Saturday, August 25, 2007

Settling in and getting to know the roomies.

Monday, August 20- I got up and started my day at the library, looking up maps to the storage facility, thrift stores and big box stores (Walmart, Kmart, Target). Then it was time to hit the road. I managed to get everything from the storage facility into the minivan lickety-split! (Thanks, rental car guy!) I dropped everything off at the apartment, grabbed some lunch, then hit the road. I checked out the thrift stores, but nothing seemed quite right. I realized my time was limited to buy and unload everything I needed, then get gas and return the van before the deadline. As such, I went to good old Walmart (or as many New Yorkers call it, “The Evil Empire.”) and bought a ton of groceries, a desk, a bookshelf, various housing goods and two sets of plastic drawers to make an uber-cheap dresser in my closet.

Tuesday, August 21 was Teaching Assistant orientation. I met some nice people and set through many semi-useful talks. (You know we shouldn’t get it on with our students, but we should be sensitive to people with disabilities? Who knew!) I then spent the rest of the day assembling furniture and preparing a lesson I would teach the next day to a group of my peers. I think that's also when I met Alex, my roomie who is 21 and wants to be a P.E. teacher. He is kind of quiet and speaks so slowly, but he seems like a nice guy.

Wednesday, August 22- It was time for TA presentations! I suspected everyone else would be doing a Power Point presentation, but decided to teach my lesson the old fashioned way. And I couldn’t find my disk. Anywho, I was indeed the only one without a PowerPoint, but I was also one of the few with teaching experience. I made the other TAs-in-Training act out the role of class (“Seriously?” they asked. “Yes, seriously,” I replied) and answer questions and do a brain storm. The feedback was great. The only criticism I received was “Slow down” (They speak more slowly here than in New York) and “Try using technology.” I got to know the campus a little better and found an adorable garden with benches and a fountain.

Then I went home to assemble furniture while I talked to Tom on the phone. We talked for a few hours. After we hung up, I finished the desk, at which point I realized I didn’t have a chair. Luckily, Todd had just moved in, and he needed one, too. Todd’s a nice guy and we get along well. He offers me a ride every time he wants to go to the store. Yay! It’s a little weird when I have to get “girly products,” but it’s so helpful. Oh, and our incredibly generous neighbors gave us their living room set because they had ordered a new one! There's a love seat, two chairs, a coffee table and a tall cafe table with with four chairs. Gorgeous, right?

Thursday, August 23- It was the start of English TA classes. I was excited to learn more about the standards for college students of English. Things were still a little too vague for my liking, but at least I was meeting people in my department. After class I went to the library to use the internet and ordered a bed frame and mattress. Together with shipping, my full-sized bed came out to $300. Grandma and Grandpa’s donation to the bed fund was so helpful.

Then I went home and unpacked all my books. Then I got a ride from a fiction student, Emily Louise, to the English Dept. picnic. I had instant flashbacks of all the afternoons and evenings I spent helping Nadine throw her elegant soirees for the English Department at Buena Vista University.

Tim Bostic’s home is so gorgeous, elegantly furnished and right on the water. He had the barbecue catered! The plastic plates looked like glass, and the plastic silverware looked like real silver. It was only when you picked them up that you realized they were fake. There might be an interesting metaphor there somewhere.

Friday, August 24- We had class again. It was mostly vague some more. I had lunch, organized my closet, then went to get my photo ID and bought books. That was also the day our cable was installed and we got the internet! Todd bought a wireless router, so now we all have wireless internet connections. Hooray!

Saturday, August 25- was all about unpacking and organizing my things. Rakel arrived. She’s a nice girl who was born in Jamaica. Now she’s a nursing student. That night, Alex, Todd and I went to the quad to see Spiderman 3, which was being shown on an outdoor screen. Wow, that movie is silly. Tom warned me, but I figured, “It’s free!” Emo Spider-man? Peter Parker humiliating M.J. through the use of song and dance? Oookaay...I’m so glad the movie was free. It was so nice to be out. The weather was so nice, with soft air you could just barely feel in those moments when the wind made the flags overhead snap.

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