Tag Archives: Exams

BEDA 17


Today, we cleaned.

We vacuumed the carpets, we mopped the tile floors, we washed the dishes, we threw out the piles of garbage, we scrubbed away pictures of penises from our table, and we scraped mould off the countertops. (None of that is by any means an exaggeration, by the way.)

It’s weird, having the apartment clean. My bedroom is always tidy, and is usually clean, but the living room, bathroom, and kitchen are always completely disgusting. Uninhabitable. Vile. And this evening, they’re not.

The four of us worked for an hour (the most time we’ve all spent together since moving in) and our apartment came out as well as it possibly could. It’s an Easter miracle!

It’s funny, this is probably the most I’ve ever talked to Cole, even though we’ve lived together for months now. I feel like I got to know all of the other roommates pretty well, but not him. Literally all I know about him is that he’s in business, he’s approximately my age, he’s gay, and he grew up near the border. Also I know his first name. I’m thinking he might work for CSIS? (For all of you American folk, that’s like the Canadian CIA. Except that instead of doing Serious Crime Stuff they mostly accompany the Queen on her flights to and from Canada. As far as I’m aware.)

So it was kind of an odd experience today, all of us (save for Cameron, who went home because he had no exams) working together.

It was kind of nice. I wish we’d done it more often.

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BEDA 16 – In which I try to depict my evening


There are thousands of people in this hall. It is absolutely silent. Row upon row of teenagers and twenty-somethings are sitting at their tables, waiting for an announcement

Just moments before, it wasn’t so quiet. People chatted nervously, asked last-minute questions about when this was published or who that author was, and dashed for the washrooms at the back of the hall. One girl, huddled over her desk, even lit up a cigarette, and smoked it without any of the professors or TAs noticing.

But when the exams started being passed out, silence fell over the giant hall. Anticipation mixed with nervousness was thick in the air. The setting sun streamed in from the windows on the far side of the hall, glinting on the backs of the metallic chairs. We have two hours to write the exam. An essay and four mini-essays.

“Raise your hand if you don’t have an exam yet,” a voice booms. An entire section of people in the back-right corner raise their hands. The TA in charge of handing out their papers turns red, and looks down. He quickens his pace.

We start writing a few minutes later. We all scan through the assignment, and read our options. Some of us are glad: we’ll pass the class. Others aren’t.

Fifteen minutes for each mini-essay. One hour for the full essay. Not impossible.

Scour your brain for the answers. The Book of the City of Ladies. 1409. No. 1405. 1427. 1409. Trust your gut, Nicole.

Who wrote about Universities? Doesn’t matter. That’s one point out of 80. Just write. Why do you remember that was written in 1873, but not the guy’s name? Don’t think about that. Write.

The sound of two-thousand pens scratching on two-thousand papers is distracting. It’s hard to concentrate. You get stuck on one word, reading it over and over again. Circumcision. Why? It’s not even an important word. It doesn’t matter. Move on.

The essay. Try and construct a thesis. Truth. Fact. Non-fiction. Non-fiction is hard to write. There. That’s the thesis. Build on it. Um. Truth is hard to understand. No. It is hard to depict truth. No. Whole truths cannot be represented. Closer. “To bake an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe.” Why am–Oh. Okay. Because of the complex nature of truth, it cannot be portrayed in its entirety through literature. Non-fiction is hard to write.

Some people leave early. Some people are there to the very end. It doesn’t matter. It’s over.