Friday, January 21, 2005

Adventures in the life of a transfer student (!)

I was in the kitchen at home when the phone rang. I picked it up, the cordless beauty, and looked at the screen to check the caller id (a recent development in our household) -- "Johnny Depp." As I was staring at it, the phone rang once more, then stopped abruptly, as though he had just realized he had dialed a wrong number, and so hung up quickly. Now, come on. Johnny Depp, calling my house? That wasn't a mistake. So, I scrolled through the list on the phone and called him right back -- because I AM NOT A MISTAKE! The second he answered, my vision was suddenly split-screen, the way it is in the movies when two people are on the phone, and I could see him -- in all his cream-coloured linen suited glory -- lounging in a chair, so glad to hear from me. SEE? I KNEW I wasn't a mistake. While we were conversing, I realized that I was talking with an accent, and that I sounded remarkably like Sarah Ferguson ("Fergie") (oh, Johnny, Dahling!). After awhile, Johnny Depp (reluctantly) had to go. He conveyed to me his deep anguish at having to end our conversation, and left me with an "Love you, honey," to which my well-bred sounding voice responded, "Love you too, sweetie!"


I'm sitting in a computer lab in Old Main, looking through the beautiful windows at the snowflakes playing against the brick of the building outside. It is so beautiful here; beautiful and freezing cold. I knew it was stupid, moving another 100+ miles north in the middle of January.

I moved into the dorm yesterday, yesterday afternoon. It's amazing how quickly I tire, afflicted as I am with this stupid mono thing -- also, I'm not supposed to lift anything, run, or play any contact sports -- so after two trips up the three flights of stairs with some stuff, mom and dad had me stay in the room while they trudged back down to get more of my belongings. They stayed long enough to rearrange some of the furniture and make the bed (it included lifting the mattress, heh), then took me out for a quick lunch at Burger King (about twice a year, I get a craving for a Whopper Jr., no onions, easy on the mayo), then dropped me off back at my car and left at 2:20. I had a student orientation from 3-8, so I had enough time before that to go get my student id made (that was an experience and a half, which included several trips from the student center back to my dorm room and back) -- it turned out okay (just slightly cross-eyed; ever since I've gotten mono, my eyes twitch randomly, and one of the twitches was just as she took the photo).

At two-fifty, I trudged along the snowy/icy, whoa! icy! sidewalk (for a city that is used to getting a lot of snow, they are horrible at clearing it away, plowing it off the roads and sidewalks -- and there is no trace of salt on the icy campus sidewalks either) to the building the orientation was in. After fifteen minutes of searching in vainthrough the quiet, too-quiet, building for Room 2440, I slumped (despondently) into a chair in the fine arts center basement. I pulled the New Student Orientation! envelope out of my pocket and double-checked the letter -- oh. Health center. Not fine arts center (another thing about mono -- my short-term memory has gotten really patchy. When I was in WalMart the other day, I had to keep my list in front of my eyes the entire time, or I would wander aimlessly through the aisles, having no clue what I was looking for. And the list was only seven items long). I'd even looked at the letter, stared at the "HEALTH AND WELLNESS CENTER, ROOM 2440" heading as I was on my way to the fine arts center. By that point, I was exhausted, and six minutes late for the Orientation. I hate being late, and there were so many other things stressing me out (tuition! books! validate student id!), that I decided not to go to the orientation. I sat there for a minute more, and suddenly could almost hear Mom's voice again; over lunch, she'd leaned over and said, "You know, at that orientation, you're going to meet someone who will be your friend for the rest of the semester." I'd shrugged it off -- same as when Dad says his trademark, "You have lots of friends up there. You just haven't met them yet!" (I know, I know, it's true. It just sounds [I explained this to them, explained why I laugh whenever he says it] way too...Chicken Soup For the _______ Soul-ey). But I couldn't get it out of my head. I gathered up my stuff, shoved my earmuffs and gloves back on, and walked over to the health center. I followed the signs to the orientation, and a woman who I'd met with once last spring, ushered me into the room, pointing out an empty seat about four rows from the front. I folded up my jacket, sneaked over to the chair, and sat down, trying to look like I'd been there for hours and wasn't fifteen minutes late. I felt someone tug on my left sleeve, and turned to see...



Kristen! A girl from my old college! A person I knew! A person who could be my friend for the rest of the semester! We'd taken a few classes together, and had talked whenever we'd seen each other, but I hadn't seen her much over the past semester, and didn't know she was transferring to this college! Here! Where I am! We talked a lot during dinner/tour/computer lab time, and we're going to be workout buddies. We were checking out schedules in the computer lab, and discovered that we're taking the same health class this semester! The one that meets for an hour every day! We are both so excited -- it was such a relief to see a person I know.

I met my roommate yesterday. I had gone down the hall to the bathroom, and mom and dad were in my room; when I came out of the bathroom, I heard a really LOUD voice, and knew (With Sinking Heart) that it would be my roommate. Yeah. It was. She's LOUD -- really really LOUD, and really quite strange, with the potential to be extremely annoying. But, as I told mom this morning on the phone, my roommate is only going to be on campus tuesday through friday afternoons, which is really really nice; plus, if she is really loud when I'm trying to study, I can just study somewhere else -- I only really have to be in the room when I'm sleeping. But anyway, she left yesterday afternoon, and she won't be back until tuesday.

It's been a lot of fun, arranging my things in my room. I have a loft -- it's a tubular metal frame that's basically like a set of bunkbeds...but without anything on the lower level. My bed is up high, and under that, I have a comfy chair, my squat little table of dark wood that used to belong to my grandparents, and a lamp from my room back home. I sticky-tak-ed a poster of London to the wall, as well as a Renoir, a VanGogh, and my star chart -- and glow in the dark stars up by my bed.

I went grocery shopping today -- I went to the student center for breakfast at 10:30, and found out that they aren't serving anything, anywhere on campus, until Monday -- and picked up some fresh fruit, a loaf of bread, pb, honey, oreos, oatmeal, a Healthy Choice dinner, and then went across to a dollar store and picked up some plastic silverware and microwaveable bowls. After I got back, I arranged it all on a shelf above my desk, and for a minute, had a flashback to what I loved to do when I was little -- play house. I used to love playing house, and I realized, that's what it feels like I've been doing for the past day, as I putz around my room and tweak the quilt so it hangs evenly, adjust the poster a few centimeters to the left so it's exactly in the middle, shift my groceries around on the shelf until they're where I think they should be (except for my Healthy Choice Chicken and Mashed Potatoes, which is [are? they're packaged together, so it's collective, right?] snuggled in between the (closed) window and screen.

I took a nap this afternoon, John Mayer's first album crooning in my ears. He didn't keep me awake, but "like a cowboy clichÉ" floated around in my dreams (which weren't as exciting as the one last night, wherein Johnny Depp and I were INVOLVED. In a PHONE CONVERSATION. now THAT was a classy dream).


Phantom of the Opera comes out today!

(how many times can I refer to my MONO in this post?)


kate said...

You make me laugh, neeks. I need to just sit down and call you sometime. It's too fun to talk to you.

Oreos are a must. A couple of weeks ago, I was craving some and Jennee remembered while we were at Super Wal-Mart...and, we got some! Yum.

Did you have this slight feeling of desertion, when your parents drove away? Kinda like - wait! Come back! Don't leave me here. Oh wait...I will be brave.

djm said...

heh. yeah. I just had a healthy supper. The healthy choice meal is still in the window...I bought a small pizza from the office and they cooked it for me. Pizza, two oreos, a quart of water... Oh well. :P

Oh, Face, have you tried the "Uh-oh!" oreos yet? Aaahh. At the store, the oreo section was 2/$5, instead of $3.79 each. I can't resist a good deal like that. ;P

I DID feel a little abandoned, exactly the way you described.

And yes, you should. It's been a long time. :)

Heeds said...

dude!!!!!!!! that was the best dream ever. wouldnt it be soooo cool if that ACTUALLY happened. :)

djm said...

I KNOW! and when I woke up, I was like, "ok, my first night away from home, in a dorm, out of my comfort zone, but I dream about Johnny Depp! I should've moved out a long time ago!" because I never have cool dreams like that when I'm at home!