There. I said it. I’ll always miss Montreal, but I never thought I’d miss McGill.
I miss my tiny Atmospheric Science Department. I wish I’d discovered how wonderful and close everyone was before my final year. How grad students mixed with undergrads. How we were all contained in a few floors on a corner of campus. I wish I had found this place to fit in earlier.
I miss Shawn, my TA turned close friend. I miss Andy, one of the few people who I believed, like myself, would be more at home in the mountains north of the city. I miss Claire. Claire belonged in the city and belonged at McGill. She actually was the sort of student that the admissions people thought they were getting in me. I miss Eyad, a post-doc who hung out with all us “kids” instead of the professors.
I miss poker night. And Jenn, and Straub, and Aa-ron and E-rin. What became of all these people? What did they do with all the money they took from me?
I might have picked the wrong major, but I couldn’t have picked better friends. I often wondered if I had the same passion for the subject as everyone around me, and I still don’t know that answer. I did always doubt my own intelligence. I never felt smart enough to hang with the cool kids, although nobody ever hinted that was true, and so many of them were always available to help me study.
I miss Ellen, my unknown high school rival, who became my sailing crew. She had the love and the passion and the confidence to run the sailing team as the rest of us graduated or disappeared. I miss David, another sailor, who loved learning and loved life, and could always make everyone laugh. I miss the people I had little adventurous road trips with: Ginny, Mike, Tom, Andreas. Even Ariane.
I miss people from my relatively social first year, when I lived in a dorm, and before anybody knew anybody, or before anyone transfered. I miss my brat pack from McConnell, Christine the dreamer, Emily the sophisticated, and Lisa the beautiful, all three of whom eventually transferred. I miss Anna, Melissa, Allison, Thomas, Brent, Rick, Jerome, and all the others I never saw after our one thing in common – McC 4 – was left behind.
I miss Heather. She was supposed to be my roommate after first year. How different would things be for me now if she stayed in Montreal and I wasn’t forced to live alone then. Maybe I wouldn’t be such an introvert. Maybe I wouldn’t be so intolerant of others in my space. I’m not angry at her. I never heard from her again, though, and never knew how to contact her.
I’m angry that Partial Differential Equations was too hard. I’m angry that one class prevented me from enjoying my final semester. I’m angry that my diploma doesn’t say June 2005. I’m angry that I didn’t have that diploma to start finding a job right away. I’m angry that I got stuck here instead. I’m angry that my self worth has disintegrated. I’m angry that I failed. I’m angry that I still can’t overcome that failure.
And I’m lost.