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And So It (Almost) Begins



A long time ago in a blog entry far far away, I mentioned how I was accepted into graduate school. Well, a couple of months later here I am, sitting in my apartment and waiting for orientation stuff to start tomorrow.

I have to confess that leaving home was kind of difficult. I love my family, and while we tend to appreciate each other from a distance, I still would rather be closer to them. I’m kind of far away. Like, over half way across the country kind of far. And, on top of that, on a campus that’s (almost) in the middle of nowhere. I mean, we have a Walmart, which is fantastic (I can buy LEGO [with money I don’t have]!), but I miss having all the resources like the ones at my undergrad university.

And while I didn’t have what you could call a great job, I also miss my coworkers. I wasn’t friends with all of them, but a select few I had a lot of fun working with. One of them gave me a going away gift in the form of a stuffed Anger from Inside Out (Disgust, he said, was not available). I plan on putting that in plain view, right on top of my cookie jar. Another coworker gave me a Disney store gift card. While there is no Disney store for 374 miles (I checked), I’m sure I can find something to order from the online store. I’m incredibly thankful for these coworkers, and I will definitely visit them when I’m back in the area.

But there is one coworker I will miss more than anyone, and that’s because we started dating back in May. A few people have (not unreasonably) questioned the wisdom of starting a relationship right before I was to head off on this crazy endeavor, but for the most part our friends and family have been super supportive, which is great. Both of us knew going into the relationship that I would be leaving, and we were both okay with that and willing to give it a shot anyway. Right now we’re both optimistic about staying together, but it will obviously require a lot of work and patience from both of us over the next several years. I think she's worth it.

But while I will continue to talk to my significant other using applications like Skype, it will soon be time to focus on school. I have my first unofficial orientation tomorrow. I say 'unofficial' because It’s not really an orientation so much as a get together with other students and staff in my degree program, and I’m going because it’s always good to meet people, especially if they can offer help with things like finding jobs. I will also be going to a local museum to inquire about a job opportunity, so hopefully something good comes from that. Some form of income would be nice. But before that happens, I will spend the remainder of my time exploring and getting to know the area. There are some trails near my apartment that I plan on taking a look at. I think they’re meant primarily for biking (summer) and cross country skiing (winter), but if they aren’t muddy from the rain I think they’ll be fun to walk on.

My apartment is, well, a grad apartment. The wireless (which I’m not even supposed to get up here) is spotty and cuts out every few minutes, and the wired internet (which I’m supposed to be using) won’t work for me because the phone jack has been broken since June. Fortunately someone will be coming up here to fix it tomorrow. Aside from that, I need to have someone come in to snake the bath drain so it, you know, drains, and they also need to fix the windows so they aren’t letting spiders in. It's not luxury, but it's livable and comfy. And despite all these issues, there is one thing I am thankful for: my neighbors are really, really quiet.

Hopefully they stay that way.

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I start my second year of my doctoral program tomorrow and remember quite well my first day last year. Not much has changed: I'm still nervous, though this time it's about having to teach!


I definitely wish you luck in your program. Grad school has been, in my experience, much different than undergrad was - but certainly better, I think.

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