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Rum & Coke / Report Card II Express
Other Frosh Weeks: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
I have an insane number of things to compose, and I might at well get started with my poor, neglected willmatheson.com. Special things will be on the way in the coming months (ie: lots of short stories from my writing class). You might also have noticed that we've moved back to Crosswinds again; this happened because I was tired of paying more and getting less.
Frosh Week. If you're eligible, I highly recommend becoming a Frosh Leader. There are few volunteer efforts out there that are so much fun. And if you can become a Saint Mary's Frosh Leader - well!
A word about that. I am told that at Dalhousie (our 'next-door-neighbour' university) the Frosh Week program is split up between residence and non-residence students. And if that's not enough, you have to be a third-year student just to be eligible to be a Frosh Leader, and then they actually select which applicants are going to get to participate. Bleagh! One of the biggest reasons that I attend Saint Mary's over Dalhousie is the community feeling that is bestowed upon residence and non-residence students alike. And I don't even want to talk about Mount Saint Vincent - unless the only part of university life you enjoy is the academic side, I'd suggest staying well clear of there.
Frosh Leader Camp
The docks at Camp Lone Cloud. I'm the guy in the back with his elbow in the air. Click for a 600% enlargement. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Porier.
For me, the three-day Frosh Leader camp at Camp Lone Cloud was a very enlightening experience. I'm not quite sure exactly how I changed, but I did.
I came back from a swim a little while ago. I went in by myself because I hadn't been in earlier with everyone else when it was still warm, and I was mad at myself for not making the time between sessions.
Oh, I'm so relaxed, yet energized. I want to meet more people and have more fun. Yeah, that swim was just what I needed.
It's still bright enough to write here on the dock now, and the lights have come on over the expressway over on the other side of this channel.
Camp Lone Cloud is situated on a tiny island on Miller Lake, reachable by a very slow moving 'skimmer.' It is operated by Scouts Canada and used as a camp for their Cub Scout program, in addition to its usage by rental groups. If you were there, you'd see why it's only used for young Cubs and not the older Scouts - it's a pretty tame place. It's also more dirty than rustic - as you'd see if you were cleaning up in the sink room after one of the meals. Eww. Soap? Towels? Why does this water smell funny? (My guess: it's lake water)
The island itself can be circumnavigated by foot inside of five minutes - making it much too small to get lost on (darn!). Even then, repeated exploring is wasted because the only wildlife on the island are squirrels; there aren't even any birds. When you do need to get around, you'll find that the fastest route between two points involves the big clearing in the center of the island. It's almost like navigating a ship across the ocean - you take a Great Circle Route, not just a straight line on the map.
The cabins are all pretty much the same, except for the last two and some place called "Twin Ends." The second to last cabin doesn't even deserve to be called a cabin - it's a shallow but wide shed with a tarp over the front of it. The last cabin was probably put together by the Cub Scouts themselves as a Special Project, but then again, it didn't collapse or anything... and "Twin Ends," two joined cabins on the shore in an isolated part of the island, probably used for the junior councilors. Not finding a 'bed' (that's a very generous word - next year I'm bringing an air mattress!), I was actually prepared to stay alone in Twin Ends. I am very thankful that I did not do this; that a fellow named Matt came down and said there was no way he was going to let me stay there by myself. I ended up sleeping on a picnic table that would collapse on itself if I leaned too far over to one side of it. The beds weren't any more comfortable, trust me or trust the testimonials.
I have to say that the meals were pretty good. Of course, we brought our own cook with us.
Comparisons will inevitably be drawn between a camp like this and many
religious camps. This was better, unless you like to be in an environment
where the dogma pours down like the rain. Even better, though - we could
cuss and swear all we wanted! =) Nobody went to extremes, though. Life
was good. Here's a chart:
|Christian Camps||Frosh Leader Camp|
|Time of structure and direction||Most of the time.||A healthy amount, no more.|
|Free time||Almost none.||Substantial.|
|Dogma Annoyance Rating||High to Extreme.||Low, but it's not Christian dogma - it's 'communication skills.' Fortunately, we spent more time on the cheers.|
|Congeniality||People are either nice, or they pretend to be nice - their 'Christian duty.'||If people are nice to you, it's because you're not being annoying. Keep up the good work.|
|People who try to get you included||Yes.||Yes.|
|Invitations / notifications of / to drinking parties / pub crawls||Probably not.||Yes.|
This is beautiful, just beautiful. I am so at peace that I am at a loss for words. I am also too tired and lazy to go on much longer. How am I ever going to write a book?
We talked about some "what not to do" rules today. I found them hilarious, especially the 'DFF' rule.
I found the 'Don't Fuck Frosh' rule amusing upon explanation because it's funny for me to think that the possibility was even there. It's actually beyond any of my wildest dreams, expectations, or aspirations; but I can see why that could be a messy issue, so I'll not ask anyone out 'till the end of the week. =) I don't think I'll even ask anyone out after, though. I mean, would I have met anyone anyway?
[As it turns out, my fellow Frosh Leaders ended up making far more interesting friends and acquaintances than any of the actual Frosh. The females are nicer, better-looking, and more mature in the former group anyway. It should also be noted that I'm not nearly as base right now as the last paragraph would seem to imply. Hey, I was tired!]
[The journal entry goes on a few more lazy ramblings, none worth repeating here.]
I guess that's enough about Frosh Camp.
Went on a pub crawl through to J.J. Rossy's. There was free Keith's for us, and no cover charge for us to get in. (Later on in the week we were all given V.I.P. cards that let us skip the cover charge for the rest of this year.) It was fun enough.
Upstairs at The Argyle, I had the distinction of being the only person anybody had ever heard of that chased beer with water.
Put together Frosh Packs - my scientific-mind-in-training and hands and arms were enough to keep my part of the brochure line going.
That night, we all went to a party held by "Kaz" (Andrew Kazmel) and "Friday" (a fellow named Elsworth). I walked in before the place got packed, in time to see some of the guys there watching some porn.
What I found amusing about the porn was it's abysmally low film making quality. The dialogue was laughable. Some women had breasts that were way too big to be natural. And to top it off, parts of the tape were interrupted by stuff just taped off the tv. I theorized that some fanboy's mom came into the bedroom, so the person watching hit the 'record' button to cover their tracks. Either that, or they leave the tape cued mid-way, on something they purposely recorded over the porn. Adult movies really need to go DVD.
Andrew and Elsworth set up their own bar service (we paid $10 when we signed up to come to the party), and they were amazing all evening. You name it, they had it. Poor Kaz got the palms of his hands wrecked from opening so many beer bottles - he noticed that Friday was using a bottle opener instead at the end of the night.
They were pretty quick to shoo people out when they ran out of liquor, I must say. But perhaps they had things to do in the morning.
Sunday was wonderful in that I got lots of dancing and reading done. It was Dry Pub night - an attempt to recreate the usual Thursday night atmosphere at the Gorsebrook but without the booze. Some legal-age frosh were kind of disappointed with the event.
Last year, when I was a Frosh, they had the Cafeteria open as well so they didn't have to have a lineup of people at the door waiting to get in. Unfortunately, only a dozen or so people were in the Cafeteria at any given time, so this year they decided to just have the pub open. So there we were outside going through the whole chanting and screaming routine.
I got in to dance here and there, but I spend a good portion of the time in the computer labs of McNally East, reading Paul Lutus' book "Confessions of a Long-Distance Sailor." You need to read this book. During the week, it served me quite well when I was bored with the event at hand.
The stands at Huskies Stadium. I'm the tallest guy leaning upright with his hands on his knees in the first group of frosh leaders sitting lower against the wall from the left. Click for a 700% enlargement. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Porier.
Monday was a loooong day. It included TURFBURN, generally regarded as the centerpiece event of Frosh Week. A lot of people were looking forward to it, even me.
My opinion, though, is that TURFBURN goes on for much too long. It started out pretty energetic, but under the hot sun it soon became tiresome. I was also disappointed in that I didn't connect with my frosh group at all. After about two and a half hours of it (the small groups had broken up by then), I just lay down on the turf in the shade of the 20-plus storey Loyola tower.
In the eyes of others, last year's TURFBURN was a shining moment for me. Everyone laughed at absolutely everything I said. Shuba De (Student's Council President of CPA when I was in Grade 10) will even regale me about the time with absolutely no prompting from myself. Actually, he's one of the funniest people to talk to out of all of the frosh leaders. Anyway, back then I guess I was more 'in tune' with things. This year I tried to be myself again, but it didn't really work, as evidenced by my 'on-the-fly' impromptu chant:
say party hard at S-M-U
say party hard at S-M-U
P is for PARTY
A is for ALL-NIGHT
R is for RIGHT NOW
T is for TURN IT UP
Y is for Y'ALL COME BACK now
say party hard at S-M-U
say party hard at S-M-U
(me, after everything quiets down)
say study hard at S-M-U
S is for STUDY
T is for TIME SPENT
U is for YOU WORK
D is for DILIGENCE
Y is for... uh...
(aghast stares, not nearly enough laughs)
So my brand of comedy wasn't as big a hit this year. Oh well.
Another chant, this from the 'Talentless Show' at Frosh Leader Camp:
Your daddy's got bitch tits! (Your daddy's got bitch tits!)
Must'a went to DAL... (Must'a went to DAL...)
Your dog's got three legs! (Your dog's got three legs!)
Must'a went to DAL... (Must'a went to DAL...)
Your cat is stupid-blind! (Your cat is stupid-blind!)
Must'a went to DAL... (Must'a went to DAL...)
Your cousin is your brother! (Your cousin is your brother!)
Must'a went to DAL... (Must'a went to DAL...)
Your grandma's wicked hot! (Your grandma's wicked hot!)
Must'a went to SMU... (Must'a went to SMU...)
And if you were special... (If you were special...)
You would too (You would too)
The funniest thing, however, is the 'Puddin' Shuffle,' although it doesn't have a whole lot to do with Saint Mary's itself. Here's a concise version of the story behind it:
This happened last year. Our future cook from Frosh Camp, a married man, was chatting up some women about his culinary delights. At one point, Puddin' said something about how the guy's wife was really surprised or impressed by such-and-such, and that kind of irritated our cook. To get back at Puddin', he told the girls how Puddin' was going to be doing the 'Puddin' Shuffle' live the next morning on ASN's Breakfast Television. This was news to Puddin'.
In desperation, Puddin' sought out the help of Kaz, a professional boy-band dancer. Kaz tried to teach him various steps, but, as Puddin' will say himself, he is 'the whitest white boy,' and he had problems learning any kind of complex moves. So then Kaz just taught him N'Sync's "Bye Bye Bye" dance, and six hours later Puddin' was all set to go!
The next morning, live all throughout the Atlantic Provinces, Puddin' and the Frosh preformed the Puddin' Shuffle, beginning with, "Number one! Don't sue Puddin'!" Now somewhere in the middle he went left and everyone else went right, or perhaps the other way around, I'm not sure. I don't think a lot of people noticed, though. Now the Puddin' Shuffle comes naturally to him. It's a scream to see it preformed live.
There's another cheer that deserves special mention; it's called 'Boogaloo.' In the interest of good taste, however, I won't reprint it here. But it is funny.
After TURFBURN, most of us Frosh Leaders went to an English pub downtown called Maxwell's Plum. I sat with Matt Langille (star of The Artifact), Ben Francis, and Adam Maher (star of Death's Apprentice).
The big drawing point about Maxwell's is their 77¢ hamburger and fries plates that you're eligible to order once ordering a beverage. (Aside from that, you're allowed to toss beer nuts all over the place.) Of course, I knew nothing about this and ended up ordering their club sandwich instead. On top of that, our order was the last to come in. I think now it was because I stupidly ordered the club sandwich, and it took longer to make - and now I know that most restaurants try to bring out all the food for a table at once. (I'm glad I don't work at a restaurant anymore - too much crap to remember.) Of course at the time I thought it might have been because she was mad at me for trying to set up the nearby big screen tv to get more than channels two through thirteen. Due to time constraints of "What are you doing?" and "How do you know all this?" and finally, "You can't touch that tv. What channel do you want?" I was unsuccessful. I was utterly mortified. But what did she think I was going to do, blow the set up by pushing the wrong button?
We survived the experience, and once back on campus I read some more of "Confessions of a Long-Distance Sailor." I was really tearing through that book. Soon it came time for our hired X-rated hypnotist, Saleesh, to perform in the Tower Gymnasium. The man was amazing. The people were amazing. It's kind of a shame that his performance was slightly toned-down. I had no idea this sort of thing would be so funny, so I'm definitely going to see Tony Lee if they can book him for the Gorsebrook again this year.
Casino Night (complete with funny money) came along. I took the opportunity to read some more, and I came back just in time for the related auction. The auction was kind of dumb - I did decide to offer myself as a date/slave, but the people who 'won' me had to leave. Ergh.
Events continued outdoors. Some of us were getting tired, though, so we pulled some couches and chairs together and had a great little chat and sleep. It was incredibly comfortable, and in the words of my buddy Chris Small, "This is like the Hotel Ritz compared to (Camp Lone Cloud)!"
BT wasn't a ton of fun for me - I ended up sleeping through the last half of it. At least I was grown up enough not to whine and complain like I did last year as a frosh.
The problem with doing Breakfast Television is that everything is done live, which means we only do stuff when the folks at the (warmer) studio have time for us. My poor mother said she was watching for me - probably in vain after the first ninety minutes. Anyway, I never did much like the idea of adjusting our lives and actions to fit their tv schedule. Instead of complaining, I went in to sleep.
Dragging oneself home after being on campus the whole night isn't very much fun, except perhaps for the night before the last day of classes last year - that was insane! I had like four big assignments to finish up all at once, but I look back upon it with fondness because it's a great reminder that I am truly alive and truly capable. This time was far better than last year, though, because I had had a little smidgen of sleep and I wasn't carrying my goddamn frosh pack the whole time. I hated that cursed thing, and I had no place to put it because I picked it up the previous morning and they weren't selling lockers yet. Wow, I'm glad I'm here and not there.
That night there was a rap concert featuring Choclair, Thrust, and Baby Blue Sound Crew. They did mostly covers. I found myself longing for a real rock band, but I was informed that hip-hop and dance have killed rock and roll. It makes you want to cry, doesn't it? I talked to lots of interesting people, and read some more.
Classes, yay! Actually, yeah, yay!
The evening's harbour cruise wasn't terribly pleasant for me because I was ill and rather cold. Some women talked to me, though.
The Pier 22 party was a bit of a sleeper. We had a good rock cover band there, but the crowd just didn't come down. I spent entirely too long there waiting for some people who said they were going to get me to drive them home to approach me about leaving. When the party was over, they were gone, and I was disappointed to miss out on all that sleep.
Comedy Night was insane. A lot of Frosh Leaders decided to go to the Gorsebrook instead, but I think the few of us who went to the 'low-key' event were rewarded well. It was the launch of a new Mattel board game called "Hilarium," plus we got to see the Improvateers in action. With the free soda and snacks, most people had a great time.
The Video Dance was fun! I talked to all kinds of people, and got tons of reading done! We even got some free glow sticks!
It's a shame that there's really only one campus-wide video dance the whole year. For one thing, there's liquor available. As someone said, "it's like a high school dance without all the crap."
The funniest part in my mind was when this Frosh Leader walked by with a female Frosh on each arm. The Leader next to me shouted something like, "Oh yeah! It's after 12, you're okay!"
"Do you think he really was going to..," I started.
"Well, he's not now!"
I think that if a woman I was with was put off by such an innocuous joke - well, then I don't want her anyway.
Okay, here we go. I've been dreading this.
The second big party was at Spaz's place. And there was a crowd there. There were people I knew from all over the place. Devon Day and Jill Matthews showed up, for instance. Interesting people from all over.
Now what happened here is that later on into the night, I had a bit of a breakdown. It started when this guy kept asking me if I had ever had a "log of poo." I kept on telling him things like, "No, I haven't." "I didn't know shit-eating (ick!) was so popular, but no."
And then of course Robbie Truman and Jason showed up, but I handled them well enough. They kept trying to hook me up with women as a way of seeing how I'd react. It was a sick joke. I didn't want these two yahoos speaking on my behalf! They'd drag a woman up in front of me and say something about how I was speaking of her; I shook my head wildly and frantically 'no!'
The "log of poo" guy just wouldn't leave me alone. I didn't know what to say to him. It occurred to me eventually that he might have been referring to a type of drink, so I asked him about that. He didn't really change his line of questioning right away. "You mean to tell me you've never had a log of poo?"
Soon, people were around me in a swarm. The guy. Robbie. Other guys. Even a few women. I could feel my coherence dropping as I responded faster and faster and faster. "And the worst part of it is," I'd say to them, "I haven't had a drop of anything!"
At one point, Robbie put a woman up to confronting me thus:
"I want your cock!"
"That's... nice... if you mean that, but I don't think..."
So there I was collapsing against a tree while this woman was saying the most blatant and overt things I've ever heard said to me. She must have been drunk. I know I wasn't much to look at at the moment.
I moved back inside, because I knew that if I stayed outside in that environment for much longer, I would die. I am not exaggerating in the least.
Inside, I guess the guy finally got the message and I told him that, "No, I've never had a Rum and Coke." We shook hands. That was blessedly civil. Things calmed down a bit.
A lot of people I talked to said that they'd never heard of a Rum & Coke being referred to as a "log of poo," and if it was that obscure he shouldn't have expected me to know it.
Much later in the evening, I was given a possible solution for my jitteriness: "I think you just need to get laid, man."
Ha-ha. So overall, I am looking back upon this party with some fondness. Heck, I even want to see Robbie Truman again at the next one.
Isn't that amazing, though? I couldn't have been that bad because I ran into one of the roommates who goes to Dal at a bus stop last night, and he asked me if I was coming to the next party. It was the first I've heard of it, but I'm definitely going again. There were oodles of interesting people at the first one, and I did try my best not to be annoying.
So here I am on a beautiful thursday morning, finishing this 'article' much sooner than I ever thought possible. I still don't have a girlfriend, but I'm not sure that I want one. I've never been on a date, I've never been kissed... but I hardly even care. Let's hear it for healthy attitude! There are more important things in (my) life.
Report Card II Express
I honestly just don't feel like going through all the rigmarole that I went through to bring you Report Card I. I figure just a quick and informal recap of my grades will do fine.
My current Quality Point Average / Cumulative Quality Point Average:
(down from 3.200)
|AST216.2 - Stars and Galaxies||.5||A-||1.850||Just as fun as The Sky and Planets.|
|CLA202.2 - Greek and Roman Mythology II||.5||A-||1.850||I never thought I'd do so well in a Classics course.|
|EGL201.2 - English Composition||.5||B||1.500||I kind of stopped caring partway though - it was an 8:30am MWF class, and I started going only once or twice a week.|
|GPY203.2 - Physical Geography: Global Patterns||.5||A||2.000||I could scarce believe it myself. I hated this course, but I guess I just did my assignments and did well on the tests. University is surprisingly easy sometimes.|
|GPY204.2 - Demographics and Culture||.5||C-||0.850||My only sub-par mark of the year. I didn't do the term paper because it required too much work for the value it possessed, plus I just didn't have the time. I also didn't get to completely finish my final exam - it would have been nice if he had answered me when I asked him what time it was, or maybe if he had given us some kind of warning before he called "Time's up!" The man comes off as a bit of a nit sometimes.|
|POL200.0 - An Introduction to Political Science||1.0||B-||2.700*||The professor told me after I handed in my exam that if I were to "apply (my) innovative energy to the course material," I'd get much higher marks. Ah, it's too much bother. The course material is boring!|
My future plans have changed somewhat. I have indeed declared my English Major (putting me a few steps ahead of the moron who now has his own Global TV series, "Undeclared." Wow, that's original!), but I'm having serious second thoughts about going through with a Film Studies Minor. There's just too much crap to go through to register for all of those inter-university courses, and the guy in charge of the program (the Associate Dean of Arts), is a bit remote and unreachable. If someone else becomes the Film Studies department head, I might still consider going into the program. Since that's not likely to happen, and since there's only one or two film courses I'm really interested in (and especially since none offer hands-on production experience!), I'm probably going to graduate without a minor. Instead, I'll just take 4.0 credits of courses at Saint Mary's that I'm interested in, or perhaps take the 5.0 credit Computer Science Minor. Freedom, yeah!
After I graduate, I'm not sure what I'll do. I might go back to my original plan and take the NSCC's (Nova Scotia Community College) computer programming stuff. Better that than a B.Sc. in Computer Science that would take 20 credits (!! - that's an extra year!) as opposed to my B.A. which will only take 15. Maybe I'll teach English overseas in between. Who knows?
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