December 6, 2004 by Allen George
It’s a time for ‘last’s. As our 427 professor Mark Aagard handed out Timbits, I was reminded that today – Monday, December 6, 2004 – was the last day of classes in 3B. At the end of class Paul Teehan announced that following this day, our class would scatter to the winds. Today was in fact, the last term we’ll all take classes together. In 4th year we each go our separate ways, choosing different technical and complementary studies electives.
The more I think about it, the more I associate my entire third year at Waterloo with transition. Everyone speaks of first year as ‘the year’; the one in which you’re shocked from the sleepy ease of high school life into the cyclic panic of university. It’s the year you start to change.
I never really felt that.
Looking back, I can’t really say I felt different at the end of 1B – or even 2B. Older, yes. Tired, yes. Slightly disillusioned even, yes. But not fundamentally different. Life flowed on, and I took events as they came.
It’s not the same this year. I am different and I can feel it. It’s the first time my academic term’s been contained in a single calendar year and I’m able to say – “Yes, 2004 was a defining year. I changed”. So many events have occured in my personal, academic and professional life that I feel enveloped by the sheer impact of their existence. Scarred by the marks they’ve left.
Look back to the first 4 months of this year. Two events that impacted me academically and personally, both with the subtlety of a freight train.
The summer months – that road trip to San Diego and a slow crystallization of my perspectives. Realized what I didn’t want professionally. Clarified my attitudes, my stance on issues. Changed again.
The last four months – the year’s close. Not so simple anymore. No one-liners. No glib remarks. Maybe…
Maybe I’ve accepted who I am. What I am and have to change. Started to take control of my life again.
Maybe the last four months have been nothing but that.