My family and friends are very perceptive people.

On this blog, you’ve seen me be fairly negative towards Queen’s University (or at least to the people here). Anyone who reads this blog knows what I’m thinking.

In real life, I haven’t been nearly as overt. As far as I can remember, I’ve never explicitly trashed Queen’s orally, and rarely have I implicitly trashed it.

And yet my friends and family seem to know that I’m not altogether happy here.

Whenever I go home, my parents will ask me how Queen’s is, and I’ll say "fine". And then they’ll ask me if I regret my decision, and I’ll say "no". Why would they ask that? I’ve been using "fine" as my answer to the question "How was school?" for over a decade, and they never questioned it before.

And I’ve had a friend come up and tell me "You know why you don’t like it here? You don’t get drunk enough." I don’t think that I’ve ever had a conversation about Queen’s with this friend, and yet he’s able to tell that I’m not happy.

There are two possibilities here. Either:

1. I’m just being paranoid. They’re not actually accusing me of being unhappy. I’m just interpreting it that way.

2. Through my words, actions, or body language, I’m giving some unintentional hints about my disposition towards Queen’s.

And I’m inclined to believe option two. Partly because no one likes to describe themselves as paranoid, and partly because I think that it’s the more likely of the two options.

What kind of hints have I been dropping then?

Going home as often as I do is probably one. As much as my family loves to see me, I think it concerns them that I seem to come home more often than any of their friends’ sons or daughters.

And I seem to talk about high school a lot. I generally prefer talking about good times to talking about bad times, and I had a lot of good times in high school. I guess when you keep talking about how great the past was, people assume (correctly) that you’re not enjoying the present as much.

I don’t want to give my friends and family too much credit. While I haven’t been obvious, it’s not like I’ve put a concerted effort into hiding my feelings either.

Still, it’s good that they’re able to pick up on these things.

Or maybe not so good, since I have to deal with a lot of awkward questions this way.

Whatever, it’ll get a lot better in 10 days anyhow.

…What’s with the countdown thing, Mike? Why have you been counting down to Christmas Eve?

Unfortunately, I can’t disclose that information just yet. As much as I enjoy being mysterious and all, I’m not doing it for kicks. There are practical reasons why I have to be somewhat covert here.

I will say this much though: The period from the December 15th through to December 18th is a fairly significant one in my life. I write an exam on the 15th, and another one on the 18th, but between those two exams I’ll be stopping in Toronto for a two day period.

Why am I going home in between exams? There are two reasons for this. The first is that I have a high school reunion dinner on the 17th. If you’ve been paying any attention at all to this blog over the last two years, and especially the last two months, I don’t think I need to explain why I’m looking forward to reuniting with my old friends.

The second reason is that I have to meet with someone briefly on the 16th to discuss a few issues. That’s all I can say on the subject for now. Assuming that the meeting goes well (and I’m pretty sure that it will), I’ll make everything plain on Christmas Eve. Until then, I have to be tight-lipped. Sorry.