Well, have been through orientation, have a preliminary class schedule (may swap with some waitlisted classes), and have my stuff all moved in albiet to a still very mess room.
For academic reasons (supported by other reasons :P) I've decided to give up on the International Admin program. I'd been originally planning to at least give it a quarter, but they redid it so stalling was no longer possible, a choice had to be made immediately. And frankly, while I am interested in administration I'd prefer to pay my dues first in an analyst position and the major isn't well suited for that. Moreover, I have a lot of areas I want to focus in: Human Rights/International Security/Regional (China). Dang hard to cover all those with only six or so elective courses (out of eighteen).
Happily, I've managed to get more of the core classes in the International Studies (the base major) waved due to the fact that I took more of this stuff in undergrad. So more elective time for me!
Works being a tad harder to find than I'd hoped, in no small part cause I'm only putting in my fafsa now (which matters for workstudy). Disturbingly, although I was told that I could probably reapply to actually get a scholarship (I applied after most were handed out, bad Greg, particularly cause tuition is $8,500 a quarter! Gah!) if I did well and tried after two quarters. No dice on that, only after one or three. So hopefully I can wow them after the first, I think I can definately get it after the third, but that's another $8,500 down the drain or so. If you noticed me acting incredibly cheap for a bit before I left, that's why. :P
There's a few really kickass practical experience classes offered here. One is an overseas training class with the Romanian army. They do some development type projects, but they'll also give practical field training for working in the often hostile environments where a lot of aid is done. So, they'll give practice loading/unloading helicopters, setting up field camps, reconning potential routes for trouble, going through militia checkpoints, being kidnapped and interrogated by militias (which while often not as bad as Iraq is still a fact of life in many of these areas). I don't really think I'll be doing development field work, but I will want to do some in country research whatever job I find and this is a great set of skills for my job interviews.
Actually still haven't met roommate yet, he's been out. Have purchased: bike, futon, and desk, and assembled the later two. Nicely kept they were collectively below a thousand and I don't have any other big payouts like that that aren't tution related.
Although, I am currently in the most limited version of the meal plan, but haven't gone to the cafeteria twice (there's an alternative, it might have better food) I've been underimpressed. The food doesn't meet UMCP standards for taste (although the pizza is slightly better) and on the whole seems pretty dang unhealthful. Although it might just be that my standards have risen ::shrug.:: Amusingly I haven't actually had to swipe my card yet when entering (I think it's an attitude thing) so I might still be able to cancel gratis. I'll check out the other options, the second hall, the restaurant type places, but the restaurants have limited availability on Saturdays and I think cash would likely be just as good. So we'll see on that, won't buy it next quarter certainly.
Finally, checking out Skype.com for internet phones. The nytimes had a fairly glowing review. If anyone has anything insightful to say on the topic please let me know. [Addendum: Tried it out, one way at least works great, buying a mike tomorrow.]
And yeah, I'm reestablished on my new laptop, thanks to Jesse and family who covered for my ineptitude, go Jesse! So, I will try to get back in a regular habit with postings.