Day 105: Snip snip

It’s been a most marvellous day back in Richmond Hill! I can’t believe I actually made it through first semester (at times I thought it would never end). Yesterday was my grand homecoming and so my blog was put on the back burner for a while. I’ll make up for it now.

Day 104: Chugga chugga

I had one last exam at 9 a.m. Politics. That dreaded beast had been weighing down on my mind ever since the exam period started and I had been doing nothing but cram my head full of facts about enormous global issues like human development, poverty, hunger, the environment, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, war and just about everything else that concerns international relations.

Don’t get me wrong. I really do like that subject. It’s just that I don’t really fancy those big broad questions when it comes down to exams. When I have three hours to spew knowledge, I’d like there to be questions like: what are the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council? What ever happened to those straightforward questions of old? Instead I have to answer things like: what is wrong with the world and how do we fix it? Go!

Well I suppose that exam didn’t lead to my demise after all. I made it through in one piece, though the same cannot be said for my poor right hand. Hey, if you had been scribbling through three exam booklets and using up two pens, your hand would be cramped up too!

For the rest of the day I was packing my bags and gloating my early finish to everyone else on my floor. At 3:30 p.m. I set out for the Via Rail train station. I felt kind of bad for taking up all that room on the bus with my enormous bag, but hey, that’s what public transit is for. There’s no way I was paying $20 for a taxi when I still had plenty of time to get there for free. Such is life on a student budget.

At 5 p.m., my train started chugging away and I couldn’t wait for those five hours to go by fast enough! It was such a turbulent ride though. The train kept swaying from side to side. I thought we were going to get derailed. And of course I had the added worry of sitting right near the emergency exit and train attendant was telling me in full detail how to break the window and launch myself out the window with nothing but a seat cushion to break my fall. (Via Rail has started to do assigned seating. Otherwise, I’d be far away from the emergency exit.) Well isn’t that just swell. I would not be the best go-to person in case of an emergency. I’m on vacation! What’s all this talk of responsibility and initiative? Don’t we have people for that?

At long last I pulled into Union Station in Toronto at about 9:30 p.m. I finally saw my mom again! A short happy dance later, we were off to March√© to have our traditional “midnight” feast. Hello, smoked salmon crepe. Please, the pleasure’s all mine.

Last night was most definitely the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long time. My own bed! Peace and quiet! No high pitched cackling. No guitar jamming sessions. No beer pong cheering. Just peace and quiet at 1 a.m. – the way nature intended.

Day 105: Personal maintenance … and cookies

Today was a day of pampering. I tamed the beast that emerged from the exam session (I know I said I survived, but not without some noticeably wear and tear). I had my enormous rat’s nest (a.k.a my extremely long, tangled, split-ended mess of hair) trimmed. Now my head is considerably lighter (though that might just be the feeling of my brain pumping out this semester’s knowledge at a steady rate. There’s no need for me to remember that there are currently 26 member countries in NATO anymore!) and I no longer scare passersby when I whip out the hairbrush.

My mom and I have officially started our holiday eating (we had congee for lunch and sushi for dinner!) and our Christmas baking. I’m going to a friend’s Christmas party tomorrow night and I will not be coming empty-handed. our house is now filled with the smell of delicious cookies and … a surprise, which shall be revealed at a later date. It’s shaping up to be a lovely Christmas.

Side note: I’ve been meaning to blog about this since Wednesday night (Dec. 15), but I forgot in the chaos of exams. Lindsay was making this crazy dish that I just had to share. Picture this: an entire wheel of Brie cheese covered in brown sugar and dried cranberries, all wrapped up in Pilsbury crescent dough and baked into a sweet-smelling volcano of happiness. Apparently you slice it up and serve it on crackers. We had it on what looked like sweet Melba toast with dried nuts and fruit in it. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was really good, but two crackers will fill you to bursting. Impressively, that cheese volcano (for lack of a better name) was gone in two days.

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