Monday, March 29, 2010

Post 1172 - Wolfville Thoughts

Some of you know, and maybe a few of you care, that I attended Acadia University back in the 1980's.   Never mind what I studied; I have to have some secrets you know.  But you should know that I absolutely love, without reservation, the town of Wolfville.   When I go visit my parents, virtually every weekend now, I take an earlier exit than I have to, just so I can drive through that lovely, lovely town.

Of course, I drive past the campus.  I very seldom go on campus now, though.   So many of my professors from back in the day have retired or moved on, or even died, that I wouldn't recognize many of the faculty now; nor they, me.  Even after I graduated, I'd go to the massive Acadia library and wander through the stacks, remembering the years I worked in the library.  Of course, in this post-September 11th world, it would be more difficult for me to even enter the library, let alone wander, even if I wanted to do that.  Some things are better left in the past.

A couple of you know that I applied for a job at Acadia less than a year after I graduated.   Unhappy in my work situation, and not thrilled with city living, I aggressively sought this position, and came in second in the competition!   I do not regret how my life has turned out; but from time to time, I still wonder how my life would have unfolded had I got that job.  It would have been a different career path, that's for sure.  Working in a university setting can be stressful in other ways. 

I had 2 interviews for the position.   The first one went well enough that I was invited back for a second one.   In the second interview, my nervousness got the better of me.  I was told that they had checked my references.  One concern they had, had been adequately addressed by a reference of mine.  They were worried that I might be cowed or intimidated by professors with PhD's.  This reference had thought it would not be the case with me as I had worked with PhD's in that office environment.   I had treated everyone the same.  I suppose I had earned their respect by not bs'ing them.

Where I think I fell down was when I was asked to talk about MS DOS, the then-cutting edge operating system.  While I could talk about it, and knew it, I was so nervous it was hard to get the words out.   All these years later, I could talk about MS DOS, not that anybody discusses MS DOS any more.  I mean, when's the last time you talked about MS DOS with anybody other than an intimate partner prior to nodding off after a session of spirited love making?

Anyway, they hired someone else, a fellow named Binny.  For years after that, a former professor of mine, who knew I had applied for a job there, called me that, confusing me with that other guy.

There's not much point to this story.  I just wanted to get my thoughts out there about those hectic years during which I was studying for my degree, and eventually attained it.  Most Canadians don't have degrees.  They view university students as drunken louts there on their parents' dime.   I was there on student loans and part-time jobs, too poor to live on campus, commuting to and from my parents'  home every day, driving a car that broke down on my way to my graduation ceremony.  Not much glamour there.

Here's a video of comic Ron James, an Acadia graduate, and his thoughts on Acadia.

And, here's something totally unique: The way the chimney swifts go home at night.  This was a chimney at a former milk plant (I think!).  They were going to tear it down, but then the swifts would have had no place to go, so they kept the chimney and built an interpretive centre around it, just so the birdies would have a place to sleep at night.  Only in Wolfville!!



Ken said...

I grew up in Wolfville in the 1950's and '60's, Bev. It is an amazing town, although it has its downsides too. I, too, lived at home during university - just one block east of campus, so I didn't have much of a walk to class. Do you remember the Palms Restaurant? If so, one of the sons of the owners has written an excellent book on growing up in Wolfville and his experiences in town. A great walk down memory lane!

Margaret said...

My Mom grew up in Wolfville, so I spent a lot of time there visiting family when I was a kid. I love it, I always wanted to go to Acadia. Instead I ended up going to Dalhousie so I could live at home.

Bevboy said...

Thanks, Ken and.. Alexisatk (don't know you). I wrote more about Acadia than I did Wolfville. I'll write lots more about Wolfville on the blog.

Ken, I don't remember the Palms restaurant, no. Where was it, and what's there now?

Do you remember the hotel that was in Wolfville? It was where the Irving station was in the downtown. My father played a role in moving it, I think.


AM said...

Hi Bev: I visited your site and the first blog entry I read was this one on Acadia and Wolfville. My daughter is going to Acadia this year, first year. She loves it there. Wolfville is very welcoming for the students which is not always the case for University towns. She is in the tower and she loves the residence life too. I liked your chimney clip too. Where exactly is that chimney in Wolville?

Bevboy said...

Hi, AM. Nice to see these older posts get some reading.

The chimney swifts are on Front Street by the liquor store.

Keep reading the blog. I see you have been, but you have days and days of reading ahead of you.


Ken said...

Bev, AM's comment drew me back to this old post and I see you had asked a question of me that I didn't see. The Palms was where Joe's is now, on the north side of Main Street just west of Porter's clothing store. My Dad worked at the old Acadian office just to the west of the Palms, so that was the place of choice for his coffee breaks and the like. The Palms was a great drop in spot in the afternoons after school too!

And yes, I remember the Evangeline Hotel before it was moved - and after, when it became a university residence. I don't recall ever actually being inside the building, but I probably was as a kid.

It doesn't surprise me in the least that your Dad was involved in the moving of the building. I'll bet that was an engineering feat for the day - that was a long building and was, as I recall, moved in one piece, except for the large veranda that ran along the front of the building.