Category Archives: Commuting

Conversations with Strangers

I was on the packed bus from school today when a kindly gentleman asked me a question about a button I pineed onto my schoolbag. (The question, I couldn’t answer; one of my friends gave me that pin for my 18th birthday and I display it as a reminder of her.)

Anyway, he struck up a conversation with me after that and I found out that he’s a professor at the School of Music, so all you music students out there have at least one very nice man as a teacher! And so we talked a little bit about music and I was very delighted to find someone who knows the UK Associated Board system as well as Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music, and I told him that I’m in English lit, and yes I’d like to do a Master’s, and I’m in the Co-op program to help me think about what I’ll do after that. All in all, it was a very nice conversation and I give him full credit for beginning it; I’ve decided that all my first-year friendliness was a face I put on or a phase I went through and that actually I’m as shy of strangers as I was when I was three. (I have a clear memory of hiding behind my mother’s legs when one of my soon-to-be kindergarten teachers bent down to greet me.)

That said, I found myself grinning at another lady who smiled straight back at me after we managed to run and catch another bus; I guess running for a bus and making it creates a common bond of sorts.

Now that finals and papers are upon us all, I am on the ready to attack! Except, of course, for this raging migraine I’ve had all day which has been sending mayday calls for bed, and the fact that I seem to be coming down with something. Dreadful timing to get sick; I mean, what is my body thinking?!

Commuting Life

Today marks the third official day of my new commuting life, and I am pretty tired. I am also in an almost-permanent state of hunger but this is due less to commuting and more to my currently undesirable cooking. Rest assured, I’ve been told that through sheer practice I will improve by next term.

In the meantime, I just eat a lot of fruit. At least that’s good for my health.

I see why people often say it can really suck to live off-campus in your first year. I already know people from last year so finding someone to eat lunch with me is simply a matter of calling them. Quite different to not knowing anyone at all.

Which is why everyone should think carefully about what kinds of activities they want to get involved in and then join at least one of those, and then maybe another club you’d never thought of, just for the heck of it. Clubs Day should be coming up pretty soon, and while I have learned my lesson from last year (do not pay to join 9 clubs because you will not go to all, if any, of them), I’m still excited at the prospect of doing something new. I’m also interested in checking out some things at the REC Centre next week, which happens to be their Shopping Week simply bursting with free classes.

In the meantime, though, turn around to the person sitting next to you and introduce yourself. I’ve found more than one lunch companion that way, and at least one really amazing friend who goes beyond just lunch. But it’s a great start. (And really not so scary after you do it a billion times. Trust the introvert.)

And if you’re lucky enough to live in rez, make the most of it. I miss being able to just walk over to someone’s door and go, “Hi!” and then talk for half an hour.

I did, by the way, get offered Vanier residence over the summer; I was originally waitlisted at 1132, so there is always hope! But I turned it down because I wanted self-catering facilities; while I pigged out at the Vanier caf this lunchtime, I don’t miss it nearly enough to eat there everyday. You see, my rice cooker makes good rice.

That would be #1 on my list of things I like about living off-campus.

#2 would probably be my rule to not study when I go home. I force myself to be on campus from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm everyday and just study. This can absolutely suck after three hours, but it’s a wonderfully liberating feeling to arrive home and not need to do anything school-related anymore. All the time after 5 is time for me to do other things I’m interested in, which didn’t really work out so well when I lived in dorms.

#3. I have salsa and crackers for when I am really hungry. How many people in this world really have ready access to salsa? It helps me to keep things in perspective.

But the thing I like most which I least expected is my bus ride. While I’ve discovered that I need to leave rather early if I want to have a seat (and being the lazy type, I do), the view I get going to UBC is worth it. For one thing, we pass through Pacific Spirit Park. How many people get to see a regional park everyday? But better than this, if I scan carefully on one particular stretch of the road, I can see glimpses of the sea. And this is what I was most loathe to give up — I love being able to see mountains and ocean everyday.

Which is another reason why I like taking a window seat. I never feel quite complete without it.

Yay :) x2

I’ve just received an official email that I’m offered admission into Herstmonceux for May and June. Hurray!

And I received another email with the unofficial announcement that all four AMS referenda questions passed, which means we are going to pay more money to renew the SUB, the bylaws are passed, we’re supporting refugee students and we’re keeping the U-Pass.

Three cheers for us (that is, you).

Summer School Registration!

Remember to register for your summer school courses (if you’re planning to do them)! Many are already full. I’m not sure if there is a way of getting into these courses anyway — are there add/drop forms? Do people drop out for summer term? I’m not sure since you’d think people would have to plan their summer a bit, but I always have hope for the fickleness of university students…

Fortunately for me, the course I do want to be in had some openings left, but if it hadn’t been for one particularly thoughtful friend who reminded me, I wouldn’t have remembered. My turtleness is getting the better of me. Most likely, it would’ve been full by the time I remembered — so thank you, thoughtful friend!

And everyone, remember to vote yes for the U-Pass on the SSC, WebVote link. Voting yes hurts no one as you can opt out and it makes a lot of commuting students happy!

P.S. To my voice: Please do not leave me like you are threatening to do. I love you quite a lot, really.

No more U-Pass?!

Everyone, even non-commuters like me, must know what it’s like to just flash our not-very-flashy U-Pass cards when we get on a bus.

Angeli has just sent me into a panic by saying that if fewer than 4505 students vote to increase our fees by a minimal charge of $1.75, the U-Pass will stop completely. Um. No. Bad plan. Not only I, but about a billion other students, need to commute next year. Even non-commuters want to get off-campus every now and then.

Now I am frantically trying to work out where and how to be one of those 4505 students who vote. 4506, just to be on the safe side. And for the sake of your fellow students, you should vote as well, if only out of pure compassion.

Or consider this: without the U-Pass, a single day’s ticket of $2.25 will be more than this incremental charge. $190 a year is easily covered by 84 trips. If you actually think about how useful and quick it is to have the U-Pass, it’s just nicer to have one than none at all.

P.S. For those of you who are staying in rez and don’t go out often enough to need a U-Pass, may I just point out that it’s possible to opt out. So, even if it’s cheaper to opt out, vote for the possibility of having one anyway! It’s better than having no choice at all, and every student wins.