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O Day Two

September 16, 2016

Started again with a joint student/parent breakfast, this time on the Revelle Plaza side of Galbraith. Felt a bit more emboldened to capture some shots of the adult-kids…  they’re so on the fringe, right? A few are 17, but most are 18–newly minted–all 300-some embarking on 300-some unique experiences. They’re finding some smidge of a comfort zone, delicately laced into loose networks based on groups formed just the day before–dorm suite mates, orientation teams.  Everyone’s eager to find a connection, they’re open and agreeable, and likely still a little lost. I’d venture that the majority of Revelle kids are serious students, many of whom might fall on the shy side of the spectrum.

But then, who’s not shy?  Most people I know identify as shy. These guys are making their best efforts to join.. because: college. It’s a reset. They know it’s a chance to try out some new personality traits. I just felt for each and every one. Each one’s about to say goodbye to their old life, the only life they’ve known, and walk through a very new door.

Peter’s been enjoying Lion (pronounced Leon, whose name is really Li Hon or something close to that), the young man from China on the right, who’s also a suite mate. He’s one of a few hundred students enrolled at UCSD who came directly from China (a group whose arrival and transition was coordinated by university officials at the Sheraton where all the families were staying, an operation we observed for a few days while also staying there).

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You can see they all got Revelle shirts yesterday. (Smile.)

Here’s another of a bunch of Revelle kids and one in particular most already know by sight…

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I look at these and just wanna cry for happy. I love that Peter’s on the precipice, about to dive into a whole new life.

How lucky are we all?

Anyway, today’s orientation was shorter, and started with a series of presentations in York Hall.

The first presentation was with representatives from counseling and psychological services (CAPS)–lots of good comments there, including another look at that tandem bike graphic (we get it, we get it) and an audio snippet from an NPR show in which a dad talks about saying goodbye to his college-bound daughter. Holy sh*t, it was a tear jerker and a right-on description of this moment in time.

Sigh.

But then, hey! CAPs was out and a real live professor was in, who talked all about the classroom, the lecture hall, how to buy books, and the gazillions of support services available to student to ensure they master the material. She let us know all lectures are podcast (which also means we–and anyone in the world–can listen to them), and she also told us about these weirdo things called “clickers” that are devices used by students in real time that provide immediate electronic feedback to the professor. Students use these clickers to engage and participate in the lectures.

Well, it’s just a new day.

Turns out, Peter will have this Dr. Christina Johnson for chemistry in his very first quarter, which is great because she’s earned numerous teaching awards and is very well liked by students.

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Not only was this reassuring, but it was just great to get kind of a taste of the experience Peter will have. Jim and I both sat there in the giant lecture hall, listened to Dr. Johnson, asked questions.. the real deal. Minus homework. Minus clickers.

After Dr. Johnson, we heard from a panel of students who conducted a lively Q&A all about college life. The questions were bold, the answers direct. And that was also just one more layer of uncertainty to peel back, making us feel like not only is he in good hands but he’s likely to have a boatload of fun and day-to-day experiences that will challenge him (in good ways).

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To wrap up the two days, we returned to Stonehenge for a joint lunch (though again, most kids remained in their groups).

Jim and I meandered around campus for about an hour while Peter took care of some business then we all headed out for some sightseeing. Peter and I wanted to show Jim the glider port across the street.

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You can see downtown La Jolla in the distance–La Jolla Village–out on that peninsula, which is also where the famed “cove” is. La Jolla Shores is the area just beyond that pier, and is another smaller commercial center.

The trail down to Blacks Beach is somewhere nearby.

The beaches are so pretty..

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Then we headed down through La Jolla… so So-Cal….

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and to the beautiful La Jolla coast…

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Then onto Pacific Beach (La Jolla is now north of us, behind Jim and Peter in this picture)..

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The strand and wide beach reminded me of Hermosa and Manhattan. I missed a bet not spending more time at the beach as a student at UCSD. Man… can I have a do over?

We continued south into Mission Beach, looking around, crossing some bridges and finally made our way north again, back to the hotel to chill for a while.

Peter found an Italian restaurant he wanted to try, so we called for reservations and headed out to find it. Much to my pleasant surprise, it was in the Hillcrest neighborhood (near North Beach where my Grandma Celia used to live… I used to visit her when I was a student at UCSD).

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Hillcrest is a vibrant, hopping place, and the restaurant, Parma Cucina, was a wonderful and lucky choice–small, great vibe, excellent food.

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We returned Peter to his dorm, and another night of separation was under our belt.

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