12:10 AM: Matthew's First Day of College

The time had finally come. At 9:30 in the AM, I was awoken from my slumber. Who would dare wake me up at such an ungodly hour? It was that blasted alarm clock, taunting me, forcing me out of my bed and into the open arms of Auburn University and their corrupt, opportunistic Parking Services department.

I left my house at roughly 10:15, a full 45 minutes before my first class, and boy, was I excited. My excitement soon gave way to anguish, however, when I got my first glimpse of Auburn's horrid parking situation. The University issued 16,500 C-zone (the only place students can park on campus) tags this year. There are currently 5,500 C-zone parking places. No, that's not a typo. 11,000 are left without a parking spot each and every day at Auburn. What a crock of shit. The University is literally stealing from its students to pay for unnecessary crap like an overbudget football stadium renovation, even more buildings, and whatever else they're constructing all over campus. Not surprisingly, I could not find a space in the 30 minutes I searched for one. Not only were all the parking places taken...even the most reasonable places to illegally park were already taken. Finally, with 15 minutes left until my first class, I parked illegally next to another car in the lot across from the coliseum. We'll get into the consequences of that action later on.

After a 10 minute walk (Where the hell is that Tiger Transit system they're so proud of when you need to use it? Even on the rare occasion when you can find one that's stopped, it's always already full. Another waste of my tuition money), I finally arrived at Parker Hall. I plopped down into my seat, in the far right corner of the classroom. The class is The Human Odyssey (History for hippies). I like what I've heard from the professors (yes, professors a socioligist and entomologist teach this class together...I'm not even going to try to explain how or why), and there looks to be a lot of interesting material covered. We will be reading the original texts in which some of the basic laws and principles of humanity were stated (think Galileo, Aristotle, Darwin, Descarte, a bunch of scientists I've never heard of, etc.), and discuss how they relate to humanity's constant pursuit of knowledge, and where that knowledge has gotten us. There will be a lot of debating in the class, which really excites me, and the only homework Dr. Appel has told us about is reading articles for every class period (2 a week), and writing about them in a one page outline for every article. Not too bad. We will also be watching a lot of films during our once a week lab period, and will get to hear lectures from guest lecturers at least twice a month. I've never taken a class that has equally combined science, history, and philosophy, and I can't wait to start.

After THA was lunch. I walked to Foy Student Union with my new aquaintence, Miles (not that Miles), and weighed my options: Chicken from Chick-Fil-A, a veggie/chicken wrap from some generic looking eatery who's name I can't recall, a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut, or cafeteria food (today's special: Catfish). I picked none of the above, since everything in Foy costs roughly double of what it would cost anywhere else, and ate a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Despite my Pizza envy, I had a thoroughly enjoyable lunch with Chris Mills, Matt Hepp, Mark Peterson, and half a table of Sorority girls I have never seen before. After visiting the bookstore (an hour between classes is longer than you'd think), I headed up to my next class, on the third floor of the Haley Center.

Finite Mathematics never even looked promising. From the moment I got in there, I was miserable. I passed the time before the teacher arrived by talking to the guy next to me about Ben Folds Five (he had a BFF t-shirt on). That was enjoyable. What was not enjoyable was Dr. Ozkan. Dr. Ozkan is the kind of professor you are warned about before you get to college. She was nice enough, but that didn't help the fact that she was an extremely young (22-25, tops) Turkish woman who knew plenty about math, but had yet to fully grasp the English language. Actually, to be fair, I'll just say she hasn't fully grasped American yet. The woman's accent was so thick that I literally didn't pick up a word of what she was saying the entire class period. The only interaction I had with her was when she wroted down the notes for the first section (Euler Circuits). I'm now worried about this class, even though it looks to be extremely easy, because of the language (or, in this case, accent) barrier. This is the easiest math you can take and get credit for at Auburn, though, and Dr. Ozkan probably puts this class at the bottom of her list of priorities (she usually teaches Cal 2), so I'm still somewhat hopeful about coming out of there with an A.

After Math was when things started to get weird. I walked to the Chemistry building, and readied myself for my first Concepts of Science recitation (basically, a guided study hall). When I got to the classroom, to my dismay, I found no other students. Five minutes before class begins, and no students? I looked at the next room over, where my Science class will usually meet, and saw a classroom full of students. I took a seat in the class, and didn't even consider asking anyone if I was in the right class. Ten minutes later, I realized that I was sitting in a Cal 2 class, and my brain immediately began damage control. I decided the best thing for everyone was for me to leave as quietly as possible, without offering any sort of explanation. So that's what I did. My first day of college, and I've already made my first Freshman mistake. Needless to say, I wasn't very happy with myself for the entire trip back to my truck.

I was even less happy when I got back to the parking lot I had parked my truck in, and saw a whole lot of nothing where my vehicle used to be. Good going, Matthew. First, you sit in on the wrong class, and then, you get your car towed. I had a few choice words with the parking ticket lady (they get paid to deal with people like me, spare me the lecture) and called Rivers, who chauffered me to the AU Parking Services building.

Never ever ever ever go to the AU Parking Services building, unless you absolutely have to. It's most definitely the worst place on campus I've visited, so far. All the people at the window are either bitchy, stupid, or both, and they love telling people like you and I to fuck off when we come in with complaints. My conversation with the Parking Services lady went like this:

Me: Hello, my car was towed earlier tod...

Parking Services Bitch: What kind of car was it?

Me: A white Mazda Pick-up

Her: Ok, I've got it here. That'll be $60, cash.

Me: What!? I don't have $60

Her: Well then, it looks like you don't have a car.

Me: Can't you put it on my Bursar Bill?

Her: No, cash only. No exceptions.

Me: What the hell is wrong with you? Don't you realize what a great injustice this is? There are 11,000 too few spots on campus to meet demand, and you tow my car, on the first day of classes, no less, just because I park it parallel to a yellow curb?
(note: I get very hyperbolic and wordy when I'm angry)

Her: I didn't tow your car, sir.

Me: I don't care if you did it or not. You're employed by the people who did it, so you obviously support this practice.

Her: Sixty dollars cash. Come back when you have it.

Me: Thankyou for being an inconsiderate asshole.

Her: You're welcome, honey.


I hate people.

Anyways, it was a huge ordeal getting my truck (which had been left in a field with about 200 other towed cars) back. Overlooking Auburn University's parking system, and Foy's overpriced food selection, I'd say I had a pretty nice first day of college. Hopefully tomorrow will be better, and less expensive.