Only two weeks in and I am fully immersed. The workload I am experiencing now is far more compared to that of my previous studies in my prior academic institution. Though many would find this something to ardently complain about, I am feeling incredibly grateful at the opportunities afforded me.
After only a week I found the prime smoker destination on campus--enter PSU Dialogue Dome or, in other words, smoke hut. With cobblestone seating strategically arranged around a communal ashtray, a straw overhang protecting us from the elements and conversation to make the time pass before productivity becomes the most logical option, this smoke hut is quite comparable to the one I experienced during my time at IPFW. I guess it makes me feel a little bit more in place. I've found myself over the course of the last week comparing the people I've met to the faces that I used to encounter on a daily basis at IPFW. We have the loud, overly assertive know-it-all who really knows nothing at all and only has an affluence for the sole purpose of hearing his own voice. We have the quiet artist type, hipster mustache in tow. There's a girl who seems still so eager to find her place amongst the madness but still, she has not quite yet become herself. There are radio hosts with politics on the mind and, of course--me.
When it comes to social situations like that, I've always found myself the observer, at least at the beginning anyway. It takes me a while to feel out these situations, to really understand the common bond. It wasn't until today that I remembered that common bond, the same glue that held us together at IPFW--smoking. Different walks of life join together in this pastime, this habit, this security blanket that nobody really at this age has success in abandoning. It's our break from academia, our time to poison ourselves with not only our smoke but also the bullshit brought on by attendees who have no other bond with us other than said smoke. It's a quiet and loud release happening simultaneously.
I'm grateful to have found this again.
Vices aside, it's just nice to actually be rewarded for good work. I know that it's only been two weeks, but I've had several assignments due and my several hours of slavery each night are actually paying off--unlike my experiences in the throws of retail.
Oh, you worked your ass off on this? Here's an 'A.'
Oh, you worked your ass off on this? Well, here's what's wrong with it and we are not going to give you any further constructive criticism on how to further your development within this occupation. Oh, also--go fold some sweaters.
I'm definitely a fan of the dynamic shift that I'm experiencing right now.
Also--we had a speaker come into our German class the other day to speak with us about study abroad options. There is a program in Stuttgart (the place I've always had an interest in visiting) with a media and communication focus & internship. It's a twelve week college program paired with a paid internship. My financial aid would cover the college credits and there are several scholarships that make the monetary part of the endeavor more affordable. I'm heavily considering at least applying and seeing what happens from there. I'd miss the shit out of Dean but if I didn't at least try to get accepted into the program, I'd probably kick myself in the ass forever. We'll see what happens.
On that note, I have a newspaper story to work on, two papers to write, and an assload of German homework to keep myself occupied for the next eternity.
Happy weekend, folks!