Let’s start this off with an apology.
Sorry guys, I’m Canadian. Born and raised.
- I like hockey.
- I drink good beer.
- I speak French, the language of love and separatism.
- I’ve seen Anne of Green Gables so many times I know the camera angles.
- I voted for a prime minister.
- I learned my provinces and territories in grade 1, not first grade.
- I coloured Dr. T’s notes with my pencil crayons and throw in a “u” wherever I damn well please.
- Sorry I said damn, I didn’t mean to offend anyone.
- I read the 20/20 line: T-Zed-E-C-L. This is not 20/20-1.
- I will never understand yards, gallons, acres or pints. Unless it’s a pint of beer. That one I know.
- I write exams instead of taking tests. I receive my mark instead of a grade, shortly thereafter.
- I wear a toque when it’s warranted.
- I don’t think that -10 degrees is particularly cold, but I’d rather die than go outside when it’s 80. (Although let’s be real, I have yet to master Fahrenheit.)
- I like everyone.
One of those things is a lie. I like almost everyone.
Second and third year students at ICO are required to volunteer at a vision screening once a year. These screenings are often at health fairs held around the city, which are attended by individuals who may not be able to get eye exams regularly elsewhere. All throughout first year, we received emails about vision screenings, though we were not yet required to participate. When Dr. Wyles emailed us about a volunteer opportunity last weekend, I decided to sign up alongside my fellow second year Julie Minix and 10 third years.
The vision screening took place on the campus of ICO’s neighbor, IIT, at the 10th annual Health, Fitness and Fun Fair, hosted by Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter. While we provided free vision screenings, other organizations provided health and wellness screenings, massages and haircuts. There was plenty of entertainment at the fair including dancing, a hula hoop contest and performances by the South Shore Drill Team and the Jesse White Tumblers. A balloon launch to salute survivors and victims of breast cancer opened the fair.
While sometimes it’s so invigorating to explore every crevice of a big city–be it through restaurants, concerts, baseball games or museums–it can be a breath of fresh air to escape to the back roads and fields that are awaiting you a measly hour drive out of the city. Students at ICO come from a variety of places, not all metropolitan areas. I myself come from one of Chicago’s Northwest suburbs, where en route to my high school I passed cornfields and picturesque farms, complete with grazing cows. Now, four years later, I don’t make my way out there quite as often, and I find my small-town ties being strained as the hustle and bustle of working 40 hours a week has enveloped my life.
Luckily, when I find myself getting a little tightly wound, I feel fortunate enough to be able to take to those country roads with good friends and great music. When I think of Chicago, country music is definitely not the first genre of music that comes to mind. But I do associate the music with feelings of home, family, and breezy good times. So a few weeks ago my friends and I took an hour drive up to Twin Lakes, Wis., where we attended the Country Thunder music festival.
At this point I have stopped feeling guilty about all the ice cream I’ve been eating–I have become addicted to this one parfait called the Zebra at our local ice cream shop. It’s vanilla soft ice cream layered with crushed Oreo bits, melted white chocolate and hot fudge. Hopefully I will be able to find something as good in Chicago that can be my go-to when I have a craving, or just for a treat during a study break.
I have been spending as many weekends as possible out at the cottage. The summers in Winnipeg are short enough as it is, let alone the fact that I will be leaving halfway through it. The cottage is the best place for a long walk along the trans-Canada trail, or just to the campground store for a Saturday newspaper.