Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Retracing My Steps: Goodbye Michigan!

The past month has been a whirlwind of activity. For the first time since I started writing this blog, I made an outline so I could remember most of what I wanted to write. Now comes the hard part: filling in the details for you. I'll break it into installments to make it less crazy.

Let's start in Michigan: my last few crazy days.

I had three final exams, two of which were online and therefore rather easy, and one of which was “fundamental” genetics. I don't see how molecular chemistry and complicated algorithms are fundamental, but I spent a good all-nighter studying after barely sleeping the night before because of one of the online exams. I used my human alarm clock (my fiance) on the other side of the world via MSN messenger to wake me by sending me messages with my computer on high volume after a catnap, and then studied some more, got a bagel, coffee, and an orange to go from the cafeteria, and walked and ate to class. Little did I know that almost everything on the exam was exactly what I'm terrible at: statistics and memorizing names of things. Also, because it was my last semester and therefore totally futile to buy expensive things, I had no calculator.... I almost passed. The other two classes I passed no problem, headed straight for graduation, but... ouch. I emailed my professor from California a couple of days later begging for a 1.0. More on CA and the professor's answer later (suspense!).

After the genetics exam, I was exhausted, so I slept a couple hours and woke up to my human alarm clock again. Bedodoop! That's the best I can describe the telltale MSN sound. Then it was time for more cafeteria food (I was living in a dormitory for the summer session) and the last online exam. Although I was sleepy, it wasn't bad. After that I took a shower and got ready for my going away party!

It was supposed to be a take-my-stuff-so-I-don't-have-to-deal-with-it-and-then-let's-get-food-and-drinks party, but it ended up a Kristin waiting for an hour in Bubble Island for people to come, then everyone coming late so the restaurant I wanted to go to was already too packed, so everyone sat around feeling awkward until we decided to go to Buffalo Wild Wings instead party. Although I was exhausted and a little annoyed at first, it ended up being more than I had hoped for. More than ten people came, and everyone got along even if it was the first time they had met. While people were arriving, my dad stopped by on the way through town to say goodbye and drop off some things I needed for the move. Again, awkward but nice. My father looks very strange without a beard. All in all, my last day in Michigan ended up being very warm, and I crawled into bed for another catnap for the last time. Although nobody took my things that day, a couple of friends had mostly cleaned my room out already, taking things like kitchen necessities, clothes and towels, office supplies, and other things that everyone needs and uses.

The next morning I took a shower, got in some comfortable traveling clothes, did some final packing (i.e. toothbrush and hairbrush), and went to play piano for the last time while waiting for my friend Jessica to come take my TV and a couple other things I promised her if nobody bought them. Jessica and my brother were “dating” in kindergarten, if kindergarteners holding hands all the time can be called dating, and he found her again on Facebook recently. She happened to live near me, so I got to see my brother more and made a new friend a couple months before leaving. After we hugged and said goodbye for the millionth time, I went back in and cleaned up what was left of my room. Then another new friend, Tei (whom I had met recently because he was something equatable to my RA) came to my room to help me take my baggage to the bus stop. I hadn't found a home for my dorm fridge yet, so we lugged it downstairs and left it in a corner, an the front desk called someone to take it to some storage area. Before it was taken away, a random conversation ended up with a guy taking it to his room. He was checking in while I was checking out. Funny how things just work out sometimes. After checking out, we rolled my two suitcases, me dragging my smaller one with my carry-on bag on top, and he dragging the larger one with a box of textbooks to sell on the way on top, the fifteen minutes or so to the bookstore, then to the bus stop (now bookless). We chatted until it was time for me to go, then said another sad goodbye. I got on the bus, which took me to the airport, called my mother so she wouldn't worry about my getting up on time, and slept.

The flight to California was an uneventful flight with one stopover. One interesting thing was that, with the new baggage fees, it was about the same price to check my bags as it was to upgrade the first leg of the trip to business class. As the southern businessman sitting next to me in business class later said on the topic, “that's what we call a no-brainer!” That was July 2nd.

In the next installment, Kristin goes to California for the first time ever!

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