Wednesday, September 7, 2011

College Orientation - Day One

So, today was the first day of college, what I was expecting to be the first-and-only orientation day. Turns out they've stretched it to three. That would make sense, given the fact that the NBCCSJ campus is about three times the size of the Saint Andrews campus.

Thing is, in a course that's centred around business administration, there seems to be a lot of wasted time. For starters, every single new-entry student was on campus today, and began their days by crowding into the gymnasium only to file back out again immediately afterward. There was a grab bag and some sign ups during that time, but it was nothing that couldn't have been distributed to the classrooms that we all tried to get to en masse. Traffic jams, pedestrian or vehicular, are a major source of stress for me, which is a big reason I've totally ignored the idea of going into urban planning. The lecture in the classrooms was relatively worthwhile, though there was a certain "get on with it" voice in the back of my mind, since most of the lectures were fairly self-explanatory for anyone who'd already been to college; the workloads are heavier, the hours are longer, the attendance is more of an issue... that sort of thing.

There was a catered break with coffee and donuts, and then a tour of the campus that everyone tried to do at the same time, causing more traffic jams. The tour was nice, but with all of our classes in the same room (a feature I haven't had access to since the sixth grade), it was a little superflouous. Then there was a two-hour long lunch (presumably because everyone was expected to wind up in the cafeteria), followed by a Q&A with program graduates, and a general dismissal about an hour ahead of schedule.

All and all, a good enough day, though it demonstrated a certain hyperbolic tendancy among the staff. Time management is crucial, and you've got to work hard to succeed in our courses. Cut to the famous clip of George Bush solemnly speaking about dying US soldiers in Iraq at a golf course, and then turning and saying "Now, watch this drive."

Tomorrow promises to be only marginally more productive. An hour-long information session on school policies and general housekeeping tasks, followed by fifteen-minute mini-tutorials for each of the semester's courses, going over the syllabi, meeting the instructors. Somewhere in there there's room for another two-hour lunch, a campus-wide barbeque with students of both years in attendance and lines as long as the school, to be sure. In as much as a population of largely 18-19 year olds can be expected to form lines on their own. Supposedly we have a scheduled slot to hit the book store, something I would have done weeks ago if I hadn't been uncertain as to which courses, precisely, I would be exempting. I have at least two of the courses exactly from my previous work, and in two of the other courses I have very similar credits. Then there's an hour and a half for the students who are leasing laptops from the school to pick them up, followed by another early dismissal.

Friday seems somewhat more promising. Fridays for us are generally half-days, with the afternoon blocked for testing and whatnot, but more often than not, leaving us with a lot of empty time on our hands. Other than that, there's a toonie breakfast from 9 AM to 10 PM, followed by an hour-long software download session (and, so help me if I have to change any of the software I'm already using, like office 2007 (which we are required to use anyway) or, say, McAffee (also a requirement), and then an hour to make sure we can all log into the school network okay.

So I guess the hard work doesn't start until next week, huh? Maybe I'm just acclimated to the busier environment of college through my past with the Hospitality and Tourism Management program, but even a "heavy day" sounds pretty light to me.

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