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Towards summer's end

Campus is tranquil, the way it has been all summer. The walkways are more prone to feature groups of middle-school summer program students, ESL groups, or companies filming movies than hordes of students. The libraries are spacious; lines are minimal for checking out library books. There's no line at all for using the computers in the main library.

I like having the campus to myself. Events, such as guest lectures and players, are fewer and further between, but the calm and spaciousness of the place makes up for that.

Students are starting to move back to town. New students have just moved here, or will shortly. There's one more week of tranquility before madness hits.

On Labour Day weekend, the festivals, fairs, and silence of summer will be broken by three days of low-flying airplanes buzzing the city with their aerial feats of prowess, swooping solo, in nines or threes, with blue and red smoke in hearts and circles. And after the annual airshow, the madness of orientation week.

Campus will be a zoo of hour-long lines. Throngs of hundreds of new undergraduate students dressed in identical t-shirts will parade around chanting inexplicable tag lines as they are indoctrinated into their new college, club, or engineering - they're the ones in hard hats. St. George shuts down for the student activity fair. Commercial freebies are everywhere. The line to get into the bookstore - let alone pay once within - stretches around the building. No more quickly stopping by the bookstore for a snack or pen - not for several weeks into September when the lines and the bag-checking have died down.

Everyone is lost. Everyone asks for directions, unless they are part of a flock of hundreds blocking off traffic in the heart of campus. It's a strange time, graduate student orientation a faint, sedate shadow inamongst the throng of undergraduate orientation.

It'll be good to meet all the new incoming students. There will be all sorts of wonderful new people to get to know.

But for now, I appreciate the tranquility.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
pockawida
Aug. 29th, 2004 01:03 pm (UTC)
companies filming movies

That raises fond memories of my sister's wedding rehearsal in Knox College Chapel (bride and groom attended Trin. but Dad's dad is a Presbyterian minister ... but that's another story). "Can you please be quiet? Can you please stop moving so your shadows won't be on the film?" Cripes.

You're conjuring vividly for me a place I've often visited, or an amalgam of places--even though it's a place I resisted attending myself at both the grad and undergrad levels. We, sadly, have been back for a week: I've never understood this whole start before Labour day thing ...
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