a peek inside the fishbowl

14 Mar, 2007

All aboard

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

It doesn’t happen often, but last night I had the opportunity to talk about myself ad nauseum. I was contacted recently by the cousin of a friend. Her sister has a daughter (you still with me?) who is contemplating a move to Carleton to do a journalism undergrad. Would I chat with her and answer any questions she may have? Sure!

We met at Bridgehead for cider/tea/coffees. I talked my heart out for nearly 90 minutes straight. My mouth was a train that was hurtling along the tracks with no one at the controls. Oh how I talked. And not just about the wonderful, word-famous journalism program at Carleton. I found myself revealing many nuggets of information about myself as well, regardless of how relevant they were to the subject at hand. How is it that I got on the subject of my boyfriend in second year? And that I met my husband on the Internet? Hmm. I felt mildly dorky as I walked back into the Spring night sky.

But I had fun. Really.

The people I was set up to talk to were good folks: two moms who are about to send their two daughters off to school. (Omg, that’s going to be me someday. Ack!). There are a lot of really great things about the j-school program and I was able to share my thoughts with someone who was keen to hear them.

Last night I realized how greatly the time I spent at Carleton affected my life, and ultimately directed who, and where, I am today. It was life-altering. Was it more life-altering than any other program? I like to think that it was, because so much we did was hand-on learning, and played out outside of regular classrooms, essays and exams. It all just seems surreal now.

I met so many people. I walked away from there with a diploma and a brain full of funny stories. Remind me someday to tell you the one about the guy in the cemetery. Or how a lady let me film her egg-retrieval for a documentary about female infertility. Or how I interviewed Tom Green as he balanced coffee cups on top of each other at the now defunct Bagel Bagel.

And now, twelve years after graduation I’m finally getting back to the thing I love most. I have been spending a lot of time on my script these past couple of days. I am so happy to be on this particular road again. Next stop: who knows.

2 Responses to "All aboard"

1 | Sharon

March 14th, 2007 at 1:24 pm


We all love to talk aobut what we DID. And When it helps someone WOO HOO! Good job. I missed going to University becasue I decided art school was better. How WRONG I was. If I could do it again I would go. FOR SURE> One of the biggest regerts of my life. I’m sure it would have shaped and changed me too. NOT a mistake I’m going to let my daughter make.

You go GIRL!

2 | Kate1976

March 14th, 2007 at 3:33 pm


I went to university but I can’t help feeling I didn’t get out of it what I wanted to get out of it (still with me?!). I met two very good friends. I got a degree that got me my jobs (although another degree would have done the same) and I am now wondering if I should have studied something else. It is great to see that you had such a profound and enriching experience. Also great that you feel back on track – yay you!

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark. We have two daughters: Emma (19) and Sarah (17). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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