It hurt to wake up at 6:30 am. Not really, but kind of. My comfort was the knowledge that I would get to sleep in the car on the way down to Atlanta.
I packed my morning stuff, loaded my bags into the car I would be riding in, and went to turn in my key. My driver got a little lost picking me up, but with the help of another corps member’s cell phone, we were able to get under way.
The woman I was driving with was a chatter, which was okay with me, because I’m not a huge talker. Several times I’d start to speak, but she just kept on talking. In the past, that might have bothered me, but after yesterday, I understood. Peacock!
It was a good trip. We talked for about half an hour and then I went to sleep. I kept waking up though because the seat had a really bent style to it so there was no real support for the neck and it started to hurt after a while, and also because the driver kept taking her hands off the wheel and the car would veer. It was kind of scary. The lady was a real sweetheart, but I wished she would keep her hands on the wheels (“Both hands!” as my mom would say).
We stopped somewhere in Georgia to get food at McDonalds. It was too expensive for me, though ($7 for a 20-piece McNugget), so I went next door to Wendy’s and got a 10-piece nugget and a frosty for $4. Even though Wendy’s had been open for an hour already, I was the first customer of the day. The frosty was really good. Usually, they’re half-melted by the time I get them and liquify quickly, but this one was softly frozen all the way through, and even in the warm car it took a long time to melt. (We also stopped briefly at a Circle-K gas station so I could get my money order for the Atlanta Public Schools. Gas was $3.13 a gallon — sorry $4.30 California!)
Then we were on our way again, and after a little more chit-chat, I fell back asleep.
We arrived at Georgia Tech around 1:00 pm. We parked in the handicapped spot because the lady driving had fallen the other day and pulled a muscle. Slowly (she was on crutches), we made our way inside the registration building and got our individual room keys and some paperwork. A couple of helpful young men assisted us with carrying our stuff into the 8th Street Apartment building (West), where we would be staying for the duration of Institute.
Walking down the hallway to my room, it felt like I was traveling through a hotel (thin corridors with double rooms, then long separating stretches of wall). As at Induction, we would be staying in a four-room suite with a living room and a kitchen. These suites were slightly smaller than at FMU (our Induction university of residence), and they had only one sink per two people (instead of one each) and wardrobes instead of closets.
8TH STREET APARTMENTS (WEST)
Check out this website for more pictures/details about the apartments.
I was surprised when I entered my room to find someone’s stuff was already there. Apparently, the door hadn’t been locked and two of my suitemates had decided they wanted to room next to each other (I guess they somehow missed the fact that rooms were pre-assigned). I was hurt at first and felt like I had been displaced without consideration (remember that Owls are sensitive!) I probably would not have minded so much, except the only room left available smelled funny, the window wouldn’t open (the other room’s did, I tested it) and the ethernet wouldn’t work. I wrote the girl a note explaining how I felt, and when she came back she quickly and earnestly apologized, and offered to switch back. I could tell she was sincere, and that really helped me feel better. I told her it was okay, and we switched keys.
Slightly happier, I called and set up an appointment for someone to look into my ethernet problem, and one of my other suitemates sent off a maintenance request for my window (since I couldn’t access the internet to do it myself). Then I spent the next couple of hours unpacking (I’m sure this seems like a long time to you, but I like things to be organized so I can find them easily). There was half an hour left before I had to get ready for dinner, so I collapsed on my newly-made bed and went right to sleep.
I woke up thirty minutes before I had to be at dinner so that I could brush my hair and find the place. I misremembered the map and ended up walking past it and had to loop back around. The dining hall had an interesting set-up, with the food counters arranged in an hourglass formation. There were a lot of choices (especially for vegetarians), but having simple culinary tastes, I settled on some chicken and pizza.
I ended up sitting down across from one of the mentors who would be directing Institute, and we talked for a bit. Then another mentor sat down next to me and we also talked. Basically, they said that Institute would be a lot of work but nevertheless a blast, and that there was nothing to be afraid of (I didn’t feel afraid, but a lot of people had been saying they were terrified. I supposed my lack of fear was because I couldn’t see how Institute could be harder than Mudd). Dinner soon finished (only an hour long, yes!) and I was just about to leave when another mentor came up and introduced himself. It turned out he was going to be my CMA (Corps Member Adviser) for Institute. I’m not exactly sure what that entails yet, but I’ll let you know when I do. He asked me about my book and we chatted for a bit before parting ways.
I returned to my room (no, I didn’t get lost!), though I did make an intentional detour to check out the laundry facilities. It cost $1.25 to wash clothes and $0.25 for every 10 minutes to dry them. Perhaps I’m biased, but I think back on how much laundry cost at my college ($0.50 to wash and $0.25 to dry…total!) and I feel that anything more than that is just a scam.
Shortly thereafter, a lady arrived to fix my ethernet. It turned out my cord was the problem, which completely perplexed me, since my ethernet cord had worked without a hitch for the last six years, not to mention all through Induction, as well as this morning. But she gave me a free cord that worked, so I was content. The cord was much shorter than my original one, though, so I had to move my desk closer to the port underneath my bed. But hey, I had Internet again, so I wasn’t complaining!
I worked on my blog for the next couple hours (see how important you all are to me!) and then around midnight, I took a shower and went to bed.
(Tomorrow is going to be a long day. Buses leave at 6:25 am…be ready!)