Day 2: In Which Alice Actually Attends An Orientation

as opposed to hiding up a tree like I usually do (in my defense, I didn’t want to go to my college orientation, so I didn’t. problem solved).

I have met the rest of the people in the program (about 20 in my year, so about 40 all told), the two program directors, and most of the support staff. We did some actually nearly interesting icebreakers in the central courtyard of the one and only building including 1) given this side of the courtyard is north and the middle is the prime meridian, stand roughly where you’re from, 2) same again, but where you went to college, 3) arrange yourself according to elevation of your hometown, and 4) given this side of the courtyard is social sciences and the opposite side hard sciences, plot yourself.

I might have said ”oh god there’s Canadians” because I nearly walked into the Quebec contingent; nothing against Canadians, they just shouldn’t have been that far south. Mostly what 1 and 2 illustrated was that no one has good mental map of the world, because the Atlantic was never big enough and 4 was funny because I just hung out at the hard science end and spooked people by saying I studied rocks and math. which is an ongoing amusement and trial to me; You’re in a grad program! I’m not spooky because I know things about triangles! 4 was also amusing because there was a perpendicular axis with the arts/philosophy/theology on one side, but we didn’t bother to define the other end until someone went to stand there, and when prompted he said, “Urban Planning”. I guess urban planning is the opposite of theology.

I keep searching for a store that sells watches (because mine is still dead and it is genuinely the thing that is most offputting – not the street signs I can’t read, not the sun that sets at 10pm, but the lack of my analog watch. brains) and at this point I honestly don’t think one exists?? I have been to an ungodly number of second hand stores and tourist shops looking for watches in the past few days. Last ditch is the camping supply place tomorrow, and then even laster ditch is that there’s a maker lab and maybe they can cut the back off so I can replace the battery. hrg why is this so hard.

On the upside, I have managed to get an Icelandic sim card for the phone (and now I just have to put it in and make it go. baby steps), and one of the two email addresses I was given today work, so that’s honestly fewer tech problems than is usually my due. More questions for the poor tech people tomorrow during the other half of the orientation.

There’s a surprising number of cats just wandering around; most of them have collars, so that’s reassuring, but ordinarily I’d still be worried about the local bird population. However, given that the only local birds are seagulls and ravens, I think they can take care of themselves.

Here’s a view off the north side of peninsula; it’s more fjordy bits in every direction.
I’m feeling distantly antsy because I just want the classes to start already, stop teasing me, I want to know things, but other than that I’m settling in and feeling pretty happy.

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