Trent Mag Editorial: Inglorious History

I’m deep into managing the edition of the upcoming edition of Trent Magazine. This time around, we’re celebrating people who have carved futures out of gazing into the past.

As a sneak peek: My editorial — in which I present the dangers of pyjamas in lecture hall.

Inglorious History

My history of History at Trent has some inglorious origins.

I should point out that, as a writer, I’m not exactly a morning person. More accustomed to working by midnight lamplight than by early morning sunshine, I am part a creature of professional habit and part one of circadian confusion. Forced into attending morning meetings, I am inevitably groggy, lethargic, and seemingly undead. I often wince from the first light of day. My hatred of the dawn is truly vampiric.

In short, my pre-noon functionality is somewhat limited.

Thus it is, and thus it has always been. Particularly in my student days.

Which doomed a first period, first semester, first year History course right from the get-go.

The initial hint that things weren’t going to go my way was when the Otonabee College kids all stumbled into Wenjack wearing pyjamas. They weren’t so much attending school as continuing their morning slumber. One look at a snoozing student would be all that it would take to knock me out cold.

For me, watching a morning nap is like watching someone else yawn: physiologically contagious.

My first set of notes from that class started out in paragraph form. They quickly moved to bullet points. Then single-word squiggles that may or may not have been relevant.

Finally, there was an unintelligible scrawl that trailed off into a long single scratch of ink. It flat-lined off the page and across the fabric of my jeans. Physical evidence of when my fuzzy-brained head drooped and my hand fell to my side.

I can only hope that I didn’t drool.

I can tell you this: my involvement in History courses did improve over time. As my lectures and tutorials moved into more humane timeslots, my participation grew and grew. By the time I took John Wadland’s sublime course on “Canada: The Land” – yes, actually a Canadian Studies course, but truly historical in context – I was hooked on the stories of our nation-building.

This edition of Trent Magazine showcases alumni who have carved careers from their study or use of history. All of them look back on their formative Trent years as stepping stones to what they have accomplished. From award-winning authors, to teachers, to curators, to hockey writers, all of these talented folks have one foot in the present and one firmly rooted in the past.

The best part? Their varied and lively stories are all inspiring enough to ward of slumber – no matter your personal sleep patterns.

Good morning, friends. Good afternoon. Goodnight.