(December 13 , 2001, Gazette)

All that in three months?

Jeffery PardyHappy times are here again, folks. It’s the Christmas holidays. Time for family, turkey, presents, tree and snow. Sounds good, no? We have had quite a semester to reflect on. Sept. 11, anthrax, and American flags have been in our face so much they have almost become cliché. But who would have thought it? After a semester like that, what, if anything, have we learned?

Well, I guess there is a reason to be more realistic about our world, and mortality, but how long will that last? In the end, everything returns to normal. The airline industry gets back on track, we remember the events of Sept. 11 with a memorial service, and we learn something we knew already: life is totally unpredictable. All we can hope is that we’re not in the wrong place at the wrong time. All one can hope is to live the best one can, and take advantage of every moment.

On the university side of issues, there was the recreation fee fiasco. That issue saw so much coverage and debate, some people began to say “it’s only 40 dollars.” The fee gets paid, some students will actually use the thing, others complain, and life goes on.

What I really want to use this Christmas for is appreciation. Sure there’s a lot I could complain about. Teachers are leaving my department of study and have yet to be replaced, and the quality of my education feels like it’s going down. There are rumours that the old TSC was sold to Xerox as a copy centre, and I doubt it will be long before there’s advertisements for Coke, McDonald’s, and every other capitalist institution in our halls and, maybe even, classrooms. Nobody seems willing to open the old Breezeway for business, even though it is far superior to the new one and huge numbers turned out there to party the one night it was reopened.

On top of all that (perhaps the greatest disappointment of all), the university crime squad and SWAT team (the guards with walkie-talkies) still haven’t found out what happened to the beloved metal university map that used to be outside the TSC, in front of the physical education building. Oh, the horror! The criminals must be brought to justice!

But, I digress. It is Christmas holidays after all. I’ll be watching old movies with my family, talking with friends who spend most of their time on the mainland, and visiting my relatives around the bay. Sounds like good times to me. Time to sit back, relax, and appreciate the fact that I have come one semester closer to graduation. With any luck, I’ll have a good New Year’s Eve, write a truthful article about it, and come back with ideas for new articles.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, see you at the waterfront! Columnist’s champagne of choice for New Year’s celebrations: Newfie Duck.