Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Sunday, July 7, 2007 - What's Next?

I woke up before my alarm sounded this morning. Very uncomfortable sleep, I don’t know how I’ll make it through the next 6 weeks waking up like that every morning. I was still as tired, maybe even more, than I was when I went to sleep. There isn’t anything scheduled for Juniors today until the SAT Diagnostic at 2. I don’t think that there is much additional studying that I can do besides reading a dictionary or something. The seniors had a math diagnostic today to place them into either pre-calculus or calculus. It was pretty quiet around here after 9:40. Around 10:15 I decided to take a stroll to the bookstore, not realizing that it didn’t open until 11am today. So I had to walk all the way back to the dorm, passing by at least 100 or so other Pre-College kids. CMU has been taken over. On my way out of Hamerschlag, a parent was leaving the dorm and asked me if I could wait and open the door for her because she forgot something in her car. Sure, just because I’m that nice of a person. On my way back up the stairs, I misjudged the distance between the step and my foot, thus slamming my first two toes on my right foot into a nice slab of concrete. This hurts more than the fall yesterday. I’ve stumped my toes on the chairs in the room at least 4 times since I’ve been here. At this rate, I won’t have any feet by the time I get back.

Arriving back to the dorm empty handed, I stop in the lounge instead of going straight up to my room to watch some guys play pool. Someone picked up a table tennis paddle, so I made my way over there, securing next. It was a pretty good game, especially with the guy saying that he never played before…suuuure. I got tired of playing, and still dead tired from the day before, so I went back up to my room to rest for a few and ended up taking an hour nap. I actually slept well and it made up for the lack of sleep in the last 72 hours.

Waking up refreshed, I headed back out to the bookstore, since it was now around 12. I trekked back over there, and once I got inside, I was completely lost. A lot of nice stuff, but nothing that I needed at the moment. I’ll go back over there later this summer and buy a t-shirt or something. I figured out that the books must be downstairs, since there was only clothing and school pride-ish stuff upstairs, so I went down there, and sure enough…books! I found the Conceptual Physics book right away, and had to ask for help to find the Master Student book. $141.71 - $100 in PlaidCa$h. I stopped by Entropy, like a convenience store, on the way back and bought a Mountain Dew and Fritos. That has to be the best Mountain Dew that I’ve ever had. I think I am addicted to carbonation, and not really the flavor…I don’t really know, just that sodas have brought be much pleasure in the last 2 days.

I think I’ll head downstairs now, as something should be starting soon…ahh Lunch


There is something that I would like to introduce as the CMU Diet. Now this has nothing to do with actual exercising or restricted eating, but simply the environment here at CarNAYgee Melin. I know that the school is old and whatnot, but they’re supposed to be on the cutting edge of technology…weren’t elevator installations big in the mid-20th century? I haven’t seen a single one yet. I guess the hilly terrain is partially to blame, but there are stairs everywhere! So trekking across campus each day, up and down many sets and flights of stairs, combined with the gagalicious food from the Carnegie Mellon Café, I should lose at least 5-10 pounds within the next 6 weeks. I can’t even begin to explain how bad the food is there, but I can’t complain…because it’s free. For brunch I had mushy, soggy, cold potatoes that were beyond disgusting and weirdly seasoned, which I soaked in ketchup to make it palatable, and then cold, soggy/stale waffles that even the most syrup couldn’t help. I ate some to just eat something and not have it go to waste, but there was no way that I could finish any of it. They have Pepsi fountains (eww), so I guess I’ll be drinking Mountain Dew or Wild Cherry, if they have it, all summer.

The SAT practice test was long. The test experts are right when they say that most of the test is not knowledge, but the ability to concentrate for like 4 hours of monotonous examinations. I didn’t get to finish my essay, I had like two sentences left, but I hope that it won’t affect my score too badly. I was a bit uncomfortable with the topic…darn those lofty-worded SAT-style questions, but I came up with something and managed to use a few metaphors, quotes, and real life examples. I wrote almost a page about how the common saying “the early bird gets the worm” is symbolic of how people create barriers for themselves because of competition. Math was the first section after writing, and it was really the first time that I’ve had to think since exams in May. I was a bit slow and rusty on the first part, and didn’t finish, but I finished, to the best of my ability, almost every section after once I got into the swing of things. I got really freaked out after the first part because there were 40 multiple choice spots, but I only got 16 done. But then when I went back and looked at the test, I realized that there were only 20 questions in that section. A bit of relief. The writing/grammar section was fun. With each question I could hear Theiss’ voice or Gustavo correcting someone as if they had the answer wrong, in the background, and then followed by a reason. Something like “You have to use a comma twice because it’s a parenthetical expression!” for Theiss and “It’s has, not have BITCH!” for Gustavo. I giggled a few times, but I’m pretty sure about most of my answers in that section. Reading parts were boring as usual, but I got through it. Some were a bit tricky, but they’re supposed to be, right? I know most of the material, but I just have to work on pacing and speed. During the last sections, 9 & 10, this music started blasting from outside all of the sudden. First some reggae, and then something that sounded like hip hop. It was the type of annoying sound that is similar to a car going by that is blasting music, but you are curious of what it really is. I’ll explain this later.

A few more flights of stairs and a 5 minute walk later accompanied by O Fortuna and the Sesame Street theme song coming from somewhere out of the blue, and I am in line at the Café. I made conversation with a few girls from the 1st floor, and I actually wasn’t being anti-social or reclusive or everything that people think that I am. There is a long line for dinner, a little out of the door, but it moved pretty quickly. We made it to the front, grabbed a tray, fork, knife, napkins, straw, set my SAT book and calculator on the tray only to find that it was wet. Well, not anymore. Another long line, passing the untouched Nachos, Sandwich Bar, stale pizza, and untouched looks-in-the-process-of-changing-form toppings. There was a fresh pizza square as soon as we got up to the line, so luckily I got the first piece. The main courses were pasta and some other pasta-ish casserole thing, along with hot dogs and hamburgers as usual. The meat looked funny in the pasta with meat sauce, so I just got the watery marinara instead. I saw that there was a nice chocolate cake in the desserts section and grabbed a piece, and topping it all off with the usual Dew. Next time, I’ll get a piece of fruit or something from the bin in the middle.

Starting off with the pizza, I figured that it couldn’t be that bad, and nothing worse than Royal Caribbean’s pizza. It wasn’t. Definitely not the best I’ve had…but it’s near the bottom. The pasta was watery and tasteless just as I expected, with a weird spicy, sour kick occasionally. And the cake was okay, it just tasted like chocolate pudding for some reason lol.

A few of the Pre-College counselors stood up on tables and announced that everyone must come to Playfair immediately following dinner or else they will die and regret the opportunity, so unaware of what was to come, we headed back to the dorm and changed into comfortable, movable clothes. We headed back to the lounge and waited until everyone was ready to go and headed out to the College of Fine Arts lawn in a huge SAMS group, as usual. When we arrived, music was blasting (that’s where it was coming from before) and most of the other Pre-College students were already there, some still trickling in. All of the RAs got together and started cheering and dancing a lot for no apparent reason and started this huddle tunnel thing. Basically it was a long line where everyone had to run through, high-fiving and screaming with everyone that you pass, and then standing at the end being on the opposite end of the high five. The line/tunnel started to get really long by the time we got to the “entrance” and we had to stop a few times because of the congestion. About 500-600 students made quite a huge line to get through. When everyone made their way through, we were asked to join hands…tightly. From the end with the RA’s, they ran inside the circle, everyone else following through. It’s really hard to explain, but it was crazy keeping up. It somehow ended with the main chain clashing into another end, even though there really wasn’t an end any longer.

There were a few ice breaker type games, most about finding people with common interests and such. I met a few people from Facebook and someone from Team 25. The highlights included the standing ovation, the chair circle, various chains, and the backwards dance thing. The standing ovation is some sort of CMU tradition where if you are anywhere on campus, and anytime, and you are feeling down, or you need to be recognized or feel special, you can yell out “I WANT A STANDING OVATION” and everyone around you, regardless of what they are doing, stands up and claps for you, along with the 5 nearest people around you hoisting you up in the air on their shoulders. This should be interesting at random moments. The circle chair involved getting into a group with all of the people from your birthday month, and forming some type of interlocking circle where you sat on the person behind you, somewhat squatting, and the person in front of you sat on you. It actually worked. Because it is a circle, the weight it supposed to be distributed equally. We did it in both directions, but it was…well weird…how often does some complete stranger sit on your lap? Cool nonetheless. Finally, the backwards dance was when you found a partner through having something random in common, and then standing back to back, joined locked at the elbow/arms. Then, music came on and you would have to dance. It was really awkward and weird, especially when there is a 6ftsomething tall guy standing behind you with their butt protruding into your back, but it was still kind of fun. Every so often they would yell out switch, and you would find a new partner, never being “alone” and untangled. Therefore it took 4 people to switch.

There was an ice cream social afterwards, but all of the SAMS students went on an academic building tour first. We were split into two groups, Juniors and Seniors, and one group was almost exponentially, well not quite exponentially, but quite a bit larger than the other. 33 to 69. Since our group was small, we got to know each other fairly quickly. The buildings were, well just buildings and classrooms. A lot of the hallways are sloped and interestingly designed. Very cool architecture. We were showed where all of our classrooms were, but after Porter Hall ( only the second one lol) I could barely keep track of the different classes and such. Then, after numerous other building and running around, I could barely keep track of where we were. SO MANY STAIRS! It eventually ended and we went to the Underground, under Morewood for ice cream. A few of us just ate and headed back, as it had already been quite a long day, although it is 2:14am and I’m not exactly sleeping, as I should be. There is a full day of classes tomorrow though, so I guess I should…

Ugh, I have to climb all the way up to my bed. I suppose that’s another unintentional part of the CMU Diet Plan. It’s going to be a fun summer after all! Hope has been restored.

1 comment:

Cocolette said...

I guess you have recovered from your "Internet Withdrawal" that you were experiencing over the last few days!
Sounds like CMU is a pretty cool place. I feel like I am right there with you.
I look forward to your next installment from That side of the universe....
Have fun at Kennywood! :-)