Monday, June 15, 2009

A Little Less Caffeine

Last Thursday and Friday, Luke, Ariel and I were stuck at UTC for orientation and registration. When I was in college, orientation and registration consisted of turning in a class registration form to a person behind a glass window in the administration building. They handed you back a campus map and a checklist—you were registered. “See you the first day of class!” the woman told me. I was done and went back to work.

Of course, I expected things to have “evolved” since then. But I couldn’t imagine why the process would take two days—from 8am to 11:30pm on Thursday and 7am to 3:30pm on Friday. After attending, I’m still not sure.

When we showed up the first day, we were greeted by Orientation Leaders (OLs) who clearly had way too much caffeine and had no sense of personal space. Imagine flailing arms and shrieking, followed by “AREN’T YOU EXCITED TO BE AT UTC!?!” Luke and Ariel were taken aback. They looked at me with expressions of you-evil-parent-why-have-you-subjected-us-to-this. I shrugged—I mean, what else can you do?

After we escaped from the crazed OLs, we met more OLs who, though slightly less caffeinated, were completely ignorant of the questions we asked and sent us on wild goose chases around the campus. (I will mention that Cardiac Hill is nothing compared to the hills we run near our house.)
You would assume that orientation would include a tour around the campus, but apparently that only works if lunch, placement exams, and tours were properly coordinated, which they weren’t. You’d think a trip to the library would be at the top of the list. It wasn’t. So, Luke and Ariel got the Mom Tour (I love, love, love libraries)—they even learned where the microfilm machines are and how to use them. Ariel complained that the library didn’t carry any good books. She was thinking of Ally Carter’s latest book, Don’t Judge a Girl by her Cover, which I recommend though you should read the series in order starting with I’d Tell You I Love You, But then I’d Have to Kill You.

After the cool Mom Tour, we joined the rest of the freshman and parents for the mass get-acquainted meeting. We filled the lecture hall. After the Assistant Dean and the Chancellor spoke, the OLs were introduced again. The students were told that they’d get separated into small groups, each with their own OL. Luke shot me his Look of Impending Death—my looming demise because I brought him to this hideous waste of time.

The reality-challenged OLs were introduced, several of whom couldn’t remember what numbers their small groups were even though it was written on their tags. As the ridiculous screaming started again, I heard a parent mutter, “Clearly, medications were not taken this morning.” I heard several boys threaten their parents, “If I end up with any of those weird chicks, I’m so not going to their stupid small groups!”

I could go on about the Orientation, but I think you get the picture. The next day was slightly better and ended with Luke and Ariel actually getting classes. Luke had no problems as his advisor knew something about registration, and Luke had come with a list of classes he wanted to take. Ariel, on the other hand, had a different experience. But she’d been warned that the Mathematics Department lives in a world not quite among the rest of us, sort of a parallel universe where normal rules and concerns don’t exist. I’d love to tell you about it, but Ariel would kill me. It’s her story, and she wants to blog about it. Here’s a link.


  1. Too little medication, too much caffine. Or something like that.

  2. I put in an application to be an orientation leader but I was rejected. It's probably because I am so sensible and grounded in reality. XD

  3. You were rejected! Your kidding!

  4. By the way, the look meant impending doom for my small group leaders.