Wrap Up

I’m currently sitting in the Halifax Airport waiting for my connection flight back to Toronto, where I first began this journey. The past 9 days have flown by and after what seems like an extremely short visit, I’m already heading back to Ontario and very soon, my co-op job.

I have to say, the biggest thing I noticed was, well, nothing. Nothing really seemed to have changed. Sure some people grew and some people didn’t (moi peut-etre?) but generally, the people I knew are still the people I knew. Sure, there were a few surprises here and there, like oh you know, a marriage and a pregnancy, but other than that… No, seriously, the close friends were all pretty much the same. Some traveled around the world, but aside from some new experiences, I don’t think there was anything drastically different. Old habits were still there.

It felt as though I hadn’t really been gone for a year. I definitely have a greater appreciation for Island courtesy however. It’s still a unique feeling to be able to walk down the street and say hello to everyone and anyone without getting a weird glance or two. It’s also pretty cool to be able to walk through downtown Charlottetown and bump into people I know left right and center. It really is a small and connected place. With that said, I’m not exactly looking forward to the Ontarian ‘hospitality’. We’ll see though; I’m sure I’ll adjust quickly to avoided greeting random people lest I get dirty look…

The past week and a bit was filled with lots of laughs and good memories. I also did a few things that I’ve never done through the whole of my life on PEI. It’s amazing what peer pressure can do to you eh? I sort of learned how to swim during my visit and got this messed up looking tan, which I’ll definitely have to even out by lying outside when I get back to Niagara Falls. It look quite atrocious right now.

Well, I definitely need to go use the bathroom before I board this plane to Toronto. Ahhh, I’ll be ‘home’ soon, although I have to say, PEI still feels much more like the real home to me.

One

One year, one month, one day.

I have returned.

(Warning: Post may sound more epic than it actually is)

Uh Oh…

Panic set in more than once today. While I can’t be 100% sure what happened exactly, I have my suspicious and I can definitely tell you what has happened.

I lost most of my tasting abilities.

Well, hopefully it won’t be permanent, but let me tell you, it is such an important sense. My suspicion is that Listerine caused it. I started using Listerine only two days ago since I decided I would be too lazy to floss all the time at school. Listerine seemed like a good alternative, even though it is no longer allowed to market itself as a replacement for floss. Either way, it seemed pretty effective at what it does. It definitely burned a lot more than the Scope I had used before. It burned to the extent that I started worrying if it was right.

I discovered I had lost this important sense a bit after lunchtime today. We were in a rush to get to class so I bought a piece of pizza and a bottle of lemonade. As I was eating the pizza, I found it lacked much taste. I chalked it up to crappy cafeteria pizza, but when I popped open the lemonade and took a drink, that was also eerily missing something that makes it what it is. By this point, I started wondering why I wasn’t really tasting the lemonade. I seemed to be able to taste a little bit towards the back of my tongue, but since the sweet tastebuds are towards the front of the tongue, I was getting very little, if not no taste of the lemonade. It was sort of like drinking water.

Then to test my suspicion that I wasn’t able to taste, I ate some chocolate and chewed some gum. Neither of them had much taste. Uh oh. Something wasn’t right. And let me tell you, it’s weird to not be able to taste much of anything. I sat there eating at dinnertime and I realized just how weird the texture of certain foods are. When you have the ability to taste, the taste is usually what you focus on with the texture coming in second to the senses. Well, since I was lacking the former, the latter was that much more pronounced. Let me tell you, some of this stuff that I normally love to eat felt absolutely disgusting in my mouth. Case in point: Reeses Pieces. The outside felt like wax and when I bit through that, the inside was sort of a mushy paste (makes sense). Actually, most things today ‘tasted’ like flavorless wax. Needless to say I didn’t eat much at all. I have no idea how to get my tastebuds back in order.

For now though, I think I’ll skip the Listerine and see if my taste comes back after a while. Flossing is definitely worth having the ability to taste things. Permanent loss of taste would probably make me just want to kill myself/drink nutrient shakes for the rest of my life.

Sunday Night Update

Hola people. I once again haven’t posted in a while. For some reason I’m thinking that it’s going to be hard to post something more than just a line or two each day, if I wanted to keep the daily updates going. So instead of doing that, I’m going to try and set aside some time, a few times a week to update my blog (and overall site now). As expected, school’s getting in the way of my updates. I mean come on school, can’t you lay back a bit so I can post more? Sheesh.

Anywho, I spent most of the weekend doing work. But doing work doesn’t mean sitting in my room with my face buried in papers. No, work here is like socializing. We had a few guys working on our chemistry assignment in the common room here and that was a hell of a lot of laughs. Oh I can’t really say what we were saying, as it would be really quite inappropriate, but let’s just say I laughed more than I actually did work I’d say. We went to the library to do work today, in an effort to escape the distractions in our residences, but as I soon found out, the distractions aren’t the surroundings, it’s the people. But, I say distractions in the best possible way. I mean what could you want more than constant laughing and fun when doing a chemistry assignment? It really made me think back to times at Ryan’s place when Sean, Ryan and I would sit and ‘do our chem assignments’. Of course, those were just good times, with chemistry on the side really. Oh, how I miss those days.

So I finally finished my chem assignment after probably 6-7 hours of ‘working’ on it. I then proceeded to read my physics. Apparantly, the professors no longer baby you through your work. Instead of teaching everything in class and telling you every possible type of question, we have to do some learning on our own and apply the skills we’ve acquired instead of regurgitating. This is more like how I want education to be. In high school, after doing the same types of questions over and over, I just stopped doing them. After all, they were all basically the same questions with slight twists. Now I actually have to use my brain. I sat here for seriously almost an hour working on one question in chemistry. I did not mind the effort it took or the amount of time because I knew I was actually learning to apply what I had learned instead of just doing the same thing over and over. When I finally got it, I felt like I actually achieved something.

Oh to be certain, not everything is peaches and cream. There are difficulties here. Those mostly stem from the fact that even though it’s just one week into actual classes, life has been extremely hectic. The professors have piled on huge assignments (like my 7 page chemistry assignment) and quite a bit of reading. In addition, co-op applications open up for, well, applications this coming Thursday and I really have to get my resume polished up. Gone are the days when you applied for that dish-washing job for the summer. Nope, these are jobs that are quite skilled so it’s not really enough to put ‘I delivered newspapers’ on your resume and leave it at that. Unfortunately, I’ve never really had much experience writing proper resumes. We’ve learned quite a bit at the co-op seminar already and I can tell my resume is pretty deficient. I’ve definitely got to get working on that.

In other news, my laptop battery is out of commission. I can’t remember if I’ve already talked about this, but whatever. Anyways, basically it won’t charge up past like 45%. That’s kind of a deterrent to my use of it anywhere’s outside of my dorm room. I haven’t actually needed it outside my dorm to be honest, but I’d like the ability to if the need did ever arise in the near future. So I’ve been in contact with the reseller and the manufacturer and I haven’t received any contact back yet. It may be time to actually call them. They can plead ignorance to emails, but if I call them, they can’t avoid me. So I’ll have to do that soon enough. A slight PITA, but I’ll deal with it.

I was actually semi-sick this weekend which was really crappy. Well, like really lightly sick. I just had a sore throat for the past few days, but it’s already getting better. It’s infinitely better today than it was yesterday. I should be fine by tomorrow.

Oh this evening, we went to an actual restaurant, as opposed to eating at the cafeteria at Village 1. We went to a place called the Mongolian Grill. It was actually a restaurant unlike any restaurant I’ve ever been to. Basically you go and get what you want, put it into a bowl, along with sauces/oil and then you stand along this round table thing. In the middle is a large cooking surface and the cooks use what I can only describe as huge chopsticks and they cook your food right in front of you. It was very good actually.

Then a surprise came. We were sitting there finishing up and a birthday line comes up from the employees/chefs carrying a cake thing. Anyways we all clapped and stuff assuming it was for someone’s birthday. Weird thing was, they stopped at our table. Then proceeded to set it down in front of me and sang happy birthday. I was so shocked and confused. I felt like I was on crack or something. I can only imagine what the look on my face was like. Anyways, the rest of our like 15 person group were all singing and clapping. Of course it was Tosh’s idea to do all this… In any case it was funny and surprising as hell, (apparantly it’s not actually by birthday =P) but hey, I got free food. 😉

End of the day, I came back to the dorm and worked more on my assignments. I helped a bunch of people with their work as well. I think I’ve developed some sort of reputation here already. I think I’m gonna let a lot of people down when they realize I’m just another student here trying to keep up.

First Thoughts

Well this is now my second full day at my new home in Niagara Falls. First off I’d like to say, DAMN WHY IS IT SO HOT?!!?!?! I came from Charlottetown that day from rainy, crappy 18C or 19C to a hazy, sunny 33C with a humidex of 43C. So to say the least, it was blisttering. And even now, it’s still balzing warm outside. It hasn’t let off one bit. If anything, it’s probably gotten hotter. I thought I enjoyed the heat, but this kind of it is making think twice before I say something like that again.

I actually just went out for a walk around the neighborhood. I wanted to see where I’m living and the surrounding area. It was the first time (I’m kind of shamed to say) that I’ve been outside here for more than 10 minutes in one go. I think I almost passed out. I think I could feel my flesh actually cooking. I must have got an instasunburn or something. Anyways, I discovered there’s a school inthe very near vicinity as well as two parks. Our subdivision is even called ‘[insert random pretentious name here] Estates’. Makes it sound all high class or something.

I also (obviously) got a good look around the new house and it is pretty nice. I like my little area of the house because I get two bedrooms (one is a study with a bed really) and the little balcony thingy. There’s an interconnecting bathroom between the two bedrooms which has become mine since the parents have their own bathroom. There’s even a Jacuzzi in their bathroom which I will definitely have to test out sometime. All that’s missing here now is a pool in the backyard. There’s no grass yet since it’s too hot/dry to put the sodding down. There’s also no driveway since there’s some bylaw here that you can’t put down a driveway in the first year. Apparantly the ground requires time to settle or something like that. They don’t want people repaving their driveway after a year. Bad for the environment and all you know?

The house still isn’t completely finished yet. There’s some quirks to be ironed out around the house and there’s a crapload of boxes in the basement. I have yet to find some things I’ve been looking for. I’m sure they’ll pop up soon enough and I’m being pretty lazy so it’ll most likely be later rather than sooner that I actually stumble upon them. There’s no rush really. I don’t really have anything to do and I can’t really go walk about too much either. I don’t know the area and I don’t feel like getting lost just yet. I’ll have to go visit the falls soon. It just seems like the stereotypical thing to do around here. To be honest though, I haven’t done many of the things to actually get a good view of the Falls like going on that boat and walking in the caves behind the Falls. It will definitely be something I’ll have to do. I’ve got plenty of time I guess.

There was an intense thinderstorm last night, way worse than anything I’ve ever seen on the Island. It was super bright and as I was there sleeping, it was like my room’s lights were on and brighter. The noise was deafening. And unlike the lightning you usually see on the Island, the type where you don’t see individual bolts only the sky light up, I could actually see lightning bolts reach for the ground. Scary at points. I finally got a firsthand experience of real ‘instantenous lightning-thunder combo’. Must’ve been very close by at some points!

So far, things definitely looking pretty up. The air conditioning is a godsend. I couldn’t imagine living here without it. Even upstairs (since heat rises) is pretty wam still with the AC on. It’s not bad though; I can live with it.

Now, unfortunately, it would seem like my computer stuff isn’t going to well. One of the power connectors on my video card broke. That’s right. It broke clean off. Well I can see why. The box I put it in was kind of too small for it and I had burnt a nearby pin previously as well. All in the name of computer enthusiasts I guess. In any case, it was partly my stupidity (small box) and partly the fact that you shouldn’t ship fragile stuff like that without special shipping methods. Ah well. Can’t do anything about that now. So I pull the crappy old video card out of the Dell box that’s sitting unused in the basement and I plugged that in. Fortunately for me, that doesn’t work either. Everytime anything graphical opens up (such as Windows) the card takes a fit and the computer screen signal dies. How lucky huh? *sigh* So it looks like I’ll need to pick up a new video card. This time, it’s good that I’m living very close to Toronto where there is a large number of oomputer stores. I’ve got one picked out and it’ll just be a matter of going there and picking it up.

So here I am sitting in the living room area watching Galidator, typing on my laptop. What a life eh? I should be interesting as I didn’t bother applying for any jobs this summer. I figure I’ll be working enough with the next 5 years completely filled by my co-op without summers. I think it’s only fair I get this one off to be lazy.

I miss the Island and the people already. It shall be difficult being here knowing no one really. Excuse the typing errors; Gladiator is siphoning most of my attention and I’m no good at multitasking.