Thursday, August 23, 2012

First and Second Day of School, Version 2.0

Once again, I fail at coming up with witty titles for my blog. However, I regularly lampshade my failures, so does that count for something?

Yesterday and today have been a really weird mixture of familiarity and strangeness, friends and strangers. Yesterday morning, mercifully NOT at 7:20, I got on a shuttle at Darby and was delighted to see that the bus driver was someone I knew. In my mind I call him the smiley old guy, since I have absolutely no idea what his proper name is, and I am not the sort to just come out and ask people personal questions about the past or even, "What's your name?" (Actually, I did do that one time. Dr. Bibbee told us to introduce ourselves to a random stranger for homework. I tried this. The other girl did not ever really talk to me again, even though we had like two classes together...)
My opinion is that the smiley old guy looks like he could be a Ray or a Raymond. I don't know why. That's just my crazy opinion. However, the black lady who drives the "express" shuttle may be Melissa. The drivers all know me, though- at least, the three drivers who go to Darby. The veteran guy (he wears a hat that says Vietnam Veteran, if memory serves me), who is always so sweet and talkative, asked me how my second day went today.

Anyway, it was the smiley old guy who picked me up in the morning yesterday. No one else was in the parking lot at that time, so we had a small chat about the number of freshmen having to park out there, their terrible parking skills or complete lack thereof (one Einstein decided to park in the AISLE between the lines, whereupon people parked all around him, fencing him in. It was probably an accident, made by a clueless freshman whom I should sympathize with, but, hey, even I know not to do that), and the fact that many of them chose to park in Fiesta Mexicana's space. Even I knew not to do that. Sure enough, the UNA Police Chief sent out an email today asking everyone not to park there. Now if only they would erect some sort of awning at the spot where we wait on the shuttles because sooner or later it will rain...

Eventually, a few other kids did get on the shuttle yesterday, and I found myself in the incongruous position of having to comfort a few freshman girls. No, they did not have to bring their books the first day, and no, they did not get extra points for getting their books.

I think I'll like geography. I didn't know Wesleyan had an auditorium (now I do). I was expecting speech to be in an auditorium and geography in a smaller classroom, but my prediction was inverted. I have Dr. Pretes for geography and I cannot pronounce his last name. So I think I'll start calling him Dr. Mikey in my mind. He only kept us for 15 min to read the syllabus, so he has my total approval for that. He promises to have entertaining mannerisms that will make him my 'funny professor'. The last two semesters I had a teacher who was hilarious, either intentionally (Dr. Bibbee- he admitted to trying to find a niche as the 'funny professor') or unintentionally (Dr. Gren, due to his status as the 'absent-minded professor'), and I do hope I have someone this semester to fill that role.
At any rate, Dr. Mikey stated that he takes off points for texting in class. Not surprising. He says he will not say that he sees someone texting but that he will mark it down and deduct points. He proceeded to say: "You should be able to spend 50 minutes of your life without your phone. Hopefully, you should be able to. If you can't, you probably need counseling." He also added that he always plays music from the appropriate geographical region at the beginning of class, and that if we didn't like the music, well, tough. Coming on the heels of the counseling comment, I nearly cracked up. I am always prepared to be amused by my professors (I am easily amused in some respects). However I am sitting in the front row again (I don't know why I do that... I think it is in order to minimize the distractions) which may not be a great idea because then the professor will wonder why I always have a goofy grin on my face...

Apologies, people who loiter in the Lafayette lobby! I have returned to the piano and you shall not be able to tear me away from it until the end of the semester... Mwahahahahaha....
On that note, however (note- haha, geddit? Oh, I am so punny), someone in the honors program seems to like my music. I was calmly playing Fuer Elise when a dude run up to me and asked if I could play anything by Elton John. Upon my puzzled negative, he wandered off. However, when I started playing Linus and Lucy, he returned and began doing the Peanuts dances right there in the lobby- the Shermy dance, the Pigpen dance, you name it. Go watch the Charlie Brown Christmas Special if you have no idea what I am talking about. Today, I encountered him again, and he proceeded to start singing 'Take My Breath Away' from Top Gun. ????
I proceeded to play Bless the Broken Road, Sweet Home Alabama (which, unbelieveably, no one reacted to) and various LOTR songs. Later, when I was done, a black guy came up to me and said he heard me playing "that Rascal Flatts song" from apparently the next floor up and that it made him cry. He was still wiping his eyes. Well, thank you... I have never had someone have that much of an emotional response to my playing before... It kind of surprised me...

I don't know about speech. It was the one class I wasn't really looking forward to, honestly. My first impression was not helped by the fact that the com building is laid out really weird and I could not find the classroom at first. Luckily, I was with Marcela who was equally lost, and she had the sense to ask somebody. I might have done something very much like a dude and not asked for directions had she not been there. Anyway, it turned out to be just around the corner.
The teacher, whose name I finally remember (Laura Hardin), seems to really want us to discuss politics in class. When she broached the subject, a pall of deep silence settled across the class. Everyone was already quiet, listening to her talk (she kept us the entire 50 minutes! And she didn't even have a syllabus she was going through! This is totally unfair! We are contractually obliged to be kept only half an hour or less on the first day! Outrages!), but when she mentioned politics, the gloom in the room became almost palpable. A couple of guys tried to steer the politics towards less partisan issues that would hopefully not turn a calm, reasonable discussion into an argument, a laudable goal, but I really don't think it'll work ultimately. She made some spiel about the classroom being a safe environment, but I just don't know... In the words of every single Jedi ever, I have a bad feeling about this.

Today started off with me panicking about my classroom in Raburn. I walked in, wasn't sure it was the right place or if I had come too early or too late, walked right back out, checked the room number on my schedule and the time, decided it had to be right, and walked back in. The teacher looks like he could be amusing under the right circumstances. However, we are going to be left to our own devices to design a poster for next year's Handy Festival. Oh, joy. To add to this, during the class a backhoe was ripping up PVC pipe RIGHT NEXT to the windows. I swear, the weighted end of the backhoe was no more than two feet from the window. I was sitting on the end of a row next to the windows, so I was becoming a little concerned...

Literature shows more promise. I know the names of more than two people in it. I know the names of three. At least there's Marcela to talk to. And WE GET TO DO BEOWULF! When Mrs. Raney mentioned Beowulf, a similar palpable gloom settled over the class- in stark contrast to me. I have a pretty good idea that my face lit up. Just for that day, I will totally bring my own copy of Beowulf, which has the Old English original in it as well as a modern translation. I will gladly declaim the opening line of the poem to anyone who asks. It might be wise not to ask.

I am currently gleefully watching musical tributes to Yu-Gi-Oh's Dark Magician (I am not at all ashamed of this fact) in an attempt to soothe a headache accumulated from various frustrations throughout the day. This effort will, most likely, not help at all, but it's still fun and so I am idiotically doing it. This is me. Shouls you be expecting anything else?

In Pace Christi,


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