Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Day Before Classes

Today was our first full day at the university on our own, and our second day being moved in on campus. Even though it was a Sunday morning, I still had to set an alarm to wake myself if I did not want to miss breakfast. I figure if that next weekend, I will want to sleep in I can just wake up later and go to lunch for my first meal of the day. Lunch starts at 11:30, so it is pretty early anyway. Today however, I decided to wake up early because I had to attend multiple meetings in the morning.

After a quick breakfast of yogurt and granola with girls from my tour group, I went back to the dorms to practice piano for about half an hour. There are pianos in our building, which is very convenient. The practice rooms are in the basement of the building, along with a small exercise room, and the laundry rooms. Each room has a different brand of piano, each with a unique sound and a different feeling when you play. I practiced my concert song, Arabesque by Debussy, for a little while before heading to the West Lounge for the first meeting of the day.

 The first meeting of the day was going over the health services. A woman explained to us that if we are having health issues, whether they are emotional, mental, or physical, we would have access to care. The meeting was scheduled to take half an hour, from 11:00 to 11:30, but it only went for seven minutes. This was the case for the remainder of the meetings as well. Some of Dani's roommates and their friends wanted to visit the library and the gymnasium, so a group of about ten of us all went. When we first arrived at the library, we found that it would not be opened for another half our, so instead we decided to visit the gym first, which was only about one block away. The gym was very large, with an outside track and field, a basketball court, a large cardio area, and multiple rooms of weights and weight machines. We spent a couple minutes going through the facility before going back to the library, which had opened since then.

Ratner Athletic Facility

 The library has two sections. One was built a while ago, and is pretty basic. The second part of the library is very unique. The library is made of glass and is a dome above ground. It is mostly a study area, but there is an underground section where more books can be retrieved from. When we entered the glass section of the library, a librarian named Romulus generously offered to show us the underground section of the dome library. He first explained to us the system that is used to retrieve the books, which they call "the crane". How the crane works is a librarian enters information about the book into a computer, which then directs the crane. The crane, underground, loads the cart of books the desired book is in, and brings it to the ground floor through a special opening. We got a tour of the downstairs and saw all of the books there were. I thought Romulus was very kind and generous to be willing to randomly give ten students a tour. 

After our trip to the library and gym, we went to eat lunch in the dining hall. Today was the last day of the World Cup, so the Chicago cohort watched the game with some other students in one of the lounges. Before long it was time for another meeting. This time the meeting was about transportation. At orientation yesterday, we received a transportation card with twenty dollars already loaded on, and today at the meeting Christian explained what this card could and could not be used for. They also explained what bus stops were okay for us to take and what stops were not the safest and not to be used by U Chicago summer students. I think this is to be expected with every university close to or in a major city.

Safety Meeting in Kent Hall
This meeting was also in one of the dorms lounges, but the next required meeting we were to attend was in a hall called Kent Hall. It was across the campus, so everyone went together with the RAs, as to not get lost. This was just another meeting about general safety and security on campus, and a Chicago Police Department officer came to speak to us. He really emphasized that it was better to be safe than sorry, and that if we ever felt unsafe, we should hit the button on the blue light emergency posts that can be seen all over the majority of college campuses.

We had the option of going out to dinner with RAs, but I was feeling pretty exhausted, so I went back to the dorms to rest, and just ate dinner at the dining halls. Hoping to get to sleep early, my cohort started blogging earlier until it was time for a late night snack. After eating Christian’s homemade s’mores, I played Cards against Humanities for a while before heading upstairs to get a good night’s sleep.

I am excited and nervous to start my class tomorrow, but I have already met several people who are taking it. I look forward to meeting them tomorrow.

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