So I'm here at grad school. Back "in" school. I stayed with Fermi on my drive here, which was nice, even though I didn't get to spend nearly enough time with her and the Jips man. And their pups. Those pups are ca-ra-zy.
Classes start tomorrow, although mine don't start until Wednesday evening. I do have one meeting tomorrow, with the professor I'll be working for this semester. Everything is so far so good though, which is more than I can say for the first week I lived in France. I feel so much calmer now than I did then, which is predictable, but still really nice.
I've been hanging out with a lot of German exchange students. They are EXCELLENT. So funny and friendly. I had a bad taste in my mouth from my former German roommate (she's still German, but thankfully, no longer my roommate), they have easily replaced this feeling with a love of all things German. Sadly, the one I'm ridiculously attracted to has a girl friend of 4 years back in the deutchland.
So, talking about roommates gets me on to the subject I really wanted to blog about. As I sit down to write this post, I have all of my possessions with the exceptions of my car and bike in this one dorm room (photos to follow). Aside from the fact that I'm in a completely different program than Fermi, I can already tell my experience of grad school is going to be vastly different. In a lot of ways, I feel like I've gone back to undergrad land. I live in a dorm, I have a meal plan, I wear shoes in the shower, the list goes on. I even have most of the same posters I had from my last 2 years of college on my walls here. It's a bit rough going from living in a GORGEOUS single-bedroom duplex with wood floors, central air, washer/dryer, full kitchen, and a stoop to rival the best of them to living in a small, somewhat institutional looking room.
Don't get me wrong, this situation beats a lot of the alternatives I was presented with, but it's still a strange situation to be "re-living" this stage. However, from what I've seen of the burg, I'm not missing out on too many great places to live.
That brings me to the next point I wanted to touch on: holy shit, there's a lot of boat shoes in this town. For those of you unfamiliar with this distinction, I'll parcel this out. Boat shoes are the preferred footwear of white, middle class, conservative, fratty, often boring men and women in college circles. It has not been very long since I realized that this scene is very much "not me." However, now that I have, it's a bit odd to be enveloped by it again. I doubt too many boat shoes are going to be in my grad classes, but going out "on the town" makes my soul hurt a little bit. Guys wear a polo shirt or ratty t-shirt, jeans, boat or tennis shoes, and a hat. Girls wear some slutty dress that shows of their tits and/or ass accented by meticulously straightened hair and a full face of make up. Part of me thinks/hopes that I just haven't found the more low key places and people, but another part thinks I sacrifice a certain "cool" factor for a lower price tag.
Regardless of these observations/complaints, I really have been enjoying myself and the people I've met so far. In a meeting with 2 of my 3 professors and one of my classmates on Friday, I started to tear up thinking about how happy I was to have some kind of engaging purpose in life again. I got caught up in a LOT of partying this summer (one excuse for my lack of a blogging presence) and going back to school has opened my eyes to how pointless that can become. It's not hard to figure out that parties are more fun if they follow a period of hard work. And a period of hard work is certainly upon me. So keep reading, it's going to be a wild ride.