Day One: Down the rabbit hole. And didn’t you know smoking is bad for you?Posted: January 19, 2010
After six months of paper pushing, document retrieving, minutiae tending, and nail biting, I started school today!
Today began at 8am. First, I have to say that 8am is really early for me now and second, it was especially tough after a night of very little sleep due to some wack-o thunderstorms that have been churning through the Bay Area this week.
Here was my agenda for the morning… my first day of class after a hiatus of more than ten years:
Agenda Item 1: Catch a bus. This got my heart racing first thing because naturally, the bus I needed was flying down the street as I turned the corner. Nextbus said I had 4 minutes until the next one, so I went into the convenience store to get a Diet Coke. I look out the door and whaaaa? Seriously!??? ANOTHER 49 flies by. And if you use MUNI, you know that if you miss a bus parade, you are screwed. So I’m already stressing out; I just need to get to school on time and it’s not looking like that’s going to happen. And some kooky senior citizen is smoking a cigarette in the bus shelter. And it’s raining. And I’m nervous. “No one’s going to like meeeee! I’m OLD!!!” Not looking so great!
Agenda Item 2: Show up at 10am MATH 860 class early so I can add in. I take the elevator up to the 7th floor of Batmale Hall and excitedly exit, only to be met by a sea of people who had the exact same idea. FAIL. I never even made it into the classroom to try to get on the list. People would occasionally saunter out, and the ones closest to the door would somehow squeeze inside. And then word filtered back that people would be added based on their registration date. Now, as a returning student I was on the bottom rung of that ladder — December 9. There was NO chance of me getting into that class. I was a little disheartened, but I had planned for this eventuality and mapped out sections of the class to try to add into later. So I went and had some coffee instead.
Agenda Item 3: Attend Psychology of Stress class at 11am. SUCCESS! My first real class! Should be very cool. It’s an applied psychology class that explores what stress is, what it does to us, and how to reduce it. And as we all know, a little less stress would do us all a whole lotta good. And, it fulfills a requirement for transfer to San Francisco State University later. Of course, the instructor asks who has already bought the book (me! me!!!) and proceeded to say that it would be smart to just find a cheaper old edition somewhere online. : /
Agenda Item 4: Show up at 1pm MATH 860 class early so I can add in. Bingo(ish)! I show up and there seemed to be plenty of room in the classroom. Of course people kept coming and coming and coming and coming but I was lucky enough to get my name on the add list. Teacher takes attendance and says he can take 8 additional students, by registration date. Again, I’m probably screwed but I’m going back tomorrow anyway, with my “proof of registration date” (more hoops to jump through). Then we learned about the types of numbers — integers, whole numbers, etc. — so that was cool. First real instruction!
Agenda Item 5: Attend composition class from 7-10 pm. I’ll let you know how that goes. It’s 3:30 and I’m home for lunch at the moment…barely getting inside before another thunderstorm!
So! Off to a running start. Assuming I can add into this math class, I already have homework.
About my fellow students, they’re a very diverse group of people, but I can say this:
Smoking is the new not-smoking. I was a little shocked by how many people are smoking down at City College! Now, don’t get me wrong — I puffed away defiantly for 10 years myself, but I kinda thought smoking rates were down.
Phones are the new imaginary best friend. It’s kind of funny when you walk into a classroom and every single person is feverishly reading, typing, and sliding. Of course, it appears that City College has a rule about using electronics during class, so everybody must get really lonely once it’s time to start instruction.
It’s cool to be in school. I overheard lots of fun conversations and I can’t wait to get to know some people in my classes, once schedules get a little more settled.
So, stay tuned! I’m looking forward to sharing what goes on in my classes, how I got where I am, and what I’m thinking about.