Sunday, August 19, 2012

Greek Parties, All Nighters, and Co-Ed Roommates

Reflecting on my undergraduate experience, I feel as though I didn't fully take advantage of being a college student.  I never attended a greek party, had very few all nighters, and lived roommate free the last two years.  But that all changes on Monday. 

I plan to start my graduate program off right with lots of greek (yogurt) parties with Jett, frequent all nighters (he still wakes up at 1:30 a.m., so I might as well too), and this time around I get to be one of those slightly edgy, modern students who have co-ed roommates, not just one but two!

Friday morning I reported to orientation for graduate school.  In true University System fashion, I was greeted on campus by a full 25 minute tour of parking lots on "official move-in day."  Successfully finding one near the building I checked my email from the program coordinator no less than four times to make sure that she had verified that no parking passes were needed.  (A veteran around University parking, and a holder of let's just say more than one parking ticket in my day, I was a little sceptic that it could be that easy.)

Walking on to campus the sounds of the drum line and cool fresh morning air made me feel just a little nostalgic for my previous beginning days at UNL.  Entering into the bookstore I felt old, like super old, like almost 30 old.  They were out of all used copies of my texts and one of my research methods books was not in stock yet, so my first round of bills (not counting the one I purchased from Amazon) totalled $121.96.  I had forgotten about that fun part of the collegiate experience.

The orientation was beyond interesting, as we learned about the prestige of the program (top rated program in the University System and top 10 MPA program in the country), and met the other fascinating students in the online program, hailing across the U.S. from Alaska to South Carolina. 

The department chair and our professors gave a brief presentation about the course work and emphasized and re-emphasized how difficult the program would be.  Fortunately I know and really like one of the professors having worked with her on a project for the Foundation.  The other professor, well, he teaches research methods and statistics and obviously loves his line of work, which already makes us incompatible.  Picture your stereotypical professor and then subtract 15 years, then add a deep love of statistics and a slightly devious will to be the hardest professor in the program.  As we walked through the lunch line as a group (signal flashbacks from Red Letter Days) I commented to him that I thought his class looked interesting.  He gave a half smile and said, "Well, I guess that's one way to put it."  He then proceeded to ask me where I was from and why I was in the online program if I was just from Fremont.  I shared that I worked full time, had a toddler and a very busy husband, and that the online program provided the flexibility I needed.  Not kidding you, he looked at me, rolled his eyes and said, "Uh huh, I guess we'll see..."

Bring it on, Mr. Statistics.  Bring it on. 

(Just for spite this morning I listened to his introductory notes while cleaning the kitchen and doing free weights.  I'm confident he wouldn't have approved.)

Here we go roommate is already up and partying this morning.

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