wired up

The first time I went to university the Internet was novel. It had just become something accessible to the general populace, AOL was on the rise, and I had just installed a second-hand 14.4 modem into my PC. The school itself barely functioned online, theoretically offering portal access for its students to the Web, but the software they provided was a hatchet job, and you could barely rely on it to check your email, much less download porn—though I did try my very best to do as much of the latter as possible. (You make a lot of tea waiting for images to download over a 14.4 modem, if I remember correctly.)

This has changed dramatically. Not only do I not have to rely on my university’s servers to perve out to images of naked boys anymore, but over the past decade the Internet has gone from being something with great potential for academic application to being absolutely essential. It is immediately apparent that you cannot function at U of T without Internet access: you need to activate your student card online; you need to enrol in your courses through their official website portal ROSI; you even need to coordinate the payment of your academic fees by browser. When you have questions for the registrar they direct you to a web address.

Now, I know that I’m not that old in the grand scheme of things, but this dramatic shift of the scholastic paradigm makes me feel every inch a mature student. I can’t wait to see how middle-aged I feel when classes start in a couple of weeks and I get a gander at my undergraduate peers. They’re going to be children.


~ by A Mundi on April 27, 2010.

One Response to “wired up”

  1. When I returned to university at age 36 I was an older man. Most of my fellows were in their 20’s. BUT… There were older folks studying in the same discipline (religion) at that time. I was also 2 years into my emmigration into Canada.

    I went through a very tough identity crisis. But I got through it. For the first few years I was in UNI there were several generations of students in the same class, it lent to very diverse discussions at times, and very heated ones at others. I had support from my profs and academic adviser, (who also was gay) and I did well. You might find yourself at odds with younger students who might not be as “worldly” traveled as yourself, or have the same wisdom as you have and that would be your advantage. But don’t let youth intimidate you. We all have our experiences that no one can take from us. You have as much to offer and they will have to offer you now. Take and learn from the opportunities.

    Remember that you signed up for school and got in so don’t waste your life worrying about who is older or younger and don’t sit in the feeling that you don’t fit in. AS an older student I had very FEW fellows I called friends, I had to find them elsewhere and I did via the faculty. Gay men stand together. Look for them and befriend them. They will be your saving grace, you might find.

    I had friends throughout my UNI career but even today I have very few friends in Theology. Everyone’s experience is useful. So learn from those you can, and don’t begrudge someone their youth, like I said. Some may be immature against the maturity you bring forth, and there is another plus you have. Don’t be arrogant, but be kind hearted and be nice to others.

    Take one day at a time. Easy does it. And enjoy the ride. I think you will find UNI very good for you after the adventures you’ve had. It will give you a new perspective on life, and it will keep you out of your head … mental and hiv issues will become secondary and you will grow in ways you never imagined. But don’t overdo it. Do not do too much, we must always take care of our bodies appropriately or else sickness will drive us crazy.

    I look forward to hearing about your adventures. Bon Chance…


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