One of the first times I sat in the Wardroom, it was around 8 a.m – in other words, well before the FYP lecture began. I was a “day student” and commuted by bus from my parents’ house in Bedford every day. Every morning, I sat on a sofa in the wardroom. Sometimes, I closed my eyes in hopes of getting a bit of extra rest. Other mornings, I scrambled to finish a reading I’d barely started. I rarely went to the Wardy at night. I didn’t really like beer, and taking a bus at night was never my idea of fun.
I lived in the Angel’s Roost. One floor up from the school of journalism; five floors up from the Wardroom. But you could still hear music when it played. Although I lived so close, I spent more nights complaining about the noise than going down there to drink. “Didn’t quiet hours start 20 minutes ago?” my neighbours and I would say. It was a year of depression, so sometimes even venturing downstairs was an effort.
Finally I lived downtown and off-campus. This was the year I discovered I really did like beer – I just hadn’t been drinking the right kinds. Garrison became a favourite. I spent nights in the Wardroom with my close friend Danielle, but I also brought in people who had never set foot in King’s before. For my other friends (and significant others), it became the place of deeper glimpses into my world: “These are my King’s friends and classmates. That guy writes poems for a dollar each. That girl is in pretty much all the KTS plays. That guy writes all his articles for class and works for the Dal Gazette – don’t know how he does it. I kissed a lot of these people in first year.”
The summer that chewed me up and spat me out was followed by the best and most difficult school year of my life. I passed through the Wardy every day as I went to the Vroom Room for my honours project class. In mid-September, I finally got to the Wardy for a drink. I went on a whim. I started going to the Wardy almost every time friends were there. Even if I didn’t have money, someone would perk up and offer to buy me a drink. Other journalism students went there to vent and blow off steam. I regret not knowing the Wardroom sooner.