It’s a Done Deal

Alright then, the decision is made. After a great deal of contemplation, thought, kvetching, and many a night’s sleep lost to turning and tossing, and staring at the darkened ceiling in mute despair, I have made up my mind at last. 

The question, as you may recall, was whether or not to pursue a Masters degree, now that the Bachelor’s is done. 

The answer is ‘not’. At this time.

I’m at a place on my continuum where I just don’t have the strength to commit to the rigours of a Masters degree. Its demands are many and varied – strenuous and harsh. It requires a dedication to academia which I simply cannot muster just now. Let’s not forget that I’m the Old Fart here – I’m not yet in my final resting place, but I also don’t have all the youthful energy or the quick recovery of the whippersnappers of the world.

So what’s next? And what’s next for this blog, which was itself started as a record of my didactic exploits? Well, another graduation, to be sure, for even though I am not formally enrolled in an academic institution, I’m still learning something new every day. I’m dedicating myself to the University of life now. I’m re-energizing to head off in new internal directions, even as my family and I contemplate an external move to another part of this great nation.

Learning is the most important thing we can do to enrich our lives, and in my opinion, a day in which nothing is learned is a day wasted. So I dedicate this blog anew to those who love to learn, and who do so deliberately and with passion, with a determination that cannot be swayed. The learners of the world represent courage, humility, and determination, all at the same time.

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My kind o’ class

Today is something new to me. Up until now classes have been in the class room, or the lecture hall, but today my Communications and Food Culture class is headed out into the field, to check in at a fancy Calgary restaurant for some primary research.

We’re going to River Cafe, which is on Prince’s Island here in town. I gather we’ll be talking to kitchen staff, to the maitre d’ and we’ll be sampling some of the fare. It should be very nice. I mean, I have a clue about front-of-house and back-of-house anyway – having a theatre background, but it will be interesting to see the restaurant perspective.There will be customers there, too, so we’ll have to be very quiet (yeah, right).

To me this is like a day off – in fact, I almost feel guilty writing this blog today, in celebration of an actually invigorating education experience! Of course, there is an assignment attached to it – a reflective essay of about 1000 words due next Tuesday. That should be easy enough for me, though: I’ll just write a blog for you, print that, and hand it in to my teachers.

Works for me!

James

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Doldrums

I sitting here on the couch, this cold Sunday morning, and I’m feeling a lot of guilt.

First, I slept in. I’m usually up by 730am, 8 at the latest, but this cold Sunday morning I stayed in bed ’til 9. I’m absolutely mortified by this, of course. It’s extremely unproductive behaviour, and I’m sorry.

When I did finally get up I did not exactly kick into high gear, either. I made breakfast (bacon and eggs), watched the last of a silly old Sean Connery movie, looked outside (through freshly-cleaned windows!) at the almost palpable overcast, and now I’m here, sitting on the couch, writing a blog.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I enjoy writing my blogs, and I consider it time well-spent – but I do actually have homework to do, and now that it’s almost 11 I’m actually starting to wonder if I’m going to be able to wrap my head around that kind of concentration at all today. I just don’t feel energized. I think I’d rather clean house than sit down at my desk in the basement and try to get into the mental gymnastics of Barthes, Saussure, and Eco. There, I just sighed.

I think I’ll call this a personal day and leave the books in the school bag. I think I’ll spend some time communing with the insides of my eyelids. I think I’ll leave the newly-snowy outdoors to the newly-snowy outdoors. I think I’ll play with the pooch today and leave all that other stuff for anther time.

Oh, I still feel guilty, but at least I’m determined.

James

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The Pooch

Crank it up

I’m doing everything that the young whippersnappers do to get ready for school.

Last week, for example, I went to campus to renew my student ID card – it’s important to make sure you have everything in order. The security office is in Mac Hall, and last Friday, when I went to take care of this, the line-up was not too bad – there were only about sixty people in front of me.

So I stood in line and watched the juniors and their mommies wait for the line to shrink.

Juniors. It threw me back to this time last year when I was just getting ready for orientation week, and I started to think. I looked at the long line-up and it occurred to me: surely second year and third year students wouldn’t be here with their Mommies. This was a line up full of first-timers!

I was still last in line at this point so I stepped away and got on the phone. I called the security office 100 feet ahead of me and asked: “Do I have to renew the card every year?” “Certainly not,” the nice lady said. “It’s good for five years.”

I stepped even further away from the line up.

You see? Classes haven’t even started yet and already I’m getting smarter!

J.

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