I arrived there at 9 am. It was mandatory that I attend the entire orientation and I would not be allowed to register for classes till I had. The entire orientation. The actual orientation didn't start till about 9:30. So I sat there, my babysitting time ticking away, waiting. Finally the well-meaning students clapped and chanted some enthusiastic 'it's morning time' cheer at us and started handing out 'welcome' bags with the schedule and a school news paper tucked into it.
Even though it was an orientation specifically for transfer students, I was still obviously older than everyone there. Some people were there with their mothers. Some with both parents. Most of them were in their early twenties. While that was entirely appropriate, it did make me feel a little out of place. There was a small 'fair' set up where they had a few tables with pamphlets and SWAG for the different clubs and student organizations on campus. I got a free t-shirt that I am sure my BYU in-laws will hate. There was a small table that talked about babysitting, day care and other resources for those looking to be hired or hire child care. I appreciated the table, but it was obvious that it was for people with one or two young kids, not five. Which again, was fine. I was obviously not the target demographic for this. There were also optional campus tours, and so to fill the obligatory time, I took the tour, too..
The tour was led by an enthusiastic young woman from the biology department. She showed us the library where we can write on the windows with dry erase markers and where they had a 'parents room.' I wasn't able to actually see into it, but apparently there are toys in there for the kids so parents can study. I don't know how successful that is, but I am interested to try. Just like I am interested to try some of the other very important information they shared once we returned to the ballroom.
In the ballroom we hunkered down and learned very important things like how we shouldn't drink on campus and only engage in consensual sex and what both of those mean. It was funny to be there with all the younger group, who were still a little giddy about both those topics. I am glad to find out that I have been having consensual sex all these years. They went over all the scenarios in which it would or would not be completely consensual, just in case there was any confusion. Also, no slut shaming. I am not going to do that. I think I am safe to say that I can work with those rules. Oddly enough, they didn't really go into drugs. Or maybe I had completely tuned out by then. I think I was reading something someone had written on the window with a dry erase marker. They began to tell us about the parties that were held on campus and the fun food trucks that came through for lunch. We could also write on the glass with a dry erase marker.
I was only there because they had refused to let me register for classes until I had had the tour, promised to only have consensual sex, had eaten the horrible chicken salad they served up on a stale bun with warm water to drink and had heard them out about how to contest things through this department and that department. It made sense. I understand where to go for a student loan if I need one.
It was a little frustrating how the babysitting bill was racking up while they gave cute directions on how it was important to participate in 'transfer Tuesday' which would be held at a time I could never attend and required hours I wouldn't have to give. Really, I was questioning my decision entirely. This cutesy rhyming world full of meet and greet opportunities was never going to work out for me. This was for people with time to spare and looking for an 'experience.'
Finally we divided off according to major. that was when I had hope that this whole thing wasn't a mistake.
The student who gave us a tour through the business building seemed to be directed, even though the long tour through the business building seemed designed to waste just a little more time. Good news is, I now know that the modern sculpture that runs down the walls and between the floors is supposed to emulate a waterfall. Oh, and did I mention that we can write on any glass with a dry erase marker?
The winding tour ended at a computer lab where the different business department heads introduced themselves. They promised us again that if we just held in there a little longer they would finally show us how to register and with 30 min to spare before I had to be back for the babysitter, they did. I did not have enough time to see one of the promised academic counselors, which was fine because I had already done that a few months ago. I was frustrated to find that they still had not uploaded my classes. There was a problem because I had completed my previous degree so the system refused to recognize my credits. I was assured that eventually they would be counted. Meanwhile, time was up for me. They had gone over time. They helped the other students walk through their own registration,and I had to run home. My babysitter had to go, and I was going to have to figure the rest out myself that night after kids had gone to bed. But I had done my time and technically I would be allowed to sign up now.
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