The nifty thing about being in campus is that there are computers everywhere, and you can find one just about anytime you want to. At least so far…I may be one of the few who have already found the computers. Right now I’m at a kiosk computer in the basement of Franz Hall, and there are five computers here.

Or not. As soon as I finished typing that sentence, two more people showed up, and discovered that only one of the three vacant computers was able to log on to the network. I didn’ t want to stand there making them wait, so I am now in the computer lab, on one of the approximately 35 computers there, of which about 30 are in use–so maybe there are a lot more people using technology than I thought.

My next class is in 15 minutes, and this time, I really DON’T know what to expect. This class, Intro to Engineering, doesn’t even have a textbook, so things could be interesting. I’m told there’s a design competition that takes place beginning early in the year, and that we will be getting groups assigned this week–so I’ll hear more about that today. The class is the same group of people that I’ve met with three times this weekend, so I know all the faces and about 10 of 30 names! See, I told you that I have trouble with names, at least lots at once. Or have I mentioned it yet? I have no idea, but ‘I told you’ just seemed to fit there.

Off to class

Getting nervous

My first class, Integrated Physics/Math, starts at 10:20. I noticed a few minutes ago that my stomach was suddenly uneasy. Must be getting nervous. I don’t really know what to expect, and I’m worried that I’ll be under-prepared in class. I’ll bring a notebook and the textbooks, as well as writing utensils, but right now, I feel like I’ll need something else, too–probably not on the first day, though.

Well, I’m going to scout out the classroom, and be a few minutes early


Slowed down life–summary

Now that I’ve thoroughly covered my experience in the past few days, and not necessarily in order (see the end of College?–and an explanation), I still have more to say.

Last night’s sleep was not that bad, although limited (5-6 hrs) that’s partly my fault, and partly not–after we finished watching the video, I went back to my room and puttered around. Then I wrote the last journal/Blog entry, and then Nik came back, and I talked to him for a while before going to bed.

About the movie: It looks like I’m in for quite an experience. I don’t quite know what else to say–I guess I’ll mention things as they happen this year.

After I got up, I went to breakfast, which was just muffins and juice. Then I went to the second home-base session, which is basically my Intro to Engineering class, but we meet a few times this weekend. Funny thing is, the only thing we all have in common is our major, and the OAs (Orientation Assistants) they assigned to lead the group aren’t engineering majors at all. Oh well, any questions on that topic will just be saved for the professor tomorrow. We went over some stuff, and then went to a session on “What faculty expect.” Not too much new–don’t skip class/don’t be disruptive in class/participate in class/visit the professor during office hours/get help before you’re drowning/don’t plagiarize (intentional or not)/manage time wisely/study during the day, and use the night for other activities(you learn best in the 12 hours after you wake up). Lots of tidbits, most of which were on the flier they gave us before the session.

Then off to lunch, and back to the dorm. There, I came by just in time to join the “Villa Drum Squad” on their first outing. Every home soccer game, and several other times, the Squad takes all the drums/noise-making things we can find, and goes to the field. Of course, they go the long way around, banging all the way around the campus, and through one of the buildings, too. Guaranteed to draw a bit of attention. They can’t seem to really keep a beat, but that’s half the fun. Apparently, there have even been some recruits that have joined up with UP soccer because of the squad, and the student support it represents.

There was a “Student Involvement” meeting, where the freshman were exposed to all the things there is to do outside of class and the requisite studying. The squad came, too. I happened by about the time they were leaving, and was handed a pair of drumsticks. Off we went. We entered the field in traditional fashion, banging as loud as we could, and running all the way to the spot the Squad always sits in. There was a relay at the halftime of the assembly, where the dorms all competed against one another. I’m told that Villa ALWAYS wins these, and today was no exception. The Villa team must have been ten feet ahead of the nearest team at the finish, and that’s saying something when the last leg is the wheelbarrow race. We ended up winning $200 towards the hall fund. I’m not sure what all that is used for, but $200 is nothing to scoff at, no matter what it’s for.

Then I did some other stuff, most of which I don’t remember. The came the Welcoming Mass. Quite a change from the mass I’m used to.

I guess i should stop and explain. I’m Catholic, as is UP. The Catholic mass will be the same wherever you go, except for a few parts that change from week to week. What I mean by different is that the choir must have had 40 members, plus an organ, piano, and half a dozen brass instruments. That will make the music sound different than when one man with a guitar sings it, as I am accustomed to. Plus, it’s a special mass, so there were 20 or so priests, and easily 700, maybe 1000 people. Again, a change from my small parish which draws from 100-150 people weekly.

Something rather trivial, but interesting, especially with the push towards using your time effectively that they’re giving us. There is a part of the mass, after the Our Father, where the priest says

Deliver us, Lord, from every evil,
and grant us peace in our day.
In your mercy keep us free from sin
and protect us from all anxiety
as we wait in joyful hope
for the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

The priest today changed it to “…protect us from all undue anxiety…” Fitting, but something that jumped out at me.

There’s a dance tonight, I guess I’ll wander over in that direction, and see how badly I can damage my eardrums–the music is audible from my dorm.


Quick thoughts

I finally figured out how to log on to the campus computers, from which I am posting. I wrote a few posts in a notebook, which I will type and post perhaps later this evening–I will probably date them before this post.

I am in Villa Maria Hall, a hall with lots of spirit. On my arrival here, there was a whole crew dressed up as pirates, to take luggage up to the rooms. I also had my picture taken with the Statue in the lobby, dressed up as a pirate. The residents of the hall call themselves the Villans, so that’s where the idea comes from.

On the roof of the dorm, there is the Villa Gorilla, and the front of the building has netting all over, with a pirate ship complete with a gangplank and cannons. There even is a sunken ship on the way up to the door, the HMS Christie–there is a long running rivalry against the folks in Christie Hall, for reasons of which I am not yet aware.

A long night last night, and I may stay up for a while this evening, and straighten out my room, or come down to the basement (where I am now) and post the older posts.

Off to the Opening Mass now, then off to dinner with my parents, in the dining hall (AKA The Commons).


Laying in bed, Nik nowhere to be seen-no curfew here-but sleep IS good. Looks like it’ll be till Sunday before I can post these. I tried to log on to the campus computers, but my logon or password doesn’t work. My tech orientation is 4:30 PM Sun, so I’ll learn then that my network password has not yet been set.

[Actually, I was using the wrong password–but now I got it figured out.]

I also learned today that UP provides a free copy of Norton AntiVirus and MS Office. Guess we’ll have Office for our home PC, too. I bought a copy of Office Pro, through my uncle, who works for HP. He can get it for $20–it costs over $200 in the store.

I also bought my computer through him–I didn’t get around to ordering until just recently, but finally did, and my guesstimate is an arrival date in the week of the 13-17. Until then, things are challenging in the Tech dept. I have some pictures I want to post, but cannot(I don’t think) do it until I get my computer…Maybe I can…hmm…..

I met lots of people yesterday (Fri) Andy, the RCC (Resident Computer Coordinator) may get a few visits from me. We have a DSL hookup in the dorm, as it is the second oldest on campus, and apparently not yet retrofitted for ethernet. Nik doesn’t have his computer up yet, but has his printer out. Actually, at this stage, he has a lot of stuff out. Apparently, in this wing of the hall, the cabinets are built differently, and the standard loftable beds the rest of the dorm and most of the campus has, don’t fit. That means to loft a bed, you have to build your own loft. Nik’s dad, Mike? (I think, too many names to keep straight), is going to build Nik’s loft before he leaves tomorrow–he bought the lumber, but I haven’t seen any work yet. The lumber is gone, though–it was in the room earlier.

Anyway, Nik has a lot of stuff out, most of which will go under his loft. Dad will build one for me at home, an bring it in next weekend, is the plan. I’ll probably see them [my parents] at lunch later today, and plans can be refined then.

I set up my voice mail today, I think. I tried once, and fouled it up to the point where the voice on the phone said ‘Invalid entry’ when you called my phone. call me, x1544 to find out. Nik still has to set up his.

Met a fellow I knew today–Russ M.— from Y&G. Seems nice enough–didn’t know him too well before–I have his room number, unless I transposed it before I write it down–I’ll have to keep in touch with him. He’s in my Intro to Engineering class this semester.

END post, Nik came in, and I was talking to him until I finally went to sleep, sometime after 2:00 am.

Currently sitting on bench outside quad. Lots to say, let’s see how much fits in.

We recently (11:00) finished with the traditional Mehling serenade. All the boys of Villa (men’s dorm) get together and serenade the girls of Mehling Hall (girls dorm). This time we sang “Too Good To Be True”. The girls really seem to love it. You would not believe the amount of screaming coming out the windows looking down on the quad–you would think they were at a concert or something! We added to it by doing the theatrical gesture of getting down on one knee and extending an arm upward as we sang the final line, “Let me love you” More wild screaming. Then we had a social on the quad. Otter pops and glow sticks were provided, and music courtesy of the Villan Sound system. I ‘mingled’ for a while, and repeated lots of people’s names (“I’m Ryan.” “Ryan. Nice to meet you, I’m Nathan.”), but all in all, not my cup of tea.

I’m told there’s a midnight showing of a highlights video of Villan activities from last year. Should be interesting. Notable activities I already know about, which I will undoubtedly expand upon later, are the Villan Drum Squad, the Man Auction Fund Raiser, and a relay.

The arrival here was an experience. There were signs all the way down from the freeway in, directing you to the dorms. The dorms seem to have had a competition. Various things, like the fencerow of Corrado signs and the Burma-Shave style Mehling Poem. Villa clearly lost the sign competition (if indeed there was one), but by no means does that indicate a lack of spirit.
As we arrived, we heard this dramatic, crashing music. Turns out, Villa Maria has christened themselves the Villans, or more descriptively, pirates.

[Edit: Actually, the pirate – Villan correlation was a coincidence. This year’s theme was pirates, last year’s theme was road construction. Most doors have a pirate themed label, and everyone has a skull and crossbones flag on the door, with their name and hometown. A few doors in the basement still sport the construction themed signs from last year, though.]

End of this entry, as I moved inside to watch the video.

College?–and an Explanation

Brionna sent me an e-mail Wednesday, below:

“Hey! I tried to post on your blog, but it wouldn’t load the comment screen.

This must be really cool for you, being so close to moving off to college. You’re probably reading this from your dorm, since I doubt you’re taking the time to read emails when you still have so much to do.That’s the thing about going somewhere–you always find a million details you didn’t expect. You are staying in dorms, aren’t you? And did you ever talk to your roommate? What’s he like?

Again, I did try to post in your blog, but no luck. You mentioned a while back in your posts that you had a bunch of junk on your bed and had to clean it off to go to sleep. That just struck me funny, since I’ve been in the same situation twice in the last few weeks. Once I was leaving on a trip the next day, and I had my bag and piles of stuff that still needed packed on my bed, and I just went downstairs and slept on the couch. The other time I was just cleaning my room and had some laundry piled on there, and it seemed counterproductive to put it back on the floor, so I slept on the floor instead. You have a very different approach than I do.

I know that’s totally unrelated, I just wanted to share.

Hey, let me know how college life is treating you, what the campus is like, stuff like that. I want to know! Good luck, and I hope things are going well.”

In response–actually, last month I did go sleep on the couch, and decided to watch the late night show on the TV in there–my Mom noticed, and she doesn’t really like me doing things like that.

Actually, I guess its a circle. She doesn’t like them, so I sneak around doing them, but I don’t think she would mind if she knew that I was going to do them, which can’t tell her, because she would object because I’ve been sneaking around and doing them……..
Now when I say sneaking around, I mean around the house, as in getting on the internet at midnight, or watching late night TV, etc. Not the traditional meaning of ‘sneaking around’, I suppose, but that’s exactly what it is.

As to what things are like, read the following three posts. Neither they, not this post were actually posted when the time stamp says they were, but I wanted them to be stamped when I wrote them, and this one to come first.

One thing I don’t mention in the entry (I wrote these in a spiral notebook) is that I am in Villa Maria Hall, and my roommate is named Nik.
So enjoy–college life, from my perspective.

New computer

Well, I finally made the choice of buying a computer, and decided to buy an HP. My uncle works for HP in vancouver, and he can get a 8% discount on anything he buys. I ended up buying a refurbished laptop, a copy of Windows (only $20), and a printer for around $750. The laptop is new, but has been returned to the factory because the previous owner didn’t want it. It should ship as soon as he orders it, and arrive by the end of next week. I’m excited!

This will likely be my last post before I get to school. Mom and I are doing last minute shopping tomorrow, and Thursday should be sufficiently chaotic to shut out any and all non-critical activity.

My schedule isn’t all that bad after the initial orentation weekend, 2 classes every day except Wednesday, when I have three. However, I expect that some of them will give quite a bit of homework. I have Calculus I, Intro to Philosophy, Intro to Engineering, Integrated Physics/Math, and US: Early America. That class could end up being a lot of work, as could any of the five.

So until later, I am signing off

Excellent eyesight?

I was just sitting here trying to figure out why the last post wasn’t posting (I forgot to disconnect from the server before Blogger tried to–think of it as being online, and telling someone to call you–they’ll get a busy signal).

Anyway, I noticed dots on the screen. For half a second, I thought that I had good eyesight, and was picking out the pixels. Then I realized that what I was seeing was dirt on the screen, and my eyes were too tired to focus to the correct depth. Maybe I’ll go to bed now!…..Oh wait, I still have stuff piled on my bed from cleaning and organizing my room! Time to get started, methinks!