Bachelor of Memories: My Degree in Photographs (Part One)

If you've been following my blog lately, or just hiding out in the bushes outside my house, you know that I recently graduated from university with a BA Honors in Psychology. I'll be moving to New York City in August to start my Master's in Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, but until then, I've got a lot of time on my hands to wax poetic about my undergraduate days. Since I'm busy lately and writing words is difficult, I'll be spending the next two weeks going over my favourite photographs from my time as an undergrad student and stalling for time until I can think of a better topic to blog about.

So until then, enjoy:

First Year

Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot of photographic evidence of my first year of university. None of my friends owned a decent camera, and in early 2010, Instagram was still just an idea in somebody's notebook. The average cellphone took monstrous, grainy security camera photos with eight and a half pixels each, and you had to eviscerate your phone with a paperclip to dig out the memory card if you wanted to upload any of them. Technological dark age aside, we just didn't think to take pictures. My friends and I tended to hang out in the same bar every day, like a bad television sitcom, and nobody thought to photograph the place. With that said, my first year wasn't a complete photographic black hole. I did manage to emerge with these:

My eighteenth birthday party. Since no one in the background is blacked out or vomiting, I'm going to go ahead and assume that this was taken early in the evening. 

 Later that night. Alex tricked me into the juvenile tradition of "icing", which was all the rage those days.

 One of the last times we were all together... drunkenly chilling in my garage. There's a Ferrari poster in the corner so it's cool.

This was taken in my backyard, and now none of the people in this picture live within 3,000 km of this place.

 Ify, apparently insisting that I examine her half-eaten cupcake.

My first year was the year we brought this little monster home. He stayed this cute for approximately two and a half weeks, and then proceeded to destroy everything we owned.

 This is probably the oldest photo I have of myself making this face. It is most assuredly not the last. Note that whoever took this photo did not bother to set a correct date stamp on their camera.

 I think this might have been Rachel's 18th birthday party. If you look closely, you'll notice I'm hiding my face because I have alcohol intolerance and flush like a cheating poker player when I get anywhere near liquor.

 The high school gang, doing what we do best: playing with toys intended for children.

 We used to go clubbing in limos because we thought we were super cool. As I recall, this was the night Cody accidentally threw his hat out the limo window. Super cool.

Morgan and I at the university, about to break the record for World's Largest Dodgeball Game. Note the looks of intense concentration. Shame the record lasted less than a year.

And one more from "Break the Record", inside the Butterdome. It was a big deal, people.

Emily, cuddled up with a Chocobo in the kitchen of our hostel in Calgary.

This was taken on our first annual trip to the Calgary Comic Expo at the end of the year. I regret to say that I never did get any taller, but I still have great hair.

Second Year

Somehow, second year ended with even fewer photos than first. Same problems applied - none of my friends had cameras, nothing seemed worthy of photographing, and I'm pretty sure that half the people I associate with don't actually show up in photographs, which would have forced me to slay them. That said, I did manage to find a few decent pictures. To imagine the rest of this year, just envision hours upon hours of computer science lectures.

My nineteenth birthday party. I don't remember what Alex wrote in this card, but I do remember thinking it was hilarious, so it was probably a deeply personal insult.

 This is the time Alex decided to buy me a gigantic shark puppet for my birthday. Other birthday gifts may fade from my memory over time, but that fucker will always be front and centre.

At some point, someone left me unattended and I purchased this penguin hat.

At that year's Calgary Comic Expo, Emily and I made the mistake of dressing up as My Little Ponies. And based on the attention we got, it's amazing that this photo didn't end up on the side of milk cartons.

In all honesty, this probably wasn't my best look.

Third Year

In third year, we took pictures.

Oh boy, did we take pictures.

After having what I can only call 'a complete and total personal and emotional breakdown', I decided to transfer to a school that was as far from my old one as possible without actually leaving the country. I ended up at Mount Allison University for a year, and lived in a dorm room for the first time in my life. And oh, there were lots of things to photograph.

Meal hall at Mount A. This was the year I got really good at world flags.

Those shirts were white when the evening started. 

I spent a significant portion of my third year half-naked and covered in paint.

My 20th birthday. Since we had absolutely no money and we lived in an oppressively small town, we celebrated with Kraft Dinner.

My beautiful roommate, Claire, also celebrating her birthday, because I have an uncanny habit of making friends with people who were born in September.

 My brother in the middle (#60), getting his ass solidly whupped by Mount Allison for the first of many times.

 Whenever we ran out of paint, we just ripped up our clothes and drew on each other with sharpie.

 I bought this whiteboard with the intent of using it to write down homework assignments, but instead it ended up as a receptacle for whatever inside joke my roommates found funny that week. I no longer remember the jokes behind anything written on the board in this picture. #catwang

When I arrived at the school, I thought these swans were pretty neat. My opinion of them waned dramatically after attempting to get close to one of them once.

I never actually bothered to photograph the inside of my dorm room - or if I did, I can't find the photos - so this is the only existing picture of me inside one of them. Based on the layout, I think this is Claire's room. Note that we were provided with actual wooden rocking chairs instead of office chairs. Also note that you can comfortably reach the desk from the bed - we effectively lived in shoeboxes.

 The Thornton House crew. Coolest house on campus, bar none.

This school was basically Hogwarts. 

Everything we ever made on this stove was a disaster, including the ungodly ketchup-spaghetti concoction behind me in this photo.

My first debate tournament ever. Note the "we made it to finals" bling.

Thalloween at Thornton House. Finally, a good excuse to break out that wig again.

Although she's one of my favourite people on this Earth and we lived together for a full year, this is the only photo I have of Claire and I together.

The Alberta girls in Thornton house. Note the wonderful "mental institution" decorating scheme.

 Everyone at Mount Allison runs around looking like Harry Potter cosplayers at all times because the school scarves seriously look like this.

These things were sold at the local dollar store in Sackville, and they did nothing but shake their heads back and forth to express their perpetual disgust with you. Several people received these in the mail from me with no explanation.

 Fun fact: I used to live on the edge of a horror movie murder-swamp.
 The 2012-2013 Mount Allison University Eurhetorian Debate Society. Note the gender diversity. Also note that the only female team were the ones to break.

Tommy. Not a clue what he's trying to achieve in this picture. I miss living with this magnificent creature every day.

 First time winning a debate tournament - the Jane Blaikie Cup. Weirdest debate tournament I've ever been to in my entire life, even counting the times people misplaced their pants.

That time Emily and I met Cary Elwes and I asked him if he was sick of the line "As you wish" yet. For the record, he claims not to be, but you can see the pain in his eyes.

So those were the first three years of university told in photographs. Stay tuned for part two, whenever I get around to posting it. 


  1. September is a pretty common month to be born in, ya know, all the boning going on in the winter.

    1. And what long, dark Canadian winters we have. I try my best not to think about it.


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