Sunday, September 25, 2011

They took my money, I'm officially enrolled

Orientation included a trip to the top of City Hall to take in the views.
After driving miles and miles and miles and miles, I finally made it to LA. The past two weeks have been filled with preliminary tests and orientation--lots of orientation. I don't believe I have ever been so oriented as to a campus, its services and a program. Ever. 

It's weird to be back on a college campus. It's also pretty awesome to see the little freshman, so cute and naive. Here's a conversation I overhead from some undergrads the other day:
Frosh 1: So like, there's this cute guy I met in the dorms and he like totally speaks another language!
Frosh 2: That's so awesome. Languages are like, totally sexy. What does he speak?
Frosh 1: It's something called Yiddish?
Frosh 2: What's that?
Frosh 1: I don't know, but it's so hot, right?

Fortunately, my fellow graduate classmates are great, and most would understand that Frosh 1 met a nice Jewish boy. It's more or less a like-minded group of people that have found themselves pursuing this profession. With orientation and many a social gathering having taken place, it's good to know that my program offers a group of extremely intelligent, friendly and outgoing people who seem to always be up for a drink after a long day.
Also got oriented with college football tailgates

I've found it pretty amusing to see who clicks with who and the personality traits of my younger classmates versus the older hags, like myself. There are some classmates who are wildly entertaining, others who are crazy smart and some who, very painfully, leave their audience cringing. It will be fun to watch the interactions and growth among my colleagues, new and old. That said, I can't wait to start class tomorrow!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

2477 miles down, 365 to go

Driving is rough. Four days in a row of driving is torture. How do truckers do it?

After a depressingly sad goodbye with Manfriend, my friend Suzy and I packed up a minivan and headed west. We drove through eight states and six state capitals, had one drunken fight/make-up, saw more corn than imaginable and had one bird casualty. Middle America is quite pretty in some parts. Here are the highlights from the Chicago to Cali road trip:
  • The Gateway Arch in St. Louis - the Gateway to the West is pretty darn big.
  • Kansas City for the first night where I watched Suzy eat authentic Kansas City BBQ (had to refrain being vegetarian and all)
  • Boulder for the 2nd night. This is the cutest, pot-smoking, friendliest, hippy-dippy place in America. Hands down. Loved it there.
  • The mix CDs the Manfriend made for me, so sweet that one is.
  • Wyoming. We didn't even know we were going to drive through this state, but it was just beautiful.
  • Salt Lake City for the final night where the Mountain Dew Skate/BMX tour was set up. I haven't seen that many teenagers dressed like skaters since, um, never.
  • Salt flats - miles and miles of SALT! It squishes down when you step through the crunchy surface.
Running to infinity

Finally we reached my parents' place in the Bay Area last night. I know I'm "home," or rather at the place where I grew up, where my family still lives, but I'm home sick. I miss Chicago. I miss my life in Chicago. I miss Manfriend.
Close-up of the salt flat. It looks like... Salt.

Tomorrow I drive down to LA. I am homeless and staying with a friend for a few days before I can move into my apartment. I wanted to be upbeat about starting school and learning, but I'm just depressed. I have to stop thinking about what I left behind and start thinking about what's ahead.