Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Weekend Away from Home...


I have survived my first weekend away from home, though not without quite a few calls home and even a few tears. My roommate, along with many other people who live nearby, decided to go home for the weekend, which made for a very quiet campus. Even then, I spent quite a bit of time off campus this weekend. On Friday, I took a trip down to my favorite bakery after classes and then sat at a nearby library to consume my bounty. That night, a few of us got together and watched the movie Watchmen.


On Saturday, I went to my grandparent's house for a family dinner. It was really good to get off campus for a while and get away from "the bubble," so to speak. I got to run around after my little cousins for a few hours, and actually might have gotten more homework done there then when I'm sitting in my dorm room. I got a good meal of spaghetti and a nice relaxed evening. I also got to go to Trader Joe's, so I now have food I know that I like stored in my room.

Ah, yes, my food issue. It's getting a little bit better; at least, I've figured out what the problem is. The main problem is that everyone here eats so fast. Back home, we would sit down and take a good hour to eat. Of course, that included music and conversations, which makes for a nice relaxing meal. Here, however, people scarf down their food as though it's their last meal. The cafeteria is pretty much always jam packed with people, and you can practically feel their voices pulsating in your stomach, it's so loud. As my loyal follower knorthcutt has suggested to me, they need a zen dining room where it's quieter.

So I have decided that since the craziness seems to be affecting my ability to eat, I'm going to start eating my own food more. Hence my trip to Trader Joe's. I got sandwich makings, soup, and some fruit. We also can get food from the caf to go, which I've already started doing. So I think I'll be eating more meals outside or in my room, as a relaxed setting seems to be essential to me actually eating something.

I have more to tell you all, my dear readers. But I am getting quite sleepy, so I will just have to continue some other time. Until then!

Friday, August 27, 2010

As the week comes to an end...

Hello, everyone! Sorry it's been a while since I wrote, but now that I'm a fully fledged college student, I find I have a lot less time than one would expect. Since the last time I wrote, orientation finished up and I started classes.


On the last night of orientation, there was a hypnotist show. He went through the audience picking volunteers, and they did some pretty crazy things. Here they are, all "passed out" from first going under...


...and here they are "fanning" themselves. The hypnotist made them think that it was super hot, and they all started rolling up each other's pants. It was hilarious!

In other news, I've had all of my classes at least once. I'm taking Ancient Philosophy, Greek and Roman Literature and Culture, and Advanced Writing Practicum, all of which are interesting but involve a lot of reading. Hopefully I can get most of it done this weekend so I can start over fresh next week! I'm also taking a physics class entitled "Einstein, Black Holes, and the Big Bang." There isn't too much math involved, but just enough math to be intimidating. But all of my teachers seem great; they are all very into what they are teaching, and I have yet to have a class that was boring.

I guess you could say that I'm adjusting to life at college fairly well. I know enough people that I don't feel awkward talking to anyone. It really does help that I know Wade from high school, and that my roommate and I get along splendidly. The food continues to be an issue, though. And it's not that the food itself is bad, it's the environment. When I get nervous, the first thing that happens is that I find it harder to eat. Some people cry, some people get crabby, I have problems eating. Breakfast is fine because there are never that many people in the cafeteria, and they always have eggs and rice and hashbrowns and the works. But for both lunch and dinner there are so many people in the caf that it is absolutely crazy in there and I just can't eat. My roommate and I were talking about it and she can't stand it either. We're both kind of nervous eaters. So I think I'm going to stop at the grocery store this weekend and pick up some stuff to keep in the room.

Oh, well. That just means more midnight snacks!

Hopefully I will be able to write more regularly, as I get used to my class load and whatnot. Well, off to Greek and Roman!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Internet Works!

Guess what, everybody! Thanks to the genius of one of my friends, Wade, my internet is now working again!

And so, as promised, here are some pictures from the past few days. I apologize in advance for the not-great quality of the pictures, as they were all taken on my handy-dandy Blackberry. Being the slightly ditzy person that I am, I keep forgetting my camera!


Here are my shoes on the Bart yesterday. It took us over an hour on public transportation to get to the San Francisco Food Bank for our community service project. Long story short, we bagged 5,600 pounds of pinto beans!



A glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge from today as we journeyed by charter bus to the Marin Headlands.


While at the Marin Headlands, we went to a marine animal hospital to see the animals. They had this statue, which made one of the guys here (who stands at about 6'8") look like a dwarf.


And lastly, my parents took Ashlie, Wade and his parents, and myself to dinner at a cute little Italian restaurant. We then walked up to this hill, where I took this amazing picture. It was really, really windy and cold, but we all braved the elements to take a few pictures and enjoy the view.

That's it for now!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Orientation... The Beginning

So, after literally blowing chunks the first night, I am settling in quite well here at school. No, really; I'm starting to figure out who I don't want to go walking around town with at 10 o'clock at night and who is actually very nice. I'm valiantly struggling to remember everyone's names (God knows I'm terrible with names), and I'm actually eating regular meals again. Well, for the most part. I'm still terribly indebted to my stash or sourdough rolls.

The worst thing that has happened so far is that I can't get into the dorm's wireless network. Please allow me to repeat: I DO NOT HAVE AN INTERNET CONNECTION. For a self-professed Internet junkie, this is a fairly bad thing; kind of like going to the doctor for a routine check up and being told that they have to amputate an arm. Okay, that was a little overly dramatic, but hopefully you get what I mean.

So you may be wondering, how are you posting to your blog if you can't access the Internet? I'm using my roommate's computer, that's how.

Speaking of my roommate, she's actually quite nice. Her name's Ashlie, she's majoring in Advertising and she's actually from the Bay Area. This means she has a fairly good understanding of the city and talks a lot about all the cool places they hold concerts and the good record/poster stores and what not. She seems pretty clued in to that whole scene. Anyhoo, Ashlie's really nice and low key and I probably couldn't have asked for a better roommate.

That being said, I feel kind of bad because she likes to go places at night and has been inviting me along. Now, reader (if you're out there), please keep in mind that I am not a very adventurous person. Actually, I can be, but never at night. I'm kind of a grandma when it comes to having taken a shower by 10 and lounging around my room rather than going out. So I keep turning her down (nicely, of course), but I still feel bad. I probably shouldn't though, as she seems to understand. I just don't want to her to think it's because I don't want to hang out with her, it's just because I don't like walking around at night, especially if it's not necessary.

But back to orientation. I'm in a kind of honor's program, and everyone in it is super nice. I mean, there are a few exceptions, but I'm talking about one or two people out of like 50 or something like that. Not surprisingly, I've been hanging out with more boys and girls. We went out for ice cream last night at the famous Mel's Diner, did a community service project today, and I just got back from a semi formal dinner. Needless to say, they are keeping us very busy.

Tomorrow we are supposed to be going for a hike, and then the real freshman orientation starts. So I'm going to be busy through Monday. I don't know if I'll get up a post before then, but definitely by Tuesday! That's our first day of classes, and I'm sure I will have lots to report. Hopefully by then we will have gotten this Internet thing sorted out and I can post some pictures from my computer.

Until next time!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Attack of the Birds




Although I do not plan on becoming one of those people who updates their blog every single day (I just don't have enough to say), I couldn't pass up the chance to share this picture with all of you. We spent the day walking around the city and came back from lunch to find this waiting for us at the car.

Apparently every pigeon in the neighborhood turned out for a big welcome to the city!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Journey


Today we all climbed into the car and made the journey from Orange County to San Francisco. Most of my dad's family lives in SF, so we make this trip fairly often. It was a fairly easy trip, despite the fact that we managed to cram four people and two dogs into an already packed car.

We made our first stop after two or so hours, at a Petro truck stop called The Iron Skillet. I know how that sounds, but this is actually a very cool place, especially for the road-weary. Not that two hours in a car is really that long... but back to what I was saying. Inside this truck stop there is a cafe, a Baskin Robbins, a gift shop, a game arcade, small movie theatre, and a laundry mat. They even offer a place to take a shower. As my mom says every time we stop there, it's a truck driver's heaven. 'Course, we all like it, too.

Our next stop was at the hotel and restaurant the Harris Ranch, that sits just off of the Interstate 5. It's a fairly large hotel for where it is situated, and a great hotel at that. The Harris Ranch is known best for its amazing beef, and I personally believe that they make some of the best steak I've ever had. Of course, if you're more into sweets, they also make killer chocolate chip cookies. The hotel's decor is country-western, with an extra emphasis on cow print and fur. It's always a good place to get out, stretch your legs, walk the dogs, and maybe grab a bite to eat or a bit of gas before heading off again. In the past, my family has actually stayed there a few times. They have a nice pool, although it's so hot there that the only time you ever really want to come out of your room is at night.

Our last stop was in a suburban city called Dublin. How to describe it? Well, it reminds me a lot of Irvine back home. The houses are very uniform looking, all of similar designs and complimenting colors. There is a nice shopping center there with an absolutely huge Safeway (which is the Northern California equivalent of Vons) where we use their decently clean restroom. So far, I have yet to see anything truly exciting happen there, but maybe next time.

From there we went on into the city, to the Richmond District where my grandparents live. Normally we stay with them, but this time we are staying with my aunt on account of other family members staying with my grandparents. We were welcomed with a delicious spaghetti dinner and allowed to practically take over the house with our excess amount of stuff. Good thing some of it will be staying in San Francisco with me when the rest of my family drives back home.

I am supposed to move into my dorm on Thursday, and this is also when orientation starts. I'll admit it, I'm nervous. Will I get over it? Yes. But for now I'm just taking things one day at a time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Introductions


Hello.

First off, I wanted to admit that I have thought a lot about this first post. Probably too much, by most standards. It may sound silly, but I always thought that these first posts were so important. First posts are meant for  introductions, yes, but mostly for impressions. Will you continue reading as I continue writing? Will you even care?

See, I told you that I thought about this way too much, although that in itself says a lot about who I am. I am an imaginative, creative, curious girl who tends to over think things most of the time. Sometimes, it's a character flaw. Other times, it's an asset.

Well, back to the point of this post: a declaration of intent for the use of this blog. Tomorrow, I will be leaving sunny Southern California behind and traveling to San Francisco. There, I will be attending college as an English major. I want this blog to chronicle my college days, from the transition into freshman year to graduation. I have always kept a journal, and that is what this space will be. A 21st century journal.

Never fear, I do not intend to torture anyone with any "Dear Diary" whiny, overly dramatic fluff. I merely intend to tell things the way I see them and sometimes muse about absolutely nothing in particular. Hopefully you will find something worth reading here, something you can relate to that makes you think and laugh and cry (though hopefully not the latter). I shall do my best to be honest and maybe even entertaining at times.

And for everyone out there going off to college for the first time... This is for you.