It's been just two days, but it feels like an eternity! I feel like so much stuff is happening every day, it would be enough to fill two or three days at home! Let's see, what happened so far, shall we ... ?
At the end of the last entry, I wrote about the car show that I was going to attend. I uploaded about a hundred and fifty photos to a facebook album about that. If you haven't noticed it, you might probably not have my contact yet. If that is the case, contact me!
On Monday, the orientation for the international students begun. From 9 to 1 we had all kinds of introductions and it was really interesting. At least most of it ^^ Some parts, like the "your away from your parents houses for the first time" didn't really appeal to me, so I just sat back, grinned and nodded. But in general, it was really interesting to get to know, what the University offers. The campus Health Care Center and the Campus Police Station are just two examples (yes, real police officers!).
After these four hours of introduction, there was a small market with like 18 booths representing different clubs or associations of the campus life. We were lured to talk to the people of the booths with a raffle. There were nice prices, but it wasn't my lucky day... never mind!
After the orientation was over for that day, I had an appointment with the head of the Computer Science Department about my individual studies. Dr. Paxton is a gracious person and he really seemed to be glad he could help. He presented to me six different possible topics for individual projects and I decided to take a closer look at four of them. He set the contacts up and soon I'm going to meet the corresponding person in charge of the projects.
The rest of the time, we had a nice chat. He told me, that he had been to Germany quite recently. He taught in Leipzig for one year (if I'm not mistaken). He also visited Hanover, because he once hosted an exchange student from Hanover. We talked a little bit about cultural differences, his and my experience (so far) and plans for the closer and the further future (ouh yeah, he said, if my individual project is really really good, it shouldn't be to hard to come back for a Ph.D. !!! :D ). He offered me to maybe join in on a tour to Yellowstone some day, to elaborate the matter (mainly the cultural difference- and experience-matter).
In the evening, I hung out with some people I literately just met a few days ago and some other people, I had never seen before. There wasn't much going on, but it was a nice calm evening anyway.
Today, Tuesday, the second part of our orientation took place. This time, it was for all of the exchange students separately - still about 50 people! After we introduced ourselves and had small enforced conversations, we heard about some more and some less important topics again. The entire orientation gave me the impression, that studying in the U.S. seems to be far more guided than it is in Germany - although I've never been to the Freshman Introduction in Hanover either ...
Everyone is really kind and helpful. Where ever you stand and walk, people come up to you and ask how you are and if they can help you. I think, slowly but surely, I'm getting used to the "thanks, fine, how are you?" whenever I see somebody. I somehow like it that way. I know, it's probably somewhat superficial, but it's still quite a nice environment, but I don't think, it could ever happen in Germany :D I mean, people had to be friendly for no reason ... tse.
Later today, I discovered the gym more thoroughly. I didn't take much time to train today, but I'm planning to do it far more regularly this semester than in Germany.
In the evening, there was a pizza party around the corner and many many of the international students came, met, ate, and talked. It was really nice; you could have a different conversation wherever you looked. I got in contact more thoroughly with some of the people I already knew and even talked to some I hadn't talked to before. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera, so no pictures of that event...
Well, I guess that's basically it for now. I'm not sure if anyone's going to read the entire article at all, but if you are one of these rare individuals, I'd like you to post a comment. ... I'm not sure, what I want you to state on specifically - maybe I'll come up with something for the next entry.
Well... me tired. Late. Needs to sleep. Bye bye!