Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Last Step Before The First Day of School

This morning, The Husband and I dragged ourselves out of bed early, so we could be at the Student Center to get my school ID.  I knew I’d be having my picture taken, so what to do with my hair was a topic of discussion in my head for a few days.  Curly?  Straight?  Since you get one picture ID, then each successive semester you get a sticker updating the ID, this is for posterity.  How did I want to present myself?  I’ve always blown my hair dry and relatively straight and this new, shorter style has been liberating in that I can let it dry naturally and curly, so curly it is.  And what to wear?  I didn’t want to wear anything too “old lady”--my definition of that deserves a blog post of its own--so I decided on a boat neck striped shirt.  I figured not much of it would show but I like that shirt and how it makes me feel.

So, we got to school and the parking lot was fairly empty, which is the last time I’ll see it that way.  I know from now on, it’s going to be a madhouse.

Anyway, we walked across the pleasant little campus, to Building 200.  Signs led us around the corner to a little patio with a half dozen wrought iron tables and chairs.  Since we were 45 minutes early, we were actually the first ones there.  As people wandered in, they took seats and many, like us, communed with their cell phones.  Some kids had parents with them for support--one girl was French braiding her mom’s hair.  Other people sat and stared--apparently, also like us, they hadn’t had their caffeine fix yet.  There was one man older than me and a guy probably in his late 30’s.  The rest were young freshmen.

When the doors opened, the two girls who’d arrived just after us made sure I was in the door first.  Are college students just more polite than the norm or maybe I’ve just only experienced the nice ones at school, so far.  No, I’m not anticipating surly teenagers but…  we shall see.  Anyway, we were led into a room where they’d set up chairs and tables in a kind of obstacle course that led to the desk where you presented your paperwork for inspection.  Hmmm, that sounds very Casablanca!  You’re required to show your zero balance for class fees and the payment for the ID.  Check, check, double check.  Onto a small room with a section taped out on the floor for you to stand for your photo, like at the DMV.  A sweet young guy with a Police K9 t-shirt on chatted a bit, then explained there was a 3 second delay with the camera, so don’t smile til “3”. :-)  A short wait in another room, and shazam, my student ID was hot off the press!

Collected The Husband, who’d waited outside, and headed back to the car.  Here’s the picture he took to commemorate the event:

I bought him breakfast and lamented that the picture he took was too close and I look awful.  Crepey neck, wrinkles everywhere and my teeth look weird.  But here it is anyway, because more than anything, I think I look happy.  There is a huge element of silliness in being so excited about these little things--ID’s, parking stickers, new notebooks--and that’s a gift.  We should all be happy with the little things!

So, I think I’m getting nervous.  No second thoughts, just wanting to get the syllabus and textbook and get this show on the road.  I want to see how hard the homework will be and push myself to talk in class and memorize stuff.  Failure scenarios abound--a crappy teacher, not being able to understand the grammar, flunking tests…  In 5 more days, all will answered!  Well, some anyway. 

I’m irritated that they don’t put the syllabus and textbook title online before class, so you can be prepared and not basically waste the first night of class by not having all the info already.  We do have a class website online but so far, all it has is the names of the students and teacher.  It gives you a place to link your own website, so I put my Etsy shop in there.  Never know, might get some holiday business from my classmates!

Anyway, next Tuesday is The Big Day.  I’m going to school right from work, even though class doesn’t start until 7.  I want to get parked--Lord knows how long that will take…  Then I’ll walk to a nearby McDonald’s for a snack wrap dinner and some reading time.  That’s one thing I know I’ll be sacrificing--I probably won’t get to read as much for pleasure.  But that’s ok, it’s a good trade off.  Eventually, I’ll be able to read books in French. :-)

Never think you’re not good enough yourself.  A person should never think that.  People will take you very much at your own reckoning.
Anthony Trollope

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