The 8 am class is anathema to students, no matter how heroic their stature or lofty their destiny. So here's how I imagine my Wednesdays would look if mythologized by Joseph Campbell, who schematized the archetypal patterns found in world literature.
The Call to Adventure: My alarm clock heralds the beginning of the quest. But no one ever said the hero's summons would be to school, and certainly not at 6 in the bloody morning.
Refusal of the Call: I hit the snooze button. With luck, Mom will throw open the curtains before noon. The joys of living at home.
Supernatural Aid: What I need in order to complete my grooming, breakfasting and packing rituals in under half an hour. Then I run out to the bus stop to watch headlights approach through the ethereal morning mist. Get on bus. Yawn a lot.
The Crossing of the First Threshold: I board the Scarborough RT, a noisy and malodorous beast and my least favourite part of the TTC.
The Belly of the Whale: The term also refers to the suicidal depths of November and March. But here I mean Kennedy subway station and the start of the subterranean journey west.
The Road of Trials: I travel the Bloor-Danforth line, trying to catch up on my reading. Mostly I check out the reflections of my fellow commuters in the windows, hoping I don't run into anyone I know, because I'm feeling neither social nor conscious enough to make conversation. I finally arrive at the crossroads of Yonge and Bloor, where I change trains and head south. Inevitably, I end up standing crushed between two unattractive passengers.
The Meeting with the Goddess, or Woman as Temptress: Giant shampoo ad persuades me that another quest, for silky shiny hair, is in order. Because I'm worth it. Or maybe I should finish buying all my textbooks first.
Atonement with the Father: Welcome to Hellmouth, in some circles referred to as Dundas. In search of coherence, I sleepwalk my way through campus to a Tim Hortons, then drop by the library to compose an eloquent e-mail to my prof explaining why I need an extension for that essay.
Apotheosis: Also known as class. As I struggle to stay awake, reality starts bleeding into daydreams and the lecture stops making sense. Something worth 40 per cent of our mark is assigned. I realize I have to a) collaborate with someone to whom I have an aversion, and b) sacrifice the next five weekends to work on this project.
The Ultimate Boon: Sometime during this very, very long day, I stop passing notes long enough to learn something that is not just a bargaining chip in the tangled classroom grapevine, but has the potential to benefit the world by contributing to my heroic education.
Refusal of the Return: I hit the pub with some classmates to find true enlightenment in alcohol and maybe curly fries.
The Magic Flight and Rescue from Without: I run to the subway, yet still miss the last bus and have to call my dad to pick me up.
Crossing of the Return Threshold: A symbolic rebirth that may involve sprawling on the couch and watching Lost, unless I forgot to tape it again.
Master of Two Worlds: I revel in my dual realms and nature - suburbia and downtown, student and, er, world-class procrastinator.
Freedom to Live: And to put off! The quest is done. Meanwhile, there are other classes to attend (or skip or excel in or fail). A hero never rests.