The Real Deal

Tonight, the comedian Pete Dominic visited Rose-Hulman. I swear, it’s been too long since I laughed that hard. It didn’t help that my Resident Assistant has a very contagious and loud laugh, meaning I could hear her several rows away. The guys sitting next to me looked like they were wondering if I was going to be able to draw breath to continue laughing. What makes it even funnier was that, when Dominic cracked a joke about the harshness of German compared to Spanish, complete with a sentence or two (like, “Where is the bathroom?”), the guy on my right said, “Ha ha. He said just said where is the bathroom from.” He even managed this completely deadpan. That killed me–this is such a dork school.

I’m afraid I’m not being social enough. Actually, scratch that: I know I’m not being social enough. I’m friendly with everyone (no one hates me yet–there hasn’t been any groupwork thus far), but friends with no one. And although it may sound incredibly snobbish, I don’t see anyone here that I particularly want to become friends with; everyone is geeky and smart and generally nice… there’s nothing that says, “Take a second look at me, cuz I rock.” Or something. This is, of course, discounting the physical appeal of some (read: entirely too many) of these guys. Fifty minutes of class is not enough time to get to know anyone, or even to single someone out for hunting down later (wait, that sounds weird, doesn’t it?).

But I just can’t bring myself to walk up to someone and say, “Hey, I’m Lissa and a Comp Sci major. What’s your name?” That’s such an innocuous thing to say, and it takes no energy or (theoretically) effort. But I can’t do it. Actually, I guess “won’t” would be a better word, wouldn’t it? I could just suck up my shyness and fear and panic and get over it, right? So what the hell am I bitching about, yes? Well… it’s my fucking site, dammit. I’ll bitch about something retarded if I want to.

On a much more interesting note than my social ineptitude, classes are going well, with the possible exception of my Intro to Logic Design class. Although that may be premature, since it was the first day for me. My prof is foreign (I’m thinking Rumanian (am I behind the times, spelling that with a “u”?) based on the accent, but I suck at identifying accents; don’t believe me? I thought the Wiggles were crazy Brits, not Aussies. Grr), and has a hard time finding expressions for analogies she wants to make. You know, “Oh… what izz dees word in English…??” I jest, slightly. She’s not that bad. But she did just vault into a discussion of combinational circuits with no preface. So I learned during the course of that 50 minutes that I should be learning (theoretically) how to design digital circuits. The only thing that will save my bacon in this course is my understanding of Boolean stuff from Comp Sci studies. On or off, baby, hell yeah!

Okay, I’ll stop.

Fun this evening will include playing football with my floor (if I choose to go). The guys seem to think it is us against them (they were the ones that went around writing the date and time on all our messageboards). I think the more guy-crazy chicks just want to feel up some guys. The rest of the girls (one in particular) have some pretty damned strong aggressive tendencies and are probably out for blood or a World Cup or whatever you get for being a good football player. I’m not at all sure this is my idea of a good time, particularly given that there will be a crowd. I may go watch, though. I’m sure my crush will be there.

Yes, I did just write “crush”. Isn’t that such a typical, sad, computer grrrl-nerd thing to have? I’m eighteen and I’ve got a crush on a guy who lives one floor below me, whose last name I don’t know, and who doesn’t know I exist. I will say he’s quite the sexy beast, though, and a Comp Sci major to boot. Girls around here frown when I pimp my major. All these Chem-E’s (chemical engineers)–almost all of the girls are Chem-E’s, if not Applied Bio or Biomedical Engineering.

That reminds me: my group of 14 CS majors is only one of three of freshmen CS and Software Engineering major groups. So there are 54 freshmen with CS or Software Engineering as a major, and of the two thirds my advisor knows about, I am the only chica. I think those numbers sound much more realistic, even for a school as small as mine.

I think I’m driving my roomate nuts. I go to bed “early” (about 22:00) every night (why the hell do I want to tire myself out in the first two days of classes? It’s the constant fatigue that will break me down sophomore year, which is the hardest year here…), while she stays out late and has to tip toe back in at who knows what hour of the morning. I never go out with her… social… friends, and I’m sure all of them think I’m weird even for a chick in a technical major. Most of her friends are already having dilemmas over which guy(s) to begin dating and the like, and I’m worrying about if Rose will complain about me hot-linking the pictures from my account here to my Brinkster account…

Speaking of accounts, I am piss-poor broke. The change to the Logic Design course meant that I had to buy more books, but I don’t want to return my Chemistry book, because I’ll be taking that next term. So I currently don’t have enough money to buy my Physics book (which hasn’t come in yet). So I did the unthinkable… and called my mother. Uggh. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this. Turns out they were going to send me beaucoup bucks (well, it seems like a lot to my broke-ass right now) anyway, so they’ll just push up that date so I’ll get the money (hopefully) by Monday or Tuesday, because that’s when the Physics books are coming in. I think they’re actually going to send me money monthly… This is what I get for mentioning that a couple of my friends were getting allowances while in college. Could I have sounded bitter? Hmm.

Have I already mentioned that there are, like, zero jobs (on campus) for folks without Work Study or Work Opportunity? Um, yeah, that’s me. Well, there aren’t zero jobs. Just about a half a job. And too damned many people with Work Study, which are better for hiring, because the money doesn’t come from their department’s budget. Grr. No money equ-els no car equ-els no job off campus. RHIT is not really in town, per se… it’d be a good vigorous bike ride, and a killer, time-consuming walk.

But my teachers are the shit, there’s good, free, legal software here, and the food’s pretty good (they’re very kind to vegetarians and always have cool stuff for me to eat), and I have my laptop. I was tempted to name it Chase, but, lo and behold, that’s the name of a cute guy downstairs, and I don’t think I could play that one off terribly well. “Oh, really??? That’s your name, too?? Who’da thunk it? Hmm. Would you like me not to call my sexy laptop by your name? Oh, shit, I mean, um…” Yeah, that’d go downhill very quickly.

Grr. I’m giggly, and I have nobody to giggle with. Actually, I have no one with which I could giggle, but only one or two folks are keeping track of grammar (me and Michael), so I’ll just write colloquially and all that.

Speaking of old buddies, I talked to an old buddy who is now in college a couple of days ago on the phone. Well, a few days ago. Anyway, it struck me how much he’d changed, even in such a short time. That may not be completely fair, given that we talked for all of 15 minutes, but although I’m a social throwback, I fancy myself slightly perceptive. Just a little, though. Remember when I wrote about folks in relationships when their significant others went away? Right, well, some of those same tendencies (the change in language, attitude, tone, etc.) smacked me in the face while talking to him. He’s living without the constant influence of his family, his girlfriend, (some of) his old friends, etc. I guess the changes just bothered me a little; by the time I’d finished my “uh…” to answer his questions about how things were going, he’d jumped into his day and his life. It’s certainly not that I didn’t want to hear about it, because I did, but his… manner of delivery bothered me. I guess it’s just that I feel like I’m crawling into a shell and he’s wriggling out of one. Or something. I sort of feel like I’m watching things right now from a distance: I see quite clearly that this could go one of two ways; I could become the quiet, reticient dork that people are starting to see me as, or I could desperately grasp for some way to branch out and be more social. I guess I’m just spoiled–in high school, I never really had to work to gain friends; people always flocked to me (albeit in small amounts), even at my nerdiest.

There’s so much emphasis on leadership and groupwork here, I’m reminded of Ender’s Game (and the Shadow books), in which the little kids were watched incessantly to determine who had leadership abilities based on their social interactions, then were pushed into leadership positions until their limits had been tested. I’m not showing those leadership abilities, folks. I’m showing I can take orders well, with reasonable ambition and reasonable initiative. Reasonable equ-els “average”, folks. Average does not make a name in scienctific research or working for Big Corp, Inc. Just something to work on. I’ll add that to my to-do list.

The folks just left for football, and I want to listen to loud music (on headphones, bien sûr), read (it’s taking me weeks to read The House of the Spirits) and be comfy with privacy. Bonsoir.