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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

My Waterloo

Some kids grow up wanting to be firefighters. Others dream of being astronauts. Still others hope to become hockey players. I, on the other hand, yearned simply to go to Waterloo to be an engineer. No, really; I'm serious. Sadly, my parents weren't keen on seeing their kid live in a dorm 2000 miles away from home at the tender age of 15, so I spent my undergrad years closer to home at UBC. In hindsight, this was probably for the best since my lack of will power would inevitably have led to four years of drunken revelry, ending in academic expulsion and quite possibly my siring a dozen illegimate children.

Nevertheless, I have placed Waterloo on a pedastal since my childhood. So when the opportunity to visit my dream school came knocking in the guise of Ames' convocation I jumped at the chance. But like the love-sick grade school boy who puts his secret crush on a pedastal from September to June only to find at the end-of-year dance that she's a total bitch queen, I was thoroughly disappointed with the Waterloo that I saw this Saturday. Waterloo, it turns out, was just like the girl I finally got to dance with in grade seven: cold and soulless. Although, I must admit, Senka looked a lot better under the gaudy rental gymnasium disco ball than Waterloo ever will.

Before I go on, let me first tell Ames and Mike how happy I am that they both accomplished such an awesome feat. Getting in to Waterloo Engineering is hard enough, graduating with distinction from there is truly worthy of sincere praise! Now, let's get on with my (mostly negative) critique of the convocation ceremony.

For a world-renowned engineering school, the logistics planning of the convocation ceremony left much to be desired. Let's start with the seats--or rather, the temporary bleachers. I've never suffered bouts of vertigo on my way to a seat before, but the foot-wide gaps on these bleachers left no room for error; one false move and you got to "graduate" from this world to the next life. When the guy in front of me dropped his program, it took a whole two seconds before the sound of impact could be heard--that's how high up we were.

But worse than the seating was the free-for-all picture taking system that the school set up. Here's how it worked: when a graduate's family members saw that their pride and joy was nearing the stage, they were encouraged to get out of their seats, risk life and limb across the "planks of death" bleacher seating and make their way to the stage to take pictures. Of course, people who made it through the aforementioned "planks of death" without injury often chose (wisely) not to tempt fate and attempt a second crossing back to their seats. Consequently, with each passing graduate, the attrition of the audience became increasingly more obvious. I pity the people whose last names started with 'Z'--it must have been lonely getting their degrees in front of an empty gym.

After witnessing this debacle, I'm not sure how confident I will be the next time I cross a bridge designed by "the greatest minds in Canada". In a way, I'm sort of glad I didn't go to Waterloo. And yes, the grapes, they were probably sour anyway.

Your Favorite Jerk


At Wednesday, June 22, 2005 10:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think i did a little worse that you. I was gonna go to UBC, but I'm an academic slut, so I went to SFU. Bad choice. it's not even like the gal was cold and soulless, it was like being on the deathstar or finding out your crush was actually a guy. besides the danger of senka reading your comments, any reprecussions so far?


At Wednesday, June 22, 2005 11:32:00 AM, Blogger Reformed Jerk said...


Academic promiscuity leads to a life of crime and illegitimate, unwanted degrees. Didn't your highschool guidance counsellor tell you this? tsk tsk :)

No major reprecussions so far, but there has been a minor one.


At Wednesday, June 22, 2005 2:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Yeah, i read the discontent aimed towards you...that's why i wrote about reprecussions. :)



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