Thursday, October 2, 2014

Freshmen Assemble: First Day of Classes

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(Wondering what this is all about? Check out the intro post HERE.)

Warning: this one is rather longer than the rest... it is also neatly organized into a timetable. Proceed with caution (or excitement, depending on what kind of person you are).

Of course, Mondays have to be the busiest days of my class schedule, so I was thrown right in on the first day of school. Here's a little summary of my day (which was rather hilarious, looking back on it). It wasn't exactly a day of Terror, but I think I could call it a Day of Stress, which didn't show itself until later. Because I seriously had a ton of fun with all my classes. So here is my day:

5:35am Alarm goes off. I get out of bed shortly after.

7:30am I arrive at school and go to the Commuter Center to get a locker. The lines for lockers turn out to be three miles long. (Well, maybe not.) My first class is at 8:00, so I decide to wait it out.

8:02am I have a locker! Success! I dash to my Calc lecture.

8:05am Thankfully, the lecture room is huge, and I can sneak in unobtrusively.

9:02am I am wandering around the building where my English lecture begins at 9:00, searching for the room and trying not to look like an obvious freshman.

9:08am I find my classroom and walk in, taking the last desk available - front and center. *embarrassed blush* And it's a lefty desk on top of that, and I'm not a lefty!

9:50am English ends and I make my way back across campus towards my Freshman Seminar. B120? Where's that? Oh, thank you, front desk lady, B is for basement.

10:00am There is a limited amount of classrooms in the basement. Like - five. B118, B108, B127 shows you how random the numberings are. Of course, there's no B120. But there is a classroom full of people in room B127...

10:10am Sick of wandering around, I poke my head into B127, and stand awkwardly in the door. "Freshman seminar?" says the professor. "Yeah, but not this one, I don't think," I say, "I'm going to B120." "That's us!" she says. Oh. Okay then. Apparently the sign was covered somehow, and B127 is actually next door. Wut.

10:55am Off I go again, this time to History of Math. Of course the building I'm headed for is near my English building, not at all close to where I am now. And the classroom's on the third floor. But at least the room number is easy: 321.

11:05am Late again. Sensing a pattern? :-) One spot left - but the chair is being used to hold the door open, because the room is nearing the temperature of the Sahara. Or Hell. The professor kindly gives me the wheeley chair from behind his desk. *fistpump*

11:50am Sweaty, but totally in love with this class, I head back outside. (Ahh wind!) Finally, lunchtime. I am STARVED. I go to eat lunch that I brought from home. And read. Surprisingly enough, I bump into an acquaintance and we eat lunch together. She leaves for her class, and then another friend comes in - soaking wet. "This is what I do for you because I love you!" she announces. "I run through a deathly downpour just to eat lunch with you!"
I am glad to have such a devoted friend. (Look mom! I made friends in college!)

1:30pm "When is your next class?" she asks.
"2:00, but I have an umbrella."
"Okay. Where is it?"
I look at my schedule, and lo and behold, it's in the building where I'm eating lunch! Ha - the umbrella is superfluous.
My friend becomes amiably jealous and leaves for her next class (which is not in the same building).

1:50pm I am waiting outside the classroom. Behold my success: the first time today I am not late!

2:50pm The class is over and I step outside. Well would you look at that! The rain has cleared up and the sun has come out, just in time for my ride home, and the umbrella has become even more superfluous.* I do not text my friend that information. I would not want her to lose her devotion to me.

3:30pm I'm Hoooome!

6:30pm I embark on an errand to 1) Blick Art Supplies for a sketchpad for my Chem class tomorrow** and 2) Whole Foods because my mother desires groceries.

7:30pm I have acquired my notebook, as well as a surprise art item for my sister (chalk markers!).

8:00pm Did you know that kale and chard look rather alike? Cilantro and parsley also look remarkably similar. Having the signs all random and haphazardly placed doesn't help, Whole Foods.

8:15pm They don't have uncooked oatmeal today. I call my mother and tell her. "Really?" she says. "It's next to all the grains."
"I know," I say. "It's not there."
"They always have oatmeal."
"Apparently not today."
"Then don't get any oatmeal."
Yes, mother.

8:40pm I check out, and the kale rings up as chard. I was so sure that it was kale! So sure. I say nothing to the check out lady though, because 1) I'm tired, 2) My introvertedness realizes that I am tired and takes over, telling me that I shouldn't correct her. I can't do people when I am tired.

8:45pm I get in the car, look at the reciept, and realize two things: 1) Instead of buying two different types of kale, I have bought two different types of chard. 2) Instead of buying parsley and cilantro, I have bought two different types of parsley.
I cry. Literally. Then I tell myself: "You can't cry, you have to drive home, and it's not safe to drive and cry at the same time." (Driver's ed has apparently made an impact.)

8:50pm I pull out of the parking lot sniffling profusely.

8:52pm I open the windows, blast the radio, and sing along, hoping this will wake me up and stop me crying. It does wake me up, and the crying sort of diminishes, because now I'm thinking about what words to sing. I sing rather hiccuppy-like, because tears are still there.
As I write this, I finally fully realize the significance of the fact that I was singing along to "Shake it Off." I didn't realize the significance back then.

9:15pm I get home, and realize that everyone else in the family is out of the house. I bawl for a minute because the kale/parsley/etc fiasco pokes at my brain again, then calm myself.

9:17pm My father and sister come home. They ask why I've been crying, so I tell them, and start crying again into my father's shirt about the injustice of it all. My father makes consoling "awhhhh" sounds and tells me that at least it's all food, we'll eat it eventually, it's not a waste.
"But I don't LIKE chard!" I blub. And start laughing at it all.
"You are the only person who can laugh and cry at the same time in such an equal ratio," says my sister. "You're 50% crying sadly and 50% laughing at the fact that you're crying at such a stupid thing."
"I know!" I laugh/cry.
"It sounds weird," she says.

9:30pm My mother comes home. My meltdown is over, and we laugh about the whole thing.
"I still don't like chard," I say.
"Well you'll still have to eat it," she says.
Thanks, mom.

Wow, that was longer than I thought it would be! The lesson I learned was that even if the first day of college doesn't feel stressful (which is didn't), it still is, and that stress will manifest itself later. But hey - now I have a funny story! (Which my family will now commence teasing me about for the rest of my life....)

If you are in school: How was your first day?
And if you're not: umm... good for you? I'm jealous?


*Yes, I know there isn't such a thing as levels of superfluity. Who cares? I don't.

** Sketchpads are the best for math and science classes. The lack of lines and the larger size and the way pencil looks on them is just marvelous. Because who likes drawing benzene rings on lined paper?



    But, awww, I felt so sorry for you at the shops at the end. I TOTALLY GET THAT. I have actually driven to a shopping centre and then stopped and realised, "I physically cannot go in today." And then left again. Sometimes being introverted and super mega shy (I am anyway, lol) has it's issues. BUT WHATEVER. x) I have no idea what chard even is but I don't like kale. >_<
    Still, congrats on surviving your first day!!

    1. I am not shy (well, not mega-shy), but the introvertedness gets to me on stressful days when I haven't had enough time to recharge away from the world. My mother is a non-shy introvert, but was painfully shy in her childhood, so she's helped me adapt to living life among humans. (Side note: I didn't know she was an introvert until a couple of years ago - she hides it so well.)

      Oh and this is rainbow chard (one of the kinds I bought). Regular chard has boring white stalks.

  2. Totally understand the crying over groceries. I'm a HUGE stress crier, so whenever I get stressed out or overwhelmed my body's first response is tears! And then I get even more upset because I'm crying over something dumb and I can't stop. The first week is always the worst, and then when you get into a routine everything goes a lot more smoothly.
    Good Luck with your Freshman year!

    1. Oh I am such a stress crier too! I have been for as long as I can remember - piano practice always ended in tears. (Until I realized that it was sorta fun :-P )

      I think I've found my routine, actually. The first round of exams went pretty awesomely, so I'm feeling quite on top of the world. And the homework has become somehow more bearable.


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