Monday, August 29, 2011

Rough Day. Needs Lube.

Yes, a provocative title, but it will make sense soon.

Sarah Lawrence has a unique way of having students sign up for classes. Each student picks the classes they are interested from the course catalogue, and then they interview the professors of those classes to see what the class will be like. The school prides itself in this program, and we, the students, attended many workshops and presentations that attempted to make the whole process easier. I think I have a clearer understanding of the "class interview" system, but it was still difficult as hell.

I had to sign my name on sheets of paper taped to office doors all across campus. It was like a scavenger hunt. I had to navigate through buildings and mazes of hallways for each of the six classes I am interested in taking. And the great part is that some of the teachers are stranded in New York City, which means I could find their classroom, but the sign up sheet isn't there. I would not be complaining if I was familiar with the campus, or if I was full of food. Because of my meal plan, I have been worried and irritable all day.

After a particularly frustrating round of hunting, I found the office of one of the writing professors. It was at the top of a flight of stairs in a narrow white hallway.The professor was there, so I shook his hand and introduced myself. As I was writing my name, a kid tried to slide past me, and his backpack hooked onto the fire alarm. He stumbled, the bar came down, and the alarm went off.

The whole building was alive with lights and sirens and confused students and faculty. I looked at the kid who tripped. He looked back at me with a helpless expression on his face. I turned to the writing professor.

"So...he tripped the fire alarm, not me." Pause. "I'll see you Wednesday for the interview."

And I was gone.

I removed the blame from myself, and now I am in the clear. But the professor now knows my name, and when he sees me again he might call me an asshole. And I will take it like a man and agree.

"Yes. Yes I am an asshole. So... journalism?"

I rewarded my inglorious behavior with free ice cream at the School Expo. I sat on a rock and ate it as I flipped through my course catalogue for the 100th time. I felt very overwhelmed. My planner is filling up with things I need to do, and I hope that college will get easier when I settle into a routine of classes. Right now it is all chaos. All the time.

Ate lunch/dinner with new friends who made me laugh and who I made laugh. Drank Coca-Cola. Ate pizza. And cake. Food is therapy. So is good conversation. My new friend from Houston, Texas, told our table the story of how he became ambidextrous (he broke his right arm playing basket ball). We all laughed, even when he showed us that he cannot longer extend his arm full length. He was laughing too, so it's ok.

The last exciting event of the day was "Lube It Up!", a traditional sex-education presentation by a favorite Sarah Lawrence Alum. We learned about different kinds of lube, condoms, dental dams, and quick substitutes for any of these things (seran wrap, rubber gloves). Fun stuff.

"Now, what are some things you heard about Sarah Lawrence?" asked the presenter.

A person shouted something from the back.

"YES! Absolutely." cheered the presenter. "'Gay by May' is definitely an unofficial Sarah Lawrence motto. My personal favorite is 'Queer in a year or your money back!'"

Yup. I shouldn't really be surprised. Sarah Lawrence is a really really liberal school.

"Do NOT have sex while drunk. You might accidentally screw a Republican." said the presenter.

Cheers in the audience. Soft, awkward clapping by me. I am not a Republican. But my family votes for them. So I felt weird.

I do not plan on changing my sexual orientation by any deadline, and I do not plan on accidentally making love to anyone, regardless of their political alignment.

I am in Westlands. Substance free, quiet housing.

Or, as the upperclassmen call it, "Virgin Vault".

And I am completely fine with that.

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