Sunday, January 24, 2010

Freshman year in College and meeting new best friends

The first thing I learned during freshman year was that computers hate me. The girl down the hall who was an electrical engineering major actually asked me if I stuck magnets on my computer since she always had to come in to help me fix it. I eventually found a working computer, and it had a DVD drive - my first ever DVD player. I purchased Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to be my first DVD.

Lia invited me for Christmas that year and I actually got to have 5 Christmases - 1 with my roommates before leaving, one with my parents before leaving to SF, one with Chang's mom and brothers, one with Chang's grandmother and father, and one with Lia and Chang in Turlock with her mom, Cathy, and her mom's husband, Tim. I made out good that year!

In addition to Christmas, we went on a Surry in Golden Gate park, on paddle boats, went to Alcatraz, went to Ghirardelli, ate at lots of restaurants (including Ella’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner), and went to the Exploratorium. Here we learned that, even though we might look nothing alike, we have identical shadows. But most important of all, my sister exposed me to Harry Potter, which I thought was only for kids (this would eventually lead to a rather freakish obsession). We also went to a downtown New Years Eve party, and at about 10:00pm I started looking for the bathroom. I knew exactly where it was, but I couldn't get there because of the crowd. I didn't find my sister again until after midnight, and I still never found the bathroom!

I took a Calculus for non scientific majors course that first year in College. I needed it to get an honor's degree, which I never ended up getting since it would have required an additional year in school. He was a bit unorthodox. We had no textbooks, and he gave us strange assignments and told us jokes. One time he asked us to explain Distribution in a Limerick. This was mine

A(B +C) = AB + AC
Distribution, I’ve a notion
Is less complex than a potion.
If A multiplies by each,
And we add B and C
The reversal just changes the motion.

He also told lots of jokes. This is the only one I can remember.

Don't step on a duck

Three guys get to heaven, Bob, Larry and Bill, and before they enter St. Peter warns them "whatever you do don't ever, ever, step on a duck. Once one quacks, they all do, and they make a terrible racket". Bob enters heaven and immediately steps on a duck. So an angel comes up to him and chains a large hairy ugly woman to him for eternity, and says " I told you not to step on a duck". The next week Larry steps on a duck. An angel comes to him and chains a very ugly woman to him for eternity and says "I told you not to step on a duck". Bill hadn't stepped on a duck since he had gotten into heaven, then one day an angel comes up to him and chains a beautiful supermodel to him. He asked her why she was there and she turned to him and said, " I don't know what you did, but I stepped on a duck."

And the craziest thing of all, is that I had a singing final that semester. You wouldn't think that was odd since I was a vocal performance major, but it was in my Calculus class. He asked us all to show a working model of something, and I decided that my model was good singing.

I got to be in my first opera ever during Freshman Year. It was Mozart's "The Magic Flute" and I was a priest in the chorus. We didn't have a single alto that year, so some of us sopranos volunteered for it. We called ourselves "spraltos." There was one song in particular that we sang the same note over and over again. Finally on the last note it leaps up a 4th, and we all sang it with overwhelming gusto since we were so excited to finally sing a different note.

My friends Amy and Jenny came with me on my Spring Break trip back to SF and we all went to Golden Gate Park together. I have absolutely no idea what happened to the rest of the pictures we took, but this one's a classic. I was trying to get all of us with the park in the background, but it ended up just being a close-up of all of our faces. We ended up calling it "givin' the public what it wants."

They later separated to hang out with a mutual college friend of ours whose family lived in Napa, while I stayed with my sister and got to see the operas "Carmen," "Madama Butterfly," and "Giulio Cesare." We also went to Marine World, The Tacoria, and the Haight Street fair.

This is going to sound very corny, but Harry Potter brought me and my best friends together. Awwww! I'd known Amy and Rachael at church, but we didn't start becoming really good friends until after Christmas of 2000. During that time, all of us had started reading the Harry Potter books. We started discussing it one day, and before we knew it we were best friends.

After Freshman year Amy and I moved into our first apartment together. It was on the eighth floor and was super close to school, but it didn't have an air conditioner, so that summer was MURDER! We eventually told our landlord, hereinafter referred to as "the landlord who must not be named" that we would split half the cost of an air conditioner (it was an expensive one too since the window was so small), and when we moved out a mere 2 months later, he wouldn't refund us any of the money we'd spent on it.

I also went back to Mississippi with Amy for a week after the school year was over. We went to Jackson, did the Natchez trace tourist stuff, saw the Mississippi river, and went to New Orleans. We ate southern cornbread (very different from traditional cornbread), went to Hattiesburg to see her sister Heather, and did a 5k walk for Breast Cancer.

The best part was before the trip when I said to Amy "I can't wait to see the river," and she asked "what river?" Hmmm? What river in Mississippi would I have heard about? Tough one.

I joined Lia again for a vacation that summer. My dad had some Southwest credits that needed to be used up, so he gave them to me. The only thing I remember about that trip is that I learned how to roll my r's. I'd been trying to do it for years since it's necessary for singing in foreign languages, and it finally hit me during the car ride back from Marine World. Ironically, it happened while I was explaining to Lia and her friend Amanda that I couldn't roll my r's no matter how hard I tried.


  1. What river? Ha ha ha! It's not such a big deal for those of us who live here. :) Didn't we go to Vicksburg too? Or was that with Rachael. I have shockingly few pictures from this period in my life. Did you take any?

  2. Unfortunately no or I would have posted them.

  3. "Rather freakish obsession." Yeah, I think that covers it. :)