The Babs Journal: Day 1 (May 9, 2005)

I tried to enclose the actual journal in block quotes, because from time to time, I have to make remarks on what happened, notes from now to my past self, if you will. So off we go.

Here I am. Holy shit. I stayed up all night last night because I’m a big dope and didn’t want to pack right away. So I sat and talked to people on the phone, got the pants scared off me by some sergeant major who lives in Guelph and went to Guiding Eyes. I don’t know if I believe I have to be that severe. Oh well, anyway, suffice it to say that I spent the time I should have been packing on the phone. So, Headrick began to pack and found that she had to fill her suitcase and backpack to capacity, as well as a plastic bag. Almost split a few zippers in the process. Woops.

Note from present self to past self: That was your first mistake. Somehow, you did not realize you would be bringing home more than you brought, so you packed way too much clothes. Past self, there is a reason that they make laundry available to students for free. Even though you’re gone for two and a half weeks, you do not have to have a fresh outfit for each day. Well, part of that was the fact that when you asked if towels were provided, you didn’t get a straight answer, so it wasn’t all your fault. But it’s all about the laundry!

Really I didn’t pack that much. It was just this rainsuit I bought for shite weather that really mucked up the works. But I’m sure I’ll find a reason to appreciate it.

Oh, it was appreciated. I remember a muddy day in the grassy paddock.

My train ride was…eventful but pleasant. Got on the train in Guelph with this woman who was going to Ottawa to see the tulip festival. Her son is also pretty messed up from a brutal home-invasion and has spent a month in hospital. Yikes. Anyway, I got to talk to her, and then Sharon, the first classmate I knew about, got on the train at Gildwood. Oo that was exciting. I managed to cause a bit of a stirr unintentionally. I said there was another blind lady getting on at Gildwood and I was hoping she could sit near me. Then, because I had mentioned that there would be another of my class on the train with me, the lady who I was sitting with piped up, saying “she’s going for a guide dog too.” So the conductor’s looking around for a blink with a woof, there’s a blink, but no woof. Now, poor Sharon started thinking she had to bring woof back to school, and got all flustered. She’s cool. We talked in between falling asleep and wondering why our train kept coming to a complete and utter stop. But it was fun.

Then we got off the train, and one of us almost lost our stuff. Woops. Well not really, it was just that nobody knew exactly where her bag went and so it was great fun. Sue Hawkins, the head trainer at the school, picked us up. So far I have seen no sign of scary Jane, the head of the school and the lady who taught me orientation and mobility stuff when I was a wee little girl. You can tell what kind of a rapport we had, can’t ya? ***update*** I saw scary Jane. She came in when we were signing agreements. Luckily, that was *after* I got busted for falling asleep while Sue Hawkins read the contract.

My instructor’s name is Tim. He’s a cool dude. Very very very patient and unintimidating. must save file, Tim is knocking.

Ok, have gone on tour of building. Pretty basic but pretty cool. I’ve been handed my dog dish. That’s weird. I’m gonna get my beast tomorrow!

All my classmates are nice. Sharon seems like a nice lady, she’s got a hint of sarcasm which I think is fun. She thinks I’m funny for having two exploding bags.

And so she should. Exploding bags don’t usually take new contents very well.

She’s like what are you bringing a rainsuit for. I’ve hung up my stuff, everything has a home already.

It’s a little chilly in here…we have central air and it’s on full swing. I have a long-sleeved shirt and some jeans and I’m a little ber ber chillie.

I will be able to send from my rogers. I was starting to worry that I wouldn’t have access to my email account somehow. They really lock up the computer in the day time. You can only use it in the evenings.

Note to past self: You will learn that that is the biggest pile of bullshit you’ll ever hear. You have access to the grooming room all the time, and they never lock the actual computer room, so all you have to do is go into the computer room from the grooming room whenever you have free time.

I’m gonna have fun finding the computer room. Haha. But it’s in this giant grooming room with a huge bench and there’s an exercise machine in one corner, and the dog food is in here. And here’s something weird. In the room where the beast is, not the canine beast, but the computer beast, there’s a ham radio. Of all things a ham radio! Hello blind geeks.

But my three classmates are all different. Sharon is Sharon. Funny, young, cool. Margery is cool, but in a grandmotherly sort of way. She’s from Kingston. If she’d just been on a train a bit earlier, there would have been three blind mice on the train.

It’s too bad that Margery is no longer with us. What an unfortunate chain of events that was.

And Tim the student, well he seems cool, but quite bitter, bitter about blindness, but it sounds like he has good reason. He’s from Winnipeg. Wonder if he knows another certain dick from Winnipeg that I had not so good business dealings with. Man that would have sucked if said dick was a student here. Ooo! dangerous! Dangerous combo! I would have been able to be civil with him but considering the elba, which I’m using to write this, the Elba he sold me, is a piece of garbage, it would have been kind of tense. I like it, it just isn’t what it was supposed to be. And he owes me money…anyway enough asides, Tim’s from Winnipeg, flew in. I think he’ll still be cool.

My head aches. I mean I had lots of food, didn’t make it through even half of my train loot that I brought…I was too tired/nervous/everything in between. But Sue Hawkins is a doll. She bought us, Sharon and I, Timmy Ho’s bagels.

There are strange practices here. When you enter and leave a room, you have to knock on the door, no matter which side you come from. Apparently this is so that other people know you’re coming out…and if your dog is sleeping and you have to leave him in the room, the knock will let him know that ya might just come toddling on in.

If they’d only had tie-downs, people wouldn’t have had to leave loose dogs in rooms, but that school didn’t believe in tie-downs. Ok then. Whatever.

But it’s really weird to knock on a door while leaving it, to knock on a lounge door. It’s weird.

Apparently dinner’s at 6. I don’t know what to do with myself. I could wander,and likely will later, but I don’t wanna get lost in front of the instructor. As unintimidating and patient as he is, I wanna save the fuckuppery for another day.

Ooo! The email will open up in like 20 minutes. I can’t phone mom and pop until 6 cause that’s when my cellphone minutes kick in.

I can’t believe it’s happening. This place really feels like my temporary home. It’s like having a res room all over again. There’s a desk, which I’m writing on now, they have a clock, which does *not* talk, way to go ace, but oh well, I brought a clock radio, so suck it. There’s a nice big closet. There’s a place for the doggy dish to go, there’s a doggy bed. Ooo! a doggy bed! right beside my bed. Ber. a little chilly though. Wonder if I can control the heat. Dont think so because Tim was telling me where everything was.

I’m kicking myself for bringing a towel, I wasn’t sure if they provided them or not, I asked and got a wishy-washy anser. They did in fact provide towels. Arg! The towel was totally most of the cause of my split-zipper fun…that and the rainsuit. After all that, it better get put to use one day. Just one day and then it can be nice again.

Oh, and I realize that on top of all this shite, I’m going to have more to bring home. Thank god I’m taking mamma and papa transit back to Guelph.

Note to past self: It’s good that you finally got aboard the train of reality. It’s too bad you were almost too late.

Anyway, enough boring gabble that’s probably more mundane than watching paint dry. Tomorrow will be much more exciting. Later dudes.

Small update. Have eaten my first meal here. The housekeeper, Anka, is a real doll. She served us food and took really good care of us. She sleeps here at night. We signed our training contract, and a couple other small forms. Scary Jane remembers me! aaa aaa aaa! She said I was nothing but trouble, jokingly I have to admit. She sounded nothing like I remember. So it’s official, scary Jane remembers me!

After we signed all that shite, we had to practice exiting the premises. I already got lost once, not during the fire drill thankfully enough.

I’m very tired now. Will try and send this.

Steve, this is justice for you. I’m having to edit a doggy journal and fix all the lines. So you aren’t the only one to go through this.

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