June 9, 1997 Monday
I awoke this morning before my alarm went off. I stayed in bed another half hour before finally getting up at seven. When I went down the hallway to take my shower, the quiet of the floor remained unnerving; no one seemed to be on the entire floor except for me. No one in the bathrooms either. I think from now on I’ll sleep in until at least 7:30. Even then, I still have two hours until my first class, which is English 195. Before taking the quick skip over to neighboring Simpkins Hall, the English building, I took care of some things, like getting my long-distance calling code. In my first class, on the first floor of Simpkins, just after the side entrance and on the right side just after the student lounge, the professor explained what will be going on during the semester. My notebook was out, with pencil in my left hand, excited to actually to doing this. The professor himself has a slow, bland voice, and his body and facial characteristics heavily remind me of a mid-1980s Leonard Nimoy with glasses. Before class ended we got into groups and tried to make sense of two poems. At the end Nimoy said we would have to buy our text books at a store off campus, more than several blocks away in the downtown Macomb square.
After class, I came back to Cobrin, my bare 1960s residence hall, and played some pool in the large lounge on the first floor, beyond the reception desk, and further beyond the rows of mail boxes and twin elevators. The building has a distinctive smell that I cannot place–smells like the Sixties?, that I will quickly associate this time. Later, I was about to go to lunch in the Olsen Hall, Corbin’s next-door duplicate building, when I stopped by my room, to check the room number and start time for my afternoon class in Stipes Hall. My eyes were instantly drawn to the time on the sheet. I quickly looked at my watch, to discover I had thirteen minutes to make it halfway across campus, and find the classroom. Luckily I got there in plenty of time.
The class itself, Introduction to Philosophy, seems very interesting. This professor is exactly what you would draw if someone said, “Sketch your stereotypical idea of a professor.” He is thin and around 60, with swept back silver hair and small glasses on his nose, with a bit of beard, while wearing a thin cardigan with leather patches on its sleeves. His voice sounds exactly like Jim Henson’s, which is both pleasent and odd. So much for not getting homework on the first night, though.
After going back to Olsen Hall to finally eat that afteroon, I walked to downtown Macomb and the bookstore Copperfield & Co. to get my texts. While there, the clerk also gave me Forrest Gump by Winston Groom, and The Death of a Salesman, because we’ll be getting to them eventually, in addition to the The Color Purple. Sitting in the town park across from the store, I thumbed through my new college reading material. Just sitting there and reading in the sinshine while the town busied itself around me was very relaxing. Returning to campus, I went to get an e-mail code, because I can’t get one yet because…well, I just can’t get one yet; that’s all I know. I just hope I will be able to by Wednesday, so I can dash off a quick note to Sidney before she leaves for South Carolina.
I then came back to my dorm to get my homework done, but I couldn’t concentrate because of the loud music being played next door (other people!). I found the quiet I sought in the university’s music library. How great it was, and fitting I felt, to spend first night at college listening to a record of Louis Armstrong jazz with large headphones, as I began to dig into the first pages of Plato’s Apology. I think I will come back here again. After that, I came back here, my quite nice but also quite sterile room. Tonight there is supposed to be a floor meeting in the lounge, so I’ll finally get to meet everyone.
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Going back downstairs to get a snack and soda from the vending, the same girl from yesterday was again sitting in the back lounge with the pool tables, watching TV. I introduced myself, happy to see someone milling about this place too. She kept saying how boring this summer was going to be, because her friends were back home, and how she couldn’t wait until the fall. Asking her why she would be here then, she said she needed the extra credits to be a sophomore when the fall does comes. We talked some more, and then went to our different floor meetings. I think she said she was in my philosophy class. Honestly, I’ve talked to her the most since I’ve gotten here, and as I sat down here I couldn’t remember her name.