The End of an Era

April 14, 2007 at 10:16 pm Leave a comment

Well, that’s it. I’m officially home now, back from England. Like pretty much everyone else there, I’m still in a funk about it.

The thing about living at the castle was that (as I occasionally lamented) it was small and isolated. Only about 180 students, and a good thirty minute walk from even the smallest of towns. While this was sometimes inconvenient for getting around, it was incredibly useful in forging a community. Everyone knew everyone else, if not necessarily by name than at least by sight. Literally everyone at the school was just a few hallways away, always easy to pop in and visit. It was stunning just how close everyone got.

My last day there acted as almost a summary of the year. It had archaeology; Evan, Laura and I borrowed Dr. Scott’s metal-detector to search for old Roman treasures. It had castle exploring; Sandy opened up access to the towers and underground tunnels, which are almost always locked, and we got to see places we’d never been. It had an epic duel; Christian and I, who had staged a number of fights during the year, finally settled our differences in a battle starting at the dorms and ending on the bridge over the moat (in the end, we both died in a double-stabbing. We wore costumes. The whole thing was filmed). It had a journey into town, in which we strained against limited finances and had one last drink at the pub. It had a finally meeting of the Excellence League on the rooftop of the dorms. It had Mitch trying to convince us to do very stupid things, and the two of us trying to kill each other. And it had a coach ride to London; this time, the last one ever.

It’s not the place itself I’ll miss, or even the adventures (great though they were). Like any place you really love, it’s the people that make it worthwhile. The most vivid memories aren’t what I did, but who I did things with. Often it’s just sitting, talking, getting to know people. Right now I’m thinking about how Peter drank Maple Syrup from a boot on the last day (it was hilarious). At the start of the year, he had been cursing us all as pretentious arts students. The other day, he wrote a blog entry explaining how he wouldn’t have made it through the year without us. I’m not sure he realizes how much he did for everyone else. He’s going to Queen’s next year; I’m not sure if I’ll ever see him again.

Every since I left the Maritimes, I’d always felt like I was on the outside. The Castle was the first place in years that felt like home. It was a place I could always find someone to talk to, someone to hang out with, people who were genuinely smart and funny and insightful. I can’t believe how many of these people I won’t see again. We’re all going to different schools next year, and the majority of people are going to Queen’s. I’ll be at UBC, halfway across the country.

So I guess that’s it. I suppose there’s a certain irony in the fact that by coming home, I’ve left Home. I might meet some of these people individually in the future, or even a bunch as a group, but it won’t be the same as living with everyone; “You can’t go home again” and all that. So I guess I have to decide where to go from here; how I’m going to adjust to being an outsider again, what I’m going to do this summer, how all us Castle kids going to UBC are going to react to being cut off from everyone else and being thrust into a huge city campus. I really don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ll just have to take things as they come.

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Here’s me Moping It’s Really Quite an Old Comic

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