So, here I am, sitting in a college dorm room when I always promised myself I'd never live in a dorm. What, exactly, am I doing in a dorm? Well, the low-residency MFA program I have just embarked upon requires me to be here on campus for the next nine or so days soaking up all the writing culture my shrinking brain can fit before I go home and squeeze it all out into book commentaries, poems, and residency reviews. I, my friends, am officially a Graduate Student.
I came up two days early to stay with my cousin in Hillsboro and get my bearings (not to mention to buy time in case something went wrong on the trip). I got on campus about 12:30 this afternoon, and I believe I was definitely among the first to check in. The people in charge of the check-in were just getting settled in, the interns were having lunch, and they weren't completely prepared for all my questions. Still, we managed. I got my keys, packet, nametag (bleah) and charged outside to find the dorm which I had vague directions to. There was another new student outside who walked me over and I talked to him for a few minutes. I was the first one in my room so I just dropped my stuff off and went on a self-conducted campus tour after I found a place to park my car. That took a few times circling streets and parking lots. That's more because I thought I knew better than the map. Silly me. Anyways....
I took a little tour of the University Center and a much larger tour of the library. Gosh I wish I could fit that in the suitcase. I'd bring the whole dang thing home with me! Then I sat outside for an hour and tried to keep my iPod from signing me out of the Wi-Fi. I don't know why it keeps doing that. Partway through that hour I looked up and realized that the tree I'd been sitting under for the last half hour had its lower branches thoroughly, and I do mean thoroughly, decorated with pairs of shoes. Now, I've seen that at home occasionally with shoes draped over telephone lines, but as soon as I saw that I reconsidered my spot. I'd been hearing what sounded like little branches cracking or squirrels running around, but the last thing I want is to get decked by a bunch of random pairs of shoes falling out of a tree.
I met up with some others for a campus tour. Yeah, six of us decided to go, lol. It was nice though. The Assistant Director of the program was our tour guide, but she was also still working on some stuff so she had to answer cell phone calls. While she did that the rest of us talked and kind of got to know each other a little.
After that I came back to my room and met two roommates. I don't know if it's just the three of us or if there will be one more person, but the room is nice. It's like a small apartment. There's a small kitchen and living room right in the door, then a hall to the left and the right, each with two rooms, a closet, and a bathroom. I may just get a bathroom to myself! Yay! I have one poetry student and a nonfiction student for roommates. We only talked for a little while but they seem nice.
Before dinner we went down to meet with our student correspondents. Mine is really fun! She started talking to all her friends, and I followed her around so I got to meet a bunch of the graduating students. That was a lot of fun. I even said things sometimes! I also spilled lemonade on my shirt, had someone ketchup my fingers as I was reaching for mustard across the table, and had a rubber band go flying in my direction. We decided that's initiation. They've also decided to try and get me to drink. I told them good luck.
I met up with a third semester student as well. We started talking about poetry, then movies, then british comedy. On our way to exchange e-mail addresses, we followed one of her friends into her friend's room and wound up sitting in their living room with all three of those roommates talking about all kinds of stuff for two hours or so! When we decided to go up to our rooms for bed, they asked the first girl, Leann, if I was her roommate and she said no. Then all the girls who actually were assigned that room were like "So did she just walk into our living room and sit down?" I thought that was kind of funny, because I never do things like that. Look at me!
I'm so excited because I can actually talk to whoever about anything to do with writing and nobody thinks I'm boring or annoying or crazy. I'm excited for tomorrow :) I'm meeting a couple of the girls I was talking to and we're going to a coffee shop before the first craft talks.
Have a good night!