Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Weekend in Toronto

People I know think that I'm pretty laid-back, but I'm actually a huge stress-case. Case and point; my trip to Toronto. I was terrified of wandering around the "big city", finding my friend's apartment, finding York U, finding the prof, finding my way back home. I did a LOT of preparation for my trip. I researched the TTC so that I knew what I was doing. I printed maps of the city, bus routes, subway lines, etc. All this preparation, and I forgot my emailed confirmation of train ticket purchase that I was supposed to print out and bring to the station.

It wasn't a big deal; it's just a confirmation. They had my name and credit card # and stuff there, and I was able to pick up my tickets without a problem. Nonetheless, it's the kind of screwup that makes me infuriated at myself and makes me worry even more about my ability to complete my mission in Toronto.

I got there and found my friend without incident. We went to Sneaky Dee's for dinner and drinks, which was very enjoyable. Sarah and Dave just got a new teeny tiny kitten, who I enjoyed playing with. She kept climbing my legs like a monkey up a tree. Thank god for denim!

The next morning, I embarked on my trip to York 2 hours ahead of my appointment to ensure that I made my meeting on time. I have to say, I am so impressed by Toronto's public transit. That subway is quick! From Downsview station (the northmost stop on the subway) I caught an express bus especially for York students. That was a long busride. That school is really far from Toronto central! I had been told, but dang. That's a hell of a commute to do every day if I don't want to live in North York (and I don't).

Here's where things get really sad. 11:50 - I show up for my meeting ten minutes early, enthusiastic and ready for the interview. I waited... and waited.. and waited. 12:15 - I ask the secretary if they'd seen the prof. Nope. Any way of paging him? No. 12:30 - I'm starting to get upset. I call Sarah and have her go into my hotmail account to confirm time and place. Monday 12 noon, Film and Theatre building. 12:45 - I'm plotting my revenge. Infuriated, I'm planning what I'll say to this asshole when I finally see him... something along the lines of "If you think $160 and ten hours of travel is not a big deal, you were never a grad student" or "If this is a reflection of your institution, York can fuck itself", etc etc.

12:50 - He shows up. Apparently, we'd been having 'communication issues' over email... He got my frist 2 emails introducing myself and making the tentative appointment, but he never got my confirmation (which I KNOW I sent!). He apologized for making me wait, and let me in. At this point, much of my enthusiasm has evaporated. I asked the questions I had planned to ask, but I'm sure I didn't sparkle the way I had originally intended to. Furthermore, I had been really interested in the program at York but the prof told me a few things that are making me reconsider. All in all, it was not a good meeting.

Afterward, I was able to get some shopping done and had a quick meal with Sarah and Dave before getting on the train coming home. I arrived at 9:58 last night and went straight to bed.

Today my itinerary is pretty laoded:
- I have to figure out what's up with my emailing! I'm supposed to have appointments with profs in Montreal later this week, and if something's up with hotmail, I need to fix it!
- Dr's appt at 3:30 pm. What a fucking pain in the ass just to refill a perscription I've been on for almost 10 years.
- Thesis! Argh! I'm running out of steam for this school business. As if these applications aren't punishing enough, my supervisor is putting the screws on me about my thesis. In fact, he said he couldn't write me a good recommendation without a few "letter perfect" chapters under my belt. Wonderful; the applications are due in a month and now I've got some "letter perfect" chapters to produce FIRST.

This situation is killing my ambition and making me wonder if I am simply a sado-masochist seeking stress and pain. Every time I meet with a prof, they suggest that I apply at another school or program. "Cast your net widely," they say. Have they forgotten that each school costs $80 just to apply? Transcripts cost another $10, and each school wants 2! That's $100 per application, plus that time and pain and suffering that goes along with all the work that I send in to them. I mean, FUCK!

I'm going to proceed with applying to 4 schools; York, Carleton, McGill and Concordia. If I get in to one, great. Cool. If not, fine! I'll wrap up my masters thesis and try again next winter. Take a year to work and save money and maybe even get my driver's license. Not the end of the world.

Wow, what a long, cathartic post. I remember when I started this blog and would stare at the blank window wondering what to write.

2 comments:

A. & J. said...

Hey AR. I'm sad to hear that things didn't go as well as planned. I hope that your Montreal meeting this week goes better. We're rooting for you.

I didn't realize that you didn't have a drivers licence. I don't have one either, transit and boyfriends are too accessible. :P

Good luck! and we'll miss you on thursday.

living dead girl said...

Aww thanks J.

It looks like my Mtl trip isn't going as planned either; nobody has gotten back to me from McGill. As such, I may just drive down for the afternoon and be back in time for knitting!

*fingers crossed*