I arrived in Pittsburgh a little over a week ago and have been settling in. I am living with a gay couple in Highland Park who have been really great to me. They have a few odd idiosyncrasies, but I will speak to those at a later time, and I am not particularly interested in making news of those who are kind to me.
On Monday I walked to the Apple Store and CMU so that I could see how long it would take. It is an hour walk and I am going to try to do it a couple times a week. I think that is going to be a great way for me to get some exercise. My time in the Apple store was less productive, because to get my cd-rom fixed they told me it will probably cost around $300 and I will lose my laptop for a week. I am not really sure what to do about this right now.
On Tuesday we had our first day of orientation. It was pretty lame, but I met some nice people. They forced us to do a city wide scavenger hunt and my team won. It makes me laugh about how seriously I took the competition, but I think they international students appreciated the enthusiasm.
Later in the week we were scheduled for exemption exams. I failed all of the ones I took. Most of these were expected, but I was really hoping to get out of the writing course. That didn’t happen so now I am taking a pretty standard course load. I do have a meeting with a professor tomorrow concerning two courses: Introduction to Database Management & Introduction to Communication Technologies. I am expecting to exempt out of both of these courses. I think it would be ridiculous to take a course that I could probably teach (databases) or one that I am pretty sure I could sleep through (web development).
I did a lot of good shopping while I have been here. I went to the strip district for vegetables and spices yesterday. While I was there I had a korean pancake for lunch. It was so delicious. Early in the week I also went to the Indian grocer on Craig street. It was so great. I bought a ton of stuff. I hope to do a lot of good cooking this summer. I made a great eggplant and okra curry one night.
This program is going to be a little strange, but I think it is going to be good for me. I am excited to be back, but it is a little difficult so far. I haven’t even started processing how different everything around me is. I am in love with all of the strong back coffee around me. I’ll write more about all of the friends who have been here to help me later. I am really like to have all of them here.