Monday, August 29, 2011

New Semester

I've only had one class so far, but a few thoughts on the first day of a new semester at a new school, especially as a new faculty member:

  • It would be helpful if there were signs on the roads pointing to each building. Only a few of the more important buildings (like the administration building) are pointed out. On the map I can find the building in which one of my afternoon classes is held, but I'll be darned if I can actually find it: I drove around for an hour trying to figure out which building it is. At the moment I'm parked (figuratively speaking) into the student center because I got overheated walking around. I'm presuming at least some of the new students (and there are millions of them) may be equally confused.
  • I never did get my code for the English department copy machine. I was told last Monday that the department was "working on" getting the codes to us by the first day of the semester, but when I checked my mailbox this morning, no code.
  • I inadvertently managed to hound the secretary with all my questions, like getting the code for the copy machine, finding out where the mailboxes were (in the same room as the copy machine), why one of the two computers in the department office didn't work (it had no power source, but they're working on fixing that), which printer I should choose so the things I wanted to print from the one working computer would actually print. They're not good at volunteering this kind of information, or getting it to us in a timely manner, which is frustrating.
  • If I were a shyer person, I'd probably be mortified at having so many questions, but I need to know this stuff. I ask as politely as possible, but I will ask.
  • They weren't kidding when they said parking would be difficult. I would guess that there are approximately 50,000 more cars than there are parking spaces. Fortunately I have a faculty parking permit, but even then, faculty lots were pretty full.
  • In Utah, it's the law to yield right of way to pedestrians in a crosswalk. This isn't the first time I've encountered this law, but it is the first time I've encountered it when there was a seemingly unending stream of students crossing the street. 

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