I know. Its been awhile. I have been busy- actually I have been lazy and concerned about school. Well school has started and now I know what I have gotten myself into. It is known! God! Shit! Scared! This whole first week (I am on day three mind you) every professor starts by saying something along the lines of ‘say goodbye to your life’ or ‘you are going to be so stressed out and let us know before you drown’ or ‘if you do not do this tinsy little thing you will FAIL.’ All of these things scare me and the other students like nobodies business and lead to a lot of confusion with all the tinsy little things that could cause us to fail and the larger objects that don’t really seem to lead to the same amount of dire straits.
A good chunk of this program seems to be figuring out which hoops to jump through and then being successful at the jumps. So far we are struggling with the ‘figuring which hoops’ part. But I think I have it down. Scariness aside, I think I am going to be busy but really like what I am doing for the next year. At least once I figure out which of my 5 labs goes with which of my 6 or 7 classes. Yes, I have 6 or 7 (haven’t really figured out the exact number yet- one of those hoops) classes on a quarter system where you usually have 3 or 4. Most have 2-6 hour labs attached to them.
Anyway enough about school- I am heading that direction in an hour anyway. Philadelphia is great! Its funny and easy to get around and surprisingly still beautiful. I like it. I like wandering around. Things I have noticed:
1. It is grungy but not as grungy as the stereotype or even as grungy as Seattle
2. SEPTA transportation is pretty awesome. I live near the subway though so I am not sure if it’s as easy by bus or trolley.
3. Dogs, so far, are not as social here, but still cute. I don’t think there are as many dog parks for them to learn socialization skills.
4. There are big city smells but not much dog poop around because you get fined $300 if you don’t pick it up.
5. There are 3 cool coffee shops by my house but coffee is not as good here. definitely not as good.
6. I have seen at least 3 drug transactions since I have been here even though I live in a pretty good neighborhood.
7. I have seen 3 obviously pregnant women smoking.
8. Half the people have accents and the other half don’t and it doesn’t correlate to economics.
9. There are bars or delis or take outs on every corner.
10. ALL the streets are one-way. So don’t complain Portlanders!
11. People park, or double park everywhere. Streets are small so sometimes you have to drive on the sidewalk. People also park backwards going the wrong direction.
12. Everyone drives like they are crazy. Seriously the worst driving I have ever seen.
13. People block traffic with cars ALL THE TIME.
14. Bikers, there are a fair amount here despite the crazy driving, DO NOT wear helmet- ever. Even the med student did not wear a helmet.
15. The people who smoke here are real smokers- not hipsters.
16. Philadelphia is a great walking city. Beautiful.
17. There are lots of art galleries and art events here. My favorite painting of all time: Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Nude descending a staircase’ is here.
Thats it for now- I miss everyone in the Northwest and WEst coast!