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Compartment 14B

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A chance meeting.

2004-06-04 - 10:35 a.m.

Yes, there will be lots going on this weekend (in order: hearing my friend Dustin sing, going to Montreal, meeting the new niece for the first time and, apparently, getting a wedding present for our wedding last August) and yes, you will no doubt hear about it next week.

For now though, my favourite kind of entry... a story!

Earlier this week, I half-promised to tell the tale of how me and my friend who is getting married met.

Back when I was in Grade 13 (which doesn’t exist anymore in Ontario – don’t I feel like a dinosaur?), I went through the usual rituals involved with applying to university. Before filling out the applications, we had to choose our maximum of three to apply to and that often involved various Mohammed and mountain scenarios – either the university sent recruiters to the schools or if we were really interested, we could go to the open houses held by the universities. It just so happened that University #1 and the University #2 (in order of preference) were holding open houses at about the same time and I had some friends at the latter’s dorms to stay with. As well, a couple of my friends were also considering #1 and wanted to check it out. The plan formed that we’d borrow a car and drive down together, stopping by #2 for me to check it out on the way.

I had originally applied to #2 for Environmental Engineering and to #1 for Civil Engineering (I later switched my application to what eventually ended up to be my major). I went to the talk on Environmental Engineering in the morning and then while I was waiting for my friends to meet up with me, I was sitting cross-legged on a table down in the main area of the University Centre and a girl walked by. She looked vaguely familiar so I smiled and she marched over to me and declared “I thought I recognized you – you were in the Environmental Engineering seminar this morning, weren’t you?” Indeed I had been, and we started chatting. It turned out that we’d applied for similar (though not identical) programs at both the universities I was checking out.

Before we parted ways we decided that since we’d both applied to get into the dorms at the same universities and didn’t know any other females that were going, we’d put each other’s names down as preferred roommates.

This was in early 1991.

We both ended up at University #1. She didn’t get into residence so we never did end up being roommates but, nevertheless, I am going to be flying to Halifax to attend her wedding this summer.

After university we stayed in touch mostly through email – even when she was in Korea teaching English – and she is on my list to receive the periodic news updates I send out (the earliest entries in this journal are updates from last year). She ended up working for the same department I used to work for, and when I was in Halifax on business last year I had the pleasure of staying with her and getting to know her very cool financé a bit better.

The moral of the story? You just never know when and where you’re going to meet a lifelong friend.

Before - After

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