Monday, September 13, 2010

University: Day 1

Day one is over. After all that anticipation and planning I’m finally an active university student. It was a typical first day. Nervous excitement all combined with a bit of apprehension and lots of expectation. I had two classes today. Latin first and then History. This combination will repeat on Wednesday and we got the happy news today that only Latin is on Friday. Of course it’s a quiz every. Single. Week. So skipping isn’t an option but at least it’s only an hour of class and then I’m done for the day. Monday’s I’ll also have a History tutorial and Wednesday’s a Latin tutorial.

My Latin teacher’s a bit flighty which is what I expected after reading Its going to be a pretty intense course but I’m super excited. We started today by looking at a chart of how Latin is related to many, many modern languages, English being just one of them.

History is going to be awesome. The course load looks heavy in that there’s a lot of reading and a couple of papers to write but I took the teachers advice and got a schedule from the Writing Centre on the workshops they provide. The prof for this class seems really passionate and she’ll actually be leading my tutorial (most of the others are done by TA’s) so that’s kind of cool. The topics are exactly what I’m interested in though.

Tomorrow is Geography and North American Studies. They are in much larger lecture halls so they’ll be different style classes but hopefully I’ll have good profs there too.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Explorer Quotient

While I was in Sault Ste. Marie at the Canal I was talking to the staff and they invited me to take a quiz compiled by the Canadian Tourism Commission called the “Explorer Quotient “. My results came out as “Authentic Experiencer”
“In the world of explorers, you are an Authentic Experiencer. With a foot in both worlds, you appreciate the understated beauty of natural and cultural environments. You enjoy using all of your senses when you explore your chosen destination and really get to know the places you visit. You quickly adapt to personal challenges and risks, easily figuring out how to make the most of every situation. You want to be fully immersed in your travel experiences and tend to stay away from group tours and rigid plans.”
For the most part I’d say that’s accurate. I recognize the benefit of being part of group tours but I don’t HAVE to have them telling me what to do. Take the quiz and let me know where you end up:

Friday, September 10, 2010

What does it mean to be “lost”?

When I left home I was telling people that one of the reasons I was leaving was because I couldn’t get lost out there anymore. After living in the area for over 25 years I almost always knew where I was. Out here in Southern Ontario there are so many more roads and ways to get places and without the mountains, I definitely get turned around a lot more. Still, if I lose track of where I am, I just whip out my phone and activate the GPS. I’ve driven around quite a bit but so far I haven’t been really “lost”. I’ve been unable to find my destination and had to call for better directions twice and I’ve had to “recalculate” my route a few times but I feel like I’ve always known where I am in relation to where I’m going...even if I don’t really know how to get there.

So, lost or not, I’m having fun exploring. So far I’ve located all the important places like the bank, gas station, Walmart and Starbucks. I know where the library is but they have pay parking and I refuse to pay so I haven’t been there yet. If it’s nice out maybe I’ll ride the bike today. If not, I’ll walk over from the school some day when I take the bus.

I stopped at the visitor information centre here in town the other day and got a stack of brochures about my new town. It’s the same size as my old town but it’s way older and has soooooo many more cool shops and restaurants. I can’t wait to discover more of them :)

Oh, and the other thing about being “lost” is that I’m just treating it as an adventure. I think it’s more stressful if you’re lost when you need to get somewhere by a certain time. So far I’ve had very few deadlines so if I take a wrong turn, I just enjoy the new scenery. It’s a great way to live!

Saturday, September 04, 2010


Hello Blog. I had grand plans to keep you updated during my trip but overwhelming emotions when I first started out combined with busy days and limited internet access served to thwart my plans. I have uploaded pictures to Facebook which is so time consuming that I won’t be duplicating those posts here. I’m pretty sure most of my blog readers are my FB friends but if you’re not, let me know and we’ll fix that.

I do have an entry of random stuff about my trip that I will post here. In the spirit of my new “discover” theme, here are some things I discovered (or confirmed if I already knew them) while driving across five provinces and three time zones:
- I would rather follow than be followed and I will go out of my way to let people pass me
- Manitobans are really friendly, just like their provincial slogan promises
- Many of the RV’s on Hwy 17 (the ON part of Hwy 1) seem to be from BC. Are we the only ones who think that driving in Northern Ontario would be “fun”?
- It is a lot harder than it sounds to stick to the “no fast food” rule I tried to set for myself before I left
- There is nothing like fresh blacktop and good driving music
- Starbucks Via (iced) is nectar of the gods
- “Update from here” on my BlackBerry Maps App is the new “are we there yet?”
- Walmart is familiar and comforting when you’re feeling homesick
- It’s hard not to speed when you’re surrounded by fog and feeling rather invincible
- Visitor Info Centres rock...although I already knew that
- The Ontario Ministry of Transportation likes to make signs that state the most obvious things
- OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) are everywhere!
- Full bars on your phone don’t mean that you’ll have service...or if you do, that you’ll keep it
- Manitoba is bilingual and that’s more fun
- In Saskatchewan you start believing that the road will never turn and then if it does you worry that you will forget what to do
- The thing I miss most about home so far is clean clear water (there were a few places on the prairies where I couldn’t drink tap water and it was annoying)
- It sucks to not have cell coverage
- You can see the cars on side or cross roads coming from miles away when in SK and parts of MB and it feels like you’re going to collide with every truck racing down a Range Road
- Brick makes any building look better
- Saskatchewan Rough Rider fans have a LOT of pride
- I definitely need a spouse with wander lust
- McDonalds employees will try to make up for forgetting your fries by giving you enough ketchup packets to fill a whole bottle
- Skunks must be stupid because I passed a lot of dead ones