I am blogging from Boston. I have been here for about a week and a half now and it has been pretty good. I have been bored, worried, excited, sad, lonesome, excited, happy, and a whole bunch of other emotions so far. Most of it comes with leaving a place you are used to, at least that's what I like to tell myself. Anyway I am going to tell you about my adventures thus far.
Right off the bat I have one suggestion for students considering National Student Exchange for their capstone: make sure the host campus has on-campus housing, or that you know someone from the area. I had a lot of trouble finding a place in Boston with little help from the host school.
I have found that I miss my friends a lot. Once I get into the groove of things though I should begin to feel better about that. I feel a little bit like the way I did when I was a freshman at UMR. Only this time, I have a boyfriend back home who I miss beyond belief. Again, I think with time and the start of a new routine, I will be less distraught. We will Skype at least once a day. Plus I am going to make a surprise visit home in October and then I will be home for Thanksgiving as well. So it really isn't even a full four months apart. So far, I think my capstone is going to be a great relationship strengthening experience.
I really like the city of Boston. It is much larger than what I am used to. I grew up in a town of 2,000 people so this is a totally different experience than I have ever had before. I have seen a lot of the city and know my way around fairly well. I have probably walked a million miles around the city. There is so much to do and see and so far I have gone to the movie theater three times. I haven't been to that many movies in three years. It's a nice break from walking though. I would suggest seeing For a good time, call... It is a little raunchy but also hilarious. First movie I ever went to by myself and I think it was the first movie for the children that sat in front of me as well. They're going to have so many questions after seeing that. Poor souls. Besides movies, I went to Quincy Market which seems to me like a year round MN state fair. It was much better though. My boyfriend, Philip, and I went to a lot of places including Provincetown where I got my haircut for $48. I know what you're thinking, "He only spent $48 for that beautiful head of hair." Well I'll stop you right there and let you know I spent $36 the week prior to arriving in Boston. Now I don't have any money, but damn my hair is fine. Literally.
As for school, I have found that there are several parallels between UMass and UMR. The first parallel is that they have a Chancellor and he loves to hear from students, even setting aside time for his own office hours. This is not unlike Chancellor Lehmkuhle. He would definitely set aside time for students. Another interesting thing is that they don't have a meal plan. They have a cafeteria, but there is no real meal plan where you have certain amounts of money set aside. Again, this is just like UMR and the food court on the second floor. Now this next thing only applies to juniors and seniors but UMass also does not have on-campus housing. They only have partnerships with a couple apartment buildings in the area, much like UMR did for the first two years. Finally, I found out that the Ambassadors here can't walk backwards. This is something Molly is always telling UMR Ambassadors not to do as well. So even though I am 1300 miles away from home, there are little things here that remind me where of where I came from.
I think I will always be a "smalltown" UMRian/Rochesterite/Twin Citiesite at heart. Don't get me wrong, I love the big city, but for me I prefer smaller places. I say this one week into my adventure and I'm sure by the end I will look at this and say "What was I thinking? I don't want to leave here." One thing I will say for sure though is that UMR has the greatest technology and set up of all. I am in classes that have blackboards. What year are we in here, 1995? Another thing we have here are lecture halls, much like any other college I would suppose. They aren't bad, but they definitely don't compare to Learn Labs. In the classrooms there are desks and not tables. I definitely prefer the tables, mostly because my gangly limbs don't fit all that well into them. I almost prefer nodes to these desks. Anyway, I do like it here though. It should be a fun semester. I was given yet another admissions job. I think that will have to be my backup plan at this point. Four years of admissions and I would have to say I'm nearly a professional.
I need to bring this to a close now. This will double as both a blog for Anthony and a journal for CLI4711. I hope that's okay. I will keep in touch and will let you know more about my Bostonian adventures in the next journal/blog.