The Program Begins

Today was the first day of the creative writing program I came to California for! I’ll be on campus Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-12:30.  Well, today was 9-11:30 since it was the first day.

I got up at 6 which might have been a bit too early, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t late. I took a shower, made sure I had my notebook and everything I needed in my bag, had breakfast, and packed my lunch. I must have headed out around 8:15.

Turns out, it’s a good thing I left so early. I ended up getting myself confused and thinking the building I needed to be in (Dwinelle Hall) was the one undergoing massive construction right now, so I spent a good 20 minutes walking around it, trying to figure out how to get in. By the time I finally found the correct building (which I had seen before, so I don’t know why I got confused) and got to the room, I had only 5 minutes to spare. The majority of the class was already there and working on a writing prompt. I’m glad my instructor gave a 10 minute warning or I wouldn’t have known about it! I did the best I could with the prompt and got really into it by the end there. I elected not to read mine out though…

So, what did we do the first day? The writing prompt first, as I said, then our instructor (Ms Elmaz Abinader) ran through the main points on the syllabus. She’s still unsure if we’re going to have our July 3 class, though. If we aren’t, I get to go home a bit sooner. After that, we did the typical first day round the room introductions, then about half the class read what they wrote during the prompt. Finally, we analyzed about half of the reading for this week, a 2-page excerpt from a novel set in the Philippines.

Class ended at 11:30 and there was a program-wide welcome reception in Cheit Hall for 1pm. That’s pretty much on the farthest east side of campus (close to the new football stadium) you can go, and I was on the western edge, so I decided to walk over there directly after class. At the very least, I would know where I was and not panic trying to get there at the last minute.

I got there before 12, thankfully. It was pretty easy to find, with the campus maps and my maps app on my phone. I sat on the steps near the entrance I had to use, ate my lunch, and looked at one of my magazines. I went inside and sat upstairs near the room I had to be in about 12:30 and called my family. It’s my sister’s birthday and I had to miss it to be here. I talked to her for a little while, and my brother and mom, then went to the reception.

It was nice talking to the people in my class outside of class. (Some of them…eh, but I won’t go into that LOL)  A couple of the girls came from the East Coast, which is a lot farther than me. I have no right to complain, haha!  Also, after meeting my current instructor and the guy that was SUPPOSED to be my instructor, I’m glad I got switched. I really like Elmaz. I think we all just started calling her Elmaz automatically, that’s how down to earth and accessible she is.

I’m glad I’m not the only one that’s getting confused, though. The first 30 minutes of class, we had people coming in and out because the class assignments got switched around at the last minute a few days ago. A couple of people that were supposed to be in Justin’s class were in Elmaz’s and probably vice versa. 3 or 4 people never did show up. I really hope they were UC Berkeley students (we have some of those) and just decided not to take the workshop after all. I would hate to be in a position where I got all the way here from across the country and couldn’t find my class so I missed day 1. I pride myself on being organized and prepared, even halfway across the country like I am now. I couldn’t imagine missing this class.

Then again, as I told my mom on the phone, I couldn’t imagine going to this school, either. The campus is so enormous. I’m not even going to try to see it all. It’s that big. I don’t know if it’s comparable to LSU but it’s probably about the same. And the things you have to do to register for class, get your ID card, etc. I’m so glad I went to a tiny school! This campus has 30,000 students. Insanity. And this is just the summer session! It must be ridiculous during the regular semesters.

But I digress. I suppose that’s all I wanted to say about today. I keep wearing my heavy sweatshirt unnecessarily and getting really hot. I’m not going to wear it tomorrow but of course, I won’t be going to class tomorrow, just getting my Cal 1 card (they finally sent me my confirmed class schedule, so I paid my bill!!).  Got a tiny Ben & Jerry’s at Walgreen’s earlier, so that’s waiting for me.  Also, took a really long nap at 5 (didn’t get up until 7:30) so hopefully I won’t be up all night. My roommate went out for a walk almost as soon as she got back, so I made some dinner and have basically been writing this post ever since. I still can’t believe it’s 8:30 here and 10:30 at home. I always have to think “okay, what time is it there?” when I decide to call home. I’m sure I’ll be overly used to it before the end of summer, but it’s so weird.

More posts later this week!



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