Sunday, December 2, 2007

Coo Coo Cachoo

I am the Eggman - or Here's to you Mrs. Robinson, whichever you prefer. Or if you have no preference, listen them both and enjoy.

It's been a long time my dear devoted readers, and I apologize. Life, papers, etc. seem to get in the way sometimes. But I am back, and though it might no longer be a daily, I will be communicating once more. Mostly about the exam period, my time stuck here in Antigonish until Dec. 24th (I fly home quite early on Christmas Morning) and then how my Christmas as a Vegetarian fares, back home amongst the family and friends.

What's been up with me? Well, tonight I went and saw 'Across The Universe' a movie inspired by Beatles songs that takes us through occurances with a group of people of different backgrounds in New York City during the Vietnam War. any more than that and I'll spoil it - So go and see it. It is quite brilliant.

I'll tell you right now though, halfway through I nearly left the theatre to come on here and do a post apologizing because it was so tempting to pack a bag and leave for New York tonight. As your can tell, I didn't - but I'm a romantic like that. Belief in the impossible adventure - disappearing somewhere and completely immersing oneself in something new. I've established my vegetarianism, time for something new. lol.

Other than that it's been all work and school. Not getting proper sleep, generally up til about 4 AM, writing papers and reports and generally conversing with other folks like myself staying up til all hours of the day and night. You get used to it - though I can't wait to get back on a proper sleep schedule. It'll be quite nice.

I have 2 exams - one next Saturday, and the other on the 11th, plus a paper due Wednesday and another one due on the 13th. So still quite the workload - plus I'm going back to work full time (if they'll let me) until the 24th. Gotta make the money - and to be completely honest, though I may complain sometimes, I really do enjoy my job. It's low responsibility, the people are great, and I get a thrill out of customers. I enjoy helping when I can, joking around, talking about the weather. All that fun stuff.

Speaking of weather - December 1st we got a snowstorm and it's a winter wonderland out there. First time I've seen significant snow this early in a LONG LONG time. Makes me feel good - like the Earth might not be so screwed after all and we can still do something about it. As far as we've gotten, I do believe there will still be significant change, but perhaps its not absolutely too late, as the doomsday theorists would have us believe.

It's been a year now since I received my x-ring. I'm currently cleaning it actually - getting it ready for the big occasion. A lot of my friends from Harlow are getting there's tomorrow and I'm very excited for them. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get into the party, but I wish them all the best, and will be celebrating no matter where I wind up. I remember this time last year, the night before and the morning of, being so excited. I could hardly think. Jay and I started drinking early on in our room, and it just continued from there. The four of us who received our X-Rings in England have dual recognition as the first official x-ring ceremony outside of Antigonish, and the last to be held in a chapel. a very prestigious honour.

Although now, remembering my X-Ring speech, I can't help but smile. I'm going to paste it in for you guys to read. A bit of backstory first. We ordered our rings, and built the situation that allowed us to get them shipped over. Peter Clancy and Marc Rodrigue, who took the initiative to plan our ceremony were taking care of everything. What happened next was staggering. One of our rings got lost. And so they wouldn't send any if they didn't have the fourth. It was touch-and-go for a while, but they found the 4th Ring and shipped it fast as they could, so that the four rings arrived the night before the ceremony. Because of the situation, our guest speaker and guest alumni from London had actually offered to let us use their x-rings for the ceremony and pictures so we would still be able to have the ceremony properly. The rest is explained in my speech:Left to Right: Drew, myself, Jessie and Jay. The X-Ring Recipients

I had considerable trouble writing this speech. I just couldn’t find the right words, the right phrases to express my feelings about X, the ring and the Xavarian family. Then, the situation with our rings occurred, and I saw symbolism in their journey. It was very similar to the journey we take as students when going through at StFX.

First, the rings had to be ordered. This is similar to applying to University. Some did this later than others, filling out applications, doing paperwork and appointment after appointment. We pay out a ridiculous amount of money, and then we wait. I’m sure everyone recalls the months in Gr. 12 or 13, waiting for that acceptance letter, wondering whether they made the cut.

Finally, after months of waiting, we get accepted into University. We are confirmed and ordered and are sent out to find our places. This is where the next leg of the Ring’s journey takes place as well. Some of us get lost. Like the fourth ring, some of us don’t find our place so easily.

And this is where the Xavarian spirit and family make their entrance. It is when we get lost that everyone pulls together to make sure we get found again. Fellow students, Professors, Alumni and even the general community band together to help us find our way. It may come in the form of an influential professor, a powerful guest-speaker, fellow students raving about a program, joining societies or through the use of one of X’s excellent help centers. The Counsellors, Wellspring, the Writing Centre, etc. And so like us, the missing ring was found and could begin its journey.

But that’s just the beginning. From here we need to actually get to our destination. As the rings needed to get from Canada to here, we needed to get to X-Ring and Graduation. Once again, the people of X go out of their way to help. The best professors foster an environment where a student feels comfortable meeting them regularly, to bring their concerns or even calling them at home if there’s an issue. Many allow themselves to be addressed on a first-name basis and take the time to learn our names as well. I know I’ve had drinks with more than one over the course of my education, and I’m sure many of you have as well.

The friends you meet are also an important part of the journey. Personally, I don’t know if any of us would get through without the support of our peers. Notesharing, signing each other into class when one of us sleeps in, setting up phone-chains to make sure we all get up for those ungodly 9 AM exams. When you’re pacing the halls, freaking out over that paper that just isn’t getting written, you can always count on finding someone who will hit up Timmy’s with you so you can get your mind off the stresses for a while.

And the community at large holds the X-Spirit for us as well. It was so moving to find out, when there was a chance that our rings might not make it, that London Alumni selflessly offered up theirs so we could at least have rings for the ceremony. People who are involved with the airlines were pulling strings to make sure they’d get here on time. It seemed, no matter what snag came up, there was someone with an X-Ring, and even some without, ready to lend a hand. Contacts from both sides of the ocean working together for such a little, but important thing. It is truly a compelling story, which has wound up with an almost movie-like happy ending. And it makes me beam with X-Pride, knowing that I’m a part of it and only hope I’ll be able to help future generations like yours have helped us.

Thank you. (end)

Reading this back sure does bring back some good memories. We had a fantastic party afterward, and it was a ceremony dedicated to the four of us, which I know made us feel so special and so loved. A couple of the Newfoundland boys wrote us a song, Lee sang 'In My Life' by the Beatles for us. They even compiled a couple of slideshows of our adventures in England, including some embarrassing ones with me and my blue hair. We even headed to the Marquis, our local pub, and had some drinks with the locals. They were surprised at us all dressed up, but it was great.
The Harlow Crew, celebrating with us

I think I'll close there for tonight, on a positive note. I want to throw a shout-out to Carly Wignes as well, who reads the blog and my column who made a point a couple weeks ago. She responded on how I seemed to be more of a health promoting kind of guy as opposed to a vegetarian, which is true. You can eat all the steak you want, so long as you're healthy about it. lol.

Cheers all and happy St. Francis Xavier Feast Day to all. It's bigger than Christmas, I assure you.

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