Go to Nait and be a Plumber.

Anyway, the story starts with a grumpy faculty chair and ends with a furnace dying on Easter.

As I talked about a while back, I stumbled my way through University, from start to finish. Maybe by 3rd year I had made some friends, and I knew and was known by my prof's. I had certainly established that 8 am classes were of the devil, and that existentialist philosophers had way too much time on their hands, but that was the sum total of my knowledge at the ripe old age of 21.

I wrote what must have been a thrilling essay for a poli sci class (John Stuart Mill and female circumcision) and the prof teaching the class recommended that I enter the honours program. As we have already established, I am not so much a process person as a project person. The end of the matter is better than it's beginning(1).

And I went to go and see the chair of the program, and at the end of it, I tentatively asked what one might do with a degree in poli sci, even you know, with an honours stamp on your degree.

Now, perhaps it is important that I tell you, Dr. L is now retired, but he was somewhat famous for 3 things:
1. An esoteric specialty, that should have guaranteed him lots of media time, but because of reasons 2 and 3 didn't.
2. His astonishingly bad dress sense
3. His tirades about the strangest things.

I hadn't ever taken a class from Dr. L, but his reputation, as they say, preceded him. Which leaves us back where we started, in a tiny office on the 11th floor of the Tory Building, looking out over the river valley, with me in an upright chair, and Dr. L about to blast me.

"If you want a job, go to NAIT and be a plumber"

I graduated, years after I started, with a degree in Poli Sci. Effectively a double major with economics (excepting the problems with econometrics).

And I did the only thing I could do. I got a job as a receptionist. 4 years later I was an Executive Assistant, and then a Policy Analyst.

Which takes me to the Easter weekend of 2005, in which our furnace died. Now, Mr. Spit and I are pretty well educated folk. And the furnace wasn't working. We looked at it. We phoned my uncle the plumber. We poked at it some more. Still not working. 2000 books in our house, and the furnace wasn't working. Either of us could converse earnestly and with great knowledge on the properties of structural steel or price elasticity of demand, but the only use the darn books were going to be was if we burned them to stay warm.

I was talking to someone else last week, and she remarked that after she bought her house, she looked around at her friends, friends that were doctors, lawyers, accountants, and thought that none of them were of any use.

Perhaps, perhaps just Dr. L had something.

(Yesterday was not the most spectacular day at the office, I'm just saying)