It's the end of Day 2 of orientation. The sun has set, I'm sitting outside, because I can get wireless that way (DSL tomorrow!) I feel a little less disoriented, but way more overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things I have to do. I have to deal with financial aid, pay my bill (or part of it,) see my advisor, register for classes, get a parking permit, etc., etc. That doesn't even include the other, sorta unrelated stuff I have to do – like the clock is ticking on getting my car registered in CA, register to vote, etc.
Remember my post about my drive from Berkeley down to Santa Barbara? Well, the drive up from Idyllwild back to Berkeley was even more instructive in the 'where we get food' department.
First, my image of the San Fernando Valley, as this lush, garden of eden like place where all our vegetables come from has been utterly shattered. I don't know where I got that image, but I guess I must have figured if all this great stuff comes from there, then it must be like a garden of eden.
Sitting in my room (pictures soon, I promise – my DSL will be installed on Wed.) and looking about at my stuff (the stuff I have left, that is,) I'm struck by how big a change I made in my life. I've gone from being a "householder" – living a regular life, in a regular house, with a (relatively) regular job, to being a student again, living in a single room, sharing a bathroom, kitchen, laundry, etc., entering into a different relationship with the people around me.
I was sitting having dinner this evening with a group of folks in my dorm. Very nice group, nice conversation. One of them, someone who'd been around a while, said "when I was in your position I was panicked." I said "I'm close, but not there yet."
Well, just a few minutes later, thinking about the whole conversation (we went everywhere from what courses everyone is taking, to someone's upcoming ordination, to internships, to what one of the D.Min students is doing for a thesis….), I'm getting panicked. Seriously.
While I was driving down the road in California, I heard the snippet of Pat Robertson's comment about the democratically elected Venezuelan president. As you might imagine, there is both a media and blog storm about this.
Pat Robertson gets my "People who are out of their minds" award for the week. But I have more to say.
I have several words of advice for those of you out there who decide, like me, to abandon your householder life, to live in a single dorm room.
1) Don't have the room on the second floor of a building that is built on a hill, thus forcing you to drag all of your stuff up two flights of stairs.
2) Don't expect to actually fit anything in a 12×14 room. Remember how much stuff you had as a college student. Bring that, and ONLY that. It is astonishing the fraction of the room that a bottle of shampoo takes.
I'm now at the house of my friends who live in Idyllwild, CA. Idyllwild is a small town in the mountains of Southern California – southeast of LA, and northeast of San Diego. It's incredibly beautiful – although very dry. I hadn't known about how dry it is in the summer, as I've only been up here in February, my prior traditional visit month. That's the rainy season.
And I thought I wouldn't be cat blogging for a while, since I don't have any cats! I've been visiting a friend of mine in California, who is very active in cat and dog rescue, and she is in the process of fostering many (there are now a total of 13) kittens. One is nibbling on my toe right now…
She's a volunteer with an organization in Santa Barbara called ASAP. Anyway, the kittens are all incredibly cute, but the one who's nibbling I want to take with me. Her name is Trixie.