Thursday, December 14, 2006


notwithstanding the fact that my body looks totally tubular (in the "shaped like a tube" sense, not the "radical" sense), this is my general state of mind at the moment. on the right you can also see the boy's rhodes keyboard. if you had ever told me 10 years ago that someday i would share a house with a rhodes AND be listening to john coltrane while i made dinner, i would have SCOFFED your ass right off the moon.

i'm planninng on cracking my notes and giving her a look-see right after i eat breakfast and then it's MAXIN' AND RELAXIN' CHILLIN' ALL COOL-fest 2010.

my mum was saying the other night that she thinks i wasted my time at my undergraduate school (trent university) because i just kind of ended up there because my ex-bf now bff was going there. this is partially true (and they also offered me some $$$). however! i would like to defend my alma mater (no idea if this is the correct useage of the term) and say that however i ended up there, it was probably the most brilliant of my idiot savant inklings, ever! trent has a teeny tiny small student body (i think it maxes out at 4000 students), the campus is beautiful, peterborough is a GREAT town, and they only do undergraduate stuff, focusing on tutorial settings (max tutorial size approx. 15 students). which means that i got to be TAUGHT by my profs, and build relationships with them. it's kind of got a rep for being berkeley (california) north. and it's well justified.

at the time that i was there, they were the ONLY school in canada to offer a degree in cultural studies. since cultural studies has become so fashionable, other schools (ie. mcmaster) have popped up, but trent was the only place where all these 2nd generation, frankfurt-school based profs could teach in canada...and finding cultural studies MADE my life. it gave a voice and a language to me to be able to express stuff that had been lying sublimated all my life. there were also profs teaching speculative fiction/science fiction, one of whom, jon fekete, was taught by RAYMOND WILLIAMS himself. raymond williams is the ill na na. one of my favorite theorists, and the grandpapa of cultural studies as we know it. i also got taught by an anarchist prof who told us that it was "optional" to do the readings ("if you're into that sort of thing"), and told us there were "alternatives to buying the texts". he spent his downtime from school living in mexico and following the mexican punk scene. due dates were completely arbitrary, as were most late penalties. LOVE!!! one of my profs was really into post-humanism, and another prof, was one of the leading intellectuals of his time, involved in the toronto version of the student riots of 1969.

i actually have a lot of beef with the way cultural studies programs have a) been conjoined with "communication" programs (ie. you see a lot of "communication and culture" departments) and b) the way that american-style cultural studies has de-politicized the discipline. to me, cultural studies is not a carte-blanche pass to justify your love of popular culture. that's not the end point of the analysis, and deconstructing paris hilton doesn't cut it. the removal of the decidedly marxist-based theoretical framework in what passes for contemporary cultural studies gets me pretty steamed up, because it doesn't do justice to the discipline and the huge body of work and thought behind it.

anyway, the point is, u of t is a boring old dinosaur and trent university pwns its' ass. i also can't stress enough my love for peterborough. one time we were on the way to the bar, it was pretty late at night, and this wacky looking dude strolls up to us and says: "have you ever noticed this town is full of a...malignant madness?" and then walks away. some RANDOM WACKY LOOKING DUDE. probably one of the best moments of my life. my second year we lived in a 5 bedroom house and we gutted the attic and threw raves in there...complete with hand-drawn flyers by yours truly featuring OUR HOME PHONE NUMBER AS THE INFO LINE. hahaha! we even had a "chill-out room" where we played aphex twin and showed anime flicks we rented from ted's videos (5 movies, 5 days, 5 dollars).

tonight for dinner we're having leftover soup (turned out really well...adding the corn and red pepper and carrots at the end of cooking time means they keep some texture so you have crunchy little bites...flavour develops the more you eat the soup too). with a croque monsieur. no dessert because all i ate yesterday was junk upon junk (albeit home-baked junk).



sg said...

i think you look hott! and your stories of undergrad make me want to bring a fish to the exam this afternoon...

karl lagerfeld, esquire said...

i forgot to ask you if you went to NFA on saturday...i didn't see you there, but we got there late (12:45ish)

t-pat said...

the school definitely has its plus sides, but socially speaking it was rough if you were single. what was the ratio of women to men? something crazy like 5:1, which meant you had women vying for men who really were subpar (I know!). it was very frustrating trying to make any kind of 'love connection' up there, which is probably why I always ended up dating people in other cities.
and the ratio of (what do you call them again?) 'trustafarians' was a little too high for me.
My appreciation for the school has grown since I left there - mostly because I have something to compare it to now. I actually told someone recently that I went there and he laughed! I got defensive right away, and was giving the school props for all the things that you listed in your blog. it's like people just know it's a 'small school' and assume it must be second rate or something. those people can kiss my 'light brown' ass!! haha

Anonymous said...

i defend trent to the death! always. epsecially in the face of the many western/queens clones i meet.

"malignant madness", hahaha. i remember that. awesome!


Hannah said...

nice new t-shirt! I have no fond memories of my undergrad years at U of T.