The Minutes

Photo: Evelyn Dom

On Mondays and Wednesdays, I have a class on Shakespeare in the Rutherford Physics Building. Right after Shakespeare is American History —  in Stewart Biology. The following is a timestamped documentation of my thoughts on a given day during the perilous 10-minute journey.


10:21:23: If I leave now, I’ll have 14 minutes to get from here to Stewart Bio. Totally doable. Today is a day where I will have my shit together. But wait. Act 2 Scene 4? Okay, okay, I’ll stay. This sounds important.

10:23:09: Who knew Elizabethan royals brushed their teeth with sharpened sticks? Super glad I didn’t miss that. I should probably leave really soon, though.

10:24:03: Okay, panicking; other people are also packing up which means class is almost over for real. Alright, I’m gonna to have to gather my things and sprint out of the room while being incredibly respectful and discreet. I can handle this though, because I am very nimble and athletic.

10:24:04: False. I was held back in ballet at the age of five due to lack of coordination — and was told never to return.

10:24:47: I just stood up, tripped, and knocked over a coffee cup that was on the floor, and now it’s all over my shoes. Just gonna do the rational thing and keep running towards the door without acknowledging what I did. No weakness. No time!

10:25:06: I now have fewer than 10 minutes to get to Stewart Bio. I am scurrying up the stairs to Penfield and am already winded. Maybe it’s bad that the first time I ever went to the gym at school was to write an exam.

10:26:30: Crossed Penfield. I think my approach today will be to shuffle through the Reservoir as fast as I can. It’s occurring to me that this is not what I thought I would be doing when I took a tour of McGill in 2016. I thought I’d be drinking lattes from Dispatch whilst reading leisurely in the Islamic Studies Library. Instead, I’m here, with dried coffee on my shoes, one eye frozen shut, tumbling across a desolate field.

10:27:09: Are those steps behind me? I think they are. I don’t have time to pivot and check, though. “Pivot.” That’s definitely a joke from something, but I can’t remember which show. Maybe How I Met Your Mother?

10:27:33: The guy behind me just bodychecked me into the snow because the path was too narrow for both of us. So this is what they mean when they say McGill is cut-throat. No time to be annoyed. Must. Keep. Moving. Will plot my revenge later.

10:29:18: Friends! It’s from the Friends episode about the couch! Did I just say that out loud? Yes, I think I did just exclaim the word “friends” to myself alone in the snow. Awesome! Fellow travellers are now looking at me and I’m shuffling even faster.

10:31:09: Heavy-breathing my way up McTavish, which of course, is one unified ice sheet. This guy in Blundstones looks way too happy to be out here. He’s smiling and waving and having the time of his life — and I’m kinda hating him for it. He’s giving his friend a Great Gatsby-esque “Old Sport” sort of salute and … Oh my God! He’s down!

10:31:11: Yikes, I think he just hit his head. He’s now rolling towards me on the ice and seems basically motionless. Is that blood?

10:31:14: No time for morality! I stride-jump over him and continue running up the street. Looks like somebody’s coordinated after all.

10:33:02: I think I’ll duck into the alleyway between McTavish and Peel. I wonder if there’s a way to simultaneously look casual, hot, and studious while barfing into an Education Building trash can.

10:34:31: Staggering down into the parking lot of Stewart Bio to weave my way  to the entrance. Why am I always the only one using this shortcut? I’ll probably find out one day that they’ve been storing toxic waste down here or something and that everyone else just knew to avoid it. It was probably in a SSMU email I didn’t read. Whatever. The only thing that matters right now is that the door is in sight.

10:34:59: I made it! I can’t feel my face. Might still barf due to exhaustion and should 200% blow my nose, but I did it, haters. Professor Opal is gearing up. Meanwhile, I think I’ll just marinate in some sweat stains uglier than the settler-colonialism we’re learning about.

10:36:03: Computer is out again. Today’s topic is, “1607: Treacherous Voyages to the New World.”

10:37:00: After that commute, this is strangely relatable.

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