The first time I went to New Brunswick, I had just turned 15 years old. I took the train to Moncton from Toronto, and then switched onto a bus which carried me to Prince Edward Island, where I spent a week on a cycling trip with a few other teenage bike geeks. I must admit that New Brunswick didn’t make much of an impact on me during that brief pass through. I remember looking out the window of the bus, and thinking that the houses looked cool and old, but that’s about it.
Three years later, when I was all about punk rock and biotech nerdery, I went back again. This time it was a school trip with my environmental science class, and we spent a week at the marine science centre just outside St. Andrews. My most vivid memory of that adventure was the evening when three classmates and I deliberately disobeyed our teacher’s instructions by walking into town after dinner. We were going to see if we could find pot, which of course we did. It was sold to us by the first kid we asked, who had a skateboard and an eyebrow piercing. It was really bad stuff, mostly stem, but the walk was fun and it was neat to meet someone local.
After we got back to the centre that evening, the teacher yelled at us and then sent the others off to bed, asking me to stay behind.
Instead of providing a further chewing-out as I’d expected, my teacher simply looked me in the eye and told me that he was extremely disappointed in me, because whether I knew it or not, the other kids would do what I told them to. He told me that I had power, and that I let him down by being irresponsible with it.
Oh, how I cringed, with shame and embarrassment: I still feel it now, over ten years later.
This nostalgia-laden post is brought to you by the province of New Brunswick! Or rather, my recent focus on it, thanks in large part to A Strange Boy‘s request for more queer NB bloggers. In an attempt to make his dreams come true, I’ve been searching out New Brunswickian blogs, and just added the following to the QCB blogroll:
Thanks to Mar for sending in her blog URL… Anyone else know of any others? I know that half of the team at She-Be-She is in NB, but that’s all I’ve got at the moment.