My First Day Curse Lives On

25 Aug

I didn’t think I would have first day of school problems on my Sixth semester.  I was wrong.

walk about day 2 002

I got an invitation to the online course manager last week.  But the course was grayed out as “future courses” so I figured it would be activated ON the first day of school.  I kept checking back, but even as last as 10AM this morning, neither of my classes were live yet.  So I figured the profs didn’t activate them yet.

Every semester Riverpoint posts the room designations on a common board, not the internet.  This has caused some confusion in the past, but after five semesters–I was prepared.  I wrote my class names, numbers, times, (all given info) on a post-it and went to school a half hour early to write the room numbers.

When I got to school–there were no classes posted.  I wandered the lobby, trying to appear cool, not lost.  Finally, I had to go to the help desk–for the 6th semester in a row.  They wrote my room numbers below each course on my post-it, and still early, I went to class.  

No one was there yet, but I was about 45 min early so I hung out and waited.  I began to get nervous half hour til when nobody else had arrived yet.  But my program has all the same classes, and many are in a row.  So I figured everyone else was probably in the same class and it was likely to get out at 10:50AM, ten min before my class started.  So I thought I’d wait to panic until around 10:51AM.

I knew there was trouble, when there were still no students at 10:50AM.  So I went to the help desk in that testsbuilding to confirm if a class was in the room that was written on my post-it.  Nope, no 11AM class scheduled, and by the way, are you COMD?  Ironically, COMD stands for Communication (Disorders).  And the disorder part is fitting.  The gal behind the counter said no COMD courses had been inputted into the main system.  Of course.

So with 2 min until class started, I had no idea where I was supposed to be.  Again.  This is so typical!  But my new advisor is nice and actually likes me, and is welcoming, so I thought I’d go all the way across campus and ask her where my class was being held.  

When I got to the hallway of offices, I noticed a physical paper taped to a door.  With the COMD class designations–ugh.  Except nobody had told me this was a thing and they had never done it this way before, so once again I had been out of the loop.  Annoying.  Typical.

I got my room numbers, but didn’t recognize the building abbreviation.  And the key had been cropped on the sheet.  Great, so now I knew the location, but still didn’t.  I took a stab and just went to the next building, the nursing building, hoping for the best.  I was already 5 min late, and my lateness phobia was really in high gear.  Again.

communication modeThe trouble with the nursing building is none of the doors have windows of any kind.  And the door opened at the front of the room.  Meaning, I had to bravely open a door not knowing who was in the room, while all the students in the room faced me.  Not awesome.  Also, I’ve had all but one professor, and this happened to be the class that professor taught.  So I wouldn’t recognize if the instructor was from my department or not.  Also, it’s a brand new class of students so I wouldn’t recognize faces either.

I opened the door, stood and looked, but didn’t know one way or the other if I was in the right place.  And the prof was talking so I couldn’t ask without interrupting further–I just had to sit down and hope.  The first thing I heard was–let’s go around the room and introduce ourselves.  Uh-oh, if I was in the wrong place, I was about to be publically humiliated.  Again. 

The first lucky thing happened, and the first student said something about SLP, confirming I was indeed in the correct place.  And I didn’t want everyone to think I was some late loser so when my turn came I said, “Sorry I was late, they sent me to a different room across campus.  I was actually early, just in the wrong place. . .”  

But the first thing the instructor wanted to do was go over the syllabus–which was in the online course manager.  And she said, raise your hand if you DON’T have it.  So I had to–and look like MORE of a loser.  Apparently, I was having computer problems, it wasn’t happening to everyone.  

In another part of class, the prof was troubleshooting some technology (the 1st day of school is a technological, logistical treat for everyone) and told us to turn and get to know our neighbor.  I was on the end of a row.  The gal next to me–turned her back to me to talk to the student on the other side of me.  Leaving communicationme with no one to turn to.  I looked at the row behind me, but those students were set in about 3 seats and talking to each other.  And there were already 3 girls talking to each other in the row in front of me.  So another great start at meeting anyone this semester *sarcasm* per the usual, I was awkward and didn’t get to know anybody, and with time it gets increasingly awkward.  And in this class we have to do dissections and stuff so I’m sure we’ll have to partner up.  And like always, I’ll be the odd-man out that doesn’t know anybody.  Today, really made me remember just how awkward and unfriendly my campus experience has been thus far.  I’m hoping I can show up early and chat with someone before class Wednesday to break the awfulness-lone wolf thing I’ve got going.

After class, I went to sort the online manager business out with my advisor.  As I said before she is really helpful and likes me, so I knew she wouldn’t mind–and I knew IT would respond a lot faster to an advisor then to one of the million students having problems on the first day.  I needed that syllabus!

When I did, she was super-nice as expected, fired off an e-mail, confirmed tomorrow’s room with me. . .  Then told me she’s moving.  In September.  She looked really sad when she said it, and told me she considered me a peer since we’re close to the same age and I’m so driven, and that she’d miss me and this job.  I didn’t want to upset her by conveying my severe, severe disappointment, so we talked about TN and how I’d really liked it when I visited it for the Bristol Night Race.  She sincerely offered Cool and me a place to visit anytime, and I left.

My new advisor was the first person to make me feel welcome and like a person at Riverpoint.  She’s the only person that is happy to talk to you or schedule a meeting with you or assist you.  She really added a lot of warmth to an otherwise cold place to be, and I’m really going to miss her.  Also, I will have more days like this without her to help me get some info around there.  I’m thinking of maybe writing her a nice card and or sending her flowers or a food basket or something.

So my last semester at Riverpoint–and more shenanigans were had. I REALLY hope the semester is not more of the same!

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