9:09 PM: Saturday night
Dad says my laptop was already working on the network, but it doesn't seem to be working now. I figured I'd start writing now and maybe I can post it tomorrow when/if I find the coffee shop across the street and get breakfast there. I'm really feeling home sick at this point. I guess it could get better, at least, I hope so.
I don't know if I was successful in posting my quick post I sent yesterday at around 9 or so about my eye. I doubt it, since it got returned back to me. Anyway, I had to go see the doctor because I was seeing purple. That's anything but normal for me. So obviously, we decided it'd be wise to have things looked at, especially with the blue mark they saw on my usually-almost-completely-white eye. They think I have a vitriol hemorrhage, basically, a broken blood vessel in my eye dumped some blood into my eye. I may get an ultra-sound done to see for sure, but they can't really do anything since my eye isn't see-through like normal eyes are I guess. We got home at 11:30, and then finished packing.
I got here and my room is nice. It has a bathroom with a tub, so I don't have to worry about falling on my butt.
It took most of the day to get moved in. We had to make a lunch/Wal-Mart run, and Dad had to go back home for some stuff. But I'm mostly moved in.
The orientation activities were okay, too. We did some ice breakers, had a scavenger hunt which wasn't as fun in the rain, heard speeches from several people at the college and had dinner. Then Mom and Dad helped me with relieving Julio and we said our good-byes. Even though we were inside, the rainy weather mirrored my emotions perfectly!
I tried to introduce myself to a few people, and almost decided to just bag it for the night. I did decide to go to the ice cream station thing they had and that was okay. Now, I'm back in the dorm, wishing I was at home. I wonder how comfortable (or lack there of), the bed will be.
I wish I could call someone. It'd sure be nice to hear a familiar voice right now!
Well, I'm gonna go see if I can fix my computer.
Hugs (for now)!
10:54: Still here.
So I've managed to realize that I don't have any toothpaste. And I don't have any deodorant either. On the bright side, I did figure out the blinds in the room (after fighting with them for five minutes). I haven't figured out how to turn the drain off in the tub, but that'll come with time I guess. I'm looking at this in terms of positives and negatives. Positives: If I succeed this first year, I'll have given myself a huge boost of confidence. I've done a lot of this stuff before. Not on such a large scale, but I have done it. I traveled to Vegas for crying out loud! And I went to Oregon for a month. I've done a bus route by myself, and I know some of the routes I'll need for life-giving stuff (I can find the cafeteria and I think I can find the Butler Center which houses the medical center). I know one person here pretty well. People do seem accommodating. Everyone else is probably as scared as I am. Negatives: If I fail, I'll feel really really bad. There are several routes I don't know. I'm dealing with less usable vision than I was 48 hours ago. I'm nervous. I'm feeling ditsy. I'm at a minimum of energy and patients. There are a few things in my room I'm unsure of where they are.
But, when I look at the list of negatives, it's not so bad. I know how to mitigate or at least deal with most of this. I can try to get as much sleep as possible. I have access to a mobility instructor. I can probably get someone to walk to my classes with me, or at least point me in the right direction. I know about my energy threshold. Even if I lose the vision completely (which I'm hoping is a huge if not when), I still know quite a few blindness skills (I don't even use the vision much because it's not much). Finally, a good methodical walk around my room should help me find the list of stuff I can't find. So I'd say I'm probably doing okay! Now, it's time to find an outlet, charge the BN and fall asleep and hope I continue to feel this optimistic in the morning. Good night! For the last time I hope tonight!
10:47 am: Sitting in Coeur De Catherine
I made it through last night. I probably didn't fall asleep until close to midnight, but I didn't wake up until almost 8. I finally figured out how to plug the drain and took a bath. Got Julio fed and to his relief area then promptly got lost on the way to the Coeur De CATHERINE. I wanted to get to Brewberries, but didn't know how to get there accept by going through Coeur De Catherine. I have no idea what we did, nor do I really want to even try to guess. I did finally get there, but I ended up on floor 2. To do that, I had to have almost circled the building because the door that is closest is the door on the first floor. The door on the second floor is across the building. But I did get there, and figure out where I was. I randomly met up with one of the students in my orientation group, and happily, she joined me for coffee at Brewberries. So I got to know her a little bit better. I still can't find a lot of stuff here, but I am feeling better. People are nice for the most part.
The net wasn't being nice at Brewberries. So I still haven't been able to check my email.
I have to say, though, people are so friendly here. Everyone is introducing themselves. They're really really nice and everything! If I can turn acquaintances into friends, things will be all the better. Yes, I miss my family, but I'm feeling much better about thing today. Someone must be praying.
This journal entry is all over, and for that, I sincerely apologize, but you're just gonna have to deal.
My bed could be more comfortable, but it's not all that bad. I've definitely seen worse. Things don't feel like home yet. I seem to feel most homesick when I do normal things I'd do at home and these things are different. I feel best when I feel like things are a new adventure or I'm meeting new people and trying new things.
8:00 pm: The rest of the day so far.
After I finished writing, I met with my orientation group and had lunch. It was pizza (which was good were and we had some nice discussions. After that, there was a really excellent presentation about diversity. It helped me realize that everyone else is as scared as I am. I even cried. It really resonated with me. Then we had a presentation about leadership. I met up with Helena and got some of the stuff I needed. It was good to see her. I chilled in my room and started scanning. Then talked to the parents and Marlaina.
Dinner was really good too and I think I'm maybe making some friends in my orientation group. It's really not so bad. It feels like between my eye and my foot, my health is going to pieces, but I'm being supported, and making friends. I hope things continue to stay this good!
September 5, 2005
8:30 am: Monday, Monday! Can't trust that day!
Gaw! I hate getting lost. Just because it's the best short-cut for sighted people doesn't mean it will work for me. I'M starting to know where I am a little more (which is great), but that also means that I sometimes have wacky mis-conceptions of where thing are. I had to ask for help this morning. I think I'm now where my group should be, but I don't see or hear them.
People who know the numbers, keep the calls coming! They help a lot and keep my spirits up.
The eye is still bothering me... majorly! I want internet access.
10:32 am: Notes from transition tips session
Take inventory of your emotions. Take time for yourself. Everyone goes, through stressful periods. Everyone deals with stress different. Things are different. Spend more time on schoolwork. Don't shy away and expect everyone to '-every to you. The best thing to do is reach out. Communicate. Talk about things that are similar. Go to everything you can. Look to your first year advisor for help. Follow people who look like they know what they're doing. Your professors do want to know how you are. Keep talking to people you knew before. Keep smiling. Take one ACTC class at another campus. If you decide to commute, you can still stay involved. Go to the activities fair. Don't just internalize everything. It will make things harder. Don't go home right away. You're still in the in between time, so balance looking backwards and looking ahead to the excitement. Allow yourself to feel it, but put it away after a bit. There's a lot to do in the Twin Cities, find something from to do. College is about finding out who you are. Take this opportunity to figure out who you are. Don't think about home sickness as a bad thing. It's just something that happens. Bring things that remind you of home. Rely on yourself. The bus system is good. You don't have to stay in your room. Go out and do what you have to do. Light rail is cool too. Know that there are resources for you. Be aware of what's going on inside of you.
1:24 pm: Notes from Community expectations
It really is about building community.
The foundation for this concept is found in the way Sisters of St. Joseph talk about community. Hospitality, caring concern for the dear neighbors... etc.
Code of conduct: Something to think about. Important ideas: Approaching everything you do with integrity and honesty. Civility. And interacting in a fashion that you can be proud of. You will be safe, but not comfortable. Respect for differences.
Le Guide: French for The Guide. Student handbook. The pink Bible. All these rule have a reason for being. Rules for survival of the college.
General Information: The college can distribute directory information. You can suppress this information, the deadline is September 16th. You have to wave your insurance by September 23rd (already done it). You are required to check your Lotus Notes email. Security report is up on the web site.
(The network will be up hopefully soon.)
Omitted security session.
3:51 pm: Blah!
Well, we found out why we don't have net access. The switch got hit by lightning. Lovely! I hope this so not a sign of things to come.
Okay, so we had breakfast with our orientation groups. That was pretty good/cool, although it took forever to make my bagel because I had a hard time cutting them.
Then we had a counselor and students talk about transitioning to college. I'd have liked to hear more from the counselor because the questions turned into more questions about how does stuff work than questions about transition.
We had a little group discussion, but I had a hard time getting into it. I feel like I need to talk about how I'm feeling, but I'm not even sure I know myself. It sounds stupid, but I don't. I know I'm not calm because I see it in the muscles in my neck and in my digestive system. But I don't feel happy or sad all the time either. I just don't know what to feel or how to deal with it. They suggest journaling about it, which I might do. That may help.
Lunch was more chicken (nothing else sounded good), and then we had a talk about policies and all that fun stuff.
I came back here because I 0 on sensory overload. Now, Mom and Dad are coming to help me get dinner and stuff. That will be nice. I hope things start feeling better. It's definitely the in between time for me and I feel so up in the air. How am I supposed to deal with all this?