Friday, September 18, 2015

#Reverb15: School's In

We're all headed back to school this time of year - whether it's in spirit, or watching our kiddos head out the door, or going back ourselves. What's your best/worst first day of school tale? Were you the awkward new kid? Were you the cool girl who stood up to the school bully? Did the mean teacher come around and show you his heart of gold? Tell us your stories of school days!

haha, oh man. school stories? i have so few of those -- my tenure as a student was pretty unremarkable. as an elementary school student, i was the girl who got bullied solidly until grade 8 (in which my older bullies moved on to high school and i ended up making friends for the first time); as a high school student, i was a real tomboy -- one of the fringe weirdos who ate lunch in the library and watched wrestling and ran the anime club, all while wearing her stepfather's beat-up leather biker jacket. so yeah, i was never a popular kid, but by the time i was a teenager i learned to embrace it and ignore those who didn't like it, or me. plus, by then i'd finally met some of my fellow weirdos, and we'd all accepted each other. it's easier to be yourself when you're surrounded by people who like you for who you are. "one against all" is pretty difficult when you're young; it's always better to have someone who's got your back.

i remember clearly how i felt in my final year of high school -- grade 13/oac, from september 2001 to june 2002. i'd already put in applications for my universities of choice, so from there it was just a waiting game to see where i'd end up. but it was that whole sense of things changing that i loved -- the knowledge that finally, i was moving towards my future. no more wasting my time dicking around in high school in my boring hometown. i was going to get out of there and be something, damn it.

similarly, i remember how i felt right in the first week of my third year of university. it was a totally dismal and depressed realization of "oh my god, even after i finish this year, i still have another year after this." a four-year honours b.a. program really starts to feel like a slog, even before you hit the final year and spend the majority of it holed up in your apartment writing essays for two months straight and you go a little bit insane by the end. (not that this happened to me or anything.)

you know what i do remember, though? the first day of my third year of university. why? because of, um, my choice of outfit. at the time, i was going through a hipster androgyny phase (it was 2004, and i was about to turn 21) crossed with a sort of goth punk thing, and so i wore a red dress shirt under a black blazer, a red-and-black schoolgirl kilt, matching legwarmers, converse sneakers, and a black fedora. i might have also thrown in some fishnet gloves, and it's possible i was also wearing a lot of heavy eyeliner and dark red lipstick. yeah, it was something.

anyway, it's weird that i absolutely do remember getting the strangest looks at 1) the university common room, 2) my classes, and 3) the subway, but that's probably a testament to the fact that yes, i looked more bizarre than i did cool.

basically my look at the time.

lastly - and i guess this is a pretty scattered brainspew of a post, but anyway - i take the time to walk around my old campus in september every year, and it really does bring back a lot of random memories. crowding into the cafeteria hall to get a massive breakfast on weekends. crashing into the squishy red couches in the common room. doing the metro crosswords in the few minutes i had before each lecture. enjoying the relatively new sight of toronto at twilight while i went to my evening classes. finally, i felt like i was getting somewhere -- and more importantly, i'd found the city where i belonged.

also i no longer own that fedora.

[ music | great northern, "home" ]