Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"This is Madness!" "THIS! IS! UCD!"

Well I made it out of the strange apartment alive, and would've made it to bed in plenty of time and been well rested for class if the fire alarm hadn't gone off at 2:30 in the morning. I don't know if it was a drill or an alcohol-fueled prank or what (there were a lot of very loud drunk kids around), but I do know that it was cold and horrible and that I had a hard time going to sleep again after getting back inside.

Classes have been going pretty well so far. I've seen a marked difference in professors' attitudes towards their students between the second-level and third-level classes I've had so far, but it's still pretty interesting stuff and none of the instructors seem like their going to be very bad. I'm a bit concerned about being attacked by Lorraine, however, who's a student who's come back after several years off to complete her degree and kind of glommed on to me the first day; she's very bubbly in a way I'm not entirely comfortable with.

But my social life has really taken off in the last two days. Yesterday I spent some time after class drinking wine with a whole bunch of people in the quad and then in Tommy's apartment after his drunken idiot of a roommate John threw a half-eaten apple at a girl who turned out to be an RA. She was going to leave us alone, too, but after that she made us all go inside.

Later we decided to head down to the Student Club, which is run by the Student Union and was completely packed when we got down there. Also, it was loud and disgusting and my shoes kept sticking to the floor, and, to top it all off, Maggie was there, so I made a subtle exit to go try and track down where Glennis had got to. Turns out she'd been waylaid by John and some English girl and her friends, so I went to wait outside their building for her to come down and go over to the bar.

I laid down on a bench that was there and was sort of staring at the sky when some people in another apartment waved to me. I asked if that's where Glennis was, and they replied back in the negative and in a French accent. But there was a large group of people on the grass who'd thought the people in the apartment were waving to them, and went over to say hello. They saw me on the bench, and one boy said, "oh, that's the girl who doesn't play sports!" because I'd told him that as I failed to kick a soccer ball he'd passed me back to him. So the group of people came over to the bench, and just like that I had an entire social network of friendly people.

We hung out for the rest of the evening, mainly wandering around campus and occasionally sitting in random places. Brian is the one that kind of brought me in; he's very talkative and friendly and reminds me quite a great deal of Dan Whitener. He's friends with Paul, who is, in fact, Tommy's roommate, and also is a very nice guy, though a good deal quieter than Brian. There's also Thomas, who's half French and half Polish and lives in the apartment below mine, of all places, and is a law student. Also present were Dave, a UCD fresher, Laurence, a Belgian girl whose name I've probably misspelled, and John, who took to me as soon as he heard me making what could be perceived as sexist remarks against women.

Today I saw both Brian and Thomas and was persuaded by them into attending an international student thing at the Forum bar (there's 2 bars on campus, God Bless Eire). There I met loads more people, including Joe, who was at CTYI the session immediately following the one I attended, (another) Tommy, who's pretty '90s-grunge looking and a whole lot of fun, (another) Brian, who's a bit like a beatnik leprechaun, and a bunch of others, including several metal kids. What this all amounts to is that I'm a de-facto member of the Jazz Club already. After the international thing we went back to Paul/Tommy-the-American's apartment where there was a drum kit, an acoustic guitar, and an acoustic bass (a most impressive instrument - sounds like a twangier double bass). So the rest of the evening was a jam session backing some lovely conversation. Also, Tenacious D was involved. Excellent times. AND the Student Union folk gave me a free loaf of bread. What a night. This is awesome.

In other, unrelated news, I've finally realized why Bono wears those silly sunglasses that are barely tinted at all. Usually, in Ireland, it's just bright enough to make you squint, but not quite bright enough to provide enough light to see by if you're wearing full-fledged sunglasses. Now if only there was a solution to this problem that didn't involve looking like a prat.

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