Last night was my third day on the Junior College Campus where I am just starting the program to get my Paralegal Certificate.
I've already noticed quite a few distinct differences between this school and my experiences at BYU-Idaho. Man, I miss Rexburg so much more now. :)
1) Everybody smokes here. So gross. I feel like I can't breathe. I have asthma and smoke is a trigger. I try not to breathe in the second-hand smoke, but that's impossible. And the smell is awful. I miss the clean fresh air of Rexburg.
2) Nobody makes eye contact or smiles at each other. This makes me a bit sad. I try to (which is hard for me) and nothing. People look at me blankly or ignore me. People are plugged into their phones or ipods or whatever.
3) There is no prayer to start class. Obviously this one isn't going to happen anywhere but a church school, but I apparently have a habit of folding my arms and bowing my head when class starts. :) After the professor started class, I felt a sudden twinge of disappointment and loss that there was no prayer to start us off. It also felt awkward to have the professor just jump into the lecture.
4) I'm not "Sister McGrath" in class. Last night I got called "Ms. McGrath." That was just weird. I never get called that. And then when I had a question for the teacher, I REALLY had to work hard not to say, "Brother ____." I must have had a really wierd look on my face as I resisted saying that.
5) I have to drive around the parking lot for 20 minutes to find one parking spot and it's way back in a far corner!! At BYU-I I didn't have a car; I walked everywhere. Fortunately, I had plenty of friends that could drive me, if need be. But for the most part, I walked to class every day.
6) People swear. Students and the teachers. So far it hasn't really been a big deal--certainly nothing worse than what I hear at work. But I was a bit surprised, since this is professional Judges and Lawyers teaching, and a somewhat professional environment.
7) BYU-Idaho's campus is special. The atmosphere is so completely different there. I always felt safe on campus. Now I hate that I have to park so far away from my class and I feel like I constantly have to look over my shoulder to make sure someone doesn't come up from behind me. At BYU-Idaho, I always had someone I could call to walk me home, if I felt like it. Not here. :(
8) My classes were during the day in Idaho. I didn't work and have to go to school. Now I'm working full time and taking 9 credits (almost full time schedule). I suppose its sort of a good thing I don't have much of a social life. My friends are all as busy as I am. :)
Though I do have to admit--there is one thing I've discovered I like. It's been cold when I get out of class at 10:00pm at night...but it is nothing compared to having to walk the entire length of campus in the 10 minutes between classes UPHILL in a blizzard with ice so sharp it actually broke skin and made me bleed (just a tiny bit--but there was still blood!) in the two square inches left exposed on my face. Yeah, that was fun. Not. So I'm cold here, but not living in the artic. :)
Man, I miss BYU-Idaho and it's little spiritual bubble. :)