Sunday, April 1, 2012

April First!

AH! We're here at last... the home stretch of the university school year, and best of all: the month of April. What a wonderful month April is. Most of all, I appreciate the name April for this month; it is so fitting. April connotes new life and the greenery that will soon be spreading over the Northern Hemisphere, but it also connotes the melancholy of all the rain we should be expecting (and the odd snowy day). April holds such promise, because it is really the first month of Spring.

I've only got one assignment left before my three nicely-spaced exams (mind you it's a big assignment, but it will be a lot of fun to complete. Yes, I said fun). This weekend I also finished two other papers--and I have never been so calm writing essays before in my life! I'm not sure I could tell you what made me so calm. It could be that I'm so close to being home. I think I've also come to realize that stressing over these things does not make it very pleasant or any easier to do them. I've also been sleeping much more easily lately. I've started using the breathing and relaxation exercises I've always been told to do. And it helps that I haven't been creating stress around my assignments, because there's nothing like stress to keep you awake at night!

I love this time of year, when everything is wrapping up and coming to a close. I think it's because I like the feeling of accomplishment. On Friday, I finished my practicum with VicReach. This Tuesday will be my last day with Peace by PEACE. Last Thursday was my last shift at Caffiends. Friday was also my last Philosophy tutorial. While it can be a relief to be finished things like my VicReach practicum and my Philosophy tutorials, there is also a bit of sadness involved with finishing all of these things. I've looked forward to every Thursday morning, when, for an hour I get to sit and chat with one of my new friends and make espresso drinks. It was such a nice obligation to have to go and take your mind off of all the work you have to do. I even started looking forward to VicReach, because I inevitably got attached to  the kids. While Peace by PEACE has been very stressful some of the time this semester, it will be sad not to get to go in and talk to those kids and answer their funny questions. Even with Philosophy tutorials came the pleasant socialization with the people before it started, and a walk with one of my classmates afterward, and every once in a while, a nice slice of insight from the tutorial itself.

Here is a very cool thing my TA told us last time: if nothing has any meaning, then the fact that nothing has any meaning is also meaningless. He told us that this is not to say that therefore everything has meaning (because that is not logically entailed by the premises), but it still a neat thing to think about. It somehow alleviates some of the strangeness of feeling like one's life ultimately has no meaning. We are just starting to talk about "the meaning of life." I would say, though, that even if you are only here for a short time in the infinite expanse of the universe, you can believe that your life has meaning. Because, even if it will have no meaning to the rest of the world, your life means something to you. If it didn't, you wouldn't care that you were alive and wouldn't be compelled to do anything in your life. Life is such that we are constantly compelled to keep busy. It's certainly better than sitting around doing nothing because you know it doesn't matter whether you do or not. The expanse of each of our individual lives, it seems to me, is eternity for each of us. There is quite possibly nothing outside of our time living on Earth. The time after our life is over, you might believe, is our time becoming infinite. It is infinite because we are not aware of it, because we can never be aware of infinite. This is a rather daunting subject, but I choose not to let it overwhelm me. I'd say it's better to take what life is offering, because it is HERE. You are HERE.

The last big assignment I am doing is for my Post War class. It is a Final Project, and it can be on anything from the decades we have studied (essentially from the Second World War to the Fall of the Berlin Wall). I have decided to create a magazine, modelled after magazines like Chatelaine. It is a magazine that is supposed to have been read by housewives. What is really fascinating about Chatelaine magazine is that it actually had some very interesting articles about subversive topics for the time (in this case, the 50s and 60s). It became an important part of women's lives. It provided a community in a sometimes lonely life, which lent support and advice and encouragement. It was a place for women to share their opinions and experiences. It's going to be a lot of work, but I'm really looking forward to putting it together. I'm going to use it as an opportunity to do some writing exercises today, to write stories that will be included in my fictional magazine. The coollest thing about it was that it seemed so innocent from the outside, but there was a wealth of information inside. Mine is going to be called Suburban Bliss. When I draw the title page, I'll post it.

Wish me luck! And HAPPY APRIL!

Your friendly neighbourhood,