Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Work Term Over!

Dear Internet,

I made it. I survived my first work term. I was planning on ranting how much I hated it, but I've decided that that is unprofessional and probably a bad idea. Let's just say that it was an under-stimulating and disappointing experience, and my supervisor may or may not have disliked me. The point is that it's over and that makes me happy.

I have moved back to my university town for the upcoming school term, and damn am I excited for this term. Coming from a summer that was too hot and too lonely and too boring, I am looking forward to fall/winter, being with friends, and going to classes or out with friends. My room looks AWESOME (all of my crap managed to fit, surprisingly enough, into my 9'x9' room).

Soon, I'll be heading home for a week (with someone really awesome), then after that, classes start and the general routine of school begins. I am so pumped.



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Canada vs. U.S.A

Dear Internet,

As somebody who has pretty recently moved to Canada from the United States, I get asked a lot which country I prefer, and I have to admit that it is a tough question to answer. I'm happier in Canada than I was in the States, that is true, but that has more to do with my own personal situation than the countries in general. I'm reluctant to say that I prefer Canada because although I was born here, currently live here, and intend to stay here, the States treated me as one of its own and housed me for just about ten years (over half my life). So I'm going draw up a little PROS vs. CONS list for each country, and see if I can come to a good conclusion. I'd like to point out that I cannot speak, of course, for each ENTIRE country (both are quite large and diverse), so think of this more of comparing southern Ontario to New England.

First of all, Canada. Pros. In general, people are nicer here than in the States. The vague sort of accent in southern Ontario is much more pleasant than the Bostonian one. The money is more colourful and more exciting. My habits such as putting a "u" in the word "colour" are not considered strange. All of my extended family is much closer. Tim Horton's, Harvey's, Aero bars, Caramilk, Smarties.

Cons. Weather in Ontario is more fickle than in New England. Winter seems colder (although that also probably has to do with the fact that before coming here I was spoiled in that I didn't have to be outside so much and walk between classes and home and such). Summer seems hotter (again, probably having to do with the fact that suddenly I can't hole myself up in an air-conditioned house all the time and have to actually be outside sometimes). There are more coins to make my wallet's change pouch explode. I'm far away from my immediate family. My cell phone is so expensive!

Now, the U.S. Pros. One dollar bills. My immediate family. My favourite hometown restaurants. Driving (I can drive in Canada, but unfortunately and not surprisingly do not own a car). Less traffic. More consistent weather. It's better to be known as "the Canadian" in the States than "the American" in Canada...less negative connotation.

Cons. Living in a small town with people who always seem to have ulterior motives is not fun (coming to Canada, I was surprised when people actually meant what they said when they talked. Having become a master of the small-town sideways talking habit myself, I found it difficult to do so myself - again more of a small-town thing than a general thing).

Now that I think of it, there's not really anything in particular that I disliked about the States in general. I really just ended up getting tired of my home town. All in all, I'm happy where I am right now. Well, maybe not right this very instant. As I've mentioned many times, I do not enjoy living in the city at all. Plus I'm sitting at my desk at work as I'm writing this, and that's another place I don't enjoy being. But I've decided that I'm done complaining about my current situation, because there are only two weeks left. In fact, at this time in two weeks, I intend to be sitting on my lazy butt in my apartment in my university town doing absolutely nothing. Maybe eating lunch. Maybe going out for a walk. But not in Toronto, and not working a lame job (which I will have to tell you more about, but only once I don't feel contractually obligated not to be mean about it).

Only six more days of work! I am, of course, really looking forward to being done (as my parents always tell me, you can do anything for four months, but I've decided that four months is probably the limit), but at the same time I'm dreading the last day. You see, I am going to have to be evaluated, and I don't think that my boss likes me. But more about that later.



Monday, August 9, 2010

The City

Dear Internet,

As you may or may not know already, I have been living in the city of Toronto (much to my chagrin) this summer due to a work placement here. As you also may or may not have gathered already, I am not, in general, a fan of this city. Although I suppose it would be rude to specifically malign Toronto, as I am not a fan of any city in general. Toronto is simply the first city I've ever lived in for more than a weekend.

There are a few other things contributing to my dislike of Toronto that are not exactly the fault of the city. For instance, I quite dislike my job, but that is a story for another day (more specifically, a day when I am no longer enslaved to this particular company). Also, summer is hot almost no matter where you are, but before this summer I had never really been at so much of the mercy of the summer heat, having been privileged with air-conditioning almost wherever I went for most of my life before this. Unfortunately for the city, many of the unpleasantries of real life that I am experiencing for the first time take place here, leading to my intense dislike of the city, which is (mostly) undeserving of it. I'm sure that, had my first full-time job been situated in any other city, I would dislike that city with the same intensity, or had I actually enjoyed my job, the city wouldn't seem so bad.

Anyways, I digress. My point is that Toronto is dirty, hot, smelly, and just generally gross and it makes me unhappy. I don't understand how so many people can flock to a place that has a consistent odor of car exhaust, garbage, and millions of people hanging in the air and lacking a breeze to blow it away. Not to mention the lack of trees! I'm no tree enthusiast as my boyfriend seems to be (he refuses to join my family for Christmas until we promise not a use a real pine tree, because apparently it is sick and murderous to string a tree's corpse with pretty lights and shiny things and put it proudly on display in our living room), but the lack of trees around the city is just depressing, especially coming from a town where most of the streets seem to cut through thick forests and even the "downtown" area is not lacking so much in greenery. I am lucky enough to be renting a room in house on a street that has real trees, so there's not too much withdrawal there.

Here's hoping I don't go nuts in the next three weeks.