Bloomington: the land of RPS, Target, and Ballantine

As I lay in my bed last night with a mean case of whistling nose syndrome — which effectively kept me from the much needed sleep I desired — I was given the opportunity to stare at my ceiling and reflect. This reflection centered on the trials and tribulations of these past few weeks back in Bloomington. So, in honor of making it through the first week of classes (relatively) unscathed, this post will be a rundown of the thoughts, observations, annoyances, and general jubilation with which good old B-town has provided me.

I will attempt to organize my brain to the best of my ability, but we both know that lil guy marches to his own beat. I believe the best way to tackle this chore will be by recounting in chronological order.

WEEK 1: I arrived to the humid air and hilly streets of the Bloom on Sunday, August 9th for my annual job training with RPS. Yes, I’m still working for RPS..moving on. It was great to be back in Bloomington a little early, so as to gradually ease myself into the imminent hoards of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed freshmen (and their parents) who deem Target to be the end all be all of life itself. Seriously, I’ve concluded that somewhere within those linoleum-lined floors of Target exists the magic elixir of youth that both students and parents alike desperately seek. “I never want to face the real world, I’m staying in college forever!” “I miss the glory days and I miss little Billy when he’s away, take me back to college!” I don’t really understand where my mind just went, but I blame it on sleep deprivation and the nose whistling.

A very sub-par depiction of my room

Anyways..just know that the freshmen will make a cameo again in Week 2 (and I know I’ve now given you a reason to keep reading..all part of my plan..). But first I must continue with Week 1. The following Saturday, August 15th I moved into my home for the year and let me tell you I still become giddy every time I walk into my beautiful abode in the most wonderful location that consists of my own room and my own bathroom and my own full size bed!!! (The three exclamation points were highly warranted..you understand if you’ve seen it all.) That Sunday consisted of the day of the 5-hour errand run, in which I acquired a couple pieces of unassembled furniture. This leads us into Week 2; otherwise known as the week Rachel became a handywoman. This is irrelevant, but I feel the need to inform my audience that Google Chrome is underlining “handywoman” in the dreaded red perforated line. Excuse me Chrome, if handyman is a word, handywoman certainly is as well.

WEEK 2: So, I kicked off Welcome Week (otherwise known as the week before classes when everyone has already arrived..but we don’t have classes yet. Or maybe something less wordy and more catchy..) building furniture. It’s ok to be a little impressed..I don’t blame you. I assembled a five-drawer dresser and a desk from scratch (okay so maybe not exactly scratch..I didn’t cut down a tree for wood or meld metal into screws or anything).

Needless to say, my sweat, hair, and tears went into this ordeal. Before you contort your face into disgust, let me explain.. So obviously my sweat went into it; these projects took quite a bit of elbow grease (especially when you don’t have all the required tools or they give you faulty pieces and you have to improvise). As for the hair and tears..girls shed (sorry), so a few strays may have gotten screwed into some of the sections (whatevs, this just gives my furniture a little personality). Lastly, for those of you who don’t know, my contacts have been giving me a lot of problems lately..please don’t even get me started on that (hence the tears). Also, here is where I give a shoutout to my roomie Hannah for offering her help with the dresser..much appreciated boo!

Mid-project (dresser edition)

Along with my construction escapades, I worked at good ol’ Wright Food Court throughout the week. Enter freshmen for their second appearance in this post. Most of us have all been in their shoes, so I promise these are just (relatively) objective observations! The shifts were stressful only because the students do not yet know that other food options exist..so I was turning out burritos and Charley Biggs Chicken boxes in record time. Word to the wise, a simple “thank you” to your friendly RPS worker goes a long way! Anyhow, the stress of these shifts was subdued by the joy of people-watching and subsequently hearing things like a girl of my height and stature brag to two 6-foot buff men about how she “benches 200 pounds”…. I assure you I do not even exaggerate in my blogs..I just happen to hear and see the most miraculous things. Which leads us into the miraculous things Week 3 brought.

WEEK 3: Ah, so begins class. Come Monday, I was prepared to leave my house ready and eager to learn. Three steps out my door, my sandal broke. This may sound like a funny and ridiculous thing that would only happen to me. That’s because it is..but hey luckily it happened sooner rather than later and I was able to remedy the situation before my day of three classes sans breaks.

Here’s a picture of a night of fun (and someone stepping on me)

As I progressed through this week, my thoughts were running in double time. A few thoughts from this nice and HUMID (oh my goodness Bloomington is so humid) week:

  1. Why are these desks in Ballantine 319 so absurdly rolly?! And by rolly (because technically rolly is not a word) I mean why does every part of this desk and chair have wheels and move so insanely every time I make the slightest motion?! My colleagues must have gotten used to these new desks while I was in Spain, so I’m sure they were all looking at me wondering what was wrong with the spastic girl in the back. Making good first impressions everywhere I go is what I do.
  2. Know-it-alls are a special kind of breed. We understand that you want to participate, and we applaud you for that..to a point. If by the end of the first day of class, you have shouted (key word: shouted) an answer at least 20 times (even when one wasn’t requested) and your classmates are glaring at you every time you open your mouth, maybe save some of the participation for the rest of us (believe it or not..we know the answers too.)
  3. The true unsung heroes of Indiana University are those of you I have seen walking across this campus and making eye contact with me since freshman year, but I still have yet to meet. Just know you don’t go unnoticed; I have recognized your face since 2012..I simply have never had the pleasure (I’m going with a positive spin here) of meeting you..there’s still (some) time though!
  4. If you ask me to watch your stuff in the Union while you go disappear to take a bathroom break, or buy food, or who even knows what, you have automatically made my day. Thank you for thinking I am such a trustworthy and friendly looking person that you have entrusted me with safeguarding your $2,000 worth of laptop and textbooks and what not. If it is the last thing I do, I WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN.
  5. If you are taking up the whole sidewalk, you are the worst. Okay, maybe not the worst, but pretty bad. Especially if I am in the zone, running to my heart’s content. Especially after I pretend to cough up a lung or finally say excuse me, and you still don’t move, forcing me into the street to squeeze between the curb and the oncoming traffic. Much appreciate being given the opportunity to stare a speeding pickup truck in the face.

So brings the list of thoughts during my first week to a close. I know you’re wondering how it was even possible for ME to only have 5 thoughts. Well obviously I had more, but I thought it might be nice to (somewhat) spare you the tedium of reading ALL of my mind’s wandering observations.

Here’s to tackling the first week of classes, and here’s to tackling the next 35 odd weeks of classes (all sure to be full of more thoughts, observations, annoyances, and general jubilation). Thanks for bearing with me and the narrative of my return back to Bloomington!

Yours truly,

Rachel

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