In Toronto, there are three major players on the post-secondary scene (apart from vocational colleges): University of Toronto, York University, and Ryerson University. Of these, U of T is the largest, the wealthiest, and the most prestigious, enjoying a substantial international reputation. I went there.
There are consequences to this decision.
My boyfriend and I once met a very nice and very inebriated young man on the streetcar. He was the friendly drunk, and made chit-chat about restaurants and apartments in Toronto. Finally, noticing our ages, he asked where we went to school. My boyfriend replied he went to Concordia; it's a small school in Montreal, which not everyone has heard of, so this answer passed unremarked upon.
Then I gave my reply. Upon hearing it, our new acquaintance gave a slo-mo nod; I felt a stab of apprehension. Then he began a long-winded speech on the school's flaws. He rambled about the impersonal face of the administration, the school's overintellectualized values, its removal from the "real world", and its narrow appeal to a limited academic group. At this point, I had not uttered a single damn word on the university's quality or suitability.
As he kept ranting, I maintained a polite smile (which became more forced when I actually had to respond). I had grown out of caring about where I went for university the moment I graduated this past summer. I knew several people who attended other schools, many with better reputations in certain fields. One, who had defected to Ryerson after an uhappy stint with U of T, has always insisted on remarking how much warmer and more intimate the atmosphere is. (Frankly, I tend to find this comment an insult to hundreds of staff at U of T, because many always are very kind and do the best they can when they teach at the country's largest academic institution.) As for the rest ... I had spent five years loathing myself for pursuing my life's passion, so yeah, fuck you, to all the strangers who think they can make me do that again.
As he shambled off the streetcar, I spotted a Ryerson lanyard dangling out of his jeans pocket. I sighed.
posted at 2:01:14 pm
2. As "Americana" defines itself as artefacts of American culture, "Gloriana" consists of the artefacts of my culture.
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