Last night we had to put the trash out and there were two very large raccoons rummaging through it. They were bold! The trash was out on the curb, right underneath a streetlamp. When a person walked passed, one of them stood up on its hind legs. It was tall...like as tall as Ella on her hind legs! And Ella can reach the kitchen counter when she does that. I'm telling you, my exposure to nature in Somerville is constantly amazing.
So yesterday was my first day of pre-orientation. I'm a bit worried. I came home exhausted...and it's only the pre-orientation. I have to say that my fellow doctoral students are an impressive lot. People who have traveled all over the world, people who have done amazing things. Funny enough, I am the only person in my concentration who actually has professional experience in my concentration. Everyone else has extensive experience, but not in the field they are entering into. I figured everyone would have been Directors of this and that.
It was a good day overall, though the getting-to-know-you games were cheesy. The journey I'm about to partake became real for me and all the advanced doctoral students with whom I spoke made it clear that this totally doable. I realized this morning I was expecting a "Paper Chase"-like introduction to life at Harvard: intense and intimidating. Instead, there was an emphasis on how down to earth everything and everyone is. Perhaps Harvard is suffering from "thou does protest too much," but I'm buying it. I'm sure the faculty will be a lot more hardcore.
I've picked out the courses I want to take and have a meeting scheduled with my advisor. Now I've got to get ready for another day of learning "fun facts" about my colleagues.