Friday September 21, 2007

Add another oddity to my impressions of Cincinnati:  there are parking meters NEXT to campus (which would normally be the extortion zone of parking prices) that will give you two entire hours for one measely quarter.  And these aren't secret, hidden meters.  That's considered normal meter pricing here.  Why bother charging at all, really?

So, grad school stared this week, and I am thrown like no other by this whole "going back to school" experience. 
A:  I have been out of
undergrad for a relatively short period of time (three years), but holy christ I don't remember the bureaucracy being quite this bad while getting my bachelor's.
You want to print something?  Fill out this form.
You need a locker?  That will be these three forms, now go downstairs and get a lock, now come back upstairs and fill out this form, and don't give me that form!  I don't need that form!  That form goes to someone else!
You want to see if you qualify for workstudy?  No, sorry, but since you had any income at all in the year preceeding your graduate enrollment, you are disqualified for any sort of workstudy program, despite your need to pay rent and eat at some point during your life. Oh, and next year you probably won't get it either, as you worked for eight months of 2007 to do silly things like have health insurance and pay bills.
(btw, the Onestop office at UC looks like a refugee camp.  There are the requisite long lines of desperate people, of course, but here, in lieu of actual desks or cubicles or offices, it's just a grouping of TENTS on one floor of the University Pavilion.  From now on, I'm going to refer to the Onestop setup as Little Rwanda.)

B: I am also in constant state of frustration because I don't know things like 1) where the bookstore is, 2) what number indicates graduate credits vs. undergrad, 3) why I need five (!) different passwords, and why each computer lab requires a different, new, secret password that was never made available to me, 4) why there are no maps, anywhere, showing a general campus layout with building names, and 5) what, do I LOOK like I'm seventeen?  Stop asking if I'm a freshman whenever I ask the Information Desk where the hell these unmarked, un-mapped, unspecified buildings are.

I've decided that the best way to alleviate the death-by-a-thousand-paper-cuts that is starting graduate school is to drink.  Thankfully, "intoxicated" seems to be the default mode of pretty much everyone I've met in the program, so I don't feel like so much a lush, and more like someone who has all these new, chatty friends, whose names I can't remember and hey didn't we have some reading to do for that class?  No?  Another vodka gimlet, then!
Also, it is consistently 85-90 degrees here, so it's not so much autumn and school time as it is Extended Summer Through Mid-October. Cincinnati:  the land of never-ending minidress weather.

Oooh, Oriental Trading Company, you're so creative with your ready-made costume! 
Goodness, wherever did you get the idea for a
Tippi Hedren Redux ensemble?
The Birds costume
From my Halloween 2004 costume,
lameasses.  And mine consisted of a $8 thrift-store boucle suit, leftover fake blood, and $4.89 bag of Jo-Ann Fabrics decorative birds.
(Plus, was a great excuse to buy a blonde wig.)

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