Saturday, August 30, 2014

Back at Blue Bell

Ok, I was SO nervous about starting this semester at first. Why?
    Because at the time, my only option for taking two classes this semester was to have college level math (I despise math) and a media class that ran from 11:15 to 1:15, right through downtime. Seriously? It's called downtime for a reason, there are supposed to be NO CLASSES! I figured "Might as well get this part over with as quickly as possible." But then I remembered all my good times at school revolved around going to clubs like Drama or Thrive, seeing my buddies. I needed something to look forward to, otherwise (especially with the math) it would be really miserable. Stuck in a classroom staring at a teacher, while your friends just one floor away are all out and about having fun and socializing? I'd call it torture.
    But I made a last-minute double-check to be sure, and wound up changing my schedule so I'd have one class a day four days a week. The Tuesday-Thursday earth science class goes through downtime, but I don't care. My club events and friends are pretty much always Monday-Wednesday, and the timing those days works fine.

August 27th, 2014
It was kind of weird and took me a while to get used to seeing West Campus full of people, especially due to its size. I didn't play pool but got to see a few familiar faces while I was there, including the shuttle driver from last year. I ended up sitting in the back of the shuttle 'cause my timing was a little too close. And of course, during the ride the shuttle bounced and shook a lot, almost lifting me out of the seat a lot.

Soon as the shuttle ride was over and we finally arrived at Blue Bell campus, I went to Parkhouse Hall to look for my math classroom. That building is a MAZE! I needed to be sure I knew where I was going, so the big exposed staircase was the best place to start. Turns out all I'd have to do was take two long left turns and keep going till I hit wall. And the room was right there.
    Since I had plenty of time to spare I went to the Books & Bytes cafe in the College Hall library get a cup of coffee.
By now I've had the basic dark roasts around here; Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Wawa, and Folgers which is the stuff I make at home.
Going to the big cafeteria to see how crowded it was, I ran into some friends, so I got to sit and hang out with them during downtime. It was really fun, catching up and laughing, so much I almost didn't want to leave.
But unfortunately I had to head out or I'd have been late for math class.
    It's Foundations of Math. So far with day one it looks like we'll actually be using logic for once. Crazy, I know. And all the homework is online so there's no textbook. After class I went back and hung out with some people I know in the piano room next to the cafeteria.
After that I went upstairs to the cafe, finding another friend to chat with and kill some time.
Any guy with more sense than me might have gotten onto a computer and finished the homework, right? That was my first instinct, but not this time. This day was mine, and I wanted to spend as much time with my friends as possible as they came and went.

August 28th, 2014
Soon as I got to West Campus and settled at a table, I spent a few minutes tearing the math pages out of my old notebook and throwing them in the recycle bin. And I still had more than enough pages left to use this notebook for science class. I had a better feeling about this class because of it being earth science, the kind of stuff I learned in high school with just a little more to it.
    On the way to the cafeteria after finding the science classroom, outside I ran into the guys who film Jimmy's Actual Factuals. So I joined in on the fun and answered the "how was your summer?" question they went around asking. I didn't hesitate to say I went to the movies four times this month (Ninja Turtles and The Giver, both twice). I stayed in the cafeteria with some guys till I had about ten minutes to spare.
    I felt better now that the schedule worked, and so far the science was pretty interesting. Even the classroom alone was was an attention-grabber. The front desk was covered to the edges with different types of rocks and fossils, and some of the windowed cupboards were stocked with things like that. Maps on the walls, all the kind of stuff you might expect to see in a typical science classroom.
Our teacher asked everyone one by one why we were taking the class, and a majority of the students said it was required for their education majors. I'd never seen that many in one place, at least knowingly. I said I was required to take a science, and this way I'd get my core goals out of the way in case I decide to change my major sometime. I guess you could say it's buying me time, so I have more space to figure out what I want to do.
    It didn't really surprise me that we went into the material almost right after the syllabus (since it's a 3-hour class), but we didn't take nearly as many notes as I thought we would. Usually I'd take about a minute to copy a page from the Smart Board, and then another ten or so minutes would go by so he could go into detail and/or answer students' questions. He assured some of us "there are no stupid questions."
    We got a ten-minute break since class was long, but I wasn't in too big of a hurry for that to end 'cause it was COLD! It's a cool classroom in more ways than one. As much as I've always hated being hot, it was more chilly than comfortable. Sitting there still was uncomfortable too, since I don't usually like sitting still. But hey. It could always be worse. I could have not changed my schedule at all and have no downtime any of the four class days. Besides, the lab we did at the end was fun. We'd get in groups, look at samples, and write down anything we could identify. So now I know how to tell pyrite, aka "Fool's Gold", from real gold.
    I hadn't brought my science textbook and lab manual since it was day one of the class (and it's insanely heavy), so the only work I had was to go online and figure out how to do the homework for math. Before catching the five pm shuttle, I got through a good amount of it quicker than I thought. Honestly, I should have had math homework like this YEARS ago!

So far I'm really glad to be back at Mont Co, and can't wait to see what happens with this semester of going to main campus almost daily. If I'm right, things will turn out awesome. And so will next semester, now that I'll have my core stuff out of the way.

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