend, then look plaintively at me for some advice that you won't follow anyways (Because Lord knows I've tried).  You're a big boy, and I've heard this miraculous thing called 'talking it over with her' is surprisingly beneficial and gets more done. 

Right, that's all.

Sincerely,

She who is not now and will never be your relationship counselor. 

Feel free to disregard this. I'm running off stress at the moment and just needed to get that typed out so I could feel a bit better.  

Presentations
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I mentioned near the beginning of the year that I have problems presenting, right? Deep-rooted psychological problems with talking in front of people?

Right, so the week of presenting our Sociology papers was one not looked forward to by me. I went to class the week we were doing them, because I couldn't not skip. The first class was when the eager beavers all presented their presentations, naturally. But that dimmed down after the first 30 minutes and she reverted to reading the list.

That was Monday.

Wednesday, we had an absolutely wonderful snow storm and I hoped class was cancelled. Sadly, no. She continued reading through the list going by alphabetical order. I sat in my chair, both listening to presentations and cursing the people who didn't show up and brought me one name closer to doom. We made it to about...G.

Friday, I had a text conversation with a friend that went like this:

Me (9:22AM): There is next to no one in class. I'm both concerned and slightly relieved, as this means I might have to present, but at least it won't be to a full house.

Friend(9:23AM): Yay? XD

Me (9:24AM):SHOOT, more people. STAY IN BED, HUMANS. DON'T COME TO CLASS 

Friend (9:24AM) But..they have to? XD

Me (9:25AM) Today's the one day I advocate staying in bed and missing class. If only to spare me from having to present to more than 30 people.

Friend (9:26): Well, if you're lucky it'll only be 15.

Me (9:27): Looks like 20-ish now. Maybe it'll hit a point where there's enough I don't have to present. 

As luck would have it, I didn't. I was spared for another weekend.

Monday, we continued through the list. By this time, we had hit the 'M's, so I still wasn't too entirely concerned. And so far, no one was missing from class. With a little more luck, I wouldn't have to present until Wednesday.

The clock ticked down to about 10:17. 3 minutes and I was free for another day. We had reached "Smith" on the list, and foolish me, I thought there would be more of a gap between the SM and the TI in a class of 60 people. I was wrong.

So, 3 minutes left in class and I was complacent, thinking that I was once again spared the agony of presenting my presentation. And then, the second Mr. Smith finished up, the teacher shrugged and said we had time for one more presentation. I bit back a little giggle, thinking some poor Stewart or another Smith would have to go.

Nope, turns out there's a lovely jump straight to the TI section of the alphabet. I was decidedly unimpressed. Well, no, first my heart started beating like a trapped rabbit and I probably had the 'deer in the headlight' look on. 2 fuzzy woodland creatures isn't a good sign. 

I'd like to say I stood up boldly, arranged my papers in front of me, and proceeded to give a confident speech about body image that left everyone shocked in their seats. I'd like to say that, but alas and alack. Instead, I nervously fiddled with the sleeve of my coat as I pushed the chair away from the desk with shaky legs. I flipped to the page in my notebook where I had jotted down roughly what I was going to say, albeit in my head it sounded a lot smoother. The words that I spoke were quite high-pitched, jittery, and clearly signified 'I don't want to be here, you should've waited until next class.'

(Still, at least I didn't come right out and say "But I don't like talking" like another girl in the class did.)

So, I shoved my presentation into the last 3 minutes (by shoved, I mean 'squeaked my way through'). The teacher was flabbergasted by the presentation, to be fair, but I think it was more 'how does a human voice get that high?' then "What a deep and insightful topic she picked, and what a confident manner she has'

But it's done. Life is good. No more presentation this term. 

So, exams right around the corner. Updates will be more sporadic than normal. I DO have a bunch written up, I just haven't gotten around to posting them thanks to random other things in life. When they're up, there'll be fanfare and lots of joyous cheering. Just you wait

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