Russian Rainbow Gathering. Nezhitino, August 2005

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Last Monday was my first day of grad school.

*cue the Hallelujah chorus

All systems were ready to go the night before.

My bag was packed, my laptop was stowed, my snacks were in the fridge, and I had a lovely (pretentious with a side of urban chic) outfit picked out and ironed.

Yes, I iron my clothes.

Wrinkled clothes are SO NOT an option.

Around 7:00 I pulled out of the driveway and steeled myself for the hour-long drive to Boca that I had ahead of me. Actually, I made a delightful playlist for the drive that included Christina Perri, Patrick Stump, and The Civil Wars. It also had some Whitney Hatfield on there. She writes very pleasant Jesus-themed music.

The drive went by quickly enough and soon I was at FAU.

And I had no bloody clue where the parking garage was.

So I followed people who looked like they knew what they were doing.

Thankfully, they did and I got a halfway decent parking spot. It was around 8:15 at this point and I didn’t have to go to work until 9. I got a job at FAU’s Center for Excellence in Writing even though I’m still working at the law firm. Why do I think I can work two jobs and go to grad school at the same time? Because I’m an anti-social masochist, children. Friends are so last year anyway.

(Dear Friends, please don’t leave me. I need you in a very non-creepy way.)

It was while I was walking to the Center for Excellence in Writing in the General South building that I realized how massive FAU’s campus is. Going to PBA for four years in no way prepared me for navigating an actual university campus. Thinking back on how the free planner PBA gives you every year is called “The Navigator”, I want to find the person who came up with that brilliant idea and just scowl at them.

I wouldn’t say anything. I would just scowl until they knew why.

My first thought when I saw how big FAU is and how many people are walking through it at any given moment was, ‘This campus could grind PBA’s bones to make its bread.’

My second thought was, ‘Blasted hippies!’

FAU is apparently the breeding ground for a variety of hippies.

There are white hippies, black hippies, Latino hippies, Asian hippies, and Indian hippies. There must be a commune or a granola factory nearby. I can’t believe that all of those hippies are that jazzed about the curriculum. There has to be something else bringing them there.

For those of you that don’t know me very well, get ready to judge me.

I do not like hippies.

I had a bad experience with some hippies at PBA and since then I have felt the overwhelming urge to burn whatever tree they happen to be hugging at the moment.

And make fun of them.

Sorry, hippies, but YOU KNOW WHY!

The reason I thought, ‘Blasted hippies!’ was because unlike the hippies at PBA, these hippies are mobile. The hippies at PBA are somewhat sedentary creatures. I credit this to the fact that they shun footwear and therefore burn the soles of their feet on the griddle-like asphalt.

Even Jesus wore sandles, hippies.

Come on.

However, the FAU hippies ride bicycles. They ride their bicycles on the sidewalks. Then they yell, “Excuse me!” when they nearly run over you, but then turn around and smile like everything is peachy keen. Things are so not peachy keen. If anything I am Fuji Apple Red with rage.  It is NOT called the ‘sideride’, hippies, it is the ‘sidewalk.’ You walk on the sidewalk and you ride your bicycle on the road.

So that I may run you over with Syd the Hybrid while I’m looking for a parking spot.

Not that I’m prone to violent outbursts, but YOU KNOW WHY, hippies!

I scowl in your general direction.

I’m now so pissed off about hippies that I have no idea what I was talking about.

So my first day of work went well. My new co-workers are a cheerful and talkative bunch. I think I’m going to like them. They all read and enjoy big words and do amazing things during their summer vacations. Some of them also teach so I’m going to become friends with them in the hopes that I might glean teaching information from them rather than having to pay to take a class.

I’m broke, people.

Why would I shell out good money when I can glean for free?

My first graduate class was Neo-Slave Narratives. The class is fairly small which I think is great. There were only six people there, but they were all pretty talkative and bright. They had great observations about what we read for which I’m incredibly thankful to them. The class meets from 7:10-10 at night so if I had to sit in a room and watch a professor pull teeth to get a class to discuss a short story I would lie down in the path of an oncoming hippie and just let it happen.

The professor is also really excited about the class which makes the fact that we meet late at night not so bad. From the way she spoke you could tell that this class was her baby. There’s a lot of reading, but the way she described each book and what we would be analyzing and discussing made my scholarly heart skip a beat.

Shut up you know I’m pretentious.

It was dark, dark, and dark when I got out of class and I had a long walk back to the parking garage. I stayed in a well-lit area the entire time and decided to cut through the student center, which was surprisingly active, so that I wouldn’t be walking alone. However, while on this path to the parking garage I stumbled upon a foraging racoon. When he spotted me he stopped what he was doing and stared me down as I walked by.

I think he was in league with the hippies.