Growl, growl.

How the hell is Aramark (who provides food on-campus) not going to send an e-mail out telling folks the cafeteria was going to be closed for a patio dinner?

I don’t want their nasty-ass red meat or critter-infested melon and corn, and Mae’s vegan by necessity. I suspect I won’t even be able to get a meal exchange later, since they weren’t scanning ID cards at the patio dinner.

Some notification would have been fucking awesome since I’d actually planned on eating something other than Hillary’s cheap iced oatmeal cookies this evening…

Research set.

Dr. M’s concession to Thursday night Thorning was to schedule our Friday morning meetings for 08:30 instead of 08:15.

Um, yeah. Pfbfpbft.

And both my damn research blocks are still on weekdays… She’s not budging on this “you need a partner [in person] in lab” bit.

Ah, well. This is what I signed up for, I suppose. At least my schedule is fairly finalized.

Hobbling along

I think I actually learned what a “recovery run” is today.

I spent about 10 hours building my deck in my dorm room two days ago, and have been sore and increasingly immobile since. Particularly, my hamstrings are tighter than steel geetar strings, and I’m limping and hobbling/waddling just to walk around. I haven’t been able to move around enough to warm up sufficiently to stretch, so it’s just getting worse.

So this morning, after five days off from running, I did a nice, slow, easy thirty minute run. I didn’t push myself overly, I just wanted to move for a half-hour to work some of the kinks out.

The nice thing is, I only had a serious problem with not wanting to eat for the two days I was travelling to get to campus. I’m rather impressed that I got over the slump without doing myself any damage (and without “conceding” and going for a run), but I’m disappointed that it flared up in the first place. Something to watch for not only during the winter months, I suppose.

Zug, zug–Having a blast.

I finished deck building at something ’til 23:00 last night, and went to bed around 23:30 after skimming the notes for the freshman laptop orientation, which I was due to assist with in the morning.

Come 06:30, I happily bang my head on the deck, then stumble over the computer and monitor Hillary left right next to my bed. As though, you know, they’re mine. As I was crawling back under to find my glasses, I realized just how bruised and battered I felt–my knees feel like someone’s been rubbing them firmly with sandpaper for hours (I wore shorts in the deck-making), and they are bruised something fierce. Then I stood up, and my back left me know about all the little muscles that live in its lower half. My ass hurts. My quads and hams hurt. My arms hurt. I just… hurt. My saving grace was the fact that my shower has beautiful water pressure and is hella hot.

Freshman laptop orientation (sort of) began around 07:30. For the people that work for the technology folks, laptop orientation began at 03:00 when all the laptops were moved from storage to the orientation rooms.

My group of students was being led through orientation by the indomitable Dr. C, whose wife I’ve met previously (she’s a secretary for the Humanities department). The man went through three cups of coffee in the two hours I spent with him, said “dude”, “sweet”, and “awesome” more times than I could count, and has some kind of tattoo covering his upper arms. So the supposedly two-hour orientation was completed in about an hour, with much laughter and fun.

Following this bit o’ fun, I visited Dr. M and attempted (again) to get a set schedule for research. Instead, we walked over and let her see my residence hall and deck, and she talked at me about getting a chemistry minor and getting scholarships. More of the same. I don’t think she understands that her pressuring me is making me get my back up–the more she mentions it, the more I think about how much work I’d have to do and how much money it would cost to overload for both my minors, yadda yadda.

As soon as I could escape, I ran down to the Helpdesk and met the boss. I didn’t get to really talk with anyone, but the boss (“B.”, for lack of anything mroe descriptive) said, “I’m actually ready to add you to the payroll. I just wanted you to come down here so I would recognize you when you come in. You come highly recommended.” Damn, okay. I’m left wondering just what Luke said, or if she’s a naturally easy-going woman like that. I arranged to talk with the Bronz-e One (at this point, I should probably be shot for making puns on people’s usernames) later that day, and headed out for part two of the day: freshman registration for classes.

I settled myself in the Computer Science department to await lunch (free pizza!) and registration. I met the Y. twins, who are two interesting guys.

Some background on the Y. family–it’s big. I’d say there are at least ten kids, all home-schooled, always visible during dinnertime in the cafeteria. All the girls wear skirts and boots or sneakers, which was something that stuck in my head, and there are kids as young as just a few years old and as old as early twenties. Both parents are engineers, and the father is a prof at Rose. There are maybe four of the Y. kids at Rose at this point, and the twins are seniors. I think they belong to a branch of Christianity that reminds me of Mormonism that explains the abundance of children and the style of dressing and homeschooling, but I don’t remember exactly what it is.

The twins are outgoing (one a little moreso than the other) and friendly, and we ended up chatting about everything from computer geekery to linguistics. Now, damned if I will be able to tell them apart the next time I see them (since they’ll be wearing different clothing), but they seem to be permanently lodged in the CS labs and conference rooms working on some new software/servers Rose has running, so I’ll probably be seeing them again.

Then came the clusterfuckery that was registration. Six computer science profs have 96 advisees in the majors of CS, software engineering, computer engineering, optical engineering, and mechanical engineering. One of those profs wasn’t present. Two of the rooms originally set aside to be used for registrations suddenly (?) had construction being done in them. This meant the Y. twins and I had to direct traffic from about three different directions into the CS labs and conference room, which are not easy to find.

So I stood in the middle of the third floor of Crapo and caught damn near every confused looking person passing through and made sure they got where they needed to go either by issuing directions or having them wait to walk with me. It was a good way for me to make myself known, I suppose–the weird chick in the Finding Nemo shirt issuing loud, goofy directions and bouncing around the hall full of construction workers.

Unfortunately, a couple of folks sort of latched on. One guy thought it was some kind of awesomely cool phemomenon that I said, “Indeed,” and proceeded to be everywhere I turned around, badgering me with questions. I also met a CS girl that went into a diatribe against those that complain about the low percentages of females in the tech industry. She also complained about the geekiness of the CS guys she’d met so far at Rose. Eh. There are sexy CS guys (and computer engineers), but you have to hunt a little. Don’t dismiss on looks, get to know ’em, and all that good stuff.

After I played sheepdog for a half-hour, I went up and helped with actual registration. There’s not much to say other than that it was long, and managed to be both fun and painful. Long as in two hours. Fun in that it was always the same four guys having problems, and I now know their schedules better than I know my own. Painful in that one girl kept screeching and wailing when she couldn’t adjust her schedule the way she wanted it.

What the fuck kind of eighteen-year old wails (in a public place) about their inability to manipute their schedule? Ugh. I was kind enough to help her once before leaving her to the infinitely patient Y. twins.

My mobility, allowed by the hot shower this morning, faded around this time, I think.

Post-registration, I finally remembered to get my form so I could do some research for credit this term (oops), did a little busy work for the chemistry department, bloodily mangled my finger in carrying some containers to my room, and bought books.

Ah, books. The bane of all college students. How about the math department bought all new books, making my old Calculus book (which is really the same book as the new one, with just a different cover) a $150 paperweight? And the three math classes I have this term–all new books. Grr.

Luckily, Nikolai and I have two of the same math classes, so I bought one book while he bought the other and we’ll just trade off during the term since he lives two doors down. By this time I was so sore and worn out I let him carry my books and his and just hobbled along, which is something I hate–my mentality (expandable to many things, I suppose) is that if I pack it/buy it/bring it, my ass better be able to carry it without assistance.

This was 16:00. Still the early part of my day.

After book-buying, I went to arrange my work schedule with the Bronz-e One. Since I’m in training, I’m supposed to be working with someone, but only two of my six hours are scheduled with someone else. This is slightly distressing, given the volume of people coming through at the beginnng of the year. I guess this is what I get for being “highly recommended”. Gulp.

This is my pretty academic schedule. This (no attempts at styling made, and there’s horizontal scrolling) is something closer to how my daily schedule will really be, I think. I have plenty of holes in which to do homework, although the lack of lunch on research days sucks. I could be wrong on the timing of some things (like research), and I don’t have any of the group meeting things for Computer Architecture in there, which Dr. 7 suggested would be a good 12 hours a week.

I finished unpacking and moving into the room. We don’t have built-in bookshelves this year, so two of my three desk drawers are dedicated to books of the non-textbook sort. Not the best usage of space, but buying a bookcase would be such a waste of money I don’t have right now since I wouldn’t be able to get it home later, most likely.

And then there’s the fact that Hillary mos def planned on having an entire floor to herself–couch, full-size electronic keyboard, desk, table. All I have remaining to my usage is a single wall that contains my desk, stacked containers, the damn refrigerator, and a small space for my backpack, and we don’t even have the couch in here yet, or the piano set up. I guess I can’t blame her, but damn, can a Negress get more than one wall of the room?

After dinner and a nice, hot shower, Mae brought by delicious peanut butter cookies. I feel so odd, being on campus and barely getting to see her, particularly since she just lives downstairs, when I saw her so much during the summer. So I’m going to start bugging her at mealtimes. Bru-ha-ha.

Randomly this evening, a sweaty guy came and knocked on my door and came in, introducing himself as Nick. Apparently, a group e-mail went out (or he got some notification) that because of my work schedule, he wouldn’t have to go in on Wednesday mornings and he came by to thank me. He said he’d heard a discussion at the Helpdesk about a girl “named Melissa, but you call her Lissa” (which I thought was just a nifty topic of discussion), and when he passed by my room he noticed my name on the door. I’d crossed out “Melissa” on the pre-made label and written in “Lissa, like ‘Melissa’ w/o the ‘muh'”, which is my standard line these days. So that was nice. I now know a sweaty guy with the name of Nick who lives on my floor and with whom I share a job.

Tomorrow, I shall run and stretch out these kinks. And I shall finish settling in. And I shall program for the Thorn. And I shall rest.

It’s all about the moments.

There was the moment in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, when I got behind the wheel of the car and onto the highway, and realized that I was heading to the closest thing to “home” (in the sense of comfort and relaxation) I feel like I have right now.

There was the lengthy moment after dark en route to Lexington (Kentucky) when my mother and I talked about writing and memoirs and talking, and she revealed to me her struggles to communicate with me–we’re both coming to the realization that we don’t live in the same worlds anymore, and she doesn’t know how to step into mine.

There was the moment in Paris (Kentucky) when my grandmother first realized who it was standing on her porch and made that sound that she (and my father, and my aunts) make–it’s something between an “aww” and an “ohh” and it’s the sound they make for damn near every occassion: surprise, hurt, admiration. Then she made me sit where she could see me without craning her neck. You would think I’d performed a miracle, not lost some weight.

There was the moment when I stepped out of my car and onto Luke’s driveway and realized that I have been living in the city entirely too long.

There was the moment when I met his parents and got a feel for the atmosphere of his home, and my world-view shifted a little as I realized how some might actually want to go home every chance they got. And then I got another world-view shift simply seeing how Luke lives.

There was the moment when Luke’s father said, “If Luke brings a group of people down to see Thunder, you should come,” and my brain did an immediate split: I’m about 85% sure I could translate that to mean, “If Luke decides he wants to drag people home and make his vacation a little less relaxing, you should make sure you’re among that group.” The other 15% of my brain went, “Well, it’s not like Luke and I are making fireworks (*waggles eyebrows*), so I’m not sure why we’d need a group as chaparones…”

There was the moment in the car when my mother said, “He seems young. Not like someone about to graduate.” I reminded her that Luke is “only” twenty-one. There’s nothing wrong with being youthful.

There was the moment when I pulled into the New Res parking lot and saw a dark blue Camry with a spoiler. No matter how common a car that is, I know when I see Mae’s car.

There was the moment when Mae heard my voice in her room and said, “Lissa? Thank god,” and I found myself with an armful of a red-eyed, worn down, scarily manic/frantic Mae. That vague worry I’d had when she stopped updating her blog just after I left Terre Haute? Definitely well-founded.

There was the moment when I recognized Nikolai’s father and vigorously shook his hand. He said, “Oh, it’s like that.” I think he really wanted a hug, but I’m not hugging my friend’s old man. Can we say, “Creep factor”? I so don’t know him that well.

There was the moment when I realized that our room ceiling was only 10.5 feet high, rather than the 11.5 or 12 feet that we thought it was. There goes the split-level idea.

There was the moment when I realized that if I wanted my deck built before Tuesday, I was going to have to build it myself.