I just have to mention this in a public forum. I’m already ornery from the commute today, so bear with me.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve read some e-mails from some new residents of St. John’s College. They’ve quaintly abbrievated St. John’s College as “STJ”. What the hell is that? The abbrievation that has been in place for years and that is in common use is “SJC”. One letter for each word in “St. John’s College”.

Bah, this taking transit to UBC is making me go crazy.

I feel a swear coming on….

Yep, here it is…



Tuesday will be a milestone day in my life. It will be the first day where I am enrolled in university yet I will not be living on-campus. I have completed seven years of post-secondary education in my life. Each and every one of those days where class was in session, I woke up that morning in residence. I have never commuted to university in my entire life. I know nothing other than having to walk to class. I have never feared traffic jams nor broken down buses. Forgetting an assignment at home has meant nothing to me. Packing a lunch? Why the hell would I do that?

On Tuesday, everything changes. Well, actually not really. On Tuesday, I’m sitting in on a class that I’m not even taking. Then I have a meeting at 4pm. I still have to bus it out to UBC though. I have my first real class on Wednesday, after which I don’t have to be at UBC until next week. Tough, eh?

Seriously though, I’ll start packing my bag with more care. I can’t forget important documents. I’ll have to remember to bring all my pens, pencils, and a ruler. I’ll have to pack food for when there’s no time to run off to grab a bite to eat. I’ll have to actually read the weather reports to plan what to wear, rather than dressing for the next hour or so.

I’ll just need to hold on until September 20 and then I can go back to all my old habits again.

I’ve written this before and I’m going to again, I hate the first couple weeks of a new term. Everything feels so unsettled. I feel so unsure about how the term is supposed to go. I’m always wondering what classes to take. I’m scared I’ll pick the wrong ones. And even when I do pick them, I’m always thinking if I made the right choice. To be honest, I like it better several weeks in, because even though the real work has started, I’m into a groove by then. I know what to expect and I’m moving along.

So, here comes Tuesday, the first day of school. Hey, I’m not even sure when I need to catch the bus to get to class on time!


Whenever TV news channels do their coverage on election night, invariably sometime during the evening, someone will utter the phrase, “(insert new channel) projects (insert candidate’s name) to be the winner…” Well, even though the US presidential election is still two months away, the political analysts here at are ready to make a confident projection. projects that George W. Bush will win re-election as President of the United States.

So, you must be wondering if this projection was made with any real analysis or if I did it off the top of my head. Yes, I did do some thinking about it, though I didn’t analyze any polls. The whole reason why I have made this projection is based on one conclusion I have made: the average American voter has completely lost all common sense and the ability to use logic. Why do I think this? Allow me to explain.

We’ll deal with the invasion of Iraq first, since it’s the one point I can’t seem to understand the most. Ok, so on September 11, 2001, al-Qaida operatives, at the direction of Osama bin Laden, crashed two hijacked airliners into the World Trade Centre in New York City. All intelligence points towards bin Laden as the mastermind. Bush rallies the world behind his cause, and the hunt begins in Afghanistan for bin Laden and his supporters. Unfortunately, he is not found. The search continues for weeks, months, and now years.

In the meantime, Bush worked in the background to link Iraq with al-Qaida. He attempted to find evidence of “weapons of mass destruction” programs in Iraq. On January 28, 2003, Bush delivered his State of the Union address in which he outlined the “danger” that Iraq posed to the United States. The claims he made though, were completely overstated. The claim that Iraq pursued uranium from Africa was made from bad intelligence. And those, much vaunted WMDs? Over a year later after the invasion, there is still no hard evidence of their existence.

Nearly a year and a half since the occupation of Iraq began, the justifications for going to war seem extremely weak. Yet somehow, the Bush administration’s bending of reality has led 7 out of 10 Americans to believe that Iraq was involved with the terrorist attacks of 9/11, even though no evidence of this exists. Does this bother anyone else as much as it does me?

As an American, I would start putting the pieces together: nearly a thousand American lives lost in Iraq so far for a war that is still looking for real justification, a misleading of the American public, and a failure to concentrate on Afghanistan where bin Laden still hides. Why doesn’t anyone ask why there are more troops in Iraq than in Afghanistan?

Yet over 50% of Americans still believe it was the right thing to do to invade Iraq. Why?

Back to my original argument: the average American voter has completely lost all common sense and the ability to use logic. The average American voter has no desire to examine facts or to think for themselves. I believe that after 9/11, the average American voter was looking for the US to attack any Arab country, no matter who it was, and no matter what justifications came along. As long Bush took military action in the Middle East, most Americans would support him regardless. That he invaded Iraq was good enough. The fact that the presidential race is a dead heat proves that the Iraq debacle had amazingly, no effect on the public.

Second, let’s deal with the whole swift boat issue with John Kerry. Not surprisingly, Americans want a president who can take decisive, thoughtful, and confident military decisions. Let’s compare the candidates, starting with Bush first. Bush has never been in combat and his military service consisted merely of flying Air National Guard jets over the unfriendly skies of Texas. Questions still remain whether or not Bush indeed fully complete his ANG requirements. Now, we turn to John Kerry. He enlisted to serve in Vietnam and saw combat on several occasions. By the time the war ended, he was decorated with two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and a Silver Star. Unfortunately, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group dumped a whole boatload of BS on Kerry’s record. And like a newborn piglet, the American public lapped it up like so much milk from a sow’s teat.

For me, this one is a complete no-brainer. Kerry served in the military. I’m not talking about flying planes over oil fields, Kerry saw combat in Vietnam. He saw what war, bullets, and bombs did to soldiers. I would know he knew what the consequences of war would be. I would trust he knew what it meant to go to war and that it would not and could not be a lightly regarded decision. I’d also know that if he did go to war, his resolve would be strong, to the tune of two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and a Silver Star. Despite all this, most Americans still believe Bush would do a better job protecting the US from terrorists.

Why? Because I believe the average American voter has completely lost all common sense and the ability to use logic.

I could go on with more examples of average Americans eating up other lies and half-truths, but I want to go to bed. Thus, I will make my concluding remarks. Despite all the reasons not to vote for Bush, despite what common sense tells us, an overwhelming percentage of Americans will vote for Bush in November. The sooner everyone realizes this, the sooner we can get ready for the next set of conflicts in North Korea and Iran.


I was feeling quite stressed all day about this stupid TA situation. Then I drove an hour out to UBC to watch the hockey game with the boys. We ordered some food in and a pretty good contest on the ice. I met some new people, got to know them a little bit. Even though I don’t live at SJC anymore, I feel like I’ve probably met as many new people as some current residents. I am well on my way to becoming the new Adrian Behennah.

I was feeling tired all day, so I left not long after the game ended. I stopped off at Lougheed Mall to get some groceries at Safeway and I’m home now. When I got in, I realized I was much less stressed than I was earlier in the day. I think it was good for me to get out, see my buddies, and not dwell on the situation. Ah, the power of good friends.


I uncovered some bad news on Friday. I was not given a TA assignment for this term. Earlier in the week, I still had not heard from my department, so I e-mailed the prof I did TA work for last year. He did not respond all week. I started to make some calls on Friday.

First, though, some background is necessary to understand the situation. Last year I was a TA for APSC 150 for both terms. I know the prof who runs this course. I knew him well when I was in undergrad and he’s continued to be a supportive figure in my graduate career. Profs have free reign over who they get as TAs for their courses. After the first term, I really enjoyed being a TA for APSC 150. I spoke to the prof and told him I’d like to return for the second term. He was nice enough to accept my request, and I was on-board for the second term. After the academic year ended, we had to put in our forms for TA assignments for this year, this was around the beginning of the summer. I again asked him if he would have me back. He responded it would be a pleasure to have me back. I took this as an indication he would make the necessary arrangements to have me back, just like he did last term.

Fast forward to August 2004. I am now working for an ESL program for incoming first-year engineering students. I am the program assistant. I am in contact with the very same prof because he’s scheduled to give a lecture on APSC 150. These new students need to hear about this course, because it’s core. Over e-mails we communicate about APSC 150. I even remember talking to him in person about APSC 150.

“Have any of the case studies been revised for this year?”

“Yes, we’ve taken two of the case studies out, and replaced them.”

“I look forward to seeing them.”

I even gave a lecture to the students about APSC 150 from a TA’s perspective of the course. I told the students outright that I’d be a TA for APSC 150 this year and that they might get me as a TA.

So on Friday, I call the prof to see what has happened. He tells me he’s already made the six TA assignments for APSC 150. My heart drops. I ask him how that has happened. He tells me six names came across his desk and he didn’t even notice my name wasn’t one of them. He said it didn’t even cross his mind that I wanted to be a TA for APSC 150. I’m almost in a panic now, but I politely remind him of the e-mail that he sent that stated he’d love to have me back. He doesn’t really have an answer for this, but he tells me to phone the admin assistant at the department who handles this stuff. I hang up and get her on the phone. I ask her why I didn’t get an assignment for APSC 150. She nonchanlantly tells me I just didn’t get one. I ask her if I got any assignments. In the same tone, she says I don’t have any assignments. I have no work as a TA this term. I ask her how that is possible. She says there lots of applicants. She also tells me a critical piece of news. She sent out an e-mail to all the faculty members asking if they wanted anyone specific for their classes. I end my conversation with her.

I call back the prof. I explain to him what she had said to me. He admits that he did receive her e-mail about asking for specific students for classes. He tells me he just didn’t respond to that e-mail. That is why he got six random names that didn’t include me. I explain to him that I really depending on that TA position. Not because I wanted to pad my academic resume but because I need the money to pay for rent and put food on the table. I explain to him that unlike almost all engineering graduate students, I am not funded, that I pay for every cent of my education. He responds by saying he’ll try to find me some money somewhere. He mentions doing some odd hours related to my summer job. I am not filled with confidence. My boss from my summer job mentioned something about doing one day a week during the term. That’s peanuts compared to a legitimate TA posting.

Here is the financials behind this debacle. The TA posting for APSC 150 is worth approximately $3000 for the term, or just under $800 a month. There is no way working one day a month is going to come even close to that. Even if I worked a few hours a week for my old boss, it would be like comparing apples and oranges. TA wages are much higher than any random on-campus job.

Though it matters little now, I’m wondering if I should have explicitly said to the prof every day of freaking summer, “Even though I’m talking about APSC 150 everytime I communicate with you, you know I want to come back as a TA for that course right?” In fact, I now realize if I had bugged him day in and day out, this wouldn’t have been a problem. I thought he knew though. I saw him several times in August. I asked him about the changes to the course. And this was just days before he had to make the TA assignments for APSC 150.

I am almost certain he didn’t do this on purpose, but this casual slip of the mind has now wound up costing me about $3000 that I was depending on to survive. I feel powerless that some small clerical error, some simple mistake will kick me in the ass.

I guarantee you that whatever “make-up” provisions are made (and I highly doubt anyone will do this for me), it won’t even come close to what I would have gotten as a TA.

This, however, isn’t the end of the matter. I won’t get into specifics but there are some legal avenues I am exploring. If you are or were a TA, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about based all the evidence I’m given so far.

I’ll keep everyone posted.


In news that will probably be stunning to you, I’ve discovered that commuting sucks donkey balls. What a huge pain in the ass. Case in point was today. I had a 2pm meeting on campus to wrap up some loose ends from when I worked for a professor this summer. I woke up this morning at 11:05am. As I looked at my watch, I realized that if I didn’t jump out of bed immediately to get ready, I’d be late for my meeting. My meeting was still three hours away!!!

By the time I brushed my teeth, showered, got changed, grabbed a drink of water, ate half a croissant, and packed my bag, it was 12 noon. I was on a bus by 12:10pm. I finally got off the bus at UBC at 1:40pm. It took ten minutes to walk to the meeting and then used the remaining ten minutes to prepare. I was on the go from 11am essentially to get to a meeting for 2pm. Crazy.

If I was at SJC, I’d probably would have gamed until 1:45pm, put my game on pause, and headed off then.

I had dinner at SJC tonight, and there many, many new faces. I met a few people, they seem like good, decent folks, and I hope they represent SJC well. Of course, there are a few dorks every year, but it takes a while before they surface. After dinner, I walked over to the Thunderbird Residences with Patrick to see where my new apartment will be. It is in a sweet location. It is less than five minutes away from the engineering and computer science buildings. The Bread Garden is less than two minutes away. SJC is really close as well. Patrick and I were able to walk to my place, check out the outside, and then walk back within fifteen minutes. I am counting the days until September 20.

I got on a 99B bus at 8:30pm and did not return home until 10pm. When I got in the door, I just felt exhausted (still do). I didn’t even do a lot today, nothing at all that required my brain. A meeting and dinner, that was it. Still, I feel drained, like the three hours on transit today just sucked the life out of me. I don’t know how other people do it. I am not looking forward to next week when I actually have class.

I’m going to try to hold on until the 20th. The second day is almost over, that’s 1/10 of my ordeal over. One day at a time… one day at a time…


If you’re reading this, it means I have successfully returned to my parents’ place after eating my last meal at St. John’s College. We had seafood pie. It was actually pretty good. There was an odd mix of old and new residents, though tomorrow, there will be even more new ones. During the day, the housekeeping staff cleaned out my room after I checked out. After dinner, I returned to my room and found the door unlocked! I knocked and heard no one respond, so I opened the door. My room was in sparkling shape. I don’t think I had seen it this clean since I first moved in. I lingered only briefly before I left my room once again.

As I expected, it took about an hour and a half to bus it back to my parents’ place. There are boxes and bags everywhere. The good thing is that I don’t have to unpack a lot of stuff. In twenty days, I will it to my new place at T-Bird.

So, I’ve got to take care of some stuff, and I’ll probably run off to get some Wendy’s soon. Take care!