There have just been way too many things going on in the past few days. It’s been crazy. Thursday night, there was a Monte Carlo night, basically a huge event with stuff set up all over the Student Life Centre and Physical Activities Complex. It was massive. There were poker and blackjack tables set up in the gymnasium, plus a whole bunch of other stuff as well. I got my picture taken with penguins, plus I was drawn by a caricaturist. The picture he drew was pretty impressive, I must say. It’s all cartoonish, and it shows me playing a guitar and rocking out. It was awesome. Friday night was an Arts party called The Mixer. It was at Fed Hall, and was basically a big dance party. It was alright. I’m not much of a dance kind of guy, but as far as dances go, I’d say it was pretty cool. There were plenty of people, and yet at the same time, it wasn’t horribly crowded. So it was alright. I think there was really only one person there that could actually dance, though. He was going crazy doing the robot and hitting on all the girls at the same time. I just sort of stood and stared at him whenever he did his whole robot thing, because it was pretty sweet.
Anyways, Saturday afternoon, there was a rugby game – the Waterloo Warriors against the Toronto Varsity Blues. We crushed them. It was like 60 to 7 or something crazy like that. I forget the exact score. But anyways, since it was also Black and Gold Day, everyone was dressed up in the school’s colours to cheer them on. Unfortunately, it was cold. And I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, since those are the only black and gold things that I own. So I didn’t feel much like cheering. I felt more like going back to rez and warming up. But anyways, things warmed up a bit later on in the day, and Saturday night was the culminating event of the whole Orientation Week – the toga party. Yes, they set up a giant stage with a whole ton of lights, and had a huge dance outside with everyone dressed in togas – or, for the more modern university Greek, a bedsheet wrapped around the body. Most people were wearing shirts underneath, since it was still a bit chilly out, but it was warm enough inside the crowd of people as long as you stayed in the middle and not at the edge. That was pretty fun, I guess. I finally saw Kristin, so I talked with her and a couple of her floormates for a while. Again, though, I’m not much of a dancer, so the night wasn’t overly exciting.
So that officially ended frosh week. I woke up the next morning for church, and here’s where things got a bit tricky. I had checked the Waterloo Pentecostal Assembly website, and it was pretty confusing. On the main page, it said that the summer services were at 10:00 AM. But, when I clicked on the page with the service schedules, it said that there were two services, one at 9:00 AM and another at 10:45 AM. So I didn’t know whether they were still on the summer schedule or not. I finally decided to just go for about 10:40 AM or so, and hope that I would be early rather than late. As well, I checked on the map of Waterloo that I have to decide how long it should take me to walk. I figured that it didn’t look that far, so I thought that it would probably take about 15 minutes. So, I headed out about 10:20 AM, and started walking. And walking. And walking. Half an hour later, I arrived. Boy, distances sure look a lot shorter on the map. I got there about 10:50 AM, and on top of that, I also found out that the service had started at 10:00 AM. Bummer. But oh well; I didn’t miss much. They were having a “ministry symposium” that day, so instead of a service, they were just showcasing all the different ministries in the church and allowing people to sign up and stuff. It was pretty interesting, though. Each ministry had a different spokesperson giving a short description of what it entailed, and the lineup of these people stretched off the stage, along the side wall of the church right to the back door. The church definitely seems to have a lot going on.
After the service, all the ministries had tables set up in the lobby, some with signup sheets or information packages. Being a new person to the church, I naturally wanted to ask people some questions – not just to get answers, but also to hopefully get to know some people in the church. So I first stopped by the little counter where they sell coffee and stuff, and asked the lady there if she knew what bus routes I could take to get to and from the church from the university. She didn’t really know, and she asked a few more people, who gave me a few vague descriptions of bus routes in the area, but not much of a concrete explanation. I told her I’d check online, and then moved on. Next I visited the table with the technical people behind it. They had mentioned that they were looking for people to do sound, lighting, and video, and since I used to do Powerpoint at New Life, I figured I could at least get involved in the church in that area. So I signed up, talked to the guy for a little bit, and then moved on. I then moved to the young adults’ table. They have a program on Thursday nights, so I talked to the youth pastor, Pastor Geoff, and found out about when it was and such. He also introduced me to another girl, whose name I forget now (since I’ve probably met about a hundred people this week alone), but who is also at university and lives in Waterloo. Later I also met a couple more girls who are also in Arts and Business at UW. From that point on, I basically just killed time until lunch rolled around – they had a free lunch for university and college students, so I figured I might as well get to know some of the people there.
Lunch was pasta and caesar salad. It was good. I ended up at a table with a bunch of non-university students, though. I think most of them were either employed at the church, or else just involved in some ministry there. While sitting there talking to the people, one of the guys got pressured into getting involved into a drama that was being put on. Since he had also offered to give me a ride back to the university, he asked if I wanted to stay as well. I figured that since I had nothing else to do that afternoon, I might as well stay. So I did. While people arrived to the sanctuary, I sat in the front row with a couple other people and got to know a guy named Jonathan. As it turns out, he’s a fan of Underoath as well. I talked to him for a while, and then the guy in charge asked him to do sound – basically just start and stop the CD. He told me to come back with him, so I did, and we sat in the sound booth at the back and worked the CD player while chatting about various stuff. In the end, he gave me a ride back to the university, and I arrived back having made a new friend. That’s been a big thing that I’ve been wanting to do since arriving here – find Christian friends, and also friends that, despite what beliefs they may hold to, have a similar lifestyle to mine. As of now, I’ve started to do both. I’ve found a few people in St. Jerome’s who I get along with quite well. Don’t ask how, but the topic of sex came up, and I found out that none of them all of them have been abstinent. Wow. And these guys and girls aren’t Christians – not to my knowledge, anyway. It was pretty cool. I got to know them pretty well within about a couple hours, and by that time it seemed like I had known them for months. Awesome stuff. And now, as of Sunday, I’ve started to find people who are Christians up here in Waterloo. Sweet deal.
Anyways, Sunday night was a coffeehouse at St. Jerome’s. It was pretty cool. There were people that played the piano, people that sang, danced, or recited poetry, a stand-up comedian, and even one guy that played songs with his nose. That was pretty funny just in itself. It was a good night all around. This was the day after most of the upper-year students moved into the residence, so there were a lot of people there that I didn’t know all over again. And of course, since they all know each other for the most part, it was a little awkward. In fact, last night (or I guess more accurately, this morning) at about 12:30 AM, three of the upper-year students came into my room when I was just chilling, listening to music and such. They talked to me for a while, just getting to know me and everything, and that was pretty cool. Then more of them came in and got talking. Soon there were about ten or twelve of them in my room, most of them partially drunk, and about seven different conversations going on all at the same time. It was pretty confusing, and the whole people-in-my-room situation was completely out of control, but at the same time, I guess it was alright. At least I was getting to know some of the people I’m going to have to live with for the next four or eight months. And at least they’re nice, if nothing else. Anyways, eventually they left, and I shut the door soon after that. They had moved the party out into the hallway, so they were pretty loud, but I didn’t care. The first day of classes started tomorrow, and I wanted to get some sleep.
Today was pretty interesting. I had a French class at 9:30 AM, something which at first I was not looking forward to, but now I see as a good thing. After all, if I don’t have any classes until later in the morning, then I can sleep in – but then I miss breakfast, which only goes until 9:00 AM. But anyways, I went there, and things were pretty interesting. The class is pretty small, not any larger than the biggest class at BCC. There are only about forty people in each class as well. The teacher was crazy, though. She went through attendance three times – each time trying to remember people’s names. She didn’t do too well. After introducing herself and going through a bit of the introduction to the course, she then switched to speaking in French. I then completely lost what she was saying. Fortunately, she made enough wild hand motions so that I could tell what she meant. Besides, the stuff we were learning – or reviewing – was pretty basic. Today we introduced ourselves to each other, saying, “Bonjour, je m’appelle Jeff. Ca va?” It was grade 6 all over again. And looking over the course outline, things don’t seem to get too much more difficult than that. In tomorrow’s class, it says we’ll be learning about colours and numbers. I mean, I’m sure we’ll get into new material soon enough, but when the course is called Basic French, I don’t expect any complex sentence structures anytime soon. Which is good, since I haven’t taken French in three years.
After my fifty-minute French class, I had about an hour to kill, and then I headed off to my Psychology class. This was also fifty minutes long, so it was nice and ADD-friendly. The professor there was also pretty crazy. He was hilarious. Apparently his tests are pretty hard, but he seems like a really friendly guy with a funny sense of humour. He really loves psychology, though, that’s for sure. As well, there’s no final exam in that class, only four multiple choice tests throughout the year. Score! I’m looking forward to the fact that I’ll only have four exams at the end of the term instead of five. But anyways, after that, I didn’t have another class until 3:30 PM. It’s kind of strange. I’m used to high school, where you go to school, have class all day, and then come home. At university, the classes are all spread out, so you have a class, and then have to find something to do for an hour or two, then have another class.
Anyways, my final class was an Intro to Management course, and that was an hour and twenty minutes long. I’m not quite sure what I think of the professor there. He seems to be very structure-oriented, and yet he’s not a serious guy. In fact, and it kind of frightens me to say this, he kind of reminds me of Mr. Gillmore in a strange sort of way. Not entirely, of course, but he seems like he has a sense of humour – yet when he gets down to business, he’s logical and structured about it. The way the classes are supposed to be taught are sort of strange, though. He said that he’s going to be more of a facilitator of a discussion rather than a lecturer. There’s a business simulation game that we have to play, we have to write reflections about what we’ve learned in class (that was what really reminded me of Mr. Gillmore, since he was always fond of his journals), and he said he’s going to bring in guest speakers throughout the term and such. It looks to be an interesting course at least, which is good, since I was fearing that it would be horribly boring. And, to top it all off, he says he’s going to have a joke of the day for us. Sweet! Anyways, it doesn’t seem to be as bad as I was thinking it might be, so that’s good. Of course, I might be too quick in saying that. The guy sitting in front of me was the most obnoxious guy I’ve ever seen. He would always call out random comments that weren’t even funny, and then laugh hysterically at anything and everything, even if it wasn’t a joke. He was calling the prof Bobby, and trying to talk to him like they were best friends. I think by the end of class, about 90% of the people in the lecture hall wanted to throw something at him. So I think in future classes, I’m going to look around for this guy, and then try to sit on the opposite side of the classroom – mostly for the fact that I can’t be held responsible for what I might do if I sit next to him again.
But anyways, today was not as bad as I thought it would be. Of course, I already had some stuff to read for Psych class, so the workload has already begun, but as of now, I’m much more relaxed about going to class. I think I’m going to actually enjoy going to the classes and listening to these crazy people. The French prof seems to want to actually get to know each of us, the Psych prof seems to have a passion for what he teaches, and the Management prof seems to be genuinely interested in helping us learn. So far, I haven’t met the stereotypical prof who is simply there either to get paid, or else to do research on his students. And for that, I’m quite grateful. But alas, I still have two classes that I haven’t been to yet, Philosophy and Intro to Programming (a Computer Science course). I’ll make sure to let you know how those go. But as for now, I have a floor meeting to go to – the don has to go over some ground rules and such, I suppose. We had one before, but we were kind of pressed for time, so it was pretty brief and just covered the basics. So with that said, ciao. From the University of Waterloo, this is Jeff saying, “Good night San Fransisco.”