i overestimated for traffic and got there super early. yay for iphone company! eventually, i wandered in, still early. grabbed some free water (must milk all free things during orientation, as they will soon disappear). didn't bother with the mass-brewed coffee, plus i was already a bit jittery anyway. sat. and waited. and waited. this school is notorious for never starting things on time. this type a who highly values punctuality as a form of respect and consideration is hoping she can be patient.
finally, the whole "lecture hall" (part of the building that is sectioned off for lectures) was full. undergrad, grad, postgrad students all jammed into one space. the director of the school did a welcome speech. more a collection of thoughts that was kind of meandering but did eventually lead up to a main point or two. then the grad programs director had a few remarks (not a lecture, thank goodness). then the undergrad programs director had a few remarks. then each of the department heads.
then lunch! free! fakey chinese food via chin chin, but i'm not complaining. it was free. plus once you douse everything in chili garlic sauce, it's all good. chocolate-dipped fortune cookies helped, too. people in my program found each other, introduced ourselves, and got to know each other. i met maybe 10 people today, and our year in our program is 70-80ish (??? as no one really seems to know how big our class is still). we seem to be from all over, all over the age range (23 was the youngest i met, 40something the oldest), with all different backgrounds in terms of undergrad degree and past careers.
then, they sprang a pop writing assessment exam on us. so not funny. luckily, whether we pass or not doesn't really matter for grad students. no pressure here; i just wrote and wrote. however, my butt hurt from the cold, metal folding chair, my back and hand cramped from holding the paper onto my notebook as a writing surface, and others with no writing surface were on the floor.
finally, mr. president of the student union spoke and took questions. we were urged to be thesis helpers and/or help with a little on-campus project going on for graduation in which they need free student labor. i walked through the "thesis pit"--poor thesis students. i will be there in 3 years. yikes.
we were done 30 minutes early! hooray! enough talking for the day already.
tomorrow is administrative stuff day. photos for ID. register for classes. etc. etc. friday is for pre-arranged tours of some firms, then a welcome reception at night. they say family is welcome, but the bear can't make it up from his office in time (and i don't think it's worth the drive). i may just go for the free food again. oh, and to get to know people better. ;).
so much school talk. yawn. i have a feeling this may continue as that's pretty much all i'll be doing from here on out. all [school]work and no play makes potato a dull blogger.