i miss college

I like how I didn’t look for you. You just came in like a raging storm and my world was forever changed.
—  another-broken-hello
a tale of trees and espionage

okay story time:

my professor (lovely man, married to our TA, 5'2", about as intimidating as a muffin) is a dendrologist by trade, so he studies trees. it was about three hours into our social sciences course, last lecture before exams, everyone was frazzled and exhausted, so he told us about his most exciting/in-depth research to date to cheer us up.

(the few of us who actually showed up were like “ok sir im sure its fascinating” but in our minds we were totally like its trees what. is. exciting. about trees. You might be wondering the same thing - the acorns? the leaves? the roots? BUT NO. IMMA FUCKIN TELL YA.)

ANYWAY we settle in, he had a few pictures loaded up from his field work (we were chuckling at this point…. ‘hehehe field work’ i giggled to my frend. its trees.) and began to tell his tale. it’s long, imma warn you, but……. god. just read it.

theres an species of tree called the cucumber tree (Magnolia acuminata, if ya wanna get all Latin-y). its super endangered, in our region there’s only ~280 that are registered by the government, yadda yadda yadda. my prof thought that was tragic (i know) but also strange, because when he was writing his thesis about local trees years ago, he kept coming across cucumber trees in really random places. we’re talking like backyards, independently-owned nurseries, etc. WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE because, according to tree law (i know) it is very strictly protected by the government, and thus super “illegal to possess, transport, collect, buy or sell any part of a living or dead member of a listed species if it originates from wild sources.” essentially, the govt takes control over growing the trees and anyone who independently raises them is breaking the law (i know)

so he’d ask people “do you have a permit for these trees?” and they were like “uh no, it’s just a tree someone sold me, i think it looks nice, are you gonna arrest me?” so he’d be like “nah nah nah just tell me who sold it to you”

eventually, months/years later, someone did, and turns out it was like this underground sort-of illegal tree dealing club (i know). so my prof went, got a bit of funding from the government, who were getting pissed at independent cucumber tree numbers, and THIS IS WHERE IT GETS INTO THE GOOD SHIT I STG.

he infiltrates the tree trafficking organization. he buys a cucumber tree from an independent nursery, raises it for months, ensures he gets noticed by the traffickers, and then INFILTRATES it and convinces its leader to LET HIM JOIN. he has to pay like a steep entrance fee, which he does (and it blows my mind that the government of my country paid money to illegal tree dealers), but then he is given full access to records and maps because they think he’s one of them, not a SECRET AGENT.

now this part blows my mind because the tree lords don’t even have to try very hard to find cucumber trees because government agents MARK THE TREES AND DISTINCTLY TAG THEM SAYING THIS IS ENDANGERED DO NOT TOUCH. so, ya know…………. it’s a bit obvious. my prof hangs out with the members so much that he figures out their “hit spots”. these are where the trees are relatively secluded and unguarded. (he writes all this shit and numbers down for his research.)

BUT THATS NOT ENOUGH BECAUSE THE GOVT SAYS HES WASTING THEIR FUNDING IF HE DOESNT HAVE PROOF and they are willing to take LEGAL ACTION for misuse of funding (my prof doesn’t have the money nore time nor power to take them to court, which would also blow his cover). so my prof literally STAKES OUT a copse of cucumber trees at a recognized wildlife reserve for. DAYS. he camps there, and watches the trees, is about to give up, he’s going off an unreliable rumor from the traffickers that a harvester would be going there within the next week. finally, this guy comes and takes the cucumber tree seeds from the CLEARLY MARKED trees by the government, and my prof takes pictures (we are shown these pictures, most of us are speechless at this point). dozens of candid shots of a man my grandpa’s age with a grocery store bag, garden shears, and a ladder, clipping away the illegal seeds and then going on his merry fucking way.

so my prof has the proof, he’s been undercover for months now at this point, he writes up his report, gives it to the government who is like…….. “oh shit”, helps them draft up a new LESS COMPLETELY FUCKING OBVIOUS way of marking endangered trees (so that way non-tree-lovers wouldn’t damage them further, etc.), and then never returns to the tree traffickers. he’d given them a fake name, address, everything….. he disappears.

…there was a full minute of stunned silence from us students at this point, during which he grew more and more nervous (again, he’s a muffin) and all of us students are just like……. “whoa.” we asked him what happened to the remaining illegal cucumber trees & if he turned the tree dealers in to the government, and that is when he smiles a little bit and shows us the last few pictures. because here’s the kicker… he never turned the smugglers in. he burned all the data he collected, defied the government pressuring him to turn them in, and the only reason he’s not incarcerated is because his work is so prominent in certain circles now & universities love him, that there would be an uproar if he got arrested. he’s like a fucking anti-hero and then he tells us (i’ll never forget, it’s the most inspirational green-thumb thing in the world) “it may be 'illegal’, but those who risk their liberty to ~save the world~ should never be reprimanded, no matter what those in power say.”

we are all stunned. some of us are considering dendrology as a field we’d now be interested in pursuing. he clicks his slide one final time, before we leave our last lecture and, since he had an asthma attack (lil muffin) he didn’t attend our exam, so i never see him again…………

and there, on the slides, the last picture? THERE HE IS. in his own backyard. with his equally lovely TA wife. both grinning innocently, standing underneath a……. FUCKING. FULL GROWN. ILLEGAL. CUCUMBER TREE.

high school teachers act like college professors are gonna be all serious and tough but one time my history professor showed up to class 10 minutes late on a rainy day looking 500% done and he just stopped in the middle of the room and sighed really loudly and was like
“guys, you know, I had to stop by my car on the way here to get something and I realized….I realized I could literally just get in my car and drive away. I could drive all the way home and sit on my couch and drink a beer. But I came here for you guys. FOR YOU. I love you guys, and when I go home I’m drinking a beer then taking a nap, and then maybe I’ll grade your papers”
and another time in the same class the classroom technology wasn’t working (it rarely ever did) and he was like “well, looks like I’m just going to have to go outside and set this ipad on fire and while I’m at it might as well set myself on fire too”
And one time we spent a whole class talking about those creepy clowns in the news and he somehow managed to connect it to the societal hierarchy of colonial america

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Add me on beamchat, @viva_america. I follow back, I promise.

DANCE MAJORS AU Part 1 (Part 1.5Part 2, Part 2.5, Part 3 finale) Hip-hop dancer Keith in a ponytail. Everyone is just so mesmerized when he dances on stage or even just during practice. Outside the dance studio, he’s a huge space nerd who’s got a secret crush on the contemporary ballet dancer next door who he may or may have not thought of asking out… next week or next month.

Redbubble Shop

GUYS THIS WAS WORTH 80% OF MY FINAL EXAM GRADE FOR OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT AND I GOT AN A

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the calendar // panic! at the disco

Things I’ve learned from college:

I finished college this year and these are some of the important things I’ve learned from the past two years:

1) Life is too short to pretend you don’t like One Direction and Taylor Swift.

2) Go out. You may not have a lot of money but there are ways and how long are you really going to be able to drink that much and still be able to (slightly) function the next day

3) Go to concerts. Go to all the concerts you can go to. Whether they are your favourite artist, one you just discovered, your friends concert or whatever. GO TO CONCERTS ITS A BETTER USE OF MONEY THAN BUYING CHEAP CLOTHES YOU AREN’T GOING TO WEAR

4) Live in rez for at least one year. It may be annoying to live with certain people but in the long run you will appreciate, and miss, living in a building with your best friends

5) work hard. You are paying too much to fail.

6) do your homework during the week, then you can have fun on the weekends without the guilt of not being able to write that paper because you’re hungover.

7) go home. Go home and visit your parents. You may not miss them as much as they miss you but they do miss you and it will brighten their weekend having you home. 

8) call your mom. Call her at least one every couple weeks. It will provide her with relief knowing your not dead in a ditch clutching a bottle of beer.

9) whatever you do DONT EVER. I REPEAT EVER. BUY CINNAMON SUGAR TWIST VODKA. it is literally the most disgusting thing on the planet and a huge waste of $30.  

10) also never try to buy concert tickets from people on Kijiji.

11) if you like him. tell him. show him. he’s not going to wait around forever and its going to be you thats embarrassed in the end.

12) people are going to come into your life and flip it upside down and all around but its up to you whether or not you let it bother you.

13) if your friend is having a rough time don’t abandon them. stick with them. it will make you stronger and inseparable. 

14) things happen, and people have to leave school and go home. Stay in contact with those people because it’s not their fault they had to leave. 

15) keep stupid little souvenirs of your years at school. How else are you going to show your kids the foam skull you stole from a bar on Halloween?

16) celebrate your 20th birthday for four days no matter how exhausting it and you are. celebrate even if no one will sing Teddy to you on your birthday. 

17) eat all the junk food you can. consume all the coffee you find possible. you may not feel great but at least you can still digest that much food quickly..right?

18) pulling an all nighter is only fun when your 13 at your friends birthday party. spending an all nighter staring at your computer writing an essay isn’t fun.

19) if you do have to pull an all nighter. then listen to a great album, go to 7/11 get your $1 coffee and wear comfy clothes. 

20) most importantly. Love yourself, your friends, your peers and memories that you make. College is a short time in your life and its not going to last forever. Make as many memories as you can. Eat as many pizzas and drink as many bottles of vodka as you can. Your only young once and you don’t want to be 3o years old looking back at your late teens/early 20′s regretting the fact that you didn’t make any important memories in those years. 

Every time I think about having to be an adult I get so mad. Like I want to call around to see if I can get lower car insurance but I literally have no idea what I would be saying. Besides “I want cheaper car insurance”. Like wtf is a premium, wtf does 100/300/100 mean, how much insurance do i need???

dog mom
  • *calls mom while at college*
  • me: so how's my dog doing?
  • mom: oh he's good! he's sleeping on his bed right now
  • me: good, but is he staying moisturized?
  • me: is he hydrating properly?
  • me: are the other dogs being nice to him?
  • me: make sure he wears his sweater when it's cold outside
  • mom: he's a dog