Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Where I went to school... UBC

I went to UBC for about 5 years from 1989-1994. I took English, Geography, History, and Political Science courses in the Faculty of Arts and lived one year on campus, two years in Point Grey near campus, one year near Main Street, and one year in Coquitlam. Among other things, UBC is known for its trees, its size, and its well-organized student groups. I enjoyed all of these things, and spent a lot of my free time in a place called the Grad Centre, drinking bad coffee and looking out through the big windows, past doug firs and cedars, to the Pacific. After classes, my friends and I (sometimes strangers) would scheme out some adventure for the afternoon, evening, or weekend usually involving food, the woods, a fire, maybe some music. My favourite tree was (I hope it's still there) an elm on the side of the Main Library. I would have said the giant sequoia, but it was killed by landscapers (I blame Strangway). UBC was/is a beautiful campus... I wandered all over it for 4 years yet much of it remained a mystery to me. It was a like a small magic city, an experiment in social design where normal rules of society did not apply, whether it was the mist rolling up from the chuck through the alder-filled gullies, chinese food from the basement of the old Music Hall, or taking exams in the Armoury. On a visit of couple of years ago, I felt disoriented and disconnected from the memories of my university years. New buildings had sprouted up, no familiar faces, no sense that I had any business there.

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