Hello, dear readers. You know that quiet, weird kid who only talks when he actually has
something important to say? That would be me, Brad. I'm going to be chiming in here occasionally about how life here in Shimeria is going and whatnot. I'm a transfer
student coming from a large, impersonal community college in the
suburbs about an hour away from Chicago. I happen to have Cerebral
Palsy, ergo some of my writing may have to do with that. Shimer's
elevators and I do not get along, and we have much to work out. I
enjoy reading (obviously, or I wouldn't be at Shimer!), obnoxiously
loud music, tea, coffee, David Bowie, and rambling incoherently. That picture to the right would be me, surrounded by books. Appropriate, no?
Whew! That's the first word that comes to mind when I think about my life since August 23rd, which was move-in day for freshmen. It's been an interesting ten days, to say the very least. It's definitely been a story of extremes, from "I want to go home, whyyyy did I decide to go to college? (and you can feel free, dear reader, to imagine that said in a particularly whiny voice)" to the other extreme of that sudden feeling of "getting" parts the Shimer experience, which would be expressed by an excited and disturbingly cliche warm, fuzzy, "eeeeek I love Shimer!"What happened in the past eleven days? Let's see, my phone decided, two days after I arrived on campus, that it would be an awesome idea if it broke. So I'd been around Chicago for quite a while without a functional phone. However, my awesome friend Neel, a fellow first year (an early entrant, actually), went on an epic adventure with me, where we relied on his phone to get us to the Sprint store, and I got a business card with a website on it. Awesome! Did I mention that this epic adventure climaxed in terrible $8 chili? It was a fun day! I, however, have a phone again, so it was productive.
The other fun thing was attempting to get to class in excruciating pain, and then finding the elevators didn't particularly feel like going to the second floor that day. It was fine, though, I could take the stairs. Or not, as that door was locked. I do believe my Facebook status on that day was, "Dear Universe: Please stop throwing me curve balls, as I am a cripple and cannot catch them. Yours sincerely, Brad." It seemed appropriate. So, Harold, in case you were wondering why I was an hour late to Hum 1, that was why! Oh, how I despise technology sometimes.
So, what did I do that was FUN? I am actually finding the entire experience of Shimer to be enlightening, challenging, and in a way, changing. It's certainly forcing me to open up and talk. Meeting all these people that I had previously interacted with only via Facebook or texting has certainly been a highlight. I've been convinced that boring Shimerians don't actually exist.
Classes are absolutely awesome so far, as I have learned about and discussed everything from music (Hum 1) to how the earth was created (Nat Sci 2) to cultures far different from our own (Soc 1). Some of the reading is frustrating when one doesn't understand entirely what the author means at first, but that actually is one of the uses of the class discussions -- to ask questions about things that didn't quite "click," and to bounce ideas around the room, until, hopefully, someone says something that causes a loud "Eureka!" It's a fine art, though, as the discussions, so far, have been rather like labyrinths, with David Bowie/Jareth as the ultimate mastermind, of course.
OK, so it's entirely possible that I just wanted to make a reference to David Bowie here, but honestly, the art of discussion is certainly tricky sometimes, and communicating what I want to say clearly has so far been the most challenging aspect of Shimer discussions. It's an art form that I've heard is not mastered in the first semester, or even the first year.
All in all, it's been a whirlwind of emotion and confusion -- especially in navigation of the campus, let alone greater Chicago -- but I think I like it here! I'm being facetious, actually, as love would be a better, more accurate word.