Thursday, August 13, 2009

Orientations and Adjustments

The past week, as suggested by the title for this post, has been filled with orientations and adjustments. I debated writing several blog posts about each of these things, but as another day has zipped by and I am long overdue for bed, I think I'll just try to get to the meat and pull it all together.

International Student Orientation (referred to hereinafter as ISO) was interesting. On the positive side of things, it was really great to meet my classmates that are coming from all the different corners of the globe. The perspective that they bring will absolutely enhance our learning experience. I say that with sincerity, though it is something I heard day after day in ISO. Though there were sessions that I didn't find useful personally (i.e. US etiquette), what I enjoyed was trying to see North American culture through the eyes of my foreign-raised classmates.

Technology Orientation was the other orientation of the week. This one definitely frustrated me as some miscommunication ended up costing me an extra $100 in setup fees. I also had a lot of my settings changed, programs uninstalled, and files moved. However, I have now located all the missing files, reinstalled the programs I need and am really appreciating the whole Microsoft Exchange setup that we have going at Darden. I must admit that I got addicted to Meeting Requests while in the workplace, and now I can send meeting requests to my professors, career consultant and classmates. There are some great tools, and the technology process at Darden certainly evidences a strong commitment to excellence.

And finally, adjustments. There have been a few:
  • "For here" vs "To stay": every time I eat fast food in an American restaurant, I want to reply "to stay" to the question "for here or to go?"
  • Heat and humidity: my wardrobe has been completely altered. I now wear skirts and camis or sundresses. However, since most buildings are air-conditioned, a cardigan or sweater is necessary to bring along.
  • Busy social schedule: There is something happening EVERY night. Tonight I decided to ignore the party and stayed at home watching a movie with my roommate.
  • Stores: There are a lot of new stores in the US that are really fun. I've always heard that shopping was better in the US, and today I experienced it firsthand. We went to Williamsburg, where there is a large outlet mall, and stocked up on almost all the clothes necessary to last through Christmas. I even bought a great new suit, which I will get a lot of mileage out of over the next few months.

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