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Thursday, September 28, 2006

if I only had a brain

I strut past the Ukrainian deli, music in my ears, and up to the subway station.

My feet dance down the stairs, and pull me into the subway car, where I spend the next half an hour, switching once to get to school.

At school I spend hours in a computer lab doing research on why seaweed is good for you. I find myself loving feature writing, learning to find articles, and the magical world of the library. I spend another hour with my head in nutrition books, until it's time to head to another class.

I'm not scholarly. And although I'm not stupid, I'm not brilliant either. I have poor concentration and find it hard to sit down. I find it hard to grasp anything involving terminology, numbers or heavy facts.

When I sit through my Philosophy of Rights and Justice class I feel as if my teacher is speaking German. It should be easy to understand human rights and duties, but it's all muddled in my mind, and the essay due in days seems like a hurdle I can't quite jump.

Part of me enjoys the challenge. I like to feel my brain in knots, working to untangle itself. And part of me wonders why the hell I'm here.

I'm a student. Yes, a student. I may not be wearing a backpack or drinking beer, but most people around me are. I'm a student with chapters and chapters to read, pages and pages to write, and an overwhelmed mind.

Today I stood up infront of my English class, and did a presentation on Sharon Old's poetry. I talked about sex, rape, and the menstrual cycle. I'll give any place credit that lets me talk about such things.

At the end of the day, when I shove myself back into the subway with the rest of Toronto, I feel good about myself. Even if I didn't grasp everything, I went to class, took down notes, listened and made a contribution.

Every day I learn to push my mind a little more. I learn to speak up and use my voice.

That's why I'm here.


Anonymous Nico said...

College can be a tough cookie, but as you are already starting to see, it is another way to discover and develop your personality. (... as if you weren't doing that already over the past year, in that strange faraway place ...)

Hold in there. Looks like you're doing a good job already; you've already seen right through the facade and discovered what it's all about!

6:08 AM  
Blogger eurobrat said...

I am a terrible student- my mother has always expected me [on pain of death] to keep a high average, but I hate the feeling of being institutionalized. Being homeschooled was wonderful.

Incidentally, I'm a seaweed freak too, and just this week discovered the sesame/seaweed salad at the campus Dominion. Yum.


1:20 PM  
Blogger takin chances said...

More power to you, sister! You sound like you are truly getting a lot out of this college experience. Good luck with your studies.

I always love reading your blog.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

ooooooohh RyeHigh. How we love you.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read your blog for a while, and I don't believe I've ever commented, but when I read this article:

in the New York Times about "Paris at Night, I thought of your comment recently about being nostalgic for long hours wandering and daydreaming around the city.


11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops! I think the link ran into the gutter. it ends in

11:48 PM  
Blogger Sky said...

ohhh, i love this post! the sheer honesty of it and the driving desire to grow, to learn are refreshing. you are having such a lovely life - exploring, learning, examining...all the things that bring richness to our lives are happening in yours. *smiling*

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know what you mean. I spent most of grad school reading French pastry cookbooks. And I just found your blog and I love it, and I think you should read Helene Cixous if you have not, you could even read her in the original French, anyway your tone and subjects remind me of Cixous. Yes you will love her I promise.

2:30 PM  

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