Alas, it is the last day of FYNIRs frosh. Tomorrow we split up and head into faculty orientation. I spent the morning doing what I can often be found doing: sitting in a too-cold corner of an internet cafe, writing. Work has been slow and incoming checks have been delayed this month, leaving me worried about paying my rent. The reality of working freelance is that sometimes I do great, and other times I’m scrounging for extra articles. It’s just a tad embarrassing that it had to be THIS month, only my second month living alone. What a spectacular time to fall on my butt. People keep asking me when I plan to get a “real” job. This irks, but lately I’ve been considering a part-time job just to pick up the slack and give me a bit of a cushion on the crappy months. I’ll try being entrepreneurial first. I think hosting henna parties around campus could bring in what spare cash I need, so I’ll try it.
Queen’s hosts a student-run play as part of Frosh week. They call it Existere. As we all crowded into a swelteringly hot room and shuffled to our seats, I wanted to bail. It’s reached record temperatures in Kingston over the past few days, and with nothing but a few fans to get the air moving in there, we were incredibly uncomfortable. Add to that the fact that the overall temperature went up a few degrees every time a “landlord” would shout, “FYNIRs, how do you feel?!” and the entire congregation of sweaty, excited first years would stand up and shout, “We feel SO fine, OH we feel so fine, OH,” back (accompanied, of course, with awkward fist pumps and pelvic thrusts). The show started like any school play. A vaguely obnoxious musical piece, badly sung and danced in such a way that you couldn’t help feeling embarrassed for the performers. Seriously. I thought we were done with this stuff by university.
But after that first piece, it got much better quite quickly. Suddenly the audience was laughing, clapping along, and sobering up when serious issues were addressed. I was very impressed. I didn’t expect us all to be subjected to a play that not only made fun of inevitable first year mishaps, but also spoke about issues of gender, sexuality, acceptance, and consent in a sensitive and relatable way. Way to go, Queen’s. Gender neutral bathrooms, support centers for victims of rape and abuse, a “positive space” for queer people, and a serious push for mental health support. I’m impressed.
Of course, on another note, a group of drunk froshers wrecked a woman’s car last night, damaging the way Kingston authorities and citizens look at us as citizens. Yay, frosh.
I spent a lovely afternoon in the park with an awesome girl from Jamaica who is fast becoming my friend. She has a lot of “firsts” this year. First time in Canada, first time on a boat, first time eating olives (she said “no” about fifteen times and spat it out), first time seeing snow and experiencing all that comes with it. We’re having fun together. Riding the islands night cruise boat this evening was her first time on a boat. Everyone dressed up in their finest duds and danced the night away on the top deck. The introverts read until they were dragged onto the dance floor. I spent the night evading a highly obnoxious international student who was into me and wouldn’t back off. When I made a point of the fact that I have a boyfriend, he said, “That’s cool, babe. It can just be a one-night-stand.”
Welcome to university.