Portrait of the Artist as a Middle Aged Student

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

8:45 a.m.
Walk and Drop Emily off at School. Give her a kiss and pry her off of my leg. Tell her to "take care" of the little girl who was mean to her, "if she knows what I mean". Get puzzled look from daughter.

9:00 a.m.
Miss second to last train into downtown Montreal

9:01 a.m.
Run over to the wall and attempt to decipher the French schedule. Pretty sure it says that there is one more coming at 9:09. Attempt to look non-chalent, fiddling with my earphones and trying to balance the "growing heavier by the second" laptop.

9:08 a.m.
Thank God. I see the train. That would have sucked donkey ass gelatin.

9:19 a.m.
Arrive in Downtown Montreal. Decide that The Beastie Boys "Solid Gold" CD KICKS ASS, for walking briskly up hills. Remember to thank Julie, cause it was her bike ride with "Intergalactic" which reminded me of said CD. Laugh heartily at "Brass Monkey" and mouth the words to "Hey, Ladies!" Think to self how fucking cool I am for age 36!

9:30 a.m.
Arrive on campus. I don't look Too out of place. Plus, I am wearing a Fussy shirt. HAH! Walk with purpose to the admin building, cause I was there last week and know where I am going! I do not need no stinkin map!

9:40 a.m.
Arrive at Admin building. What's up with that line over there? That can't possibly for Id's, right? Besides...Don't I get to go to the special "you are an advanced degree seeker, not a lowly undergrad" line? With a lounge? And fresh complimentary coffee?

9:42 a.m.
Smile and make eye contact with man in tie guarding door. Explain my "unique" status. He point me to the back of the huge ass line. Sigh.

9:48 a.m.
Get to back of line. Decide to switch to Ben Folds Live CD.

11:02 a.m.
Ben Folds Finished awhile ago and was replaced by another CD. Batteries low. CD stops spinning. Dawn is getting testy, but closer to the front of the line. Realizes that people in line are LITERALLY half her age. HALF. When she was an undergrad in 1988, these twerps were being BORN. Now they are ahead of her in line. There are baleful regards thrown about. Observe squirrels. Really aggressive Squirrels. Think to self that a movie could be "Squirrels on a Bus", and could star these mo-fo's - cause they are MEAN.

11:10 a.m. FRONT OF THE LINE - WHOO, HOO!!!!

11:11 a.m.
Since when did being "front of the line" mean I have the answer to every fucking question regarding the Admissions and registrars office. Even putting my headphones back in does not dissuade these young people from running up to me and asking questions. I get surlier by the second. One asks "Can I go in and ask a question?"
to which I reply "I suppose you could try". Another asks "What are these numbers for?" holding out a paper number. How the fuck should I know? I have been in this line for almost two hours.

AH HA. I get inside. In front.Well, almost in front. In back of a young man whose increasingly complex series of questions makes me want to bludgeon him to death with the stack of pamphlets. Dude. Could you have figured this shit out BEFORE you got into line? Shouldn't these questions about how you were going to PAY for your education have been decided prior to Day one of class? Realize that blood sugar is dangerously low. Rethink decision to bring laptop. Your back in in agony.

11:30 a.m.
Get picture taken for ID. Pray hair doesn't look at bad as you suspect it may.

11:33 a.m.
Free at last. ID in hand. I rock!!!! Now to go and get health cards....

11:45 a.m.
Get health cards for family. Feel really accomplished, for you are the Queen of the world, with an ID and health insurance again! Decide to forgo food to catch last train until late afternoon. Hustle your ass, bad hair and aching back towards the train station. Put Gorillez CD in. Re-establish cool factor. Seriously, I am never carrying the laptop all day again. This sucks.

12:20 p.m.
Sit on train. Close eyes. Ponder the enormous headache that is throbbing through your cerebellum. Get phone call from spouse asking if you checked into a gym membership for him. Reject "Fuck off, you sorry ass motherfucker" as a response. Simply say "No" instead. Tell him to pick you up at train station, cause your back is in bad shape. And your head hurts. Discover in book they gave you about insurance that a family plan costs 3 times what you were originally told. Really consider losing your shit on train and sobbing. Decide against this.

12:40 p.m.
Meet spouse at train. Glare at him as he asks "What's wrong with you?" Tell him to take you home.

12:47 p.m.
Come home. Take Advil, lots of Advil. Crawl into bed. Take 2 hour nap.

22 Baleful Regards:

Anonymous said...

What a long 4-hour! I’m glad to know that you got the admin stuff completed, Dawn. Sorry that you had a very tiring morning. Maybe it was because you didn’t have your lunch. Hope you’re getting better now.

So, how’s Emily’s story of “taking care” of her friend? ;)


Girlplustwo said...

poor dawn....hopefully you've gotten spoiled at some point. Am VERY impressed by your filter though. Nice.

Mignon said...

Ack! I remember that - waiting in line to do very annoying things for an INFINITE amount of time. Wherein light summer clothing feels like it weighs 15 pounds and it seems like your body is experiencing some fluke of double gravity... ugh! The lines! But you did it woman. And you rocked out with your damn 'retro' CD player! (Doesn't carrying around a CD player make you feel old-school all of a sudden? Shit - even having CDs makes me feel like I'm straight out of 1998.)

Catherine said...

I love you even more... for listening to Beastie Boys... ON CD.

Rest easy, lady. I'm having sympathy back pains for you just from reading this.

Bobita said...

Laughing until the giggles reach the tips of my toes at:

"...Reject 'Fuck off, you sorry ass motherfucker' as a response. Simply say 'No' instead."

Anonymous said...

No, no, no we are not middle aged. I wonder if it's something in the air because I rejected saying a very similar phrase to Royboy yesterday as well for a very similar reason.

Woman with Kids said...

Do not dwell on the ages of your classmates. It is depressing and not productive. Dwell, instead, on how satisfying it would be to smack said laptop into their heads when they get in your way.

Andrea said...

Ah yes, the suckitude that is registration, id pictures, and a thousand other people trying to do the same thing you are. I remember those days. They sucked donkey ass gelatin. (laughing at that one.)

But two hour nap and home before 1 p.m.? I miss college.

Piece of Work said...

Oh good God. The nap, at least, sounds good.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. My least favorite part of starting something new... dealing with red tape and beaurocracy. At least you're that much closer now and a two hour nap was well deserved.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god you crack me up.

Also? I would totally watch Squirrels on a Plane.

Jaelithe said...

Wow, you made me feel a lot better about my day.

You listen to cooler music than this person who was in elementary school when you were in undergrad does, if that makes you feel any better. I've spent my entire morning listening to a World Lullaby CD.

Maybe you need some sort of chic, cushy backpack for the laptop? How were you transporting it?

Mommy on the Loose said...

Dawn- Can I just say I was having a sort of ho-hum, lame-ass morning here and then I read your post, had a sympathetic laugh and now things seem much better? PS. maybe santa will bring you an ipod, i think you need an ipod.

Anonymous said...

Oh god, those lines. Those long fucking lines. I almost reconsidered journalism school while in a line like that.

You are so much cooler than me...I would have lost my shit at the end of that. I probably would have lost my shit on campus, going down in student history as the middle-aged frumpy white girl who had a tantrum on campus. And I never would have thought to say "That would have sucked donkey ass gelatin." Which is the best line EVER.

Anonymous said...

You have infinite patience. Must be all the yoga. How do our spouses have the uncanny ability to ask "did you do what I asked you to do?" when we have just been to hell and back?

And which little brat messed with Emily? I'll take care of her, all right.

Anonymous said...

where...where did my comment go from today?

Lena said...

That sounds like my day! ...Except only the part about the Advil and nap. ;)

Anonymous said...

Think to self how fucking cool I am for age 36!

I concur :)

Jess Riley said...

You had me laughing at 9:19 a.m...and that's no easy feat.

"That funky monkey!"

Anonymous said...

I thought Canada had free healthcare. Is that only for citizens? Oh, and have you found the "good" Tylenol that JenB is always raving about? Because that shit sounds goooood.

P.S. Sorry about your day. Bureaucracy sucks in any country. I hope there was wine when you got home.

Lisa said...

Yikes. That's one rough day. Some days you get the bear. Some days the bear gets you. I think the bear more than got you. He slapped you on the ass and asked for a drink!

Debbie Pelberg said...

I just started to apply to grad school, your 4 hour jaunt made me sad. We should get special "older student" preferences, dammit. Also, we should have a makeup and hair person there for the ID picture. OH AND maybe some fresh coffee and tea while we are waiting...

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