Monday, August 13, 2007

First Day of Classes

I never knew there were this many people at NUS until I got on the A1 bus from the NUH bus stop. I was rushing from the flat to uni because I promised to meet Lorie and Gene for lunch at the newly renovated FASS canteen, otherwise known as The Deck. The old canteen boasted of greasy faux red brick walls, laminated plastic seats that stuck to your thighs during abnormally hot days, and the persistent smell of frying chicken in the air. Now, the place is gleaming white, with a high ceiling, and an air-conditioned second floor that boasted our very own Burger King outlet.

Of course, with the renovation came the crowds. We ended up going to the canteen at around 12 noon - myself, Lorie, Gene, Angie, and Nino braved the crowds in order to look for food, only to discover that both upper and lower decks were positively swamped with students (where did all these kids come from?) and that those who were holding seats at the upper deck (or what Justine affectionately calls "the space ship") were inconsiderate bastards who never even ordered a thing and yet commandeered the spacious couches and lounge areas around the viewing deck. Singaporeans.

So we ended up eating at the Biz canteen instead - which sported greasy faux red brick walls, laminated plastic seats that stuck to your thighs during abnormally hot days, and the persistent smell of frying chicken in the air. Sigh.

But we did get to finally hang out at The Deck somewhere during the late afternoon - the sun was setting and we managed to get a couch that gave us a marvelous view of the harbour - and the construction below us. But still, it was lovely. And we figured out that it would probably be easier to just hang around the area after the lunchroom crowd had gone. After all, kiasu only goes so far, and we're not exactly the types who would subscribe to the mentality. Well, at least not until classes start in earnest.

Today also meant a bit of walking for me around the campus, since I wanted to get my module requirements over and done with. Unfortunately, it seems that the administrative staff at the Graduate Studies Division didn't get the memo that classes would be starting today and so the person handling the coursework students (us poor, unrecognized coursework students) was on leave, which meant I couldn't get confirmation as to whether or not my application for the modules were approved or not. But it seems that it went through the departments just fine, which means that if they don't give the modules to me, I will...

I will...

I have no idea. But I will get pissed off and try to kill the nearest administrative staff. As long as it's not from our department.

But still, it surprised me that my subconscious was familiar already with the hidden walkways and paths that criss-cross my faculty. After all, FASS is like a rabbit warren, and I remember that my legs hurt the first time I had to walk from Central Library to AS5. Now, it seems like it's just nothing, and that the off-shoulder hallways and stairwells that lead from one building to another are just ingrained in my mind, without much conscious thought. It's lovely to realize that after a year, I'm more comfortable in the university campus, and that I'm finally familiar with my way around. ^_^

So here's to my last semester, and my last few months in Singapore. It's a hell hole, but at least it's one sweet ride.

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