Busy day today (Monday), in prep for tomorrow's induction (intro to the university and its services). Loads to do to simultaneously “move” and start school. Sort of wish I could have been here a few days or weeks earlier, really, to settle in. Mais c'est la vie.
I'm aided by knowing my way around from previous visits and having family here in London, but I still find myself a bit nervous, like I'm five years old and being sent off to school for the first time. Normal, I suppose; I'm familiar with the city but not the system, and I keep thinking I'll not do something I'm supposed to that everyone else will know about. Sigh. It's also in my nature to worry. I'm supremely organized in some ways, and self-motivated, but also tend to micromanage if I don't watch myself. Must relax.
Amusingly, just before leaving Denver I saw Big Bang Theory for the first time. I find I'm like Sheldon—a bit OCD—but not as brilliant. Hmmm … that doesn't leave me the best aspects of the character, does it?
I tried to set up this very blog today, but kept getting internal server errors. Support wasn't particularly supportive, mostly telling me to reinstall if things didn't sort themselves out. That's twice today I've had technical gremlins, the other being trying to top up my mobile internet—T-Mobile had some sort of issue and couldn't accept the top-up, and thus wouldn't let me surf. (It's fixed now, obviously, or I wouldn't be net-bound typing this entry.) So, amusingly, here I am on a computer science course and I'm having to write my first few blog entries using pen and paper. Stone knives and bearskins, as Dr. McCoy might say.
Also went to start the process of setting up a bank account today. They were very nice, but warned me it could take up to two weeks to set up an account because this is a very busy time of year (all students starting accounts at the same time). This is troubling for many reasons, because to set up anything (broadband, mobile phone service, etc.) I have to have a way to direct debit my account, which means I have to have an account in the first place. So for now I'm on the relatively clunky and limited mobile internet and am borrowing my mum-in-law's mobile. Oh, and to get a student Oyster card I have to pay a fee online using my—you guessed it—debit card attached to my bank account. So no cheap fares on the train for me, at least for now. (An Oyster card allows you to pay less on public transport, which is more expensive in London than it is almost anywhere else in the world. And a student Oyster card allows you to pay even less.)
So let's hope things are set up rather more quickly than slowly!
I'm here! Here being, of course, London, England. The usual 9 hours of flying+assorted waiting at desks, gates, and baggage claim areas.
I've done my usual post-arrival thing, which is to stay up until about 4:30 pm local time (after having been up, what, 24 hours overall), go to bed until about 10 pm, then get up for a few hours and go to bed again. It seems to work for me, getting me onto a more-or-less normal schedule within a day or two. And I'll need to, this time, as I have to go to my university induction bright and early Tuesday morning.
Watched Countdown tonight on catch-up TV, so I was watching last Monday's show. Saw an absoute genius with words and numbers--Daniel something--win 106-20 or something like that (I'm still groggy, mind you, so details flit and fade like sprites hiding behind trees in the forest), just absolutely brilliant. I realise I love Countdown because it combines the same strange set of things I love--words and numbers--although I wouldn't be likely to win on the show, because even though I'm currently a proofreader and work with words all the time, I look at already-existing text to make sure it's correct, as opposed to creating the words out of their component parts. (I suppose that's a metaphor for what I'm trying to do now with my life, move from non-creative to creative.) I am fairly good at Scrabble, but I'm trained to look at groups of seven letters as opposed to nine (in Countdown), so I'm forever coming up with five- and six-letter words while the contestants have seven or eight.
Nothing against Rachel Riley (the relatively new co-presenter, although it's been many months that she's been there now), but I do miss Carol Vorderman. I hear she gave a wonderful presentation ahead of the pope during his visit to Hyde Park the day before I arrived.
So, now I've had my mystical experience with Countdown, I feel ready to face the days ahead. Tomorrow's Monday already (since I lose a day flying here, so Sunday disappeared into the Twilight Zone of Airplane Interiors), and I have a lot to try to sort out in these first few days and weeks.