As I was planning, I've now moved about a third of the way around the world. You may not realize this, but I've never been without my parents for more than a couple weeks; it will be three weeks this Thursday since I left. (Though to be fair, it won't be until Monday that it'll be that long since I saw Mom.) But so far the closest I've been to homesick is cursing at closed stores and saying "This would've been open till ten in California."
I was expecting the weather to be depressing; it's still a novelty, but I don't foresee it ever being worse than a minor irritation. I was expecting the food to be institutional and slightly icky; it's alright (although I've only eaten breakfast in the Rutherford dining hall). I was expecting to be very lonely; I've made a few casual friends. I was expecting the math to be difficult to get used to again; so far, it's been easy.
On the other hand, I was expecting the classes to be more interesting than they are. This is partially just because I'm way ahead of the curve, though; I won't see a substantial amount of new, truly interesting material until I start learning functional programming next semester. But on the gripping hand, the OO teacher somehow manages to remain interesting anyway (must be the comments like "When you're writing a class, it will have to interact with other classes written by other programmers; assume they're all idiots"), and the Information Systems class ought to have some useful material too. (Managers & Organizations, on the other hand, is looking to be quite useless.)
I'm living in a house with five other students in the university's student village, Parkwood. The house has six bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchen on two floors (which, in British fashion, are called the ground floor and the first floor—I try to think of zero-indexed arrays). The room isn't that big, but it's big enough; the bathroom is, uh, a bathroom; and the kitchen is full of all sorts of strange things like an electric kettle, a gas oven (with "gas marks" instead of temperature settings), a garbage disposal–less sink, and a complete lack of a dishwasher. I'm slowly adjusting to these changes, although the last one's proving to be a struggle.
On the other hand, they gave me this extra chair that doesn't fit in the room—and when I put it in the hall, Kent Hospitality complained that it was a fire hazard. Less of one than it would be if it was pinning my door shut, I think...
Now for my housemates, who I will refer to by pseudonyms:
- Next door to me is, uh, Next Door. She's shy but sort of sneaky—after she met me she apparently headed back upstairs and immediately Googled me, then read my journal, looked through my Flickr photostream, etc. This turned out to be a Good Thing, because she discovered I'm a geek and started being friendly. She spends a lot of time watching (professionally produced) videos, then cutting bits out and posting them on YouTube. Also plays a lot of games, mainly single-player RPGs.
- Darkly Cute lives across the hall. She strikes me as something of a party girl, but she's fairly friendly to everyone. Not really as Miho-ish as the pseudonym implies, but she does have black hair and fairly dark makeup.
- The French Guy lives next to Darkly Cute. He's...French. He apparently studied law in France and then crossed the Channel to study it here. Once he's finished, he wants to be a solicitor in both countries. He listens to a lot of loud techno and hangs out with other French students; I get the sense that this will become annoying eventually, but it hasn't yet.
- There are two guys downstairs. One is Sandy, named for his hair color. He's a philosophy student and plays the guitar. Don't really know much about him, but he seems like a good guy.
- The other guy downstairs is London. Only I don't think he's originally from London, because he has this incredible accent I have a lot of trouble with. He seems pretty cool, though, and he has a car, which is rather handy.
Oh, I changed my journal for the first time in a while. Still a little iffy about the template, but the title came to me while I was visiting schools, and refused to go away...