OUF

Greetings from the Ontario Universities Fair, an annual event in downtown
Toronto where tens of thousands of high school students meet reps from
universities who try to whore out their programmes.

Yes, I am here happily selling the Health Sciences faculty of the
University of Ottawa. This involves convincing prospective students that
we have the best looking professors in Ontario. (Quite true.)

Just checked out the competition. Brock has a nice big kiosk. McMaster
has a great display, but the pretty girl staffing its gate wouldn’t let me
anywhere near it! And my beloved alma mater, the University of Toronto, is
properly marketing their legacy, with a big video screen highlighting their
superstar researchers. The problem? I may know them, but very few high
school kids know of –or care of– Janice Stein and Mark Kingwell.

There was one little girl who approached me yesterday very despondently.

“I’m looking for something very specific,” she said. “And I doubt that you
can help me.”

“Try me,” I said.

“I want to meet an epidemiologist,” she said. Seriously.

Another student said to me that she wanted to “cut up dead things.”

Hmm, I though. Her career options include coroner, pathologist, butcher or
psychopath.

“I don’t want to go to medical school or graduate school,” she said.

Okay, I thought. That leaves butcher and psychopath.

“Maybe I should be afraid to go to sleep at night?” her mother told me.

You know it, sister.

Off to get a steak. All this talk of “cutting up dead things” has me
famished.