Big Fat Deal asks us to read Roger Ebert's column Nil By Mouth. He has similar things to say as did Jon Reiner in his article The Man Who Couldn't Eat. While I cannot imagine food and drink leaving my life forever, as it has Ebert's, I was intrigued by how their sense of smell dominated their thoughts and dreams.
Reading these articles, I thought about my experience in going back to school this past Thursday. I have started another course on my long & expensive journey to a Supply Management diploma. This time my course is on the U of A's main campus. I attended the U of A for a year when I was 17 - it was a decision on my parents' part to keep me in school for another year so I could be 18 when I started at NAIT.
I hated university and I felt it was a waste of time to be there. It's hard when you're under the drinking age, which is strictly enforced. It was a large stumbling block to my social development. I didn't like the learning environment either. I knew I wasn't staying so I made almost no effort to learn anything for the first time in my life. I was absolutely miserable because I wasn't making any friends, my 23-year-old roommate was never around and vastly uninterested in me. My high school friends had all moved on to their own post-secondary paths - and they were all 18, of course.
Toward the end of the year I ran into some long-lost friends from my hometown and had a better time. But the U of A has always been associated in my mind with that feeling of being set adrift on the sea of adulthood too early. Those feelings rushed back to this 36-year-old overgrown girl when I set foot in one of the buildings where I had a class. It was the smell - that institutional, cement-based waft with overtones of chemistry.