friendship

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I didn’t write this post.

What is friendship to you? To me it’s warm summer nights, a stuffed fat cow, and friend who is weirdly obsessed with it. And sings to it. Allison is a special one. But it’s in these moments that I realize, even though I don’t understand this strange love for this stuffed cow, I still remain her friend. Now this mis amigos, is true friendship.

I read an inspirational quote on Pinterest that said, “friends are the family you choose.” And while it’s incredibly cheesy, I love my friends like they’re my family. Even when we’re tired of each other’s very presence, at the end of the day, they’re the family I chose. And today was a reminder for me that they’re the family I’m going to keep choosing for as long as they’ll have me. Cheesy, but true. Sorry ’bout it.

POOP

POOP NUGS

TOILETS

SORRY
Minor distraction.
So ya. Friendship is is pretty cool. it’s the crazy moments that are one second stupidly stupid and the next super real. All in all I love my friends a stupid amount ( I know I used the word stupid a lot but I’m over it)
Here’s to friendship.

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Broski

 broski

 

I’m the younger sibling so I don’t know if I’m allowed to get all sentimentally reminiscent, but whatever. I’ve always been taller, so I can technically call myself the “big sister.”

This past Monday my big bro Willson (I know, my parents came up with the coolest names) graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a bachelors in… philosophy? With psych and sociology, I think? I don’t even know; he owns the complete works of Plato. Regardless, he graduated and that’s super dope. I feel like people forget how much of an accomplishment it is to complete university.

My brother is only seventeen months older than me (that’s just less than a year and a half, if you don’t want to do the math), which is a blissful age difference. We were two grades apart in school so we could do our own thing, but we could also play together as kids and relate to one another as adults. And we actually get along very well, and kind of always have. We fought as youngins over dumb things like TV and the computer and games of “I touched you last”. We both got some good beats in when things got aggressive. We tattled on each other and subsequently denied everything. But our fights were never serious, and now I couldn’t tell you when was the last time we argued. It was wonderful growing up with someone so close in age because he was a built in friend who was there all the time to do cool stuff with, and while my brother and I have never been “besties”, he’s a super chill kid and I’m glad he’s around. Nowadays we don’t really have heart to hearts or talk about relationships and life struggles because that’s not the kind of family we are, but we have some solid chats fairly often and go for ice capp runs. My brother and I just kind of get each other.

Since he’s older, growing up I kind of always aspired to be like my brother. If he climbed the barrier wall to walk along it instead of the path, I did too. Could I climb up there as easily as he could? Heck no. But I did it. I played with trucks and lego and video games. I watched Pokemon and Digimon and Naruto. And in exchange he played the occasional game of Barbies. (Sorry, guys, I’m not trying to promote gender conformity, but I grew up in the 90s when there was a lot less protesting of “pink for girls and blue for boys”.) Even though I was taller, I looked up to my brother because he was older and cooler and I wanted to do everything he did. And now I still do. My brother is so smart and talented, and I am so proud of him for finishing university. BECAUSE THAT’S A BIG FLIPPIN DEAL, YO. I don’t have many doubts that I won’t graduate in two years, but I still aim to do it just like him. Just like I climbed those walls and rode those roller coasters and did a lot of scary things to prove I could do it too.

So now my brother is at home, but being far from lazy. He has a full time salary job as a web developer for a marketing company in town. LIKE ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Kid’s a genius, I swear. Every time I walk past him on his laptop, he’s typing out lines of code in some computer language I don’t understand. He’s made websites that do such cool things, just for fun. But I doubt he’ll be here for long; I swear in the next couple year he’ll be off in California or Washington working for Amazon or something. And I will be so flippin proud of him when he’s there. Especially if he pays for my visiting plane ticket.

Keep on keeping it real, Broski.

Vote

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Politically passionate Marryl on the loose.

Alright, I’m not THAT strong of a political activist. But I do get invested in politics, particularly around election time, because it provides some hot provincial gossip and more sass than I thought possible. I also think it’s rather important to be politically informed because a) you live here so you should probably, like, I don’t know, care about the people in charge, and b) politics is a field of conversation that can easily leave you with egg on your face after one poorly educated comment. Plus having democracy is pretty rad.

I don’t like to tell people what to do so I apologize, but right now I’m telling you to vote in tomorrow’s Ontario provincial election. Just do it. Take the insignificantly small amount of time out of your day to scribble on a piece of paper and drop it in a box. You could scribble in kindergarten, and you sure as heck can scribble now.

I say this because while true democracy can sometimes feel more corrupt than true, we are hella lucky to live in a country that awards us the right to play a part in the decision of who runs the government. You could scroll through pages upon pages of Google News articles about countries living with an unethical government in which they have no say. Or in which women have no say (come on, countries, it’s 2014, get over your patriarchal selves). I don’t know about you, but having little to no say in the people who tell you what to do is just dumb. So understand, appreciate, and exercise your right to be democratically active. Don’t take it for granted.

And in so doing, please make the decision of who to vote for on your own. Vote for someone because you decided yourself that they are who you want to vote for. Don’t vote for who your parents are voting for. Don’t vote who your friends are voting for. Don’t vote for who you think others expect you to vote for. And please don’t eenie-meenie-miney-moe your vote. Become educated in the platforms of each political leader and decide for yourself what is most important to you. Read each party’s and leader’s website, and check this pretty snazzy platform comparer from the CBC (CBC is pretty legit so I would say it’s trustworthy). And please don’t base your opinions entirely off attack ads. Some political slander has truth behind it, but a lot of it is skewed with rhetoric and presents facts inaccurately. Nobody likes mudslinging.

(Side note: I feel like all of those “who”s should be “whom”s but I’m not hundo p sure and I want to avoid sounding super arrogant so I’m leaving them be. Sorry grammar police.)

Or you could decline your ballot, which seems to be a growing topic of discussion on social media. If you’re feeling unhappy about the state of political affairs and would rather not pick any of those crazy yahoos running for government and would like to make a statement about your displeasure, apparently if you hand your ballot back, unmarked, it’ll be counted as a declines ballot. I really don’t know much about that and I personally think I’m too young and new to voting to be able to understand the ramifications of declining a ballot. Again, I don’t want to tell you what to do, but a very smart professor of mine recently posted on Facebook that declining your ballot actually means supporting the worse alternative by not giving a party your vote, and that one party must be closer to your viewpoint than another. I really agree with this. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we don’t live in a dictatorship. The leader of the party who wins isn’t going to control every single move you make. So if you have more faith in one leader over another, I suggest you choose them, or else you’re supporting the leader who you dislike more. Obviously I think you should do what you want, but please make an informed choice, especially when it comes to declining a ballot. Don’t let slews of articles and ignorantly passionate Facebook comments sway you towards a choice you may not understand.

Woah, things got for serious this week on marecredi.

That’s all my political ranting for now. Just a friendly reminder that I am not a political scientist and this blog is totally just my opinion. I’m 21. I don’t know everything. I hardly know anything. But I think voting is interesting and it would be pretty cool if you also thought so.

Vote.

No but seriously.

Like actually.

Pls.

Don off duty

Alright, it’s been a little over a month since my year a a Residence Don came to an end, and my stipend cheque just came in the mail, so I’m in the clear. I think it’s about time I talk about my experience as a don. Because an experience it sure was.

I’m glad I waited so long to write this post because the last few days as a don were full of a lot of, for lack of a better term though this is totally the best term, bitch work. So I imagine an earlier post would be a little too ranty and totally cramp my style. So now that I’ve had time to chill, I am not just going to go off on an 800 word complaint fest (sorry if that’s a disappointment). First of all, that is because the negatives of my year as a don are definitely the minority that sometimes feel like the majority. It was a fabulous job and I want to give credit where credit it due. On top of that, I’m still kind of definitely employed by Student Housing and Residence Life next year so I’d like to save face, because this is a very public blog.

I’ll get the somewhat bad stuff out of the way first, partly to please all of those who are probably only reading this for the scandal.

(There wasn’t much scandal. Okay maybe there totally was. But not like, a lot.)

This job preps you to deal with some pretty crazy shit. Like, I’m talking crazy crazy (though I shouldn’t be using the word ‘crazy’ because it isn’t inclusive language). I was trained to handle conflict, abuse, mental health, injuries, diversity, alcohol, and suicide to name a few fields. During training I thought, hey, look at all these sweet transferable skills I am developing, but will I ACTUALLY use them this year? Residence can’t be that bad, right?

Wrong.

Well, bad maybe isn’t the right word. Unpredictable. I was woken up a few times in the middle of the night (while NOT on duty, might I add), I helped out a number of people who had enjoyed their alcohol quite liberally, and I even handled more than one situation of a student contemplating suicide. You could be trained for these kinds of situations over and over and over and never truly be ready for them when it’s real life. You feel this sense of authority that makes you think you know everything about everything, until it’s three in the morning and you have no idea what you’re doing and you’d really just like to call your mom. Because I’m just a student, too. I don’t mean sound bitter. While every tough situation I faced this year was emotionally exhausting, if I could go back and remove myself, I wouldn’t. I am so glad I was there every single one of those times because I felt like I helped in some capacity. Because that’s what the job is: you help students transition and adapt, even when that goes awry. You help them see that sometimes they fall of the path but it’s okay because there are people there who care, and it will improve.

There is a pretty big part of Residence Life that bothers me, and I’m going to talk about it because it isn’t really the fault of administration or staff, it’s just the way that residence works. Residence is such a contained, exclusive thing that kind of exists as it’s own mini universe, so everything that goes down within is is simultaneously the biggest deal in the world, and not a big deal at all. A lot of the incidente I witness or partook in this year were discussed and dealt with and gossiped about in such a way that made them feel like they were the be all and end all of incidents, that a small part of the world was collapsing in on itself at that moment in time. But when you stepped back and looked at residence from the outside, a lot of them were not as big of a deal as everyone made them out to be. At the same time, when I was directly involved in what felt like very serious situations, they hit me hard and consumed my thoughts, but sometimes I felt like no one else, particularly administration, thought they were as big of a deal as I did, so I felt like I was overreacting. This is a kind of weird and confusing and strange dichotomy so I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t make sense, because residence doesn’t really make sense. And there isn’t much of an immediate solution to this, because that’s what happens with mini universes. Residence Life is the epitome of a tempest in a teapot.

(If you don’t know what that phrase means, look it up. It’s one of my favourites.)

It was also just a super hard job in general. It is a huge time commitment, because you are kind of a don all the time, even on your off hours. It isn’t just a couple meetings and the occasional social. I mean, it could be. But if you try and care and are invested, there is a lot of planning. I couldn’t tell you how many hours I spent on paperwork alone. It’s a job that never really leaves you and is always on your mind, which can drive you a little crazy. Whoops, uninclusive language again. SUE ME.

Okay enough of that. On to the good stuff!

I have said this a whole lot of times, but being a don has honestly changed my life for the better. I learned an unfathomable amount of things this year, from valuable life skills, to how to communicate with people, to just being a better person. I broke down shyness barriers and didn’t let myself be afraid to put myself out there. I became an even better leader than I already was, and learned how to take a lot of initiative and responsibility. I figured out that the world is much bigger than just me or my program, and I felt much more attached to the school that I give all the dollars to.

I also met a bunch of super cool people. Like, a whole bunch. The staff I was part of was full of people who shared similar views and values as me, and who appreciated and brought out a lot of my talents, which was incredibly refreshing. My roomie was the most perfect level of chill that I could hope for, and provided me with snacks and scavenger hunts when I was stressed (and didn’t scare me too many times). Plus I met some pretty ballin students (literally, because I balled hard with a group of them). My students were all absolute angels and I owe them a lot of making my experience amazing. If any of you 6th floors Loons are reading this, you are the absolute best and I couldn’t have done it without you. I also met so many students outside of my own community who were really interesting to talk to and get to know and just generally be around. Seriously, guys, holla at my next year; I’ve still got meal plan left for Starbucks dates. I am in a very contained program where I spend the majority of time with the same 18 or 90 people, and everyone in the program says to make friends outside of the program, and they’re right. And not just because your class will drive you crazy if you don’t take a break, but because you forget that other humans exist, and you’ll miss out on the pretty wonderful people out there that could affect your life.

I had some pretty silly and entertaining incidents happen this year, too. A group of students asked me to go to a strip club with them, and even offered to buy me a lap dance. Some girls serenaded me with some lovely Katy Perry music at midnight while wearing the most attractive makeup. A student casually hit on me throughout the whole year, and we were both very aware of it. I planked in a student’s room during a game of Heads Up. I was sent too many hilarious snapchats to count. I smack talked hard during heated intramurals. I used uninclusive language. I swore. I sassed. I broke a lot of rules. I had the time of my life.

It’s actually heartbreaking that I won’t be going back next year. Sure, it was a hell of a year and it was a hell of a lot of work, but I would never take it back. You don’t understand what it’s like to be a don until you are one. And even then you don’t understand it. But you just kind of… feel it. Am I getting to cheesy here? Oh well. It was a very big part of my life and I’m still getting used to the whole “was” part. Shout out to everyone who was involved in making my time on RLS super rad.

Forever a loon.