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The Thomas J. Bata Library shrouded in darkness. Photo credit: Rishabh Joshi

Trent English Dictionary; or, TED by Arthur

Written by
Sebastian Johnston-Lindsay
and
Bethan Bates
and
September 14, 2022
Trent English Dictionary; or, TED by Arthur
The Thomas J. Bata Library shrouded in darkness. Photo credit: Rishabh Joshi

Editors' Note: We here at Arthur recognize that there is a lot of slang and cultural references associated with Trent University. Upon first arriving at Trent’s pristine Symons Campus, one might begin to notice a particular dialect chalk full of allusions to specific landmarks, people, and past events, being bandied about by the locals. 

So, it is out of love and respect for you, dear reader, that we assembled a team of jaded experts who have studied and worked at Trent for far too long, locked them in our office for a steamy August weekend, and asked them kindly to pass down the essence of the history, culture, and political life of this storied institution in the form of a list denoting and defining the most important facets of Trent University. What follows is the result of their efforts. 

Let it be known that the TED is a living document and that the lexicon of Trent is an unstable and ever growing body of knowledge. We encourage you to take up the mantle. Our original horde of writers have scattered like roaches across the city and will not answer their phones when we call anymore.

Arthur Newspaper n. 1. Your student media empire, housed in Sadleir House 2. For those in the back, Arthur was named after George Harrison’s haircut. Ask Leo Groarke who that was. We don’t have the space to explain it again, but he would love to hear from you.

Bata Library n. 1. Peterborough’s largest internet cafe. They probably don’t have the book you need, but you can grab a coffee and read Arthur online, conspire with your comrades in one of the many meeting rooms, or mourn the death of physical media and culture in the archives. 2. Was temporarily renamed by student activists as Biko Library to stand against Thomas J. Bata’s continuing business in South Africa during apartheid (see Arthur archives).

Catharine Parr Traill College n. 1.  The downtown college where all the buildings are named after white women from the preceding two centuries. They managed to pick the Strickland sister who didn’t write the worst stuff about Indigenous People to name it after so it’s super progressive. 2. Was originally the women’s college when Trent was first opened. 3. Has an adorable little mascot named Christine who is a very Happy Box. 4. Is literally on a “hill” (see drumlin). 

Champlain College n. 1. Champlain College was one of the first colleges built on the Symons Campus, which was known as the Nassau Campus for the first few decades of Trent’s existence. Champlain, after the famous French explorer Samuel de Champlain, was named such in order to make French people in Canada feel more accepted. The Trent crest depicts Champlain’s sword piercing the heart of the Otonabee River. Otonabee is an anglicized version of Odoonabii-ziibi, which is Anishinaabemowin for “river that beats like a heart” and as such effectively symbolizes Trent’s commitment to reconciliation.   

Colleges n. 1. Like the Houses in Harry Potter but with less magic and more scarves. The college system was a foundational aspect of founding president Thomas H.B. Symons’ vision for Trent University but has unfortunately been systematically dismantled by neoliberal yahoos and the Board of Governors.

Drumlin n. 1. From the Irish for “littlest hill,” drumlins are geological formations resulting from glacial pressures. 2. Try telling someone you know that the incline on London or Dublin leading to Traill College is the “littlest” and see what happens. 3. If you want really pretty pictures of campus you can hike the drumlin behind Lady Eaton College.  

Faryon Bridge n. 1. The only feasible way to cross between East and West Banks and get to class on time. Tool of social coercion and menace to dropped objects with a proclivity to roll. 2. Peterborough’s favourite bridge shaped skating rink and enabler of year-round Christmas decorators. 3. A very expensive diving board.  

Groarke n., v.  1. The president and vice-chancellor of Trent University (see Philosopher King). 2. a.) To be Groarked v. To have your concerns roundly ignored and/or dismissed in the interest of money, or your interlocutor’s perception of you as an inadequate spoiled brat who needs to shut up and just pay your tuition already or just drop out, why don’t you?! b.) Having a 69 year old academic call you and your friends “angry.” 3. a.) To Groarke; go Groarking v. Going for a kayak ride and then not ever shutting up about how much you love to kayak. b.) Showing up late to meetings smelling like the Otonabee River and loudly exclaiming how fine it is out on the water that day. 

Lady Eaton College n. 1. Yes, dear student, that Eaton. Lady Flora Eaton (1879-1970) was born not far from Peterborough in Omemee. She married Sir John Craig Eaton, son of Timothy Eaton the founder of Eatons Department Stores in 1901. Throughout her life, she enjoyed belittling other members of the Eaton family as “worker Eatons” as opposed to being part of the “owner Eatons” which she wisely married into. 2. In Mysteries of Ontario by John Columbo, there is a strange, and as yet unsubstantiated, tale about how Lady Eaton’s long-time maid killed herself upon hearing of Eaton’s death. 

Memes of Trent U n. 1. A truly great follow on Instagram. If you’re looking for something to make you laugh and cry about the state of things at Trent, then we urge you to scroll through this meme archive and revel in the iconic history of Trent. 2. Famous for posting screenshots of Leo Groarke’s awkward and insensitive emails to students. Goes to show that happiness and empathy cost more than $300,000 a year, apparently. We here at Arthur like to think we would have more class if we were paid that much, or at least we would pretend to. 

Otonabee College n. 1. We can’t and honestly don’t want to say anything snarky about this college and the people in it. Just fine well-tempered folks. Honestly. Befriend an Otonabee person today and ask them how they got to be so well-adjusted to life.     

Peter Gzowski College n. 1. Trent’s newest college is named after the eminent Canadian broadcaster and journalist. His voice and on-air demeanour made Canadian housewives in the 1980s do and say very strange things. You can read the letters they sent to him by visiting the archives in Bata Library. Peter Gzowski was also Chancellor of Trent University at the time of his death in 2002. You can visit his ashtray in a cabinet on the first floor. Smoking is bad, okay? 2. Confusingly, Peter Gzowski College is in the Enwaaying Building which contains the First People’s House of Learning. A mysterious plot hatched by a previous Trent president named Bonnie Patterson resulted in Indigenous students having to share space in a College named after a notorious homophobe. Isn’t Trent interesting?

Peter Robinson College n. 1. The long gone, but never forgotten downtown college formerly housed at 751 George Street. Sold by money-grubbing and cop-loving Trent administrators in 2002 for a measly $2M with a leaseback option at $200,000 per year. 2. Now operated and run as a non-profit charitable community centre by the Peter Robinson Community & Student Association (PRCSA). 3. The site of student activism at its peak at Trent (see: Whose University Is It Anyway?) 4.  Arthur’s home, as well as many illustrious Trent levy groups. Come say Hi!

Philosopher King n. 1. A (we can’t stress this enough, Leo) hypothetical ruler in whom political skill is combined with philosophical knowledge.

Symons Campus n. 1. The largest Peterborough Campus of Trent University located at 1600 West Bank Drive. Often erroneously referred to as “main campus” by those who’ve never been to Traill or Durham. What seems to be a colloquial oversight is actually a rhetorical attack perpetrated by Trent Communications as part of the long-term plan to sell Traill off so that condos can be built for senior university administrators. Rumour has it Durham’s campus will merely be reverted back into a highschool, or possibly an extra-judicial holding cell for those who perpetrate thought crimes against Leo Groarke. 

Thomas H.B. Symons n. 1. Founding president of Trent University from 1961-1972. A man who devoted his entire life to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge on just about every subject imaginable. 2. At one point of his tenure, students organized protests against him leaving Trent. 3. Literally wrote the book on Canadian Studies, widely known and sometimes published as The Symons Report. Was deeply involved in Trent life until his passing at age 91 in January of 2021.            

Trent Central Student Association n. 1. A group of students given the authority to oversee millions of dollars in student levy fees 2. Imagine: The worst parts of high school congealing in a glass-paned building. 3. Will take your lunch money and spend it on weed paraphernalia, sex toys, and ice cream. 4. Secretly a branch of Trent senior administration and a feeder program for Housing Services. 

Trent Durham Student Association n. 1. Legend has it this group of devoted student politicians work out of a literal house on King Street in Oshawa. Arthur staff once ventured there, but no one answered the door. We still aren’t sure if we were at the right house because everyone we talked to in Building A gave us a slightly different address and reason as to why they moved.   

Trent Graduate Students’ Association n. 1. A group of burnt out graduate students who do way too much work for too little money. Did you know Trent had graduate students? You should be kind to your Teaching Assistants.

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How to customize formatting for each rich text

"Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system."
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