I began classes on Wednesday. Princeton has a very laid-back academic calendar, so we do not actually begin “school” until midway through September.
My first class was Math 103 (Calculus I). It is rather small with only 15 students, however, already from the beginning, I can tell that it will have an incredibly fast pace. Next, I went to Physics 103; it was the exact opposite of calculus. About 250 students were packed into a lecture hall. The professor spoke softly and with a strong eastern European accent. I can already tell that this will be difficult. After eating a quick snack in Hogwarts, the Rocky-Mathey dining hall, I went to Spanish 207. Only 10 students are in the class. The professor is from Spain. It is both fun and difficult being in a class with students who are your equal or better in the language.
When classes ended, I walked along Nassau Street to get my textbooks. In the evening, I went to an open house on study abroad. Princeton has an excellent program, and I will definitely have to take advantage of it. Following that, I attended an open house on postgraduate fellowship advising (for the Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright, Goldwater, Gates, etc. scholarships). The office’s director was amazed that I came as a freshman.
Later, I attended an ice cream social for the American Whig-Clio. Walking home at night is always lovely at Princeton.
On Thursday, I had my geosciences class (GEO 203). Guyot Hall, the building for the geosciences department, is very cool; its interior looks like the place where Dr. Henry Jones Jr. should be teaching, who by the way is from Princeton, New Jersey. I believe that I am the only freshman in this class, but I think that it will be very interesting. Near the end, we took a short trip to study a rock outcrop on campus.
Before dinner, I went to the Nassau Street Sampler at the Princeton Art Museum. Basically, all of the restaurants from the town have a table in the museum to promote their business. More free food! However, the thing that amazed me was the exquisite quality and sheer quantity of art in there. They have works by: Cézanne, Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Corot, Courbet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Manet, Delacroix, Millet, and many more all here in Princeton!
I went to a try-out for the Princeton Debate Panel. They provided me with three motions, and I chose to argue, “This house would remove patents on pharmaceuticals in developing nations.” I was provided ten minutes to prepare for a five minute speech. To me, it went well, but I guess I will know on Saturday when the results are released.
It was rather serene walking back to my dorm and studying outside in the courtyard.