Why is it that every time I try to start a new academic endeavor some sort of dramatic, disastrous event happens? When I started high school at the World Languages and International Studies Academy, the school district was in the midst of a financial crisis and decided to cut massive amounts of funding to my chosen program. When I started college at the University of Findlay, they had the worst flood they’d had in 100 years, the very weekend that I was moving into my dorm. Even in the four years I was there, the place never fully recovered to its former state. Now, here I am in Philadelphia and in the days before my graduate school career begins at Widener University…we’ve had an earthquake AND a hurricane. EARTHQUAKES AND HURRICANES. IN PHILADELPHIA.
Mind you…the earthquake was centered in Virginia and we simply felt the smaller tremors here in Philly. But still. I mean, I was at Red Hook Coffee and Tea with a friend from high school, Ari, who was visiting from New York City, and the couch we were on started wobbling and rocking back and forth, my smoothie sloshed around in its plastic cup, and the little hula girl on the counter was hula-ing her little butt off. It wasn’t totally insignificant. That hula girl doesn’t normally dance of her own free will.
On the other hand, Hurricane Irene was a TOTAL joke. At least here in Philadelphia. My family has been texting and calling me for the last three days straight. There was a state of emergency, the streets were empty, everything was shut down. And then…It was like…Barely drizzling. We’ve had worse thunderstorms in the last few weeks. It was only a category ONE. Katrina was a five. This was nothing. There’s supposed to be some flooding here. Like 10-12 inches. And people are spazzing. Are you kidding? Uhhh…I just went to school for four years in a town that was built on a flood plain. We would have 10-12 FEET or more. Every. Single. Year. Less than a foot? Big whoop. You keep driving!
My only problem right now is my ceiling is leaking. And it’s not even a real problem. It’s temporarily fixed and there’s nothing more I can do about it for the time being.
“What is this,” you ask? This is my hurricane container. My leak contraption. The leak was all along the top of where the window meets the building. I duct taped a giant Target bag over it, poked a pinprick hole in the bag to collect and direct the water, and then taped a narrow container to the window…It’s in a really awkward spot, so I can’t just set the container on the floor. Ridiculous. But I am NOTHING if not resourceful. LOL
In spite of the leaky ceiling and the unnecessary hurricane panic, it’s been a pretty good few days. We had a potluck dinner for HSEDSO (Human Sexuality Education Student Organization) at Widener. It was amazing. I met my future classmates. Normally, I’m one of those social butterfly type people who flits around and meets every single person there, but I wasn’t quite feeling up to it. It’s intimidating! These are smart people. These are people I’ll be spending the next three years with. These are people I do not want to embarrass myself in front of. So, I figured I’d try a different approach. It worked out well. It was great to have some more quality conversations with a small group of people, rather than just small talk with every soul in the building.
One guy suggested that everyone get together in Center City the next night to hang out, get drinks, etc. I was really disappointed because I couldn’t make it. I was gonna be stuck at work until eleven. Turns out…they all showed up at work! Apparently a group decision was made to visit the store. (For those of you who don’t know, I work at our local fetish-wear boutique and adult toy store.) I had a blast. It made my entire night. I didn’t have to be sad that I couldn’t go to them…they came to me! I think I made a pretty decent impression on everyone and I think they all had a good time! I helped everyone with any questions they had about the merchandise. I chatted and made friends. I was very open about my kink involvement, which…I honestly hadn’t decided about yet. Whoops. I was considering keeping it fairly quiet, but…Shit. These people should be more accepting than most anyone and I’m not one to be all hush-hush in the first place! I was exhausted afterwards, but…elated.
I can’t wait to start classes. Wednesday afternoon, I’ll be off to Widener, taking the first big step on the path to my career as a sex educator and therapist.