One of those ways impacts all the rest. As I sit in the library of Pacific Lutheran University, I marvel at the incredible turn of events. Yes, I was admitted. Yes, the funding came through. But even with those facts on the table, I still never believed I would be sitting waiting for my next class to begin. Anyone who knows me has heard my skepticism in the oft-repeated phrase, "I'll believe it when my buns are in the seat"...well, they are now officially in the seat. Now, if I can just keep them there!
This place is absolutely amazing. Y'know, since I started talking about going to PLU, there have been so many that have shared that they also attended. Funny how I didn't know that before. I guess people don't walk around advertising their Alma mater, but still, I am surprised when someone proclaims their degree from this fine school. And it is a fine school, without question.
|what an interesting first semester!|
The campus is amazingly beautiful. It is like an oasis in the middle of Parkland; green, manicured grounds, smiling faces, determined intelligence, and helpful attitudes. Everyone, from grounds crew to President Krise fully expects all students, faculty, and staff to not only succeed, but excel. No, really. So, so very different from anything I have ever experienced before. Kindness and caring...and help - what a concept.
Aside from my euphoric state at my whereabouts, I am wrestling with getting everything in order. These classes (yes, that is my schedule above) is an excellent one, and I am definitely in the right place. But, this morning, day 2, I drove away from the house without my student ID. Oops! That is pretty necessary on campus, so back to the house I went. Thankfully, I still had my 'buns' in the right place at 9:15 this morning. Can I say that was only by the grace of HaShem? But, remembering my ID is just one of a million things that I am trying to get organized. I would say that being a commuter student presents its own challenges, and imagine that being a resident on campus would afford the 'immersion' required to stay focused, as well as fellow-roommates for helpful reminders. What books do I bring to class? Did I read everything I needed to as listed in the syllabus? Gosh, I hate group presentations...what? We have one on week 3? Ugh! What was I supposed to read tonite? No way...really? Four chapters for one class, two for another and half the book for the third? Oh...gosh.
I am 48 years old, 49 in January. My bones are creaky and I need reading glasses. Real life has left me a little cynical and somewhat set in my ways. Thankfully, coffee is available at various places around campus, which takes care of the 'set in my ways' part. But, I'm thinking my current bedtime is way too late to actually be up and thinking at a decent hour, and wait...I have to have how many pages ready to turn in when? Good thing I like to write, eh? All I need to do is step up the pace a bit - and try to keep up with the 19-20-21-year-olds sitting next to me in class. Yeah...I feel pretty old.
I didn't feel quite so old at community college, even with the abundance of Running Start students. There were a good many, maybe even as much as a third, of my fellow students that were over the age of 30-ish. Here at PLU, there is only a handful that I have seen on campus, and that includes faculty. I am definitely the oldest in all my classes, and I will just have to get used to it. Right. Well, at least I have life experience on my side.
So, here I sit in the library. Earlier, I was in the commons to grab a much needed caffeine fix and the sweet girl at the cashier stand took pity on me and wrote down the hours of the...food area? cafeteria? commons-eating-place? Man, I've got to get the lingo down - I am definitely at a distinct disadvantage!
|this is just one corner of the large commons/cafeteria area|
So, most have heard of the 'freshman-five,' right? This would be the 5-ish pounds that everyone gains in their first year on campus. Well, on this campus, I'll bet it's the freshman-ten because the food offerings are really tempting! And, the menus change meal to meal, and day to day. Pretty impressive, and both a good and bad thing for me; I just want to be able to fit into my jeans, okay?
And, what about that fitting in? At community college, I had my 'game' down - up-style attire, and my ever-loyal entourage for support. But here? I need to dress it down a bit, to be sure. Jeans, sweats and flats are definitely in order for all the walking - and what about all those books to carry around? I swear, my required books stack up to about 2-1/2' high. No lie. There is no way I can carry all those around with me. Wheeling them around doesn't seem like the norm (backpacks do, however)...I don't know, but I'm sure I'll figure it out after I present myself as a dork a few times.
Yeah, I'm sure I will get my act together...eventually. I'm positive this is all a no-brainer for anyone who has attended university, but for me it is all new. And exciting. And scary. All my life I wanted to attend...to do something that actually meant something, but never thought it was an option for me. Well, now I'm here.
LORD, please don't let me fail.