Belated Thanksgiving

Recent Cat-sit at
Professor Gwen's
November 29, 2013

My first semester playing Mr. Back-to-School (the Graduate Era) will end in four days. Left to complete in that time are two exams I have to take and two papers I have to write. Unexpectedly, I'm not too troubled by all I have to finish in such a short period.

The first weeks of the semester felt far more intense. There were the new challenges: how exactly was I supposed to compose my weekly papers at any respectably academic level? There were the long-neglected areas of study: "I haven't taken any course in this language in decades... " There was the general need to manufacture a new routine: "What time do I have to wake up to shower, dress, step downstairs and onto my bicycle to roll into class ontime? Which route through the city do I take?"

But everything has turned into métro, boulot, dodo. (Quite literally since snow first fell the day before yesterday and I finally abandoned my cycle commute in favor of a safer and warmer journey into campus via the underground trains.) I've established a comfortable rhythm of attending class, getting homework done and papers written, and an overall better sense of what my professors expect and just how long doing that will take.

I know I won't have 100% perfect marks on my final exams: I've been dinged the odd point on my papers and language assignments. But, I do still hope to maintain an 'A' average by end of term.

Looking beyond this semester, there are more good things just ahead in my life. The last day of class will be Tuesday. That very afternoon I'll take tea with Siliu: she'll be passing through town for the third round of interviews for a potential job here. Seems we've both been lured away from the staid capitale nationale by Montréal's flickering bright lights. We're both hoping that after this third interview she is extended a job offer that would reestablish our proximity as crosstown neighbors.

Then, an hour or so after teatime Professor Gwen will host a belated Thanksgiving dinner to mark the end of semester. I shall contribute homemade cranberry sauce and cornbread and may play a hand in roasting up the bird, as well.

The morning after our belated-Thanksgiving dinner I'll set off on what has become a standard overland route to Chicago and back again. I may or not be able to synchronize schedules to meet up with Megan (who seems to be rolling in employment opportunity.) I will definitely spend the majority of my time in Aunt Kathy's kitchen: preparing Christmas candy and laying down wrapping paper to score and crease around gifts, all of which will be sent out to family back in Seattle.

In related good news, even before all these end of term events I'm looking forward to another signficant shift: I'll be quitting my sketchy apartment. Sunday morning Professor Gwen will help me courier all my things out of lame-landladyland and into temporary storage at her NDG apartment. I'll be away from Montréal over most of December but will have her place to squat while she's spending Christmas with her parents south of the border.

I do have a lot to be thankful for.

Next stop: Hamilton