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The Ubyssey Mar 31, 2006

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Friday, 31 March, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
Harper discs strictly black and white
Both Sides of the Gun
Virgin Records
by D. Winter White
Ben Harper's music has acted as an
aid for many people. His breadth of
topics, lyrical diversity and range of
styles make it seem as though there
is always a song from his repertoire
that will suit the moment So of
course when he releases his first
solo effort in a few years it will act as
a cynosure in the culture.
Opening the package of Both
Sides of the Gun, you are confronted by the strict black and white
packaging of the album. Dividing
the album into two black and white
discs allows Harper to maintain the
concinnity of each, the first being
softer—more reminiscent of his
earlier work; the second has a
broader range of stylistic variety
and experimentation.
The white disk begins and ends
with maudlin tunes. Starting with
songs of separation and unfulfilled
desire is an unusual touch for an
artist, but Harper pulls it off
superbly. Just listen to the names of
the songs: "Morning Yearning*;
"Waiting for You"; "Picture in a
Frame"; "Never Leave Lonely
Alone." From this he moves into an
instrumental that calls to mind
warm beaches in tropical places.
The disc then works to a climax with
anti-paeans from "Reason to
Mourn" through to "Cryin Won't
Help You Now," and ends with the
short denouement of "Happy
Everafter In Your Eyes." This disc is
a beautiful piece of work.
The black disc is the "b§te-noir" of
the package. Some of the songs work
well by themselves, but the arrangement does not show the thoughtrut
ness of the first Listening to it leaves
one with the feeling that Harper had a
hodgepodge of songs left over after
making the first, but that he could not
find a way to make them fit into an
album, so they ended up thereafter on
the black disc. And that's fine, but you
probably won't want to listen to it
straight through many times.
The  colour-coding creates an
interesting package, and moreover
is pertinent to the content white
good, black bad. The quality of the
white disc more than makes up for
the lack of thought in the black, so
this album is worth buying even if
you are only going to listen to the
white disk—it is that good. II
Two pasts converge in Claire Morrall's haunting, "ethereal" novel
by Claire Morrall
by Gemini Cheng
If improbable situations are your
thing, maybe you'll like Clare
Morrall's second novel, Natural
Flights of the Human Mind.
She's a good writer and an
entertaining read; you won't pick
up this book and stop reading it
because it's bad. It's good, and
shows a darker side of humanity.
That said, the novel was slightly
disappointing for what it could
have been. Reviews hail it as "ethereal" and "heart-stopping," but I
wouldn't label it in those extremes.
The premise of Natural Flights
of the Human Mind is haunting
enough. Peter Straker has killed 78
people and the 25th anniversary of
their deaths is fast-approaching. He
talks to them in his mind, in his
dreams, while he lives in a lighthouse on the Devon coast
Imogen Doody has just inherited
a cottage by Straker's lighthouse,
and as Straker is drawn into helping
her repair it, their pasts gradually
begin to converge.
A couple of questions I had
about this novel were answered
more quickly than I expected. Why
did he kill 78 people? How did he
kill 78 people? Did he even want to?
Right from the beginning, it's obvious that the incident has plagued
his dreams. As for the how and the
why, you find out pretty early on
because it's actually not the point of
the story like I thought it was.
Essentially, this novel is about
the human heart and the pain it
can    endure.    There    is    Peter
Straker, who cannot escape the
past because he bears the responsibility of 78   deaths.  At first,
Straker is  silenced by his  sin,
although he  quickly begins  to
open up when he meets Doody.
The silence is effective at first—
the antihero cannot bring himself
to speak, but his sudden decision
to talk is actually unexpected and
goes unnoticed within the narrative. Rather than save speech for
his atonement, Morrall chooses to
have Straker speak without fuss
early on in the novel.
There is Doody, who is bitter
from her husband's disappearance
UBC BFA 4f h-year Open
Studio Day
Hut M22
March 31, Noon-4pm
Check out the art produced
by your fellow students.
ARTiculate April 2006
Issue Release Party
Hut Ml 8
March 31, Noon-4pm
Published by the Visual Art
Student Society
JIA Launch Reception
Liu Institute
Friday March 31,4-7pm
Come to the launch of the
Journal of International
Affairs published by IRSA
featuring student academic
UBC Chinese Ensemble
Recital Hall, Music Building
April 3, Noon
Come hear live music at the
School of music.
Brave New Play Rites
Frederic Wood Theatre
March 29-April 2
In its 20th year, 12 plays by
emerging playwrights and
directors from the renowned
UBC Creative Writing and
Theatre program.
SUMMER? Southwestern Publishing is
interviewing tough, smart, goal-oriented
students. Gain experience, make over
S9000 and set yourself apart from others.
ENGLISH? Want a high energy, exciting
environment to work in? Lacking
experience and training? Submit resumes
for review to Greta Borick-Cunningham
at greta@ilac.com Opportunities available
at International Language Academy of
Canada for Summer 2006
"HAVE FUN* MAKE SS All team &
individual sports, all water sports, hiking/
ONLINE ASAP www.campcobbossee.com
BAKERY at West Pender needs the
following: Opening and Closing Staff,
Cashiers, Servers, Sandwich Makers and
Food Prep. Send your resume to: Fax
604.638.3985 or Email info.pender@
3 serious-minded business students. My
business is exploding and I need help. If
you have the desire to make great money,
are coachable and think you nave what it
takes to succeed...
Call me - Brad - 604-781-4035
WINDOWS. Southwestern Publishing
has 7 positions remaining for creative,
energetic, and motivated students. Make
over $9000, get experience and travel.
SUMMER JOB!!!! Musqueam Golf &
Learning Academy, 3904 West 51st Ave.
Vancouver (minutes from UBC). NOW
HIRING Full Time 8c Part Time
COOKS for busy 2006 GOLF season.
Please quote this ad & fax resume to
604.266.8288 or reply in person.
CONFERENCE 2006. Follow Your
Dream. Want to meet leaders in the sports
industry? Sports Career Management
Conference 2006- a two-day conference
featuring the Presidents of the BC
Lions, Vancouver Whitecaps, Vancouver
Canadians and more! March 31st-April
1st @ UBC Robson Square. Visit www.
mjlevents.ca for more information.
MOVING SALE. L-shaped beige
melamine desk with two bottom drawers/
three top) drawers $60. Futon and frame
$45. Dragon boar paddle (used only one
season- like new) $35. Various new audio
tape series from Chuck Swindoll/Insighr
for Living Ministry $25-$35. Female ice
skates-size 8- like new $25. Call Maggie
Seminars, Demos & Displays on the latest
technology in hybrid vehicles, efficiency,
alternative fuels and environmental
issues that surround sustainability in
transportation. Demos of Ballard's
Fuel Cell Car and odier Hybrids! UBC
Supermileage Team and more! Wednesday
APRIL 5TH, 10am-2pm. Room 2030
Fred Kaiser Building-by the big "E".
on-campus, student-owned, non-profit
bike shop! New & used bikes, parts,
storage accessories, bike repairs and bike
repair instruction, tool use, bike storage
and volunteer opportunities. On the
north side of the SUB. 604-827-7333.
per year (Sept through Sept). Fully
equipped professional photo studio. All
you need is your digital or film camera.
Photosoc members also have access
to our state of the art, traditional wet
lab (with free chemicals for processing
and enlarging) as well as mat cutting
facilities. Save hundreds of dollars, learn
how to take professional quality portraits
and have full control over your prints.
For only $65.00 per year you can gain
the skills and learn the process of a
professional level photographer. Also, we
are located in the basement of the SUB
(between the food co-op and copyright)
so drop by! Phone 604.822.4405', email
photosocubc@gmail.com. www.ams.ubc.
ca/clubs/photosociety. SUB Room 26.
2 5 years ago. With many flashbacks
to her husband, we see that she is
troubled because after finding
someone who appreciates her after
her emergence from her sister's
shadow, she is actually shunned by
his family and is eventually abandoned without explanation by the
man she loves.
What makes a compelling story
is the pain behind the characters.
We meet some of the people whom
Straker has killed, and the loved
ones left behind. For some, the pain
has turned to anger, culminating in
what I deemed a far-fetched climax.
It paints an accurate picture of what
human nature is capable of, but I'm
not sure who would find it truly realistic. But I have to ask: is this really
a problem? I didn't like the ending,
but you might II
150,000 Ion. Manual 5sp. Great
condition, litde ext. wear. AJrcare. Hard/
soft top. Bike/ski/board rack, Mp3/CD
player. $5000. Call Uura 604.290.2400
Renovated East Van Suite. Heat, internet,
washer/dryer, NS/NP. Parks, skytrain,
bus (BCIT, SFU, \JBC). Excellent quiet
neighbourhood. S275/room. Homesrav
optional. Please call Peter: 778-882-3885
single room in four-bedroom apartment.
2 bathrooms. Spacious living room
and kitchen. All brand-new and fully
furnished. Access to cable and high-speed
internet. On campus. Call 604-812-1365.
Females only. Apply alone or with friends.
Place available: June 1st till end of August,
or portion thereof.
Drink & Grow Rich $$$!!!
ADVENTURE! Teach English
Worldwide. Earn Money. GetTESOL
Certified in 5 days. Study In-Class,
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PROOFREADING. Academic / business
/ personal. $25.00 per hr.,or by job.
Experienced. BA, PostBac.DipBus.Admin.
elsaf@telus.net (604) 255-5799
TO BE KIND. Support only non-animal
research, www.humaneseal.org
To place an ad or a classified, call 604-822-
1654 or visit Room 23 in the SUB (basement).
Friday, 31 March, 2006
Rant Literary Supplement
Alia Dharssi, Mary Leighton &
Colleen Tang
Editorial Board
coordinating editor Jesse Marchand
coorctinating@ubyssey.be. ca
news editors Paul Evans SC Eric Szeto
news@ubyssey.be ca
culture editor Simon Underwood
culture@ubyssey.be ca
sports editor Megan Smyth
Bryan Zandberg
features@ubyssey.be ca
photo editor Yinan Max Wang
photos@ubyssey.be ca
production manager Michelle Mayne
volunteers Colleen Tang
volunteers@ubyssey.be ca
research/letters Claudia Li
feedback@ubyssey.be ca
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper of the University
of British Columbia. It is published every Tuesday and Friday
by The Ubyssey Publications Sodety. We are an autonomous,
democratically run student organisation, and all students are
encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written by the Ubyssey staff. They
are the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not necessarily
reflect the views of The Ubyssey Publications Society or the
University of British Columbia. All editorial content appearing in
The Ubyssey is the property of The Ubyssey Publications Society.
Stories, opinions, photographs and artwork contained herein
cannot be reproduced without the expressed, written permission
of The Ubyssey Publications Sodety.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press
(CUP) and adheres to CUP's guiding principles.
Letters to the editor must be under 300 words. Please include
your phone number, student number and signature (not for
publication) as well as your year and faculty with all submissions.
ID will be checked when submissions are dropped off at the
editorial office of The Ubyssey, otherwise verification will be done
by phone. "Perspectives" are opinion pieces over 300 words but
under 750 words and are run according to space."Freestyles" are
opinion pieces written by Ubyssey staff members. Priority will be
given to letters and perspectives over freestyles unless the latter is
time sensitive. Opinion pieces will not be run until the identity of
the writer has been verified. The Ubyssey reserves the right to edit
submissions for length and clarity.
It is agreed by all persons pladng display or classified advertising
that if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to publish an
advertisement or if an error in the ad occurs the liability of the
UPS will not be greater than the price paid for the ad. The UPS
shall not be responsible for slight changes or typographical errors
that do not lessen the value or the impact of the ad.
Room 24, Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
tel: 604-822-2301
fax: 604-822-9279
web: www.ubyssey.bc.ca
e-mail: feedback@ubyssey.bc.ca
Room 23, Student Union Building
advertising: 604-822-1654
business office: 604-822-6681
e-mail: advertising@ubyssey.be. ca
business manager Fernie Pereira
advertising sales Bernodette Delaquis
ad design Shalene Tdkara
Once upon a time Amanda Truscott derided to go on a voyage to the bottom of the sea, accompanied by George Prior,
Boris Korby, Simon Underwood and Champagne Choquer.
Along the way they met a mermaid in the form of Alia
Dharssi. She took them to see the United Nations of the
Ocean, composed of Gemini Cheng, Kellan Higgins, Michelle
Mayne, Bryan Zandberg and Yinan Max Wang. They were
debating whether to attack the kingdom of Frieda Luk, who
had been attacking Jesse Ferreras with many Jesse
Marchands. Suddenly, Eric Szeto and Paul Evans burst in,
demanding to talk to Ruben Heredia;they left disappointed,
finally, an attack was made, and Generals Mai Bui and Megan
Smyth ordered Andrew MacRae, Colleen Tang and Michael
Kenacan into action. The victory was swift, though not without loss as D.WinterWhite lost his best pants, and Claudia Li
beat up the Sexual Harassment Panda. The troika of Mary
Leighton, Candice Killantfn and Michelle Lee was installed to
rule the seas, and all was happy with the world. The end.
cover design Champagne Choquer
editorial graphic Yinan Max Wang
editorial graphic
Paul Evans & Mary Leighton
University      Canada Post Sales Agreement
Press Number 0040878022
3 THE UBYSSEY   Friday, 31 March, 2006
Culture 3
Upgrading the doghouse with style
or, Fif j gets designer digs
by Reuben Heredia
For a man as fashionably ignorant as
I am, the term "Designer Doghouse"
was about as foreign a concept as
any. Scared, curious, and somewhat
excited, I headed down to the
Vancouver Architecture Institute
Gallery to find out what all the fiiss
was about As it turns out, the sordid
"Snoopy shacks* of yesteryear are
out, and creative canine condominiums are in—so are annoying
attempts at alliteration, apparently.
The event, entitled Doghouse
Vancouver, is, as the title indicates, a
showcase of doghouses, or more
accurately, "designer doghouses."
The brain child of Jason Heard, director of the dv Interior Design and
Urban Living Expo, the exhibition is a
way for the Vancouver design community to interact with the public.
"What we decided to do was we
hooked up with the Architects and
Interior Design Institute of BC, and
with K9 Biscuits Company, and did
[a takeoff] of an event that K9 was
involved in about four years ago
called 'Barkitecture'," said Heard.
In addition, all the exhibitions at
the show will be up for auction on
April 13-15, with every penny going
to the BC SPCA.
With a total of ten exhibition
pieces from various architecture and
interior design firms, and designs
ranging from the traditional outdoor
doghouse to nirniture pieces that
would be at home in the most "new-
age" of apartments, I was blown away
at the sheer ingenuity of some of the
designs. The biggest surprise came
from the visually drab but conceptually brilliant "wRoof!" from In Space
design. Looking like a cardboard-
cutout house, it is in fact a portable
doghouse, which turns into a suitcase
with compartments for food and
other doggie supplies. Other cool
designs include the "Lombok
Pavillion" from It Inc., a doghouse
inspired by traditional Thai houses;
the Bau Wau house from Industrial
Artifacts, the sustainable house for "a
rnindfiil 'Green' dog that thinks it's
important that his or her house is
made locally using recycled materials
with a story," according the dv's
online description; and the "Doggy
Wallbed" from Instant Bedrooms
Manufacturing, an extremely practical doggie bed that folds up into an
inconspicuous, elegant cabinet
The doghouses are just as much
for the owners as for the dogs. I've
noticed that some dog owners tend
to live vicariously through their
dogs; this is eerily similar to parents who try to make up for their
iitifulfilling childhood by vicariously living through their children—
except the latter results in annoyed,
belligerent children.
Luckily, dogs don't tend to get
annoyed with their owner as long as
there's an abundance of food and
affection. When I asked Heard about
my  aforementioned   "theory,"  he
agreed and told me that dog owners
tend to gravitate towards houses that
niirrored their own interests. I, for
example, was drawn to the Lombok
Pavilion, niirroring my interest in all
things Thai. As for whether the dogs
like the houses, according to Heard,
the ones that were brought into experience the true joy of being a posh
pooch were impartial to which houses they liked, and were more inclined
to find the food placed in the houses.
Heard has a background in dis
tribution logistics and started the dv
Interior Design and Urban Living
Expo last year in order to bring a
new perspective to urban fiving. The
idea for doghouse Vancouver came
about when Jason was driving home
from a meeting on how to get the
community involved.
"This whole project came around
when we started talking about something the Architect Institute of BC did
years and years ago, and they did
birdhouses. I happened to be driving
home when it clicked in my mind. I
read an article about two weeks prior
about how Vancouver was the dog
capital of North America, [and I just
thought], 'It's got to be dogs."
"This is the first year that we've
done something like this, and the
response just within the community
itself has been unbelievable," said
Heard. "We're really happy with how
it's turned out we're getting some
great exposure, and it couldn't go to a
better cause, in my opinion." II
The Ubyssey feel that we should be doing our most to
recognize and encourage activities and events that develop
and strengthen a sense of community on campus. On our
80th anniversary in 1998, we established a $50,000 endowment
that will fund the Ubyssey Community Contribution Award.
This annual award recognizes returning UBC students who
have made a significant contribution to developing and
strengthening the sense of community on the UBC campus by:
1. Organizing or administrating an event or project, or
2. Promoting activism and awareness in an academic,
cultural, political, recreational, or social sphere.
The award is open to all returning, full-time UBC students,
graduate, undergraduate and unclassified in good standing
with the Ubyssey Publications Society For the 2006-2007
academic year, we will award a $3000 award for a project.-
Deadline will be April 7 2006 and the award will be disbursed to
the successful candidate in early September 2006.
Nominees for the award will be judged on:
1. The impact of the contribution made - the number of
people involved or affected.
2. The extent of the contribution - the degree to which
it strengthens the sense of community on campus.
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community. -, > •
Nominations should include a cover letter ^ytfce
either an individual or a group, briefly.stating
of the contribution made, the individual being nomi^a^di
contact information of the nominator and the nommee and;^ ;
a letter (approximately 500 words in length) describing the , v
contribution made and how the above four criteria have been
met. - ,     ; ^ :„;!'-.
Students are welcome to nominate themselves, but those doing
so must attach a letter of support from another member of the
campus community. The award will be judged by a committee
chaired by a representative of UBC Student Financial
Assistance and Awards office and members from various parts
of the campus community.
Deadline for submission of completed nominations
should reach the Ubyssey Room 23, SUB, no later than
Friday, April 7, 2006.
For further information, please contact Fernie Pereird,
Business Manager, The Ubyssey, at (604) S22-66%lor
email: fpereira@interchange.ubcca
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Friday, 31 March, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
Do you excel in photography?
Are you a g ram mar nazi?
the Ubyssey is hiring a Copy Editor and a Photo Editor
this August. Stop by SUB 23 for more info
STARTS TODAY! EKSe fElTowNi2checktribute-caforShow«mes
,"■ ,;;y -fy-:>:: '%}_E>1RE'CTED^ BY:-MORRIS PANYCl-l ,    \
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A I R  CANADA   !ik)'
COMMUNITY AWARENESS: Ted Klaver leads an effort to improve
the Downtown Eastside. yinan max wang photo
Revitalising the DTES with soup
by Amanda Truscott
It's a busy Friday afternoon at Cook
Studio Cafe, and this bright little
restaurant is bustling with its regular
clientele: judges, local businesspeo-
ple, police and social service workers.
This is no ordinary lunch spot its
smiling, efficient staff are all graduates of Food & Service Resource
Group's training programs for at-risk
youth, street kids, abused women
and 'multi-barriered individuals."
The company runs government-sponsored training programs, job placement services and
volunteer initiatives. But it's not a
charity; its founder James
Kennedy is adamant that, in order
for the workers' experience to be
truly valuable, "it has to be real."
Although Kennedy jokingly calls
himself "one of those foolish little
entrepreneurs who actually believes
in social value," anyone who takes a
look at the smiles on the faces of his
employees or tastes the Cook Studio
Cafe's made-with-love lunches would
likely argue that "foolish" is probably
not the right word.
Located in the heart of the
Downtown Eastside, Cook Studio
Cafe and Food & Service Resource
Group employs 96 people, most of
them pulled up from the depths
of poverty.
Ever wondered who makes the
delectable organic, fair-trade brownies sold at Sprouts in the SUB? The
Cafe does. Founded in 1990, the company began as a training program for
women who had come out of abusive
relationships or trouble with the law.
"I met their kids," Kennedy says.
"I saw their kids, and I realised that
we had to get started at a younger
age." So they did. Youth graduates of
the training program have a 70-75
per cent success rate, finding employment not only with Kennedy at the
Cafe or his catering company, but
also at many other local restaurants
and pubs. The four-to-one student-
teacher ratio of the training programs might have something to do
with it Kennedy's philosophy is also
a likely factor:  "Treat people with
respect   and   it  works.   But  also,
there have to be guidelines and
rules...when someone cares enough;
to give them hell fdiPBelog^%te, ii*
makes a difference^vhe explains,
emphasising that most of the kidsy
who come through the program have
had little prior experience with structured environments.
Located in the heart
of the Downtown
Eastside, Cook Studio
Cafe and Food and
Service Resource
Group employs 96
people, most of them
pulled up from the
depths of poverty.
His restaurant is where the Aki—
the first Japanese restaurant in
Vancouver—used to be, back when
the Downtown Eastside was known
as "Japan Town." When World War II
came, the Canadian government
declared all Japanese Canadians
"enemy aliens." It confiscated their
property and placed them in internment ckrhps in the interior, leaving
desolate what was once a thriving
immigrant community. The area
became infected with drugs and
crime after having been cleared of its
former inhabitants.
"We don't let the address guide
what we're doing," Kennedy says, gesturing towards a beautiful spinach,
mushroom, pancetta and blue cheese
salad being carefully constructed by
Lulu, a quiet, sweet-looking woman.
"I love seeing these kids, I love
seeing the smiles on their faces,
he continues, "The most important
thing is for them to realise that
whatever's happened in the past is
not as important as the future
they've got." H
v *?
THE UBYSSEY   Friday, 31 March. 2006
Culture 5
by Mai Bui
Those on their way to class one afternoon last week* may have noticed a
curious phenomenon taking place in
the wooded area behind Buchanan
Tower: a small group of recreation-
enthusiasts and their Ubyssey writer
sidekick congregating in a thicket.
What in the name of obscure sports
were we doing there? If the wickets
and mallets didn't give it away, then
the sign staked territorially in the
grass certainly must have: "Croquet
Society—Match in Progress."
Specifically, it was a practice
match of Xtreme Croquet. For those
who have yet to try croquet, a
match basically involves using a
mallet to strike a ball through a
series of embedded wire hoops
(wickets) until you 'stake out' of the
match by hitting the finishing stake
with the ball. The Xtreme variant is
traditional croquet's renegade half-
brother, whose participants ditch
manicured lawns in favour of the
obstacles provided by Mother
Nature. When setting up the
Xtreme Croquet course, players
scout the terrain for roots, stumps,
and other impediments in an effort
to maximise and diversify their
Former UBC Croquet Society
President Daryl Wile, namesake of
the 'Wile Cup' championship, came
up with the idea to start a UBC cro
quet club in 2003. "It's such an odd
spectacle to see people play croquet,"
remarked Corey Fischer, current
President of the UBC 'Croqsoc' and
Wile's best friend since first grade.
Since its inaugural year, the
Croqsoc has held numerous
'Friendlies,' (non-competitive matches) to acquaint players with one
another as well as with the style of
croquet to be played at an upcoming
"Friendlies are a nice way to take
a break from school, especially during those warm September days"
said Fischer. "If you don't know anything about [croquet] but you'd like to
try it, you can come and check it out.
Usually people who play [at a
Friendly] will then come out to the
There are four tournaments
played each year according to four
different variations on the game. The
first two tournaments of the year are
the 'Autumn Classic/ which uses the
North American traditional style of
croquet, and 'November Reigns,'
which pitches teams of three against
each other.
"I think if we opened up with
Xtreme [Croquet] we'd turn off a lot
of people," explained Fischer. "We
open up with a simple backyard style
of playing. You're hitting the ball
through these little hoops on the
ground; anyone can do it. That's what
I like about it."
This year's third tournament, the
'Xtreme Challenge,' took place last
Sunday afternoon in the woods
beside the International House.
Players navigated through a wicket
on a tree stump and a ball-trapping
hollow in the ground en route to
the finishing stake, to name just a
few obstacles. After close semifinal
and final rounds, the Croqsoc's
self-effacing President himself
won the medal for the Xtreme
Challenge tournament.
But it's not over yet. This year's
Green Jacket has yet to be won for
'Masters of the University,' the final
tournament of the year, played in the
International format using six wickets set in a figure eight. The points
accumulated from players' standings
in all the tournaments, explained
Fischer, are then tallied up for the
points-championship, the winner of
which takes the coveted Wile Cup.
"Dylan [Gunn] and Brandon
[Taylor] are tied for the Wile Cup
lead," said Fischer. "It's exciting
going into the last tournament
when it's really close. It's a good
sense of competition."
Fischer, who is in his final year of
a BA in Film Production, hopes this
sense of good-natured competition
will continue long after he graduates.
"We're just trying to create a legacy,"
he said. "I'd like to in five years look
up our website and see it still going."
Check out www.croqsoc.com for
more information on upcoming
Friendlies and tournaments. II
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6 Feature
Friday, 31 March, 2006
Friday, 31 March, 2006
Feature 7
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Ok, I've got to finish
...starting the last sentence... Gxstwordin the last sentence...
tune for a break... [get a drink]... second and third word in the last sentence... ooh gotta pee... [bathroom
break and 30 minutes of television]...
much better... fourth word... is the sentence awkward?... [re-read sen-
tence]...screw the sentence... [delete
sentence]... alright, where was I?
Right, final sentence... pep talk to self,
c'mon you can do it... [one hour and
two CD changes later]... the fonts all
wrong, Helvetica or Garamond?...
[12am] Courier New?...who's phoning
me at this hour?...[rant about how
much work I have to do]... I can't
beheve the last sentence is this hard...
[3am]...£nished...fuck I'm tired.
What are you going to do when
faced with a pile of research papers,
presentations, and projects because of
out-of-control procrastination? Me, I
prefer the avoidance method—curling
up in the fetal position, head between
my knees and whimpering. I can also
be found supine, with arms splayed
and staring fixedly at the ceiling.
Normally, I can function pretty
well, but the final weeks of school
have always been unforgjvingly tor-
turous. The defining moments of aca-
demia He within these few weeks
when lethargy wages an all out war
with motivation. Yes, it is incredibly
unfair to be saddled with existential
conflict at a time when the work actually matters and when the caffeine-
propelled cramming sessions might
not pass muster. Punctuated by fits of
mental paralysis, the last semester
before graduation is probably the
best test of academic mettle—do you
have what it takes to care?
Graduation angst
This time of year is generally a period
of transition that opens a wellspring
of pent-up concerns about career
options, family and identity—and
here I'd thought I'd already dealt
with them as an angsty teenager.
Remember days of mooning over
how you were going to pay for post-
secondary education, what you were
going to do with the degree, and how
to define yourself once you were no
longer a Greek life die-hard or the
vice president of the Mongolian
tango club? Well, when it comes time
to graduate those issues are going to
come back and bite you in the arse.
Being a soon-to-be graduate feverishly trying to get it together for the
last two weeks of school, I am not
sure if I'm making headway or just
floundering uselessly in frustration.
Apparently I am not so alone
because according to Whitney
Sedgewick, a counselor at UBC counseling services, this crucial period in
the final days of undergrad is merely a
the process of a giant Tife shift* from
being a coddled undergrad to a self-
sufficient, functioning member of
Sedgewick notes that the problem
is simply the fact of not knowing; the
great wide world out there is generally an "unknown* which I envision to
be a gaping black hole. She suggests
that a little bit of plaiuiing can dimin-
ish the stress to some extent. She also
suggests that talking about the problems might alleviate them. I have certainly done my share of emoting and
shamelessly courting sympathy.
The future is certainly an unavoid
able topic. However much I want to
stop thinking about it, there is someone who will ask the dreaded what
are you going to do with, your life
question. In short, I don't know. I
don't really want to think about it
I appreciate people taking an interest in my life, but I urge them to frame
the question in a way that does not
sound like some unalterable defining
life choice that will be chained to me
for the next 20 years. I am excited
about graduation and the challenges
ahead, but my biggest fear comes
from not having a concrete plan.
We're all in this together
Ken Little, a microbiology student, is
also feeling the heat It's the story of
"I'm so stressed;* "I don't know
where I am going;* and "I need to at
least get decent marks* that we all
know so well. For those fortunate
enough not to be familiar with this
trifecta of emotional responses, it is
an unrelenting and motivation-crippling psychological taunt.
The other end of the spectrum is
represented by the calm, collected,
strangely zen-like detachment of
Persia Sayyari, a political science student and volunteer at the UBC
Wellness Centre. She has enjoyed her
One students th
oh tie^
text by Frieda Luk
ph o t o by Mich el t e M ay n e
stint at UBC, learned valuable moral
truths and feels she has gotten a lot
out of her BA. Good for her. Perhaps
due to her work at the Wellness
Centre or some rare genetic gift, she
seems to have a rather practical way
of dealing with the stress.
She tells me that it's all about time
management, more precisely a "new*
way of conceptualising time management I am intrigued. Sayyari explains
that it is necessary to slot things into
four categories: not important/not
urgent; not important/urgent; important/not urgent and important/urgent
I am still a little puzzled.
"The new mentality,* she points
out, "emphasises prioritising and not
completing a to-do list*.
On a similar note, Sedgewick recommends teasing out the problem,
distilling them to their constituent
elements and then clarifying and prioritising those elements in your life.
For me, the problem is not so
much about time management, but
finding the resolve to work my way
through a schedule. I recently had a
talk with a friend of mine who seemed
to be all set for graduation: grad school
acceptance and a summer job lined
up. He seemed pretty laid back about
the whole deal, which I took to be due
to having a plan. He feels he has gotten
pretty much all that he can from UBC,
and is "itching to get out*
Although the future doesn't seem
so foreign, he says dealing with finishing two 20-page papers is still frustrating. It's the onset of lethargy-
staring at the computer screen,
unable to concentrate save for downloading music and generally wasting
time. Been there, done that.
Help, on the dole
The Arts faculty seems to be taking
notice of the tremendous pressures
facing   fourth-year   students.   They
recently instituted the Arts Peak program that aims to provide a happy
and encouraging send-off to graduating students in the faculty. According
to Susan Dunnet of Student
Development Services, the Arts Peak
program is supposed to mirror the
kind of community-building and
guidance activities provided for first-
year students. With memories of T-
shirts, team chants and ice-breaker
activities of Imagine UBC still fresh in
my mind, I wasn't sure if I was ready
for that level of perkiness.
Fortunately, the events that the Arts
Peak instituted turned out to actually
be fairly sedate but no less thought-
I attended a session called the
Next Big Year that focused on working internationally. The talk provided
solid career options that fueled the
inner wanderlust. But probably the
most impressive portion of the Arts
Hopefully that
freedom doesn't
equate to minimum
wage at McDonald's.
But regardless, I
Peak program was the Last Lecture,
in which Peter Mansbridge of CBC
National fame gave a speech about
Canada's role in the world and how
us graduating students fit in to the
grand scheme of things. After hstening to the questions from students
that centred on career advice, I
realised that not that many people
had a plan.
So in the course of this mini-jour
ney of self-discovery, my biggest
worry is career-related. What am I
going to do with my life? I obviously
can't avoid it forever, and perhaps
checking out career services is the
right way to go. I am still feeling mildly psychotic, but able to cope. I have
pinpointed my problem and I am taking prioritising measures to ease the
stress because, as Dunnet remarks,
"You can never quell the nervousness; it's something students always
go through."
But most importantly, not all hope
is lost because UBC provides a sense
of support behind you. Sedgewick
thinks that UBC does a pretty good
job with providing students with
resources to deal with this tumultuous period. She likes that fact that
the University does not embody a
paternalistic approach in doling out
help. Sedgewick maintains that there
is no blanket approach and specific
resources in counseling, career services, financial services and graduate
studies "can be found with a little bit
of sleuthing."
Although graduating is still unsettling, I am thrilled at the prospect of
freedom.  Hopefully that freedom
doesn't equate to Trnnirraim wage at
McDonald's.   But regardless, I have
leeched what I needed from UBC:
attended interesting  classes,  conversed with interesting professors,
critically analysed all sorts of things
and appropriated massive amounts
of knowledge. No one can take that
away from me. With a degree to back
me up, I feel naively invincible and
able to take any kind of shit the world
throws my way. I hope that feeling
lasts. I am reminded by a friend that
the world is indeed my oyster and
graduation proffers us the opportunity to ponder the following question,
sagely posed by Sayyari: "At the end
of the day, this is my life, so how do I
want to spend it?" II
Golden ticket contest starts today!
Come down to Room 23 in the SUB to pick up a free ACF ticket or T-shirt!
<-<- * v
'm±m**-   ..:•■.-."
'FF&TtitUNr'-   ■ '--6 F,RSt':1oW$20-fl£GUMR/S25 DAY OF -
.cadence: WEAPON':--: ;-^;;-:^\v-;.-
On Tuesday afternoons «* have to be alitde careful because die Bandstra truck comes to town: Other
than thai, traffic is pretty minimal. We walk a lot. I get out and jog. I sit in the window of my class'
room looking for moose on die east bank of the Stikine. Most of my lads come and join me after a
minute or two and we see uho can spot the most. Sheila, the. secretary often comes in. She grew up
here and can always spot the most.
the ubyssey Life in a northern town since 1918
Special UJJ;G Sttident Rate^
Secure •Ciedh«l\la Administration Fee
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How far will you go?
Peru from $1730*
includes R/T air, trek to Machu Picchu & 7 nights
Argentina from $2,480*
includes R/T air, trek through Argentina
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includes R/T air, trek through the
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& 14 nights accommodations
♦Flights and tours subject to change and availability. Taxes
and applicable fees not included. Prices correct at time of
print. Accommodations are in locally owned guest houses,
homestays and camping. Flights are out of Vancouver.
Call or come in for great deals
568 Dunsmtiir St.
1191 Davie St
(604)685-4066 8 News
Friday, 31 March, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
ACF ain't just about music and beer
by Colleen Tang
Spiderman, mudslides, streakers,
flashers, and porta-potties on fire are
all part of Arts County Fair's (ACF)
colourful tradition—that organisers
say won't be forgotten this year.
But ACF is not just about drunken debauchery. Although it may
have started out that way, it's
become more than that, said
Aleksandra Brzozowski, who has
worked at four ACFs.
"The point of it is to have a really good concert," she said, "and we
are able to make a profit of it and
give the proceeds back to charity."
Omar Sirri, ACF financial director, also stressed the philanthropic
nature of the event
"It's important to remember that
it's a charity event," he noted. "We've
been able to contribute thousands of
dollars to various charities.*
All proceeds from this year's
student-run charity event go to the
Canadian Diabetes Association and
Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Safety is always a focus for
patrons, performers and staff. This
year, the Alma Mater Society (AMS),
International Crowd Management
(ICM) Security, Campus Security
and UBC housing will be involved
with safety and security measures.
"We're just trying to make the
event as safe as possible," said
Stephanie Ryan, ACF safety
She added that the staff of over 50
will be "trained specifically what to
do in terms of chaos and...for every
situation that may arise."
Paul Wong, Campus Security communications manager indicated that
Campus Security and the contract
security, ICM Security, have been
involved with ensuring safety at ACFs
for many years.
"Campus Security takes a role
in facilitating and coordinating
response to the emergency and
safety planning," said Wong.
Wong added that they had been in
contact with the Arts Undergraduate
Society (AUS) as early as September
and facilitated meetings in October.
"The real success is the students have
been hard workers around the planning of it," he said. "They've done a
The most obvious safety precaution all students can take is to drink
within reason, said Wong.
"Think of safety and if you're
going to drink, drink responsibly.
Don't drink and drive. And have a
plan for getting home. Leave with
your friends, [and] use Safewalk."
Minors will no longer be
allowed into the event this year,
marking a significant change from
previous years.
"We really want to make sure the
message is out there that the minors
on campus need to make plans somewhere else," said Ryan. "[This decision] is going to make the event, overall, a lot safer which is why we decided not to have minors."
The absence of minors is not
going to affect the cost very much,
however, added Ryan.
• This doesn't mean the ACF is
going to promote inebriated
behavior before the fair either,
quite    the    opposite,    suggested
"People who arrive at the fair
intoxicated will not be let in," said
Ryan. "If someone in the fair was
too intoxicated, it would be dealt
with either by ICM security or the
Tax Returns Stressing You Out?
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^ 1
2-for-1 Tuesday THE UBYSSEY   Friday, 31 March, 2006
News 9
France's "Black Tuesday" riot
More than a million students and union members protest
youth labour law across France
By Candice Vallantin
LYON, FRANCE—The streets of France surged
with student and union protesters this past
Tuesday, now referred to as "mardi noir" on
account of the scale of the demonstration. An
estimated one to three million took to the
streets—estimates vary widely between officials
and organisers—in what was the fourth and
largest nation-wide protest organised against
the country's new labour law, le Contrat de premiere embauche, or First Employment
Contract (CPE). Demonstrations, rioting and
blockades forced a closure on educational institutions and brought certain sectors of transit to
a grinding halt.
More than 200 rioters were arrested in
Paris and almost 400 more across France as
police in riot gear came up against paint, rocks
and other projectiles.
The CPE aims to increase youth employment by estabhshing a two-year trial period during which employees can be fired with no
motive. Combined with other proposed legislation, the bill was created to decrease mscrirni-
nation and high unemployment that plagues
youth in suburban areas.
At the daily General Assembly for the
Institut de sciences politiques (IEP) in Lyon
Wednesday, student organisers evaluated the
results of their mobilisation: The government
has remained stoic," said one member.
"Basically the Prime Minister's message is
that it's not up to the streets to govern."
Some are accusing the PM Dominique de
Villepin of trying to "rot" the movement
Elsa Johnstone, a student and member of
the  League   of Revolutionary  Communists
explained the increased student demands.
"The CPE was just a spark at first—and
maybe I'm exaggerating with my left-wing glasses—but it's become much bigger now," she said.
Although at first the mass mobilisation
was concentrated on the CPE, it has now
snowballed to include a larger context of
labour and social issues.
But students are becoming aware of the inefficiency of university blockages and have elaborated on their choice of civil disobedience.
Yesterday large groups of high-school and university students across France blocked railways, freeways, highways and main intersections, which created backups for dozens of kilometres in some areas and delayed trains.
Canadian and so-called "Anglo-Saxon" press
in general have developed a cynical perspective
toward the movement, interpreting relaxed
labour laws as a necessary part of modernisation. Francois Marcade, a member of the IEP's
Mobilisation Committee, points out that the CPE
is a small battle in France. He argues that this
mobilisation is rejecting a larger trend towards a
liberal economy, which is perceived to increase
social inequalities. The protests are emblematic
of a greater "social malaise" he explains.
Many point to the danger of adopting liberal
"Anglo-Saxon* economies, which, although they
may have higher rates of employment, also suffer from high poverty rates.
Students worry about the "precarite" in
another light, and refer to the complicated
French adrninistration that requires income
sheets with a .minimum guaranteed income for
many essential things, like finding lodging or
getting a loan. As a result, lack of job security in
FRENCH CONVICTION: 4-5 million expected at next protest with paint in tow.
France means lack of access to certain social
Yesterday evening, after a review demanded by the opposition, the French government's Constitutional Committee approved
the Law for the Equality of Chances, including
its CPE legislation.
France's Education Minister, speaking on
the public television channel France 2 asked
for "respect" of government institutions and
said he hoped to re-establish dialogue with
the main unions involved.
French President Jacques Chirac, who
has been mostly absent throughout the past
couple months, is expected to make a
speech that will likely endorse the law.
Johnstone worries that the Constitutional
Committee's approval of the CPE "could bring a
blow to the mobilisation.*
A fifth massive protest and strike is
planned for April 4 and Johnstone hopes that
it will out-do "black Tueday.*
"We're thinking, maybe four or five million," said Johnstone. II
Get a coupon for a fi
with student tax preparation
medium Domino's Pizza
Come in today or call 1-800-HRBLOCK
«w£^ 10 Opinion/Editorial
V *-
Let the pigfish clone be our muse
Friday, 31 March, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
Ever need some very specific doohickey and found out it just didn't
exist? Just look at those scientists
that recently cloned a pig that contained Omega-3 fat, identical to fish
fat now we have pork rinds that are
delicious and healthy. So for those
who always wanted an Omega-3 pig,
we too felt your pain. So for our
pleasure and yours we have decided
that there are a few other as-of-yet
uninvented things that really need
to be invented. Anyone who decides
to rip off any of these inventions and
subsequently make millions of dollars will be indebted to the
Ubyssey—we expect our cut And
keep in mind that all of this was
inspired by a pigfish.
The power desk
No wires, no plugs, no re-charging—
EVER! This desk is a power source.
Simply place your laptop, or desktop
on the desk and it will automatically
have power and begin charging—no
battery will ever die when using this
bad boy.
Same goes for your phone—land-
line or cell: phone lines can run
directly into the building and attach
directly to the desk. Never again will
you forget to charge your cell phone
due to leaving it on your bedside
table. iPods and other not-so-trendy
MP3 players will seamlessly connect to your computer while charging themselves at the same time. A
lamp sitting on the back corner of
such a functional and stylish desk
would not require an extension
cord, but would easily draw power
from the desk itself and illuminate
your workspace.
Warning—spilling liquids onto
the surface of this desk may result
in severe electric shock and possibly
death. But the power desk will not
cause leukemia.
Do you love the refreshing sensation of a nice cool pillow on a hot
summer night? You can experience
that same refreshment all night
long with the Perma-Kool
Pillow™—no more pillows tnrmng
into a sweaty mess, this is just pure
relaxation. Using patented Kool™
Inc. technology, a constant stream
of cool air is generated and circulates throughout the pillow. You
can also use the Perma-Kool
Pillow™ to store a cold beverage so
that you don't have to get up and go
to the fridge when you need a beer
at 3am. Warning: Kool™ assumes
no responsibility if your face
becomes frozen to the pillow.
Not to be confused with Perma-Kool,
this "sock is for the rugged out-
doorsperson who likes to pack light
but also likes to enjdy the comfort of
his or her own home. Instructions
are quite simple: step (1) put on
sock (2) walk around all day (3) he
down (4) remove sock and allow
sock to inflate into pillow (5) apply
under head before going to sleep
and voila!
Toothbrush in bed
There are mornings when one's
breath is so bad it offends oneself.
Yes, one's own self is gravely offended. And if one perhaps does not
sleep by oneself—that is to say, one
slumbers with one's partner—one's
chances of amourous morning
encounters decline with each pass
ing (fetid) breath.
No more! Your friends at the
Ubyssey have devised a clever solution: the bed toothbrush. Suspends
from the ceiling, the of BTB is just
an arm's length away. One can
enjoy a leisurely brush without slipping out of bed—and possibly out of
a lover's embrace. And when it's
time to spit, there's no need to
budge an inch. The bed spit suction
kit can lick that problem. (Note the
Fart identifier
Ever been in a situation where
someone farts and everyone denies
it? Find the flatulent culprit with this
useful gadget. Simply register someone's odour mixed with their
pheromones, and the next time they
pass gas, the fart detector will tell
you who dunnit The device also
comes with a free pamphlet on ten
fun faiiying (that's partying, fools)
games. (Note: Does not detect ori
gins of diarrhea spills.)
Alcohol/drug neutralizer
Don't you just hate it when you're
high on coke and your boss calls asking you to come in to work? This
handy shot instantly neutralises all
intoxicants in one's body and
purges them all imniediately. Get
crunked. Inject the neutraliser.
Drive home. Everyone wins, including the 78-year old lady you ran over
the night before.
Fish n' beans
Okay, so this isn't really an invention, but has anybody ever craved
fish and beans? Well we thought that
a big fat can of this would make a
delectable treat for all those craving
a nice warm serving of refried bean
and poisson (ha ha!) on those warm
summer nights.
For all those vegetarians out
there, there's also tofu-fishn' beans.
(Note: may or may not be real tofu. II
ACF: Your guide to staying safe while having fun drinkying. FYI use condoms
The countdown to April 7 has
begun. It's the last day of classes; a
time to bring eight months of successful studying to a close and a
chance to have some fun before
buckling down for exams!
Conveniently, it also features a little event known as Arts County
Fair (ACF), a fabulous way to celebrate with 15000 of your closest
friends! The Fair is a ton of fun,
but there are some things to keep
in mind to make sure your ACF
experience is safe! Here are some
things you can do to make sure
you and your friends have an
amazing time while staying safe at
the Fair:
1. Before you leave for the
Fair, make sure you have
arranged a meeting place with
your group of friends. Meeting
place signage will be posted
around Thunderbird Stadium;
make sure you know where your
friends will be, and have a system
to be able to find each other! Cell
phones are a great idea!
2. Plan for a ride home in
advance. There are several ways to
get home after the concert. An
RCMP cruiser is not the most
desirable. Instead, assign a designated driver, have taxi numbers
on hand or bring your U-Pass.
3. Eat breakfast the day of the
4. Drinking lots of water is also
a great idea.
5. What to wear: sunscreen.
And clothing.
6. What not to wear: flip-flops.
You will lose them. A shoeless
Fair-goer runs the risk of injury
and will also be very sad at having lost their shoes. Keep that in
mind when planning your outfit
for the day.
7. Don't drink excessively at
the Fair. It won't make your day
any more fun, and you will be risking physical injury. First Aid
teams will be present on site, but
spending the afternoon in a tent
won't be nearly as much fun as
enjoying the concert from the outdoors. Remember that intoxicated
persons will not be admitted to the
Fair and that tickets are nonrefundable. Drink with care.
Keep these simple things in
mind to make Arts County a day to
— The Arts County Safety
Patilio bridgin' the Knoll
Ian Pattillo. Great guy. Really. He
loves puppies and babies, and
especially Terry Fox. He may just
become the next Canadian Hero,
but until then he's VP External of
the AMS. It seems, though, not
everyone is a fan of Ian Pattillo.
Justin Visser lobbied some pretty
hefty claims against Ian (who
again is a Really Great Guy), his
campaign, and his involvement
with the Knoll. The most serious,
that Ian "used the student funded
publication to further his campaign" is simply not true. As for
the "radical left who control the
student government," I ask that
Justin step aside from the empty
rhetoric and conspiracy theories
for just a moment and recognise
the real problem: apathy. Not
enough people are running for
positions, voting, or generally caring. That Ian also helped to get a
new publication off the ground is
important and commendable. But
like the radical liberal that I am,
Justin, I will fight to allow your
opinion to be heard. I encourage
you to submit to the Knoll at
www.theknoll. ca
—Samantha Rapoport
English 3
If you could invent
anything, what would
"It would be a little USB flash
drive that you could stick in your
brain...so that if you have a test
you'd hand it in instead of an actually written test."
—Eugenia Kisin
Anthropology 4
"Some sort of energy efficient
—Shannon Jones
Psychology 4
"A time machine."
•Mason Bennet
Commerce 2
'An instant transport machine."
—Johan Wu
Science 2
"A fuel-cell powered bike."
—Chris Nicola
PhD Electrical and Computers
—Streeters coordinated by
Andrew McCrae and George Prior
'MT=~ THE UBYSSEY   Friday, 31 March , 2006
News 11
International students force University Act amendment
Decision to allow non-Canadian students to sit on BoG sets national precedent, says SFU student society president
by Paul Evans
The BC Legislature has set a
Canadian precedent by giving the
green light for international students to sit on the Board of
Governors (BoG), the university's
highest decision-making body. As
part of an effort to clarify the
University Act, the provincial government approved an amendment
removing the Canadian citizenship requirement for anyone seeking membership on the Board.
T think it's great. It's been a
long time coming/ said Jeff
Friedrich, Alma Mater Society
(AMS) VP Academic and University
Affairs. "It gives international
students a voice they didn't have
Friedrich explained that it was
the combined effort of several student initiatives that contributed to
the realisation of this change, cit
ing a letter from the AMS to the
provincial government, a meeting
with MLAs in Victoria, and the
efforts of UBC student Lyle
McMahon and the Simon Fraser
University student society (SFSS)
as the major factors.
"It's one of those great
instances where a lot of different
student lobbying efforts had some
real effect and things moved
along," he said.
Clement Abas Apaak, SFSS
president, was pleased with the
announcement, stating that since
international students already participate in other areas of university governance, it was only logical
that they be allowed to sit on
the BoG.
"It's a big victory for the student movement across the
province and the country, particularly for international students,"
he commented. "We've collectively
been able to influence government
policy and indeed have changed
[the University] Act, which I
believe is going to set a standard
for the rest of Canada."
Apaak, himself an international
student, had attempted to run for
the Board ever since he came to
SFU in 2001. Each time he was
"This is a personal crusade that
I started in 2001. It's good to see
that this has come to pass," he
He noted that support from the
SFSS and UBCs AMS was crucial
to getting this issue brought before
the government.
"When individuals take up these
kinds of causes, there is always a
tendency to dismiss them as troublemakers or people who do not
appreciate rules, but once you have
institutional support in the form of
having your student union passing a
motion and taking on the cause as a
formal position, it carries a lot of
weight" said Apaak.
Spencer Keys, who was the AMS
president when the letter sent to
Victoria  was   drafted,   explained
"We've collectively
been able to influence
government policy...
which i believe is
going to set a
standard for the
rest of Canada."
-Clement Apas Apaak
President, SFSS
that the AMS was asked by the
provincial government to submit a
letter with the support of other BC
student societies in order to get
the issue on the agenda.
W /%
f*  ':
"I was really glad the AMS was
able to take a leadership role on
this issue," said Keys. "Other
schools like SFU had been working
on it for a significant amount of
time before we got involved but it
was our involvement that seemed
to get the ball rolling on this
In terms of timing, both Apaak
and Friedrich would have liked to
see this change happen before
elections earlier in the year.
"Unfortunately it wasn't fast
enough. It would have been nice to
have this issue resolved before we
had our BoG and Senate elections," said Friedrich.
It was in this past election that
Lyle McMahon unsuccessfully
appealed a UBC decision that disqualified him from running for
the Board on the grounds that he
wasn't a Canadian citizen—an
obstacle students no longer have
to face. II
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Friday, 31 March, 2006   THE UBYSSEY
Norwalk virus infects 16 at UBC-O
Fecal-oral transmission caused virus to
spread rapidly in close living quarters,
say Okanagan health officials
by Eric Szeto
Students at UBC Okanagan (UBC-O)
are learning first-hand why it's
important to wash your hands after
using the bathroom.
Last week, 16 students in residence reported having flu-like symptoms that included acute gastrointestinal pains, muscle aches, fevers,
vomiting and diarrhea.
Okanagan health authorities
later confirmed this to be an outbreak of the Norwalk Virus.
Although it provided a brief
scare, UBC-O officials said the outbreak was easily contained because
it was restricted to only one wing of
the student residence.
"We've contained it by getting
students to wash their hands and by
keeping the area itself very clean,"
said Shannon Dunn, UBC-O Housing
and Conferences general manager.
All students have since recovered, she added.
"It was sort of a short and tense
experience," she said. "[For] many
of these students it's their first time
away from home; it's not a pleasant
Communal washrooms and living spaces, she said, allowed the
virus to spread like wildfire.
Anything that comes in contact with
soiled hands such as sinks, doorknobs and railings can carry the
Norwalk is spread through "fecal-
oral transmission,* she explained.
"It's hand washing. It's not an airborne [virus], it's hand.*
UBC-O has since launched an
awareness campaign to help prevent outbreaks like this in the
future, said Melissa Federson,
health nurse at Campus Health.
"We did a big blitz about getting
cleaner. It's not pretty, people don't
like to hear it, but it makes people
wash their hands,* Federson said.
Gundie Volk, a senior public
health inspector at the Interior
Health Unit in Penticton couldn't
explain why students wouldn't be
inclined to wash their hands before
leaving the lavatory.
"If I had the answer to that question, we could avoid a lot of illness,*
she said. "I don't know why people
The reported incident came on
the heels of a Norwalk outbreak that
closed wards in two Lower
Mainland area hospitals around the
same time last week.
The Norwalk virus, which usually
occurs during winter, can in
extreme cases cause severe illness
and hospitalisation and its effects
can last up to 72 hours. II
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for at least 20 seconds or else you may get violent diarrhea, yinan max wang photo
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8th Annua I
Gillian Jerome: Poetry
Professor Jerome teaches composition and poetry in the
Department of English at the University of British
Columbia. Her poetry has been published in anthologies
and journals in Canada and America.
Melva McLean: Long Fiction
Melva has worked as an editor and managing editor over
the last twenty years. She is a freelance editor and teaches editing and publishing courses through the Vancouver
School Board.
Melissa Edwards: Long Non-Fiction
Melissa is the managing editor of the International 3-Day
Novel Contest and a regular contributor to Geist magazine. She sits on the board of directors for the B.C.
Association of Magazine Publishers and the Word on the
Street Literary Festival.
Marguerite Pigeon: Snap Fiction
Marguerite is a Vancouver writer of fiction and poetry and
a graduate of the UBC Creative Writing MFA program.
She is currendy at work on her first novel.
Vancouver Public Library
The coordinators would just like to thank all those who submitted entries
and congratulate the winning submissions.
Neale Barnholden
Long Fiction runner up,
Snap fiction winner
Neale is a honours English major. He routinely forgets
crucial facts. He feels this inability to retain key infor-
niation has probably influenced his fiction. He enjoys
writing so much that he is often shocked to find that it
occasionally has a use beyond personal entertainment.
He thinks ityis pletty darn cool when that happens.
"Gone" is based ori a t-shirt that Neale once owned.
"Attack of the Aliens" is a true story, kind of.
Poetry second runner up
Long non-fiction runner up
Samantha began writing in the transition Irom
"weird kid" to "arigsty teenager". "Andar con el Cutis
Flojo" or "Road Diarrhea" was written in response to
what she calls the "epic mythmaking bullshit" surrounding "The Road." After reading "I am sitting in
a Philadelphia Coffee Shop", her professor concluded that she was a jealous lesbian. She was
assured that the professor was wrong. Samantha
helps publish a little zine called Bleach.
Hilary Smith
Long fiction winner,
Long non-fiction second
runner up, Snap fiction
second runner up
S   -A
-Hilary Smith has not seen her house key&$&x$ms,
which hasn't been a particularly seriou^^oblem
since the basement doors don't lock. She has
recently had work published in Arc, dANDelion,
and Carouselmagazines. In addition, she has just
learned to swim ypth her'face in the water, blowS
ing bubbles, instead of holding her head up all
, ■■■#** "''■'"
the time. .,, ~*
Alia Dharssi, Mary Leighton and Colleen Tang
Fazeela Jiwa
Snap Fiction runne
Sitting in a cramped airplane seat may be an occasional discomfort for most, but Fazeela flies to
Halifax "constantly"—a nine hour affair with that
one luckyt ^pe^son on whom she falls asleep*
Fazeela believes that journal-writing is an outlfet
^or the things she can't say in 2000-word essays.
Fazeela has kept a journal since she was 12, but
has since dropped the "Dear Diary" header.
-. •*;;*--.. 1>*i#*l*»>t-j(y&<
Karly Stilling
Long non-fiction winner
Karly Stilling is in her fourth year at UBC earning
a double major in English literature and film studies. Her major interests are Canadian literature
and film, and she hopes to go on to work in these
industries. "El Milagro de Mindo" was written as
part of a second year creative writing class assignment and was in response to a humanitarian trip
to Ecuador, which she participated in during high
;«s^£pl. The trip had a great impact on her and
she is filiated to see her reflections of the experi-1
Inc^ejrncjve mto*print.
I '> $
Poetry runner up
,V,':'M"'/C£* h* &§'?'•
Marlaina is an English literature student at UBC.
She grew sick of the Montreal winters and came
homey picking up creanre Raiting at Langara. Her
poem came out of her time there, although the inspiration for it was faceless ;fShe has thankfully not had
the misfortune of underggdng^what she imagines is a
very unpleasant expenence, (llat is, lifting up buildings).
,.,-, nor
Poetry Winner
<£*&#&. .*s$W&Wj&k* ■-** ■
Rowan is a second-year arts student. He began writing in his homeland of Victoria, where *he took creative writing in high school with local writer Terrence
%ung. He enjoys Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Wolfe,
Dennis Johnson, Franz Kafka and others. His
favourite book is "Zorba the Greek" by Nikos
Kazantzakis and Nietzsche as well. A great deal of his
literary inspiration comes from Dinosaur Comics. t-Sretitf <J&eadf/l<
by Rowan Melling
It gives hope to anyone
who ever saw Jurassic Park,
to all the people big-banged
out of Noah leaving the reptiles
to writhe beneath the flood
with unicorns and leviathans,
to see them saddled
ridden like elephants into battle.
Odai, the next Hannibal,
on a scaly tank in electric blue.
With each step the H-bomb explodes,
mushroom clouds shoot
from their eyes,
no more Scipio in the way.
The desert is alive
with awakened footprints
and the roars of a new Carthage.
They are crossing the world'
knee deep in the Atlantic
sending tsunamis of warning
to their Rome,
to the hockey rink coliseums,
the Wall Street agora,
the legions of Texas Rangers.
Look out America
Now it's time to be afraid.
by Marlaina Mah
I could not find you:
I scoured the city,
lifting up the buildings
turning up dust, seeing
no hints, finding no footprints.
I swooped up speeding cars in my giant arms
fearing they would cause you harm.
I swam out to the sharks,
pried their jaws open wide
to check that you were not inside.
And after I searched the kidnappers' homes,
after I dug under the martyr-domes,
roped my legs to ostrich into quicksand,
checked hangouts, back alleys, secret hideouts
and wielded my way into biker gangs
to make sure you were at no dangerous brinks.
And after every impossible thing I could think,
until at last I took a bullet in the head,
I surrendered
to find you in my best friend's bed.
The Greyhound Bus is the poor man's Tall Ship
I'll sail to China for Easter furs when I have enough time
The passengers are fat and often talkative
I pretend to sleep so no one will sit next to me
In a notebook, I record the passage of highway
And what it feels like when the sun rises over Oregon
On the seventeenth hour.
The seventeenth hour is barbeque chips
And cigarette smoke at a gas station in Eugene
I think his name was Juanito and he had never been
To Los Angeles before. I wanted to go to Mexico,
And write novels about drinking tequila
And marijuana that grows like Saskatchewan wheat
Acostarse con rosemaria?
Juanito spit into his cigarette, "But you're a
Pretty girl." In Eureka, California we stop for
Coffee and Popey's Fried Chicken in oily paper boxes
Balanced on the stomach and too many white napkins
"Breakfast," the driver calls out over the microphone,
Pleased with himself. On the road, the indiscriminate stomach
Is king.
Sips of rest are all you can manage passing through
The United States, stopping only for gasoline
Instead I drink deeply of patterned foam cushion,
Every road sign I manage to remember and those I forget,
Drifting in and out of other people's conversations,
Over shoulders reading newspapers, and my mother's letter:
To my darling Sammy, be careful out there.
by Samantha Rapoport
One day you're going to remember what the road tasted like.
I do, mother, I do. Salty numb and chalky like paper,
And only caffeine is bittersweet, and only for a time
I still taste the road when I forget to brush my teeth
Andar con el cutis flojo, I could sail to China
With my stomach, now turned to liquid, emptying itself
In this cubby hole of a bathroom. (W \\ \\ %\
111 Wednesday 31 march, 2006
by Neale Barnholden
"I just can't see it getting any better,"
said David. He drummed his fingers
on the old Formica counter that he
had always wanted to get rid of. The
previous owner had been a charmingly confused retiree with brown clothing and berries in the garden. Orange
smoke rose in a pillar from behind the
forest out the window.
"So you think you should go. And
that's it," replied Vanessa, her arms
crossed, leaning against the fridge
that they had bought. The old one had
fallen apart a week after they moved
in. "That's it," Vanessa repeated, and
David knew that he had to do something, keep talking or stop talking, to
make sure that she didn't start crying.
"I'm sorry," said David. He leaned
heavily against the counter, not facing
her. He couldn't, not just now. He
didn't want to see how close she was
to crying. He hated it when people
cried. He rarely did.
There was another burst of smoke
out the window, this one further away.
It slowly unfurled itself like a sped-up
flower dying into the sky.
"I just don't get what more you
want," said Vanessa. She wasn't crying, not this time. There had been too
much crying. It was too easy. "What?
What's missing?"
David turned and looked at her with
one eye. The smoke was a pillar rising
out of his shoulder. He turned away.
She didn't know what the glance was
supposed to mean. 'Well?"
"I don't know."
Outside,   birds  were  fluttering
around   excitedly.   The   ugly   clock
ticked obnoxiously. It had come with
the house.
"You can't just ruin my life
because you didn't get exactly what
you wanted, damnit!" yelled Vanessa.
David started slightly, and then he
wanted to let himself fall to the floor.
He didn't. He wanted to say something to stop her from yelling more.
He didn't do that either.
Vanessa launched herself off the
fridge and paced over to the kitchen
table. It was wood, wood that they
had finished the last winter in the
cold basement. They had kept the
radio on and listened to all the
old songs, the only music they
agreed on.
"Goddamnit," said Vanessa.   She
caught herself from breaking down,
steadying herself on the table. "What
the hell do you think you're going
to do?"
"I don't know," said David, too
softly to hear. "I don't know!" he said
From the woods came a slight
tremble that ran through the house.
Vanessa slammed her foot onto the
floor and whirled around. David still
wasn't looking at her.
"I need you," said Vanessa. "How
am I going to... do anything? There's
going to be a fire, you know that, how
am I supposed to deal with that?"
"So you just need me for house
repairs," he said idly.
Vanessa raised her arm to hit him,
but didn't. She was trembling. So was
he. He didn't see her raise her arm.
"I don't believe you," said Vanessa.
"What? What's wrong with this? With
what we have here?"
"Nothing's wrong. Nothing's
wrong. Nothing's wrong. It just... it
just... I was thinking about when I
was younger and I, I wanted to travel
around the world."
"We can travel around the world,"
she said desperately.
"No we can't."
"But you can."
He drummed his fingers on the
counter again.
"So you had dreams that didn't
come true," said Vanessa softly, crossing her arms again. "We all did."
Many guns fired at once in the distance. There was shouting.
"It's just..." said David, trembling
even harder. "I thought that every day
would be something, there'd be some
thing  that  happened,  a new  thing
every day and here we are, and every
day's the same."
"I like these days," said Vanessa.
There was a dull roar from the
direction of the dirt road, and the
foundation of the house trembled
again. A bit of plaster fell onto
Vanessa's head.
David turned to look at her, and he
took a step towards her.
She looked at his face. It seemed
like a movie face, with a few lines and
a nice color. His eyes were dull gray.
She had black hair that fell just
past her ears when she leaned forward. Her chin didn't come to a point,
but to a flat edge.
There was the sound of many men
running in step down the gravel driveway, crunching rhythmically. Some of
them were shouting.
He reached over and picked a
piece of plaster out of her forehead.
He let it fall onto the kitchen floor.
Her eyes were green.
The doorbell rang frantically. -*■
(&6tmo6i&e QVW<^
it? Airplane bathrooms aren't so great:
small like a donut hole and ultimately
you can still smell the excrement
underneath the dainty wisps of urinal
cake, but you can (gladly, effectively,
metropolitan-ly) ignore it. What really
kills ya about going to the bathroom is
not the circumstances under which
you squat, jostled and holding the plastic, germy railing (it's kind of wet, actually...) so that the pee you've been holding for so long doesn't run down your
leg. What really kills ya is the reason
why you wish to have the ability to
shrink or deflate at will, or at least have
a really great ass, the reason why you
don't drink coffee or water on the drive
to the airport, the reason that demands
awkward "oops' and "oh jeez, sorry's"
and "I'm just gonna get by you here's"
and at least a dozen "thanks, thank
you's" within a span of two minutes.
The reason why the aisle seat is coveted. You hold it...hold it...can't hold it
anymore, damn, just hold on another
four hours! Okay. Brace yourself and
prepare the person next to you for what
you're about to ask by fidgeting and sitting up in your seat, looking pointedly
at the back of the plane. Alas, they take
no notice of your painfully subtle
efforts; they're "dozing." (When do you
ever "doze" except when you pay exuberant amounts of money to sit in a
tiny chair and have your ears pop? Oh
yes, that's right, also when you pay exuberant amounts of money to sit in a
classroom at UBC.)
"Um?" you squeak. They snore. Do
you get up and try to climb over them?
What if the plane lurches and you end
up sitting on their lap? Hm...It would
be less awkward to inform them of
your obtrusive urge. It is biological anyway, you justify.
TAP, TAP. "I'm sorry I just need to
umgetoutandumyesoh sorry, thanks,
thank you." Next person in the row,
that bastard with the aisle seat, feels
obliged to get out for you, fumbles with
their oh-so-complicated seat belt while
you wait, straddling the neighbor's
knees. Looking anywhere but at them,
think of something clever to say,
damnit! When you were deciding
whether to take the front to back or the
back to back route, you didn't count on
a PROLONGED situation.
Okay, finally free, down the aisle
turning sideways to pass the flight
attendant with too much make-up
and a fake smile on (unless you're on
Westjet, and then you know they have
been slipped caffeine pills before
work or are actually robots programmed to be overly happy), jutting
your butt into the shoulder of the fortunate aisle guy who eagerly awaits
his pretzels and coffee (he can afford
to drink coffee because he's free to go
pee whenever he wants to, the asshole). Alright, time to squat gingerly
over the teeny-tiny seat, but make
sure you don't take too long or else
there will be stories, courtesy of your
neighbours, about the chick in the
window seat who probably took a
shite on the plane and then stuck her
bum in your face as she was getting
back into her seat. -■*■
by Hilary Smith
There is a man in an office somewhere
in the US who thinks I am a spaceship.
He designed a plastic ring to fit inside of
me that would seal the exit, as it were,
and fit snugly to prevent leakages. It was
a faulty O-ring that made Apollo fail.
These people do not make the same mistake twice. I will be sealed. Cotton was
too flammable, even wet. They say there
is something in the wet like kerosene
which causes these things to ignite at
unpredictable times. Plastic was a safer
option, thick and tough like a teething
ring. Its smooth unnecessary toughness
is challenge for bite marks, but there are
no teeth where it goes, up inside of me.
The elastic flesh is useless against it,
yielding to its expanding form. It is a
futuristic catcher's mitt as big as the sky.
I am a rocket redesigned. Instead of
stuffing me with tough white fuses there
are O-rings now. Space can't be contaminated by what's sealed in. ^
v N,. S"
Wednesday 31 march, 2006  IV
i\\\\ w ^v
V    Wednesday 31 march, 2006
She is standing in the glass tunnel at the
Sydney Aquarium, face pointed upwards,
staring at the vagina of the great white shark.
The slit is like the cleavage between two
mounds of bread dough squashed together,
white and rubbery, and she imagines that
reaching inside one must be like putting your
hand into one of those mystery holes at the
Children's Museum, fist pushing through the
black rubber lips to grasp a billiard Ball or the
femur of a dinosaur. She pictures coloured
billiard balls popping out of the shark like
gumballs and sinking to the bottom of the
tank one by one to settle among the coral
and grow algae. A manta ray the width of a
compact car spars past her face, and through
the ripple of its lungs she sees the sunlight at
the waters surface. It occurs to her that all
of the animals at the Sydney Aquarium are
stark naked.
Above the oceanarium s four metres of salt
water, the sky over Darling Harbour is a bright
clear blue. The restaurant patios are open and
freshly table-clothed and a pair of grungy
backpackers discreetly ogle the menus as they
trudge past, the oil from last nights Chinese
take-out still slick under their ribs. A high
school boy making his first attempt at clowning selects an unwilling volunteer from the
audience to stand between two skipping
ropes blindfolded, and then makes wide,
looping gestures nobody understands to
explain what will happen next. Nothing happens. The clown makes more incomprehensible gestures to which nobody reacts. The
young, fashionably dressed woman takes off
the blindfold and looks annoyed. Audience
members drift away
You too are annoyed at the patent unfun-
niness of the clown and turn sharply towards
the water. A one-legged seagull with a bright,
mean eye looks at you and squawks. You
squawk back. It's too bright and you don't
have your sunglasses. In the hostel sugar jar
this morning, you found a lump of someone's
hamburger, grey and fuzzy. A vegetarian, you
were disgusted, fished it out with a spoon and
whacked the spoon against the inside edge of
the garbage can. You stared at your coffee,
which was bitter and becoming lukewarm,
and thought of all the other shit that had
probably been in that sugar jar. You took a
fresh spoon and dug to the bottom of the jar
where the crystals had compacted into a solid
block and extracted a lump of it. The germs
would burn off in the hot water anyway.
Right? Just in case, you glanced around the
kitchen and, holding the spoon to your lips,
blew hard, like when you were ten and
dropped a cookie on the floor. There. You
.. dropped the sugar lump into your coffee and
took a sip. Of course it tasted good, you
thought to yourself. Either Way, you ended up
pouring most of it down the drain.
A group of families with small children
presses into me oceanarium tunnel and the
serene violin music emanating from the speaker system is immediately drowned out by their
voices One of the lads, a girl in a cotton play-
suit) wanders apart from the rest humming to
herself, turning big eyes towards me (ceiling.
She is going to live in me tank with the dolphins
and otters and they will love her and bring her
presents like sea-shells for her hair arid she will
be the prettiest but also kind of sad and people
who come to the aquarium will see her when
they come and think, there's the princess. She
doesn't notice that there are no dolphins or
otters in the oceanarium. A few metres ahead,
her brother has found a tiger shark resting on
the bottom near the glass. He growls at it and
reaches over the handrail to pound the glass but
his mother wrenches his arm away before he
gets the chance, hissing 'It says Don't Touch."
He twists out of her grasp and funs a few steps
to the other side of the tunnel, where, another
tiger shark is passing by. It is swimming quickly
and he runs after it, keeping his eyes on the
shark's big dull ones. He bumps into a big girl, a
lady-girl^ the one who is staring at the Great
Whites vagina, makes a growling noise and
keeps running.
She feels the small body graze her leg and
the vibrations as his running shoes beat the
floor. It's too noisy now and a group of parents
are sending her pointed looks, hoping she will
move along so they can get a better view of the
giant sea tortoise lumbering in the corner. A
mother elbows her way into the narrow space
beside her and stands there breathing heavily.
The Great White shark heaves its bulk from the
top of the tunnel and the wide, utilitarian cunt
glides over their faces as it swims away.
Fascinating. The girl watches it disappear
around the corner. Another mothers face is
hovering over her shoulder now, and the breath
on her neck annoys her. There's nothing to see
anymore. She peels her coat from the handrail
and strolls out.
The backpackers are sitting on a bench not
far from you. They haven't been to the Sydney
Aquarium because the admission fee is 17 dollars and besides, they went to the one in
Melbourne and it was shit. You haven't been to
the aquarium either, but think you might go
some afternoon if it rains and there's nothing
else to do. It's one of the things you're supposed
to do while you're in Sydney, like see the opera
house. It's a stupid question people ask when
you say you've been to Sydney, did you see the
opera house. Of course you saw the fucking
opera house. Ybud have to be blind not to see
the fucking opera house, or else a pervert who
stays in Kings Cross the whole time wanking off
in the triple x theatre. Hey now. Why so irritable?
It's a beautiful day, the ocean sparkles, you're in
Sydney and still have 50AUD left over after paying; theweek's rent at the hostel: You're not going
to ruin thisi'witnr<^idsm.y''^'---'-':-;''':''':^;''■';■'
^^       T^ boy-clown switches off the
portable stereo, stuffs his skipping ropes into an
old duffel bag, and retreats into the shadows
under the monorail. Sitting against a cool concrete pillar, he produces a ham sandwich and
eats it crusts first. There's too much mustard and
the bread is nearly saturated. He tosses the soggy
middle to the one-legged seagull, who gives it a
peck or two before taking the whole piece in its
mouth and swallowing it like a frog. A miniature
tourist train carrying visored senior citizens rolls
past on its, way to the aquarium..Most of their
time will be spent in the gift shop comparing
grandchild-sized t-shirts. A close second will be
time spent in the ladies' room, in which they will
leave litde sprinklings of pee on the black toilet
seats and apply red lipstick. None of them will
notice the shark's genitalia.
She emerges from the oceanarium into the
Coral Reef exhibit and walks past the touch tank
without touching any of the squishy, tentacled
life forms that stick to the glass. Once she is out
of sight, the attendant goes back to prodding a
sea anemone with his official Sydney Aquarium
flashlight-pen, flicking it on as he pushes it into
the creature and off as it slides out again. With
the light inside it, the anemone glows pink like a
votive candle. On the wall behind the attendant
is printed an informational message about the
fascinating complexity of life forms in our
oceans. He flicks the light on and off, in and out.
She walks through the gift shop without stopping
and is funneled out the back door. You scratch
your legs. There are little red bumps on the backs
of your knees and you don't know where they
came from. Every hostel you've stayed in has had
a sign on the dormitory wall saying, 'Sleeping
Bags Not Permitted'. When you asked another
backpacker why this was, he said, /bedbugs'.
They get into one sleeping bag and travel from
hostel to hostel, spreading. You still used your
sleeping bag the first week. No way you were letting that ratty hostel blanket touch your skin.
Who knew what kind of weirdo creep had slept
under that thing? You could probably catch an
STD just from smelling it. Then you moved to a
different hostel with nicer bedding, and then
another One, and haven't used your sleeping bag
since except to lug it at someone that night in
Melbourne when the whole dorm was drunk and
having a pillow fight and you almost hooked up
with that hot German, but fell asleep like an idiot
and woke up the next morning with drool all
down your chin.
The backpackers light cigarettes. They kind
of want to Ititchhike up the Gold Coast, get to
Brisbane before they run out of money. But if we
stay another five nights at the hostel in Sydney,
background photo bykellan higgins
we'll get two nights free. Yeah, and people don't
pick up hitchhikers so much anymore. They
wonder how much weed they have left, and if the
Americans who flew home last night left anything decent in the hostel fridge. Last time they
checked, there was a plate of raw hamburger
meat, a hunk of cheese and six or seven half-
empty bottles of salad dressing. Gross, man, this
shit expired a month ago.
Let's get Chinese. That was last week.
They've lost track of how many days they've been
in Sydney, but know it's much, much longer than
they planned.
The kids lose interest in the slow, unhurried
circles of the sharks and rays in the dim oceanarium and bolt ahead to the touch tank. By the
time their parents saunter in, they are elbow-
deep in saltwater, crashing tender suction cups,
shoving fingers into cartilaginous orifices and
ignoring the attendant's bored reminder to stroke
gently and not pick anything up. A little girl drops
a starfish on the floor. Nobody notices, and at the
end of the day the janitor sweeps it into a pile
along with discarded visitor's maps and greasy
fish stick wrappers from the cafeteria. The litde
girl becomes silent and anxious and does not
speak for the rest ofythe day, afraid she'll tell and
get in trouble arid they'll takeiher to the office of .
the Aquarium Man and shes really, really sorry
In the gift shop, one of the old ladies from the
miniature tourist train notices her and asks her
mother if it's alright if she buys the poor sweetheart a plastic dolphin. The mother acquiesces.
Say thank-you to the nice lady. She murmurs the
words, pressing the figurine to her body. That's a
dear. Outside, the other kids josde to see what
she has. How come she gets a toy?
In Darling Harbour, a cloud passes in front
of the sun. Your legs speckle with goosebumps
and you stop scratching to pull them lip
against your body for warmth. Should have
worn long pants. You only brought one pair of
jeans on this trip and they're balled up under
your bunk at the hostel. The hostel is two subway stops away, in Central, and you don't Want
to spend the dollar eighty to go back and get
them. Anyway, it would be a waste of time.
Maybe you'll go to that ajt gallery—that free
one at the Rocks—-to warm up and use the toilets. Yeah, that's what you'll do. You stand up
and wait for a second as the blood rushes back
to your feet. Tourists mill about the docks,
hands full of brochures for museums, jet boat
rides, and day trips to Discover the Blue
Mountains. Walking to the art gallery, you
wonder why people travel at all. It's expensive
and clichgd and when you get right down to it,
there really isn't that much to see. -*
-• 'i:
by Neale Barnholden
Nathan had a serious hobby and only one
enemy, so he thought he was doing pretty well.
The e-mail group that shared his obsession was
tied together through mutual suspicion and
loneliness; in that way it resembled all e-mail
groups. Nathan knew that the group was a cunning way to keep an eye on each other as much
as it was a way to collaborate on daring
It was mainly Helen that he liked. Originally
from South Africa, she was a stewardess with a
large airline, and she traveled all over the world.
This put her in prime position to collect artifacts
of vanished cities, and indeed, her collection was
enviable. She had a complete collection of phonebooks for all the vanished Soviet cities; the
Stalingrad White Pages alone was worth around
7,500 dollars according to the latest speculation.
She had three of them.
Nathan had been attracted to the hobby when
he bought a collection of tourist brochures for
Saigon at a garage sale. These were also fairly valuable, which he discovered online, at the Yahoo!
group for collectors of anachronistic city memorabilia. That was seven years ago. When Helen had
appeared two years later with a cheap Kaliningrad
phone book, they had quickly bonded.
There were 40 members of the group, ten of
whom almost never participated, keeping a morbid interest from afar. A few more were not particularly interested in the hobby but had some
items that passed in or out of their hands. By far
the most notable member was McMenamin.
McMenamin hadn't founded the group, but he
had stayed there the longest. Apparently a businessman from California with far too much
money, his zeal for correcting people on minor
matters was only exceeded by his furious acquisition of any notable items featuring cities that
technically no longer existed.
Nathan had only seen him once, which was
also one of two times that he had seen Helen in
person. That was in the summer of 2001, when a
wealthy Turkish restaurateur died and his estate
came up for auction. Among the items included
was a very extensive series of items with prominent references to Constantinople. These items—
library books, customs tickets, ephemeral
papers—were intensely valuable to people who
collected such things.
Five members of the group descended on San
Diego a week after this auction came to their
attention. Nathan met Helen and the other two
ahead of time and they had an enjoyable afternoon
in the city, with Nathan showing them ail around.
Then when they entered the auction house they
saw him, in a suit and manicure with an elusive
smile: McMenamin.
McMenamin captured every lot of interest in
that auction. The others left, broken, as he
arranged for the items to be packaged and mailed
to his home on Catalina.
Since then the group had been full of open
tension. Four people quit, though one later
returned. Less active members weighed in;
things became personal but McMenamin stayed
put. Nathan's revenge was to purchase an ornamental set of china from 1905 decorated with
images of the town of Berlin, Ontario, which he
had to purchase by cell phone. The calls to
Kitchener, the name Berlin had assumed since
the First World War, cost him dearly, and so did
the purchase itself, but it was worth it.
McMenamin made a private offer and Nathan
rebuffed it though it would have been profitable.
McMenamin had no scruples but he dfd inspire
them in the people around him.
After spending a month distracted by actual
work, Nathan found that his passion for the hobby
was dimming. The business of collecting something because it referred to Saigon and not Ho Chi
Minh City seemed somewhat ridiculous, and he
was tired of the people. In the parlance of movies
about heists and robberies, he was looking for one
last big score.
McMenamin came to his house one day, but
Nathan kept him on the doorstep. "What do you
want?" asked Nathan, confused and frightened in
the back of his mind.
McMenamin smiled too easily. "Oh, I was just
wondering if you'd be interested in selling anything. I was in town, so I figured that —"
"Why do you care so much?" demanded
Nathan. "I mean, you throw so much into this
whole thing. Why?"
McMenamin's guard disappeared from his face
momentarily. "Care? Oh, I don't care about it. Not
really. It's just something to do.'
A week later Nathan found himself on a flight
to Pretoria, worrying about the price of the ticket.
The back of McMenamin's head was visible from
his seat, and he had a copy of Fortune in his
sweaty hands in case the other man turned
But it was Nathan who turned around when
the woman behind him tapped him on the shoulder. It was, oddly, Helen, though she was out of
"Isn't this another company's plane?" asked
Helen put her finger to her lips.
She hadn't known that McMenamin was here,
but she had received the same tip that Nathan had
about Pretoria's upcoming name change. Helen
had, in fact, joined the airline in South Africa, so
when she quit they had given her enough to return
to her point of origin, making one last flight to
bring things full circle.
When they were there, they didn't see
McMenamin at all, and they wandered the streets
buying everything they could with the word
'Pretoria' on it. Nathan's money dwindled as he
mailed it back, piece by piece, to other members
of the group. It was like Christmas in the hotel
room crammed with souvenirs as he and Helen
decided who would want what. The good karma
flowed like the wine they couldn't afford. They ate
simply and carried suitcases of knickknacks.
The end of the story only reached Frank,
Nathan and Helen's closest friend via e-mail. With
the very last stamp they mailed him a snow globe
with a view of Pretoria and a short letter of explanation. McMenamin had discovered them at last
in a postcard stall; when he learned of their desperation he offered them money for particular
items that he knew they had. Instead, via legal
contracts, they transferred the rights to the
remaining phone books, the china set, t-shirts,
postcards and assorted trinkets that they owned to
members of the group, and then they took the
money orders and ran.
Franks speculation was that they continued to.
roam the world, but what they were doing was
entirely a mystery. Liberating items from
McMenamin was a good guess; but there was a
hint in their letter that they were going to try to do
something of real substance. ■-t
.28 *t
Wednesday 31 march, 2006 VI
by Karly Stilling
Long Non-Fiction Winner
We landed in Quito near midnight to pouring rain. I
stepped off the plane onto the small tarmac, lifting my face to the
warm shower. I took a deep breath, summing Ecuador up by the
smells it offered me. The night air held the promising scent of
flowers brought out by the dampness—orchids, birds of paradise,
and bromeliads. My classmates and I filtered through the small
airport, avoiding the disheveled men outside who greeted me
"Buenos noches, senorita!" and tried to take our bags. They wore
mismatched clothing and smiles that revealed missing teeth.
I was one of a group of ten students from my high school on a
trip to Ecuador. The group was headed by two of my teachers and
their relatives. We were going to work at an orphanage in the
small village of Mindo. We had fundraised for months, getting
supplies and money wherever we could.
We lugged our stow-away suitcases onto the bus waiting to
take us to Crossroads Hostel for two nights. We would soon be
rid of the bulky suitcases. We had painted them bright colours
and filled them with supplies for the orphanage. We only brought
as many personal items as we could fit into our small school backpacks, an interesting experience for me at seventeen. Two weeks
of my life was in the bag on my back while I helped load twenty-
eight technicolor suitcases filled with school and medical supplies, clothes, and toys for the orphanage onto the bus.
Quito, Ecuador's capital, has two halves. New Quito is distinguished by its gleaming office buildings and busy streets, while
Old Quito retains much of the city's colonial charm. We spent our
one full day there wandering around New Quito's cobblestone
streets with plans to return at the end of our trip to see the sights
in Old Quito. Situated in the Andean highlands, Quito is nearly
10,000 feet above sea level, and most of us were taking pills to
help us get accustomed to the high elevation. Despite the medication, I was experiencing sudden vertigo and stomach pain,
common symptoms of altitude sickness.
On our second morning we boarded a charter bus to take us
to the orphanage in Mindo. I was nervous and anxious with
excitement. Our bus was equipped with a roof rack and we took
turns riding on top and feeling the cool breeze in our hair as the
forest slid by around us. The air was warm, but the wind had a
damp chill to it that forced me to wrap my jacket tightly around
me. The road wound through the hills, surrounded on either side
by bright green plants I had never seen, and others that I recognized, like ferns and poinsettias with their bright red leaves.
We soon stopped at the largest inhabited active volcano in the
world. I stood at the edge of an enormous valley and looked below
at the neat squares of interlinking farmland bordered by roads
and rows of trees, dotted here and there by small farmhouses. I
sat on my jacket at the edge of this vast crater and thought that
this is how people's interaction with nature should be. Not cities
with towering skyscrapers and masses of people, but an environment in which people rely on the land and care for it in return.
The tops of the mountains that surrounded the valley disappeared
into clouds and it seemed to me that they could go on forever to
isolate this perfect little community.
Our group decided to hike down the crater and asked our bus
driver to pick us up at the bottom. My body was reacting to the
change in climate and food, and I walked down the long, winding
path clutching my stomach, forcing myself to appreciate the
plants and flowers around me. After a couple of hours, we finally
reached the floor of the crater. Our bus driver and a friend of his
showed up in two large pickup trucks with corrals on the back,
usually used for cattle. My classmates were excited to ride up the
volcano in the back of a pickup, but I was nearly crying from the
pain in my stomach and I opted to take the only seat available in
the cab. The truck bounced and jerked its way up the hill and I
tried to appreciate the vivid beauty that surrounded me.
Most of the Andean region of Northern Ecuador is covered in
dense cloud forest, so called because the elevation is so high that
the hills and trees are often shrouded in cloudy mist. It creates a
beautiful scene—intense green ferns and vines peeking out from
the mist, the occasional shock of red, yellow, and orange from the
large ginger lilies and golden heliconias that thrive in the moist
environment. I was tired from the hike and my stomach pain, and
I couldn't help but fall asleep. My friends made fun of me afterwards, amazed that I could've slept on the bumpy road, but I felt
refreshed and ready to continue upon our return to the bus.
I kept my window rolled down as we turned off the main dirt
highway late that evening onto a smaller, bumpier road. The
evening air was cool and refreshing, and I could hear frogs croaking and crickets chirping. I stuck my head out of the window and
every now and then I would get whacked by a branch dripping
with the evening's rain. It was refreshing after hours in the bus. I
couldn't see the flowers or the ferns anymore, but their sweet,
earthy smells lingered.
Our hostelena, El Carmelo de Mindo, was located a fifteen
minute walk from the orphanage in the middle of the forest.
Designed to resemble tree houses, each cabin had two beds and a
bathroom. An open restaurant sprawled beside a shady pool, and
the effect was of a tropical oasis nestled in Ecuador's misty hills.
El Carmelo became our retreat after long and emotionally
draining days spent working at the orphanage, El Miraglo de
Mindo. It was a boarding school run by a group of nuns for children who were orphaned or whose families could not afford to
support them. It housed 650 children between the ages of 1 and
18, most of whom had never seen their parents. We spent most
of our time; there in the classrooms, sanding and painting the
desks a bright aquamarine. The buildings stood in the middle of
a field with open doorways and windows blocked off by bars.
They were light, airy, and empty except for neat rows of decrepit
desks facing a solitary green chalkboard on the wall. The children
weren't allowed in the classrooms while we worked, but they
would climb up the horizontal bars on the windows and hang
there watching us, chattering excitedly in Spanish.
During the afternoons we got to spend time with the children.
Most of my classmates played with one child in particular, but I
preferred to wander around, playing soccer with the older kids
and clapping games with the younger ones. I learned how to ask
"Como se dice"?" and the kids would take me by the hand, showing me around the orphanage teaching me the words for everything we came across. The children called me Karlita and I perfected my two sentences in Spanish: "Como te llamas'?" (what is
your name) and "Yo tengo diecisiete anos" (I am seventeen years
old). I showed them my pierced tongue and they gasped in shock
and tried to touch it.
Although the children did not have parents or many possessions other than a few changes of clothes and some ratty toys,
they were a happy, close-knit community. I left the orphanage
every evening wishing that I could give up my life back home in
Canada and stay in Mindo forever. I vowed that at some point in
my life I would return and live in a shack in the bush.
On our eighth day in Mindo, the children put on a goodbye
presentation for us. They danced traditional Ecuadorian folk
dances and stood up with their little hands over their hearts to
sing their national anthem. That night a small girl named Andrea
fell asleep in my lap. I took off my bracelet, which she had
admired, and placed it on her small wrist. The goodbyes were a
long and sad ordeal, and the children cried more than we did. As
we walked away, Andrea ran up to me and gave me an orange and
purple beaded bracelet that I cherish to this day.
We walked back to the hostelria that evening in silence and
' sat around together until late that night trying to bring some perspective to the experience. Most of my classmates were still crying, but no tears came to my eyes. I shared their emotions of sadness and regret at not being able to do more, but wondered why
I was more bothered by the monkey we had seen chained to a
fence in a yard than by these orphaned children and this poverty-
stricken village. I realised that I envied this way of life, the simplicity of it. In this village free from the interruptions of technology and the tendency to define the value of a person by how
much he consumes, the little things seemed to mean so much
more. The children at the orphanage defined their worth by the
love that surrounded them, by the strength of their friendships
and their ability to survive. I longed to live like them, free from
the material obsessions of the developed world. I came to terms
with something I had always suspected: what you own is not what
you are. My desire to live in a shack in the bush was really the
desire to shed my skin, to rip off the markings of a material culture and get back to what I felt really mattered: to let my life be
guided by necessity, to find my worth as a person in my own capabilities to make myself happy. I wanted all that comes with such
a life, the poverty and lack of food, the lack of luxuries like heating and hot water, and the lack of upward mobility. Something in
me wanted to reject the trappings of my world and start over with
nothing but a flimsy shack in the bush no matter what I had to
give up.
We spent our remaining five days touring through Ecuador's
beautiful countryside. We haggled prices with the locals for jewelry, blankets, and rainmakers at the market in Tavalo. In artisan
villages we learned how to make flutes and llama's wool scarves.
Ramiro, our tour guide, described the racial and social climate of
Ecuador, explaining the origins of the term "mestizo" and the
state of most of the country's peasants. They lived a simple
lifestyle and many had family businesses that had been carried on
for generations. I envied them and longed once again to escape
the commercialism of my society.
With one day left to go, we returned to our hostel in Quito. I
felt so changed from my experiences that I wondered if my family and friends would notice a difference when I returned home.
We spent our last day wandering the streets of old Quito with a
new understanding of the city and its people. I dreaded the return
home to normal life.
Over the next couple of weeks as I recounted the details of my
trip over and over, I longed to be back in Ecuador's misty forests.
Compared to the way of life I had experienced, home didn't seem
the same. The things I used to care about, like school and student
council, just didn't seem to matter anymore. That feeling returns
to me often. Whenever life here gets too stressful and I get too
caught up in the material definitions of success, I always long to
return to live in my shack in the bush. ",ait
~ -    . . „,     —ii ---m i -ir--—     mil   n^   i- ii .--ii rt—■-   -■*■ -imrtn   Twforfilftii       ^T     Jy J— ^^—^ ■-*—*■ J--"-  --* -*■ —           *■- -    *•   ■■■* •' * *» * ■*  -    -■*"-■'   -«---*     -   —.   .. ..m^witi^i^ji ^ J» ""Tlr^FJlBSii fcTfiini hTTil i   JB Vll Wednesday 31 march, 2006
0titM^wia @$ltadeft^
by Samantha Rapoport t ._        _
The man my Catherine loves is working the
counter. There is so much I want to tell him.
How she is beautiful and tall and deliberate.
How she stands in the mirror putting on a hint
of blush and a little eyeliner and sings to herself.
How she is pale and burns easily. How I hate the
way he treats her.
I will tell him none of this.
I will tell him none of this and I will bury my
face in a newspaper when his eyes catch mine
from behind the counter. When his eyes catch
mine from behind the counter, I will be bent, furiously reading the Daily Pennsylvanian. When the
line in front of the till grows, when girls in singles
and pairs with sensible haircuts and canvas tote-
bags, these Ivy League girls, line up to get their
lattes, then I can raise my eyes from beneath the
fine print and watch. I can see why he fears her.
How can I tell him she will never be one of them?
He is chewing gum. He wears his hair greasy
and long. He has a strand of leather tied around his
wrist and a black tee-shirt thin and worn over his
long frame. He jokes with the girls in line, 'What'll
it be?" He jokes that it is almost dinner time.
Confirms their hunger. Ordering muffins, they
need him to do this. They also, it seems, need to
scowl at him, need to be rude to him. He is just a
necessary step between them and their beverage.
They talk into their cell phones, they don't smile
back, they take their coffees and they leave.
His voice is low and his arms are long and lean
and pale. His face, his mouth that chews slowly
on a bit of pastry while he looks out the window.
His face, his eyes lined with fine red veins;
cocaine-bleary and espresso shot. His face that I
have never seen before because he wouldn't let
Catherine take his picture. His face that I have
never seen before, but I am certain this is him.
Certain this is Rudy.
When Catherine told me she had been accepted to the University of Pennsylvania, I had been
gone six months and I was jealous. At Christmas
when she told me she was lonely and miserable,
that school was hard and not fulfilling and that she
worried about money all the time, I could not
believe what kind of friend I had been. When she
told me about Rudy, I knew it was time for a visit.
Catherine is the kind of person that refuses to
have her name abbreviated. We met when we were
fourteen and she told me that she was named after
Catherine Deneuve and I believed her. Her penmanship is perfect. Her eyes are milky like lychee
fruit and she has a face like a china doll and freckles even in January.
I do not remember when it was that I started
loving her.
But I do remember the ache of high-heeled
shoes in the snow, holding onto the crock of her
arm for support.  I do remember ordering off
French menus in English with a terrible kind of
adolescent conceit and throwing up in the bathrooms of fancy restaurants and blood on white
table napkins. I remember her little house in Ville
Saint-Laurent and her tiny mother wrapped in
blankets on the couch watching movies with a
mug of tea and sighing to herself as we bounded
past and locked the bedroom door and talked all
night. I remember what it was like to be English in
a French province and know that one day you
would have to leave.
It is a red-eye from Seattle to Philadelphia. The
man sitting next to me is smiling unusually and I
don't know what to do, so I smile back. When
we're about to take off he finally leans closer to me,
as if he has something really important to say.
"You should put your seatbelt on—here let
me." He fumbles with the two straps and buckle, his hand lingering just a half-second longer
than comfortable.
I don't know if I thought anything of it then.
Catherine's mother had been sick since I had
known her. Catherine's mother had been sick
before I met her. Catherine's mother died three
days before graduation. We had been shopping
for dresses, we had been busy, and this was how
she wanted it.
I was the one who cried at the ceremony
because my date was too drunk and wouldn't
dance and embarrassed me. Catherine always
had a better head on her shoulders. She gathered me in her arms in the bathroom and I
immediately felt foolish.
Typical middle aged bull-shit. Pink Floyd's
Wish You Were Here. The man next to me, no I
never did get his name, is trying to put his headphones on me. I let him because I don't know
what else to do and I don't want things to be more
awkward. He is singing to himself and I wonder
if I could hate anybody more.
Catherine and her roommate couldn't agree on
how to decorate their apartment, so they have left
the walls completely blank. The carpet is white,
the couches are white, the walls are white, and I
don't know how she lives here. Her roommate is
afraid of the subway, doesn't drink wine. She is
from Minnesota.
"It's a nice place close to campus," Catherine
offers by way of an explanation.
I finally manage to twist my body into a comfortable sleeping position. I don't know how long
I've been out. I feel his hand on my thigh and I
think I am dreaming. I feel his hand on my thigh
and with half-open eyes can only manage to croak.
"Stop it, I'm sleeping." Then pull my thighs
together and press closer to the window. Pull my
body around as far as a few inches can go and press
closer into the plastic moldings, the side of my face
resting on the cool glass that keeps me from falling
forever into the endless night sky. Pull myself tight,
as small as I can be, and feel small too. Feel small
and tight and smaller.
When you hear stories like this, you think to
yourself, if this ever happened to me, I'd stand up
for myself. I'd stand up and scream, 'No!' Scream,
'No one has the right to touch me'. You feel his
hand on your thigh, rubbing, urging, "fou feel his
hand on your thigh and all you can manage to do is
turn and whisper, 'Stop it, I'm sleeping. You feel his
hand on your thigh and you should be on your feet,
waving your arms in the air, getting the attention of
anyone who will listen because he's not right; this
is not right. This man is touching me, this man is
touching me, stewardess, stewardess, this man is
touching me.'
Instead, your stomach, now turned to water,
empties itself with starling violence, and in the
bathroom you hold your head between your legs,
and your face is flush with sweat, and in the mirror you look green, and wash your face with sickly-
sweet smelling soap and stall for time, stall for
time. But the plane has to land. You have to go
back to your seat.
I flush the toilet. I walk back quietly. The bastard is still smiling.
It is the day after Valentine's Day when I arrive
and Catherine and I are smoking cigarettes in a
sports bar. The bartender is visibly pregnant and
calls us Tiun' and despite all this I think she will be
a good mother.  Rudy was supposed to come over
after work yesterday, but he never called and
Catherine thinks he went to see his old girlfriend
and did coke all night. He tells Catherine about
the sex they used to have. Catherine feels exposed.
Catherine tells me she didn't want to wait up for
him, but she just kept thinking, 'a few more minutes, a few more minutes,' until she found herself
waking in her clothes, and then she felt more
sheepish than angry.
She also tells me that once Rudy realized it was
midnight and he hadn't eaten all day and so he
ordered thirty ten-cent chicken wings in the bar
where they had been drinking and tore into those
tiny limbs with his teeth, sauce all over his face.
Half-way through, he threw up into those dirty
baskets of flesh and bone and sauce and just sat at
the table moaning with his head down.
Rudy is in a metal band. Rudy had a difficult
childhood. Rudy grew up in a trailer outside of
Pittsburgh and his. father beat him and he never
graduated high school. Rudy has been fired from
two jobs in the months that Catherine has
known him. He lives on a couch and doesn't
own a suitcase. He gave Catherine a piece of
cake late on a Saturday when she couldn't take
one more sorority party and her make-up was
running. Rudy was fired from that job for giving
away free food and he didn't care. Catherine
helped Rudy open his first bank account and
lent him the fifty dollar required deposit, which
he still hasn't paid back. Rudy is twenty six.
Rudy  is   dark.   Rudy  was   impressed  when
Catherine told him her mother had died and he
said sometimes he wishes he could kill his
father. Rudy has cut thin, fine, deliberate slits in
his forearm with a razor blade. Rudy is dark.
Sometimes Rudy rings Catherine's doorbell in
the middle of the night and sleeps beside her in
all his clothes and does not touch her and keeps
sleeping when she leaves for school and her
roommate hates this and thinks he's going to
steal from them.
Catherine has fallen in love with Rudy and this
is all that matters.
I am sitting in a Philadelphia coffee shop.
The man my Catherine loves is working the
counter. I wonder who his mother is and who he
will go home to tonight. I wonder if he is thinking of my Catherine and I wonder if he knows
what he is missing. >*fc
• • •
Wednesday 31 march, 2006    Vlll
Uea ^/fwul;
illustrations by Michelle Lee
information/First Nations cultural centre in Port Renfrew and ate
the apples the Alaskan man's Japanese wife had given us in their
van when they gave us a ride from the Botanical Beach endpoint of
the Juan de Fuca Trail to this hot, quiet tumoff to Victoria. Soft yellow apples with thick red skin that goes stuck between your teeth,
warm juice. Our packs flattened the grass. No shade. We sat in the
gravel and stood up every time a car came along, thumbs out. Most
turned down the other road, towards the lakeside cottages, kayaks
strapped to the roof. It was taking a long time. I went into the info
centre, where some Pacheedaht women were hanging out chatting
in the sunny, coat-hangered rooms, and used the bathroom. When
I came out Erica had stopped a van. It was an old couple with two
big dogs in the back. They put our packs between the cages and we
hopped in the backseat.
The trail widened and flattened into a path and we started to pass
meandering families and day-trippers, old ladies in visors and white
tennis shoes, strolling, cotton and that city light around them, like
shiny cans just popped out of a Vending machine. Botanical Beach
was bare and scabby. A few shallow puddles with not much life in
them and barnacled rocks scratching bare feet. We took a few pictures and put out boots back on and the lumpy dead weight of our
packs and finished the ten-minute walk to the parking lot, where
the last kilometre marker was on a post tucked into the corner of
an information placard detailing the variety and wonder of the
marine life at Botanical Beach. Another picture and the end of our
grahola bars. This was victory.
We stopped at Providence Cove, where the Pacheedaht left middens, and left our packs against a log and lay on the beach for a
while, then waded out around the cliff face and clambered up the
slippery kelp-coated rock shelf to see if we could see back around
the point to where we had hiked earlier. There were beaches that
might have been Sombrio, forest, and blocks and blocks of ocean
stacked up against the hot blue sky. Erica led the way back to shore
and I made my slow way behind her, squeamishly picking footholds
among the rough traps of the rocks. Then we explored a big cave
on the other side of the cove that fills with water at high tide, walking into the darkness and then turning around to see the amazing
bright seascape framed by damprock.
Last ones out of carnp in the morning. The Boy Scouts cleared
out early and around us the other tent sites emptied like little
sinks while we sat on a log eating porridge. Everyone else is so
efficient. When I went to get our food from the bear cache, the
other hooks were rattling in the breeze and there was our orange
stuff-sack still at the top, a forlorn berry. We pulled up the tent
pegs for the last time, unsnapped the frame into a bundle of
metal sticks, stuffed the fly and screen into their bag and did
some yoga on the footprint before packing it up. Payzant Creek
was abandoned. It was a pretty morning, all blue-green-gold kaleidoscope in the treetops, silver water and red peat, feeling also in
its benign advancing daylight something of a missed evacuation.
Erica washed the dishes in the creek, squatting on the rocks
above a little fall, and we brushed our teeth and carried water up
to purify with tablets. Erica took pictures of the treetops and we
left Payzant Creek, not wanting to leave it.
Dinner at Payzant Creek was a three-course feast of freeze-dried
food. Our little camp stove hissed steadily under the wobbly tank
of Erica's cooking pot and I crouched next to it anxiously, fiddling
with the gas and trying to keep everything from tipping over. The
first course was vegetarian chili, spicy brown curds of textured soy
protein bubbling horridly in the pot. When that was gone we boiled
water again and poured in the entire packet of mashed potato
flakes and watched it thicken into an orgy of starch, a ridiculous
unbelievable pale-grey swirl of instant mash. While everyone else
was already sleeping in their tents, we sat on that log washing down
mound after mound of fake potato with swigs of butterscotch
schnapps, long past the point of hunger and into macho territory.
To finish off, we boiled water a third time and made dessert-round
two of the chocolate cake mix. I felt so happy sitting there in the
dark with Erica, laughing about the potatoes and already beginning
to reminisce about the past three days of the hike. That night there
were echoes of boys' voices through the trees until their counselors
had them quiet.
We got to the Payzant Creek campsite after a long day of walk-
ing.There's a wooden bridge over the creek and a long set of stairs
leading up to the campsite and:down to the water. It was early
evening and we' spent a "few moments finding a good tent site
before setting up camp in the dimming light. Our tent site was a
smooth dirt square with a few giant logs along one side of it and tall
redwoods all around. The sunset filtering through the trees made
everything glow. We were so happy to be spending a night in this
magical place. It was tempting to sit on the log, relax and enjoy the
last light, but we had lots of work to do before it got dark. When I
took off my boots and socks, I could feel the night coming in my
bare feet. Walking was hard because our bodies were twisted and
sore from the packs and the hills, but we put up the tent and then
somebody undertook the long limp back to the creek for water.
The afternoon is waning and we come out of the woods to a stretch
of coastal walking. There are no sea lions on the rocks but the
weakening sun is beautiful over the ocean and we take off our
packs and rest for a while. When we get up tc go, we have trouble
finding the next buoy and make a few false starts before hitting the
right trail. It looks like we're going to get into camp pretty late. We
have another too-short water break at the top of a headland and
hoist our loads onto our backs again. The last six kilometres to
camp are quiet, steady, strong, and wearying. Despite the hard pace
and the frustration of getting lost, Erica and I are doing alright. I
feel like we're in tune, and even when we go for long stretches too
tired to talk, the mutual trust is there that sustains an expedition
into the unknown.
Through the logged place by Parkinson Creek. Earlier we passed a
woman and her son who were going to camp here, but I don't
understand why they wouldn't make the effort to get past it. It is a
disconcerting place with stunted pines growing thickly on either
side of the trail, knit with berry patches. It feels like bears. We got
lost down a logging trail, following neon flashes which petered out
into senseless brush after a few hundred metres. I was frustrated
with the trail for not being clearer, and with myself for leading us
down this miserable bastard side path. We turned around and
clawed our way out of the bush, found the junction where I'd made
the mistake, and Erica spotted the neon buoy in another direction.
We set off again.
Getting into afternoon we often got a glimpse of the ocean through
the trees that edge the headlands. We stopped by a kilometre marker to watch a herd of sea lions sunning themselves on an outcrop,
dozens of them moving in and out between rock and water.
There was a buoy tied to a tree and below it an old knotty rope
hanging down the dirt bank to the beach. We thought this must be
the place where the trail enters the woods again. It was fun using
the rope to struggle up the bank into the trees, where the trail
passed by a pretty pool and waterfall before running into a steep
wall of dirt pocked with old footholds. I looked at it doubtfully.
Were we supposed to climb this? At least there was evidence that
other people had. Anyway, we tackled the vertical incline, hanging
on to gnarly roots and handfuls of slippery ground. At the top we
followed the trail
through    increasingly
strange  territory until it
started  splitting off into  a
web of abortive,  nonsensical
goat-paths. This was definitely
not the right trail. Should we go
back? Should we try to follow one
of these trails until it joins up with
the  main  one?   Getting  back
down that slippery cliff was not
a safe option. We stood for a
few moments working through
the situation. The woods were
silent and rough. Finally we
decided to hack our way back
down to the coast. I did a quick
reconnaissance mission along the headland and found a place
where the earth had slipped away, carrying down rocks and young
trees. There was a steep slide of red dirt ending in a big pile of
debris, and beyond it the rocky beach and the ocean.
A bridge high over an amber river. The water was shallow and clear,
running over a mottle of flat grey stones to sea.
For breakfast we had porridge with tough pieces of dried apricot
stirred into it, cut over the pot with my kitchen knife. I loved
cooking on the camp stove. Each time I screwed the burner onto
the gas canister, I had a flicker of doubt that it wouldn't work.
When I turned the dial, I could hear the gas hissing, but sometimes the flame didn't come. Just hissing. It always worked eventually, but the delay was enough to make me doubly grateful when
the hard, powdery mixtures we carried with us cooked themselves
into real food.
At Sombrio beach we left our packs at the first decent campsite
we came across, then scouted further up the beach and decided
to move to a flat sandy spot under a tree, beside a shallow stream
where we could get drinking water and wash dishes. There were
lots of handy logs around for spreading our clothing and equipment on, and the toilet was a hundred metres away up a staircase,
in the trees. After setting up the tent, we had time to relax for a
while. We wandered around the beach and climbed a huge piece
of driftwood, then sat there watching skimboarders as the sun set.
As evening settled in, people began to light campfires. Seeing the
glowing orange fires made us want our own. On the way back to
the tent, we looked around for dry sticks and driftwood to burn,
but we weren't having much luck. I looked under a log and found
a cache of plywood and paper, and Erica consulted her camping
book about how to make a fire—we're such novices! We piled the
strips of plywood in a kind of pyramid and I put in a firestarter to
get things going, then we sat at our little fire roasting marshmal-
lows and drinking Schnapps until it burned low and collapsed
into embers.
The day grew foggy. As we rounded Sombrio Bluff, there was a
steep side-track leading down to a rock shelf. We dithered over
whether or not to leave our packs at the top, then carried them
awkwardly down and left them on the rocks. A thin waterfall trickled down the rockface, and formed a pool and cut a thin slice to the
ocean, where giant waves slammed against the rocks. The water
surged into the pockets in the shelf, making loud booming noises I
thought at first were thunder. From here, you could see around the
bluff to Sombrio Beach. We each explored at our own pace and
took a few pictures in which, developed, we look small and wind
swept against the big grey anchors of rock, fog, and ocean.
We were in a place of hundreds of hills covered in tall trees. We
climbed up and down and up and down, and hadn't seen anyone all
day. It felt like we were alone on the earth. At the top of one hill,
we took off our packs and lay flat on our backs. The forest was
absolutely silent. I had the strongest feeling of being exactly where
I was.^
?. -fi


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