I didn’t know it at the time, but August 31 would become a pretty big day for me throughout the years. Two years ago today, I met the adorable puppy next door for the first time, and Jackie has been a fixture over here since.
Six years ago, Becky and I picked up the keys to our townhouse and kicked off a mostly amazing four years as residents of Oakville. However, it was another August 31, also in Oakville, that is the main topic of this entry.
August 31, 1992 was a Monday, and the weather was picture perfect. It was a glorious day to set out on a new adventure…college! *raises beer* My plan after high school was to take a year off and work, and I did…but I worked a little too long and ended up missing the application deadline to school by a wee bit (okay, five months is more than a wee bit…allow me some creative license!)
I had zero idea what I wanted to do after high school. Back then, the idea of teaching was incredibly appealing, but thanks to biased teachers (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) I ended up with marks that weren’t quite conducive to shaping young minds. I think I’d have rocked as a teacher, but that’s besides the point. With no ideas in my noggin, I made a trip back to my high school and met with my old guidance counselor Mr. Dixon. He handed me a few course catalogs and sent me on my merry way.
Thumbing through these near phonebook-sized publications (it was 1992, well before there was an online to find everything on) I landed on Journalism. Hmmm. I was immediately intrigued. As you know, I might be a bit of a sports nut, and 20 year old Scotty came up with this nugget: I could talk about sports and get paid for it…done! With my future path picked, I just had to find a school who’d accept me.
I applied to Sheridan, Mohawk and Humber. I attended an open house at each of the first two listed and loved what I saw and heard. I was accepted to Sheridan before Humber had even deigned me worthy of being waitlisted. Jerks.
Fast forward to August 31, the first day of school, 25 years ago today. I admittedly was rather nervous…I was going back to school after two years away and my last appearance in a classroom wasn’t one I like to think about (stupidly failing a class in summer school that I had to drive to Brampton for). I also had to overcome the mental block of being called a terrible writer by my Grade 13 Creative Writing teacher, Miss Bilecki. If you’re scoring at home, she’s the one Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn told to get bent (but more colourfully) on my behalf a few years ago.
Anyway, back to the August 31 in question. I really shouldn’t have worried, because once I walked into that first class, I knew I was home. It took about eight seconds to figure out who was awesome, and I’m fortunate beyond words to call most of those people friends to this day.
Oh, the times we had. Ren and Stimpy at lunch. Air hockey tournaments that we couldn’t organize properly to save our lives. Watching Jo stealing wine and dancing to Rage Against The Machine. Baseball drafts in the middle of class. Actually learning how the journalism business worked.
*takes deep breath* To Dave, Gerry, Craig, Michelle, Wayner, Stevie, Tom, Tryg, both he Karens, Judy, Matt, Lisa, John, Danielle, Sonya, Dave in Direct Entry and Tim, Vicki and Janine, who weren’t classmates but played a big part, and everyone else who made those two years two of the very best of my life, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have no idea what my life would look like without you all in it, and I’m damned glad I won’t have to find out.
It’s been a hell of a 25 years, and I couldn’t have done it without you all.