[Written in early September, 2013 and promptly forgotten about, then published July, 2014. Pics to be added once I dig them up.]
You know that feeling where you have something exciting planned in the future, and you aren't fully excited yet, but you know you should be? That's how it was for me and my big move to China to begin grad school. Until yesterday...
Yesterday was the first day of class, and in the afternoon we were assigned to write a simple essay, citing sources to support our position, etc, and halfway through the process, it dawned on me...
I'M A GRAD STUDENT!
I've wanted to go back to school for years, but the time was never right. I also have changed my educational interest since I began thinking about it years ago, but the compulsion to go back was always there. I also don't think I realized it, but I held grad students high in regard, much more so than expected. In my mind, grad students were highly studious, rarely seen, and even more difficult to become. And I always wanted to be one of them!
My initial days of being a grad student are far different than I had envisioned. First of all, I moved to another continent, to a place where I do not speak the language (yet), and am definitely a minority. Sure, I've been a minority before (south Tejas is 70+% Hispanic), but this is a new world.
I'm loving it though. I've already figured out the subway system here in Shanghai and can get around easily, even after hitting a bar with fellow students. The school has far exceeded my expectations, with a beautiful campus, professors that were all selected for their high academic background as well as their inter-personal nature. They're all very engaging and care. I've been to many schools before, but I have never felt this supported or engaged until now.
Yesterday's first class was like being thrown into the deep end, beginning with International Accounting. I'm good with numbers and math, but this is all new to me. I have never taken an accounting course in my life, and the closest thing I've done related to the subject would be balancing my check book when I actually had one (I pay all my bills online, but no longer use a check book). Surprisingly enough, I was so engaged by the professor, I am now completely fascinated with it. I look forward to the next class.
After class got out for the day, around 4pm, a few of us decided to run some errands and shop around our campus, situated near the beautiful People's Square. I finally got my SIM card cut down to the micro size my phone requires and finally can use my Chinese phone number and data plan. WOOT! Then we went to this nice restaurant called Charme for a tasty dessert made of a block of fresh baked white bread, with ice cream on top and butter dripping deep inside. With five of us hungry students, we demolished this tasty treat in less than 90 seconds.
[INSERT DESSERT PIC]
Then another stroll down a lovely open walking mall, before hitting the Metro (subway) home.
[INSERT mall pics]