Posts Tagged ‘complaints’

Becoming Oriented

Finally had my Graduate student orientation(s) the other week! First came my online iSchool orientation, which was a novel experience. A chatroom combined with a powerpoint while hearing someone go through the powerpoint. The on-campus one was a general graduate student orientation, in a theater that smelled like burgers.

I definitely got some much-needed information about how the University works, but surprisingly enough, the majority of the time in both orientations was just spent clicking around websites. I feel like the time could have been better spent just giving us a list of URLs, compared to having us watch someone fumble around a website.

Most of the speeches were “challenges to stretch intellectually,” but tended to focus on careers and employment, and how we’re more likely to get a job having a master’s degree, except now it looks like we might not, but if there WERE jobs, we’d have a better chance of getting them.

Once they reached academic integrity and the alcohol and drug policy, I walked out. I’ve been an RA, I’m not going to plagarize, this part of the orientation was not something I needed to hear. I spent the rest of my time before the picnic/cocktail hour wandering the campus, and exploring the really nice library. I felt I got to know Drexel far better through my own explorations than during the time I wasted at their orientation.


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Well, it’s finally happened. Real life has encroached upon our untouchable haven of an apartment. I emerged from the shower to see a MOUSE run into my closet. Growing up on a (non-working) farm, I’m not wholly new to this kind of thing. But there, I had two good mousing cats who’d take care of the problem.

So what do I do in a situation with NO cats? Stamp my feet, shriek slightly, and run to my roommate, who joins in my whining all the way to the local hardware store to try to find the least horrific mouse traps (do we get a cat, or the traps, we wondered. In the end, the traps were easier to acquire quickly).

It is only a small mouse, and despite my being much bigger and my closet being closed with a trap in it, I’m still a bit apprehensive about sleeping in my bed tonight. I crawled into my roommates comforter and curled up, oblivious to the world in my attempts to find a safe haven:

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The Drexel Shaft

Despite all the good things I’ve heard about Drexel as a Library School, I seem to have run into a lot of obnoxious bureaucracy (often referred to as “The Drexel Shaft”) in my dealings with them. My transcript was “misplaced,” which delayed my acceptance. My calls have often gone unanswered (and sometimes unreturned). I receive mailings long after they were dated. A check I sent them took over a month and a half to be cashed, which, in turn, caused me to be unable to access my online accounts since my payment hadn’t been processed (at Drexel, everything is now done online – no more paper bills, in-person registration, etc).

Nor am I the only one to which things like this happen – Drexel’s administration is apparently a bit of a mess, and lots of people and pieces of important paper fall through the cracks. The student newspaper reported on it, in an article aptly called, “Why are students so unhappy at Drexel?”

After I registered and figured out the financial stuff, I assumed it would be smooth sailing for quite some time. A couple of weeks passed, and I got a letter notifying me that my accounts would all be put on hold if I didn’t complete an immunization record that was due… less than a week from when the letter arrived (the letter itself bore a date from two weeks prior).

This led to a less-than-fun rigamorale with my doctor, the University, and my insurance company, which resulted in me trying to find a place that would test me for tuberculosis for free (or less than $200, at least).

Thankfully, the city of Philadelphia is not fooling around when it comes to TB. As the Philadelphia Tuberculosis Control Center’s website will tell you, Philadelphia has declared independence from TB! Thankfully, this declaration means that a Philadelphia resident can be tested, diagnosed, and treated for TB for free. And as I just became an official resident of the city of brotherly love about two weeks ago, tomorrow morning I’m heading down southwards to be tested for the disease which only the coolest people seem to have had.

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While I, just like any other person, find holding a bunch of vellum leaves to be aesthetically pleasing, the faint scent of rotting animal that can hang around them puts me right off (and also brings me back to my middle school art room, where an animal died behind the wall and for weeks the room stank. I still associate the smell of rotting-animal-behind-the-wall with this art room).

This series of documents, from the late 14th-early 15th century in the Val d’Aosta, Italy, seems to have had some water damage, or simply damage from age. Some of them seem a bit moldy, and most of them seem to be a bit poorly made.

The hairs clinging to the vellum look a bit too much like the paper has grown a 5-o’clock shadow, which detracts quite a bit from the idea that vellum ought to be this lovely, soft parchment and reminds you that you’re touching old animal skins instead.

For more information on vellum, here are some links:

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