Cariboo House, Place Vanier Residences circa 1999-2000, was a wonton amalgamation of future engineers, doctors, scientists, scholars, artists, and explorers of life. We came from different walks of life, geographies, economic and social backgrounds; some with the expectation on getting the best education possible, others intent on having a hell of a lot of fun with a pretty well-respected set of credentials on the side. For me, my year at Cariboo House was a year of firsts and the start of lasting friendships that I have no doubt stay with me until the day I die.
- first time living away from home (more traumatic for my mom than it was for me);
- rowing in an 8-man scull (for most people catching crabs in university has a completely different connotation);
- first toga party (a night of infamy for the Boo Crew – you had to be there to understand);
- first time having my ass handed to me academically (I had to learn humility at some point in life); and,
- watching a beach creature “drop trow” at the top of the Wreck Beach stairs (some things you just can’t erase from your memory).
At Cariboo House we shared adventures, studied together, won and lost at intramural sports, and grew up. And, despite our various dysfunctions and youthful expectations, we succeeded – if not in academics then in life. The lessons we learned in those formative years went on to shape us into the people that we are today and we at least learned one fundamental lesson: don’t blow all of your Meal Card bucks at Hubbards
Margaret Shamro (née Bright), BSN’06
The day had finally come. We had trained for months for this one game. They called it the “T-Cup.” It was a full-contact football game between the UBC Nursing students and Rehab Sciences and it had happened once a year for as long as anyone could remember. Our team (UBC Nursing) was tired. We had snuck out of our dorms the night before to desecrate (or decorate, depending on who you ask) that famous engineering “E” with some “N”s in honour of our big game. Nevertheless – we were ready. Our faces were painted. Our helmets were on. It might have just been all the extra shoulder pads – but we felt tall. Strong. Ready. The side of the field was littered with spectators cheering us on: some polite and enthusiastic nursing students and some not-so-polite and even-more-enthusiastic engineering students. When that first whistle blew, we took off running. We tried our best to follow the plays that our Varsity Football coaches had developed for us. We tackled and ran and threw and caught, but after half-time the game was still 0-0. The crowd was anxious for some action. Now there were only minutes remaining to the game. Rehab Sciences had possession. We were on defense. When that ball was snapped I ran with all the strength and might my 5’0 frame would allow and I tackled that quarterback just as the football left her hands. My teammate intercepted her failed pass and then stopped dead in her tracks. The yell from our coaches started softly but grew as they realized what had happened, “RUN! RUN, BEAST, RUN!” And she did. She ran all the way to the end zone and scored the winning touchdown. We had just won the T-Cup! The crowd went wild. Engineers dressed in feather boas rode around victoriously in a homemade chariot. Nurses screamed. Coaches clapped. Kegs were tapped. We huddled up and held that trophy (an actual tea cup) high and proud. I can remember so much about my time at UBC and my wonderful experiences as a student nurse. But this moment – the teamwork, the mud, the grass, the bruises, the cheering – is a moment I will remember and cherish forever.