the institute

i can't remember if it was h who made the observation that stanford is like a university crossed with a theme park, or if it was someone else, or if i made it up on my own. but it's true. it's manicured and lovely, dotted with fountains and tasteful statues, and all the buildings are a similar color and style. this is nothing like berkeley; berkeley is rough around the edges, a mismatched jumble scattered over a scruffier kind of natural beauty and that is much more to my taste. but still, stanford is imposing (or impressive, if you prefer the connotations of that word) in a way that berkeley is not.

the presession started yesterday and runs through tomorrow. my first class starts at 9.30a and my last class ends at 9p. it's a little grueling, plus they keep switching the classrooms on us so it's always a panicky last minute dash up some hill in beating hot sun to try not to be late. i have had a headache all day. the classes are of high quality, though, so it seems worth it.

the fourth is a holiday, and the regular session starts on thursday. i ride my bike here and it only takes five minutes! there are so many berkeley people here that i have friends in every class and i eat lunch with a big group every day. which is great...and it means that i haven't met anyone new yet. i suppose i should work on that, but on the other hand, so little in my life is familiar right now that the comfort of people that i've known for at least a year is welcome.

yeah, that's pretty much what it's like so far.