Day 6: First day of school!

I”m afraid this is the big tipping point. Now that school is officially in full swing, time is scarce. I’ll try to keep updating as regularly as possible, but I think brief posts are the way to go – quite a challenge for my rambling ways. Here’s my first attempt to keep it short.

As I’m tapping away on my keyboard right now, I’m watching a Global National podcast. There’s no denying it. The time has come to resume my school routine, which means news, news, and more news. I’m back to reading at least two newspapers a day – either the Globe and Mail or CBC and the Ottawa Citizen (local news is a must, if not the most interesting read).

I only had one class today – Journalism, and it didn’t even start until 11:35 a.m. My time table says the class is supposed to be six hours long (11:35 a.m. to 5:25 p.m.). Fortunately, my professor set the record straight, saying it would most likely be a three-hour class until further notice. I’m hoping that’s the way it stays for the whole semester.

The first journalism class was spent scaring us with the long list of assignments lined up for this year. We don’t have a final exam (hooray!), but we’re paying for it dearly with nine assignments over 12 weeks. The biggest project is a 1200-word feature on any topic we want. The other assignments are supposed to act as research for that grand finale. I already heard about six crazy people in my class chattering excitedly about exactly what they’re going to write about. I’m still in the brainstorming stage!

Whoever said there was going to be a transition period to ease students back into the school rhythm, well let’s just say I’d like to know what school they were going to! It clearly wasn’t Carleton because we’re diving right back into the thick of things. Next week, we have to have a 500-word news story handed in. It can be about anything want, which gives us plenty of room to play around with our interests, but it also means we have a lot more work to do. Those were the only instructions we got: Find out what’s happening and turn it into a news story.

On top of that lovely bundle of joy, we have two quizzes next week as well: one on CP (Canadian Press) style (which entails mundane rules like when to capitalize or punctuate. For example, is it PEI or P.E.I.? Groundbreaking stuff, I know.) and one on something even more exciting than CP style! We have a quiz on the municipal elections in Ottawa. Oh goody, looks like I’ll have to read that Ottawa Citizen very carefully . . . every single day.

The rest of the class was spent pairing up with someone else in the class whom we didn’t know, and interview each other for 20 minutes. There were only 20 or so people in my class (about the size of a tutorial). We had to give a two to three minutes speech introducing our “new friend.” Apparently, if done correctly, we were supposed to be exercising key journalistic skills: gathering information, digging through it for the most important information, and presenting it to an audience. Big fun. I think my introduction sounded awful, but I suppose that’s why I’m here – for some learning!

I’m just going to skip about five hours from the end of ¬†journalism class to the second big event of today. I had my first swim practice with Whitecap Masters! It was so much fun! Our coach’s name is Mitts (I didn’t question). He asked if I’d ever done competitive swimming before.

“Yeah, but it was a while ago.” I said.

“How long”s ‘a while’?”

“I don’t know. Maybe eight or nine years ago.”

“Oh! You’ll be fine!” Mitts said with a chuckle and directed me to the slowest lane where there was one other girl about my age, a 50-something-year-old man with a pot belly, and an old lady.

It turns out the slow lane isn’t slow at all! I got a good workout. We swam about 92 laps today and I was definitely feeling the burn! Old Lady definitely deserves some respect. She takes her swimming very seriously and she actually passed me in front crawl! I had my revenge in breaststroke, but it was still a very humbling experience.

I can’t wait to go back next Tuesday! I feel like I should invest in a swim cap. It may make me look like roll-on deodorant, but I’m the only one who doesn’t have one (who’s not suffering from male pattern baldness).

Oh my aching abs. I hope I can get up tomorrow! It’s going to be an early day tomorrow too. We have a mandatory journalism class (We have two journalism class this semester.) at 8:35 a.m. on a Friday morning! It’s cruel and unusual.

That being said, I think you’ll understand that I need to get some sleep if I expect to be conscious in eight short hours.

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