Document 853

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 05 - 08.09.81

Author(s): 852

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


[CENSORED: address]

8th Sept. 1981

Dear Maw, Paw, & Al,

On duty. Yes, today's big surprise is, I've got a job, of sorts!! Your globetrotting son (& brother) is now a "House Monitor" for the Maggie. This involves a few hours per week desk duty in which I answer the phone, deal as far as I may with enquiries (i.e. direct people elsewhere) and study or write my letters. I'm on 6-8pm tonight and Friday, but I should only be on 2-3 hours per week thereafter. Doing this halves my residence fees, believe it or not, so I jumped at the chance when the "don" or house warden, Moira, asked if I was interested. I've also gone onto the waiting list for a single room as I'm eligible being a graduate student. At the moment I've still got a room to myself as my room-mate hasn't arrived.

I had quite a good weekend. I went to see Edward help UNB soccer team to a 5-1 victory against a U.S. team on Sunday, and I've finished off my first spool of my camera. I can't remember whether or not I put the camera thro' the x-ray at Prestwick, tho', so I don't know if they'll come out this time.

Yesterday was Labour Day in Canada - a kind of shop & bank holiday. Nothing was open. This place is really quiet at weekends, nothing much to do but listen to the slow tick of my brain. However, I'm keeping myself occupied to ward off bouts of homesickness, and I'm beginning to succeed quite well.

Orientation began today, which is really something for 1st-years (or "frosh"). I was told about it last night, when I was invited to the home of the [CENSORED: surname], the International Advisors, for supper with some other overseas students - from Mexico, England, Ireland, Norway, & the Virgin Islands. UNB gets them all! Orientation, however, is a mix of initiation and humiliation for all the 1st-year "frosh" who are invited to partake of silly games and exercises. At dinner tonight in one of the ref's we had a group up on the table singing, and one guy did a solo verse of "Twinkle, twinkle little star"! Glasgow is mild by comparison, Al; I never thought I'd miss it so.

It's an entirely different lifestyle here. I don't know if I prefer it or not, it's all so strange, usually in subtle rather than big ways. Like the much larger size of the cars, the standard wooden houses, and the different way of eating that the Transatlantics have. Howeve, my initial confused shellshock is wearing off with familiarity.

The meals plan started tonight, which took me off a staple diet of hamburgers etc, and stopped eating directly into my pocket. The food is not bad and there's all of it you can eat. My stomach hasn't quite cleared up yet, but it's certainly got no worse, and might even be a bit better. I find it difficult to keep a burp count.

All in all, things are going quite well, so far. Term proper doesn't actually start till Monday, but I'm glad I arrived here early to get settled in and do some preparatory work.

I hope you're all fine & that Al's looking forward to "Week Nothing." Regards to all, Keep me in touch,

[CENSORED: forename].

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Information about Document 853

Correspondence from Canada: Letter 05 - 08.09.81


Text audience

Adults (18+)
Audience size 3-5
Writer knew intended audience

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1981
Word count 581

Text medium

Other airmail

Text publication details

Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series Correspondence from Canada

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 852
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1950
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation University Lecturer
Place of birth Ayr
Region of birth S Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Bridge of Weir
Region of residence Renfrew
Residence CSD dialect area Renfr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Insurance Broker
Father's place of birth Auchinleck
Father's region of birth S Ayr
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Dental Receptionist
Mother's place of birth Ayr
Mother's region of birth S Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes In most everyday situations
Portuguese Yes No No Yes When trying to communicate with my in-laws
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes In domestic/activist circles; reading literature