Two Mondays ago, I scrambled to finish my biochemistry midterm so that I could leave town and get to Ottawa at a decent hour. I spent a mostly sleepless night sleeping in an unfinished basement next to an assortment of alcohol bottles, a small shot of rum consumed at approximately two in the morning in the desperate hope that it would finally be the factor that made me dead to the world for at least a couple of hours.
I wrote my MCAT the following morning, in a building directly in front of parliament – if I looked out the window beside my computer screen, an interesting urban landscape of tall buildings and people dressed in suits weaving between vehicles and taxis presented itself. I celebrated the end of months of preparation with dim sum and gelato with my accompanying entourage and best friend, and made the five and a half hour trek back home that afternoon with my mother’s best friend, leaving my parents behind (who had come along to help my paternal grandparents move).
The next morning, I received a text from my best friend telling me not to panic, but when I heard about the shooting she was okay, her own workplace (just outside the “danger” perimeter) was proceeding as usual, and Ottawa U was on lockdown. Moments later, everyone around me was talking about the shooting (much of my family and friends reside in Ottawa); and I, equally as troubled, struggled to focus in lab. The closeness of the whole thing – my family and friends, the thought that had I been scheduled for examination one day later, I likely wouldn’t even have written, and would have been on lockdown like my Outaouais collegiate colleagues – left me with a queer feeling I couldn’t quite shake.
I attended two make-up labs, wrote three lab reports and two further mid-terms. Life has returned to normal. I have a running checklist of course work left to accomplish before the end of a term. I have a review paper to write and some Western blots to complete. I’m thinking that this November might, finally, be the month in which I finish the novel I started writing in the eight grade – it’s been knocking about my brain for far too long. I’ve been going to the gym again – it helps me sleep the night through. I have somewhat less focus than I should have in class. I feel this urge to write, play piano, travel, create – but then, that’s nothing new.
It’s time to persevere through the new five weeks of school and the two weeks of examination that follow. I’m craving a season of rest, but I’m not entirely sure that I remember how to do that either. I think that many other people in this western society can probably relate to this sentiment.
In other news, I dressed up as a snow leopard today. I took one look at the glorious snowfall that greeted us this morning and felt that this would be a worthy Halloween costume.