Student orientation today at UW-Madison, and I was required to go. My last required meeting was extremely productive, and resulted in me signing up for classes. Orientation, not so much. Despite being a transfer student, we sat through several people talking about how one makes it as a student at UW. I folded my napkin into a paper crane, and a postcard on academic requirements into a fancy airplane. The second part of orientation moved us around to several group were we could find information about joining research projects, studying abroad, ext. While more useful, I found I had learned most of this information in the sign-up for classes. Once done with orientation it was time for something I had to do: finding my classes. The campus, to say the least, is much larger than UW-Rock County. I had printed out my class scheduled, and a map (which printing quite poorly) of where each of the buildings were. So I biked around to each of them, found a good bike rack (all the buildings had good racks) and searched for the class rooms I would be using. Some of the buildings are fantastic. One of the buildings had a physics museum with a bunch of demos I had to play with. By far the oddest building was the Humanities building, which I think was designed to be a hybrid labyrinth, and 1950ies sci-fi set. It took me awhile to find my class rooms, but it was an interesting tour. After that, it was off to the bookstore. I had put this off probably too long, but it needed to be done. Naturally they were out of one of the books I needed. So once all this traveling was complete, it was time to head back home. Madison is an easy city to bicycle. Many of the one-way roads, and closed areas to motorists are still accessible by bike, and I found it makes biking easier than driving. All day there was a huge quantity of foot traffic—people everywhere. Yet was an easy coexistence between cyclists and pedestrians. The weather was awful with temperatures in the 90ies, and I returned home a sweat monster, but it was a good endurance test. I will not be required to bike this long with my backpack for classes, and the heat is probably as bad as I am ever going to encounter. And tomorrow, the first day of class...
Took a bike ride in my new city today, and visited a bike shop as I have read that bike registration is required for all bikes in the city. Naturally, the shop didn't have any stickers, and I couldn't find the government office. I did, however, get some information about the risks of biking to school with a high-end bicycle. Pictured is Zach at Renn. Faire on Sunday waring my coif.
Liz, Xiphos, Zach, and Malachi took a trip to the Bristol Renaissance Faire. There I added a chain mailcoif and a crown to my garb. I was stopped several times and after for a picture—so my garb must be improving. Picture by Liz.
After moving yesterday, it is now time to unpack. My computer was setup quickly, and the first tune it played had to be "Kobold Cave" from Quest for Glory I. It's haunting melody I have loved since I first played the game sometime in the middle 1990s, and it seemed a fitting piece to christening my basement layer. It's a mess right now, but I have some time before school begins to get things under control.
My contract in Cedar Rapids, Iowa has been completed. Last weekend I moved my bench, computer, and anything else I didn't need for the week to come to my home in Madison. Over the week I had been preparing for the move. Normally I move on Saturday after spending the night packing. But I didn't feel I needed the extra day this time, so my goal was to try and move Friday afternoon. So after a day of writing documentation, and saying goodbye, I went back to the apartment. I disassembled the box--an operation that only required a razor blade, and loaded everything into my car. I had cleaned pretty much everything in the previous days, so all that was needed was a quick once-over. I finished by mopping myself out the door. I'm not exactly sure when I finished, but I know I was on the road before 4:00 pm.
Today was the first time I've really enjoyed going to a wedding. Zen and Amy did not do a traditional wedding, and we were all the better for it. Instead, they decided to have a cerimony that embodied what they enjoyed doing. There was a strong emphasis on gaming--console, board, and role-playing games were all there. There wasn't a strict time-table, no limousine, no bouquet toss, and no chicken dance. The ceromony itself was conducted by a game/dungeon master (naturally) who gave us an overview of where we were, and what our characters were doing. It was quite amusing and everyone watching laughed out several times throughout. The vows were said after a role for initiative to see who went first, and the whole event seemed the most honest display of true affection I've ever witnessed at a wedding. In all, I think the best description of the experience I can find was the comment someone made: "If your wedding had a squeal, I would go." Amy, for whom I've known about 15 years, the wedding seemed very fitting. And Zen, who I have known over 23 years, I can state unequivocally: it was definitely Zen.
Tomorrow I return to Wisconsin for my last weekend. I decided that rather than borrow a truck for moving, I would bring items to Madison little by little. Today I disassembled my bench, and prepared my console computer for moving. I will have to live next week without my main computer--just my laptop. The plan is to have nothing at the apartment except what I need for the last week. So I am bringing everything I can. When I return, it will be with a weeks worth of clothing.