Dear RMC Diary: 15566 Helga Rausch Remembers Rook Term

Dear RMC Diary

The first instalment of a periodic feature, being a series of excerpts from the diary kept by 15566 Helga D. Rausch, RMC 1982-86. Member of Brant and Wolfe Squadrons. Honours English and Philosophy, Varsity Fencer

(Edited to protect the guilty…)

3 January 1983

15566 Helga Rausch in 1982.

Notice I didn’t make the usual goof and put 1982. This is supposedly my RMC journal, record of my scandalous days of youth. Considering the fact that I got this book for Christmas, I have to do some backtracking for the first semester. I can promise to write regularly; however, knowing my superior organizational ability and sense of the fitness of things, I’ll be lucky if the odd scrap from a noteworthy event sneaks in. At this rate, the book will certainly last four years. In summary then:

Rook Term – HATED IT! (End August-October)

  • everything they said about it was true – and worse.
  • Our IV years LCWB, lovely chaps
  • Scared to death of my CSC. Replaced by great affection for the man after Rook Term. He is…different from the rest. The one who encouraged me to keep this journal.
  • Tough, future infantry officer CSC teaching us how to fold our bras for layout. Trying so hard not to laugh. Other CSC had to go into town to buy tampons and pads for us girls, because CANEX didn’t have them and we were CB’d, of course. No wonder they hate us.
  • Uniforms being thrown into the hallway because of “froust.”
  • “GOOD DAY, MR. X! 4 xx (SIN No) RECRUIT RAUSCH, H.D. 6 SQUADRON, R FLIGHT, 2 SECTON REPORTING!”
  • College Knowledge and other crimes:

“RECRUIT, HALT!” (Now what?) “RECITE THE OLD 18!”

“WURTELE! FREER! WISE! DAVIS! …..”

“WHAT?! IT’S DAY-BRISAY, NOT DES-BRISAY! TWO CIRCLES! WRITE YOURSELF UP, RECRUIT RAUSCH.”

“VERY GOOD, (never, ever say “very well”) MR. X!” (Sigh)

135 CIRCLES

    • Good night songs: “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” Alice Cooper, “Eye in the Sky,” Alan Parsons Project
    • Wake-up, get ready for inspection song: “Zombie Woof,” Frank Zappa. Made me want to puke. (Update from 2021 – still does)
    • It was two weeks before I learned that the ghostly moans I kept hearing at night were the sound of cars going over the causeway bridge.
    • Sneaking to the basement of Fort Champlain in the middle of the night to use the forbidden payphone to call mom to tell her I wanted to quit and come home. She said, “wait till Christmas.”
    • The agony of mealtimes: square drill, inhaled food, weight gain
    • Discovered the techniques of racking in class
    • “SIX BRANT GOLD THE BEST!”
    • “STRANGER IN THE HALL!!”
    • “HOT IRON IN THE HALL! / FER CHAUD DANS LE CORRIDOR!” (Loudly whispered (?) during study hours)
    • Doggie Night:
      • pushing an open can of black Kiwi down the hall with nose (hands behind back)
      • Mattress races (suffocation!)
      • They wouldn’t stop screaming at us
  • Wing Regatta. Recruit Harriers – running up Fort Henry Hill
  • Varsity Fencing!
  • OBSTACLE COURSE
    • They put gross old food in the trenches we crawled through (C got food poisoning)
    • R smashed into D, broke her hip at The Wall.
    • We crawled over so much gravel, my knees were the size of baseballs by the time we were done.
    • The water main failed, so no showers before our Rook Term Mess Dinner. We sat in Yeo Hall in our brand-new scarlets with dried mud and spaghetti sauce in our hair. All we could do was laugh.
    • Ex-Cadet Weekend 2-3 October 82: We finally became cadets in the Wing. Mother and Father came. Both so proud. So happy to go into town in 4’s! Visited Mom in her hotel room at the Prince George We were so supposed to go to lunch; but I promptly fell asleep. She let me sleep for four hours.

Join me next time for another peek at my RMC Diary: first exam routine, love among the (academic) ruins, Christmas Ball and more.

“My circles record: The page where I attempted to keep track of my circles until they became too numerous; at which point I, like so many other Circle Queens and Kings, just showed up every night and ran the track until they told me to stop.”

11 Comments

  • David Gregory 8037

    September 21, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    Loved to read the comments Helga. Please continue to write your diary to eVeritas. I have a booklet like yours that was given to me in rookie year. I say year since we didn’t lose the name until Cakewalk in February.

  • Christopher Chance 10209

    September 21, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    Helga, I remember my rook term at Royal Roads, leading right up to Christmas leave. Had anybody said, “we don’t require your services”, I would have been on my way. Stuck it out however, and so glad that I did. I wish that I had kept a diary as you have, but those memories are still very vivid. I look forward to your next edition.

  • Rem Westland

    September 21, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    Yes. Great fun. I suspect there will be difficult pieces to write further down the line? How we dealt with personal angst is a secret known only to diaries…

  • 6940 Ron Stewart

    September 21, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.
    Awfully familiar (except for bra folding) to my introduction in 1962.
    Can’t wait to read more.

  • Claire Bramma

    September 22, 2021 at 1:23 am

    Thank-you Helga for sharing and prompting the recall of our own memories too. I thank-you for being among the lady cadets who have gone before and opened the doors for others. I look forward to reading more!

  • Scott Youngson 19433

    September 28, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    If I would have kept a journal in 1990, I’m sure it would’ve said almost exactly the same thing. Substitute “Frontenac” for “Brandt”, the good night and wake up songs were different, and I think there was far worse than “gross old food” in the trenches that I crawled through, but other than this your words are identical to my memories!

  • Amanda Kalhous

    September 28, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    Helga, thank you for sharing this! I only managed about 5 entries in my 5-year diary, but reading this took me right back to my own experience (especially the causeway noise – it was supernatural during rook term!) Looking forward to future instalments.