Last night, I went to a pre-Orientation BBQ with most of the first-years, and a handful of second- and third-years. I'd met three (of 17) previously, which made meeting a whole bunch of strangers just a little bit easier, since there were already a couple faces I knew. It was a little awkward getting it off the ground; I'm not great in social situations to begin with, I really dislike hanging out with strangers, and I find small talk extremely challenging. So I awkwardly stood in a corner for the first hour, trying to make small talk with whoever was standing near me. Then the food came out, which gave me something else to do (awkwardly). Then I chanced upon a smaller group of folks in a smaller room, and things picked up. We had an excellent, meandering conversation about pot, architecture, pianos, blood, violence, whether a sex-dungeon in an attic should be called a dungeon or a loft, yard sales, the nineties, life before the internet, and how great it will be to only have classes three days a week. There was a LOT of laughter, and very little talk of Shakespeare. Everybody seems really nice, and most of us fall into the 21-34 age range, with a concentration of just-out-of-undergrad kids, and then a few of us who are older. I felt very successful about the evening, until I made the mistake of announcing that I was leaving so I could go home and go to bed (at 7:30). I hope to do better today, when all 17 of us will be together for the first time.
That's all. Orientation activities begin in an hour, so I'm off to forage for breakfast and clothing, and maybe get another box unpacked before I need to leave. Wish me luck!