First Montreal Weekend

10623116_10152269868190684_8767132995466421877_nI’m Naomi, a junior in Game Design. Though it was objectively the best decision for me to come up to Montréal, I was feeling pretty apathetic about it. Montréal is approximately 2 hours north of Burlington- how “abroad” can this really feel? This mood carried until about two days before I left for Montréal, where I decided to actually look at the city I’d be living in (I’m very timely). That’s when my inner travel fangirl came out- HOT DAMN! Montréal was a bigger cultural beast than I gave it credit for. Even in scanning the main tourism site for the city, I could see that there were many distinct sections of the city, each with their own aesthetic, culture, and places to explore. I was really going abroad after all, and this past week of orientation and first classes showed me not only how great this city is, but how different life and classes are from what I was used to.

The first day of orientation was less focused on events, and more focused on actual orienting. Everyone was pretty tired from moving into the apartments after crossing the border and tackling city traffic. Board games were played, and pizza was had. I was somewhat anxious about being abroad with a small group of people I barely know; like, didn’t Darwin talk about how random assortments of creatures suddenly extracted from their main populous were doomed to existential failure? Probably… but we defeated the odds. Even on the first day, everyone was together by choice and playing a variety of long games.

Orientation picked up on the second day with a lunch break on the town, followed by a scavenger Willy foundhunt. Everyone broke off into pre-determined teams, with missions around the city to find and photograph or take selfies with. We all got a hold of the metro system pretty fast… until our classmate Willie was left behind, and Team Hortons (aptly renamed “Free Willie”) went on a side quest to find his whereabouts. The next day, we went through everyone’s photos and everyone had a unique story to tell. Orientation ended with a trip up to Mont Royal, Montréal’s namesake mountain, where I entirely killed my thighs and probably would’ve died if it wasn’t for the fantastic view up top! By then, everyone was bonded in sweat and friendship, and it was clear to me that this group would become very tight-knit throughout the semester.

MtlskylineI landed this blogging position, which furthered my enthusiasm. I’ve already gone on open-ended escapades with some new friends, and have seen first hand how dynamic the culture is from street to street. Soon, my thighs will stop killing me, and I can check out the rest of the city and continue documenting!

– Naomi Fambro, Game Design Major, Official Blogger, Fall 2014