It looks like I’m back, doesn’t it? Things have been so crazy I haven’t really had time to update until now. My little excursion to the state of…excuse me Commonwealth of Virginia is over, apparently they get kind of testy if you call Virginia a state. Well the trip to Grundy the Sunday night before last was hell, only because I had no idea where I was going and it was late at night when nothing was open and I couldn’t ask for directions. I wound up arriving in Grundy around 4:30 a.m. and believe me that was wonderful (little note of sarcasm there) because the hotel where I was staying was only open from 6:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. which means, you guessed it! I had to sleep in the car from 4:30 until 6:30 when the owner arrived. So 6:30 rolls around and surprisingly after being awake all day and all night I wasn’t the least bit tired. I checked in, changed clothes, tried to make myself not look like I’d been awake all night and headed to campus. That morning I met Shawn, the guy who was staying next door to me, and he was nice potential law student like me.
The campus of Appalachian is really beautiful, I didn’t get a chance to look at the Pharmacy School campus, but it’s even newer than the law school so I imagine it’s just as beautiful. Everyone I met was so genuinely nice, by genuinely nice I mean they were really and truly nice, not just that fake nice that so many “southern” people are famous for, the sweet slow talking nice that is completely fake. Of course there are men driving by and construction workers who like to beep and make catcalls at you, but that happens everywhere. Honestly, the town wasn’t as bad as what I expected or what people told me. I was expecting my visit to be like Deliverance meets Midnight Express, (just kidding about the Midnight Express part, kind of). The worst thing I can think of to say about it is the construction work that’s going on. Yes, the downtown area does look like post World War II Berlin, but that’s because it’s all being torn down and rebuilt. See flooding is a problem in that area as it is in most mountain coal towns; several years ago the whole place flooded beyond normal repair so now the state has come in (thanks to eminent domain) and now the whole town is being torn down and basically moved to a higher elevation. They’re also building a three story Wal-mart there too. Isn’t that insane? I’m told that this Wal-mart will be only the third three story Wal-mart to exist in America, the other two are in Dallas and New York. I can see why they would make it a three story building though, there’s not that much land cleared off or available to build a traditional one. It’s funny; Wal-mart will be the biggest attraction in that little town. I hate Wal-mart though and I know once it goes up all the little stores around town will go down. I guess if I live there I’ll support the competition as best as I can.
But all in all, I liked it there, I think once the construction is over and the buildings are rebuilt, it will look amazing. Other than that their little stores are cute they have nice “family restaurants” which are mostly Italian places and waffle houses and all the other chains you’d expect anywhere else, there’s a gym nearby, and they have a movie theatre! Of course they have a liquor store (how else could professional students survive?) and they have this cute little Chinese/Mexican restaurant. Apparently the small Chinese and Mexican population joined forces to produce that baby, but they serve awesome food. I know to some people that might sound really strange, but in some parts of southern California it’s not that uncommon. Once I got out and got to investigate the town it reminded me a lot of the neighboring communities where I grew up, the little valley-by-the-river hippie rafting towns; not too bad. I must say it’s beautiful there though, very green, lots of scenery; I wish I’d brought my camera. On rainy days it’s pretty dreary looking, but on sunny days the place is gorgeous.
I did a little apartment hunting and found some places that I might be interested in, but there’s one in particular that is a dream and it’s close to the law school campus right in town and it’s perfect for me. It’s unfurnished and a little pricey for me, but I can buy some furniture and get over that. As for the students they all seem like really nice people who I think I can along with great. Most of the potential 1Ls are from Virginia and Kentucky, but then a handful were from all over, like Texas, California, and Louisiana. Of the Virginia crew most were graduates from VCU and CNU, which struck me as strange. I mean hell; if I was a Virginia resident I’d try for UVA or Richmond instead. Shawn is a CNU alumni and he kind of scared me when I first met him because he had a “W ‘04” sticker on his car along with Confederate flag stickers and NASCAR stuff. But he wasn’t scary; he was a very nice guy. I guess there are nice guys out there who are Bushmen, just a little misguided in their thought processes. I found out one of his “Confederate Reenactor” stickers just meant that he’s an actor who performs in Civil War plays. But I don’t care what anyone says, driving cars around in a circle is not a sport, nor will it ever be. I think some of the people were completely culture shocked, this one girl from New York who was staying at the same place I was almost had a heart attack the first day. She just couldn’t “handle it” her friend who traveled down there with her was kind of snotty.
I just don’t get some people, how can some people be so rigid in their ways that they can’t adapt to a different environment for only a week? How can two people who have lived in the same place their whole lives (even if it is a huge city) claim to be so cultured and worldly? Anyway, the general makeup of the class looked like any other law school class: it was predominantly upper class/upper middle class, white, WASP, male. That isn’t to say that there were no women, minorities, or non-traditional students, but the gender and racial ratios were very disproportionate. The lack of minorities I can understand seeing how that area has very little racial diversity and I’m sure most racial minorities wouldn’t want to move to a place like that for that reason. The out of whack gender ratios, however, I don’t get; especially considering that women supposedly outnumber men on college campuses. No one can say that there’s gender discrimination or that there aren’t enough affirmative action programs. I think it’s just that most women don’t pursue post-undergraduate education. There were only six women in my whole grad program at Duke including myself, and most of the other English and Political Science majors at WVU were all male. I just don’t get that, and it honestly doesn’t bother me. I’m not intimidated being in a predominantly male over-privileged, spoiled class, obviously I’m used to it. And I can understand the whole WASP/conservative/Christian thing too; Virginia is a red state after all. Of course there were stupid people there, the people you have to wonder how they even function on a daily basis: your typical flakes and airheads and the sorority girls and frat boys who still haven’t figured out that people only care about your Greek affiliation in college. I guess the sorority girl/frat boy types just need a little time to mature and I’m sure that some people probably think I’m a really preppy flake when they first meet me, at least I’m told that’s the vibe I sometimes give off during first impressions.
All in all, I had a really good time just hanging out around campus and in the library. I know that makes me sound like a nerd, but I don’t care. It felt good to actually go for a walk outside and not be surrounded by trash, concrete, homeless people, and cars trying to run you over, it’s nice and quiet there. But I am sunburned as all hell. You wouldn’t think that due to my heritage that I would sunburn but I do, and rarely do I really tan. I guess that unlike the rest of the population I’m not used to the UV exposure considering I don’t lay out and stay the hell away from cancer beds. Seriously, getting sunburned upsets me because I know it’s very damaging to your skin. I’m sure that makes me sound very vain, oh well.
I guess I should be a little scared moving to a new place and starting at a new school, but I’m not, I’m excited I’m ready for a change (yet again). I only really know one person in Grundy, and that’s Amanda, other than everyone else I just met. It’s not a big deal, going to WVU I only knew the people I went to high school with and a few other people from here and there. Here in North Carolina I only started out knowing my mom and Justin E. I can make friends almost anywhere I go if I want to.
But then again I might be getting ahead of myself, I’m still waiting to hear from financial aid, no financial aid means no school, no school means no moving and most ostensibly means my life is completely over. Seriously if I don’t get any financial aid then I can’t start law school in the fall, even working full time and even getting my mom and grandma to help (not that I’d ever ask them) I still couldn’t pull it off. No one just has $120,000 laying around.
So after a surprisingly pleasant week I’m back home, I got back Monday afternoon and had to work again on Tuesday and Wednesday. And thus it’s back to my boring routine, and more waiting. Wednesday random guy number 34889878362625098 comes into the store and starts hitting on me, the kicker with this one is that he comes in with his mom and he’s rather old. He assumes that I’m only 16 and that’s the reason why he asks me out. I can’t believe that, most people say that I only look about 18 or 19, but SIXTEEN? Come on! Yeah, I’m really going to be attracted to some older man who likes underage girls. What idiot women out there actually reinforce men and behavior like this?
Three girls I went to high school with got married just recently; Linda, Laura, and Jenny all married their high school “sweethearts”. I really wonder when this whole marriage trend is going to die down, or why people bother getting married when they already have the kids and live together.
That’s about it, I guess all I can do now is wait.