First day of class; it feels exactly like the first day of the school year. The hustle and bustle of students trying to find their classes. Some even getting lost and being late to class. The anxiousness was almost unbearable.
To start the day off, my residential advisor, Jennifer, and our group woke up bright and early to go to breakfast. For the orientation purpose of today, everyone was to eat breakfast at 7 AM. By 9 AM all students were to be seated in Lerner Hall for the orientation to begin. The Dean, Kristine Billmyer, gave a speech welcoming all the students, residential and commuting. After her speech, a residential advisor, Sofi, talked about the rules and protocols once again so embed them in our minds.
Once orientation was done, it began; the trek to class with six hundred other students running around trying to find their classes. Thankfully the campus is huge, so buildings weren’t as crowded as expected. Morvarid and I have our American Presidential Powers class in the Schermerhorn building. As we ascended up the stairs to our class, my excitement grew even more. We are finally partaking in the reason as to why our cohort is here. After walking back and forth on the same floor, Morvarid and I finally found our classroom. When we entered the room, the atmosphere was quite tense at first; we were all strangers to each other and no one would start a conversation.
Well, that is until Morvarid started talking.
After a few introductions, the atmosphere definitely became more tolerable and friendly for all of us. The instructor introduced himself as Andrew Porwancher. He teaches at a university in Ohio regularly but is teaching at Columbia University for the summer. He attended Northwestern University, then went to graduate school at Brown University, and gained his PhD at Cambridge University in England. We went over the syllabus for the course. The Presidential Powers class is divided into two blocks; the 10 AM to 12 PM block is a discussion seminar on the articles we were given today while the 2 PM to 4 PM block is done at the library to work on our research paper that pertains to anything that involves the presidency. Halfway through our first block, our class migrated to Butler library for an information session on how to use the computers and resources that the library had to offer. Everything was straightforward, so the concept of that was not very hard to understand.
After class, I headed straight for the dining hall to avoid the rush of hungry people after class. Thankfully there weren’t that much people when I arrived. After a quick lunch, I headed back to my dorm to begin part of my homework for the night. I started reading “The Fable of the Allegory: the Wizard of Oz in Economics,” before I suddenly fell asleep on my bed. Luckily I set my alarm just in case of my exhaustion catching up to me, and I wasn’t late for class. We once again gathered at Butler Library to research for potential topics or even start our paper. As of right now, I am stuck between two topics. One is Woodrow Wilson’s failure in having the League of Nations which in turn led to the success of the United Nations while the other is presidential myths that affect society and the way people view the presidency. To get a second opinion on what fit more as a topic for me, I emailed my past AP U.S. History teacher for advice since he has had first had experience with me and my writing. I actually enjoyed the second block more due to the open atmosphere in the library.
After class was over, the downpour finally came. Morvarid, Lucas and I ran to Lerner Hall, which is right next to the Carman dormitory, to meet with Ms. L and the others. We had a brief meeting on how felt so far, it only being our first day. It seems everyone is settling well into their respective classes. Then we talked about upcoming events we would all partake in together, such as the upcoming dinner with the current Columbia students.
As Ms. L departed from the campus, the group, excluding Lenny, went to the Alma Mater statue in front of the Low Memorial Library. Apparently the person who finds the hidden owl will be class valedictorian. And guess who won? No, unfortunately it wasn’t me but Lucas. After a few teasing comments about cheating to find the owl, we all went our separate ways. Adrianne and Tomi went to the dining hall to have an early dinner while Morvarid and I explored more of the campus. Thankfully we found the building I have been looking for since we arrived on campus; the Dodge Fitness Center. Morvarid and I explored the center for a while to see what it had to offer; so far we have seen four basketball courts (Yay for me!), an eight lane swimming pool, a running track with three lanes, and three levels filled with exercising machines.
After our mini exploration, we went to the dining hall to have dinner, which consisted of meatballs and spaghetti. Once we had our fill, we all grabbed our stuff from the Carman dorm to do a group study in Morvarid’s room in the Hartley building. Fortunately for us, we were very productive for once. Well that is until we ordered some pizza as a late night snack. Seeing as how the rain stopped and the night was partly clear, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to eat outside on the lawn in front of Low Memorial Library. But we started once again after our snack and now here we are. It’s only been day one in Columbia University but the feelings of anxiousness and nervousness are far away. It’s time to work hard, study hard, and maybe even play hard.