Day 2: Arms of lead

My day began much too early for my taste, but that’s what happens when you have 8:30 a.m. classes. It’s time to just suck it up, grit those teeth and try to learn something. Any hope I had for my Chinese class was quickly stamped right out of me within the first 20 minutes of class. We were sitting outside the locked classroom for at least 15 of those 20 minutes. There appears to have been a mix-up with which classroom we were going to be in and the people who are supposed to unlock the doors kept getting wrong information. Poor laoshi was about ready to wring someone’s neck.

Maybe everyone is still a little rusty from the Christmas break but it’s like everything we learned last semester melted away from memory in much the same way those pathetic snowbanks in Toronto melted in the 12 degree weather on New Years Day. But that’s what review is for. Hopefully things will start to pick up after everyone gets that grey matter moving again.

I’m already swamped with homework and it’s not even the end of the week yet. In a strange way however, I’m not feeling as woe-is-me as I thought I would be with the return to school. You’d think holiday withdrawal symptoms would be in full swing, but so far it’s been okay. Perhaps that isn’t saying much, considering it’s only Day 2, but I’m going to take this as a good sign. Only about four more months of this. I can do it!

Today marks the first politics class of the semester. Our teacher is from Thailand, which I thought was pretty cool. It’s not everyday you get a professor who’s from a country on the other side of the world. It wasn’t the most riveting lecture – a person can only get so excited about a course outline – but at least we were dismissed early.

I spent the rest of the day trying to clear away as much of my homework as possible. I also did a quick load of laundry so I’d be all set to kick start another semester of swimming, hence my arms of lead. It’s a good kind of sore though. After two and a half weeks of zero physical activity and way too much eating, it’s nice to know I’m still able to prevent myself from drowning. (Then again, fat floats …)

I almost had a chance to cover a court case tomorrow for the Charlatan. Hassan Diab, a former sociology prof at Carleton and the University of Ottawa, is on trial in connection to a synagogue bombing in 1980 in Paris. It sounds pretty interesting, but no one knows when the hearing actually is, so the editors were suggesting I arrive at the courthouse at 9 a.m. and sit there until something happens. I unfortunately don’t have that kind of free time. True, tomorrow is my class-less day, but I was hoping to get some heavy reading out of the way and get cracking on those summer job applications. It may have been a sacrifice I was willing to make about a year ago when I was that eager first-year jumping at every email or call from the Charlatan, but times are a-changing.

I still love the Charlatan. Don’t get me wrong. But I’ve got some time-consuming work to do before schoolwork starts to pile up. There will be other opportunities. And for those who are worrying about who will cover the story, you can dry your tears and rest assured. The editors told me they already assigned the story to another writer, so I would have been a second set of eyes and ears anyway. Plus, I know the other writer and she’s definitely got an aggressive journalistic spirit. She’ll be just fine. As for me, I’ll catch the next one.


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