Thursday, October 18, 2007

September 4, 1931

With the amount of work that seems to be ahead of me, I will not be able to write in my diary every day as I would have liked. Yesterday was so crammed with little tasks like finding my classes and purchasing books. Then, of course there were the little social gatherings amongst the girls on my floor here in Hewitt Hall. With all that I scarcely had the time to remember my name. I will have at least one class everyday of the week. It would appear that my Wednesday schedule is the lightest, so I will take that time to roam the city and find my way around my new home. For the past two days I’ve seen nothing but the campus of Barnard and yesterday evening I was able to stroll through Columbia’s neighboring campus. It makes me anxious to think of the entire island of Manhattan that I am still yet to see. All in due time I keep telling myself.

I found that the German class I was hoping to sink my teeth into has been postponed till next semester seeing as the professor broke his leg in two places and has gone on medical leave. Needless to say I was extremely disappointed especially considering that they have placed me in a Dutch class as a remedy. I honestly have no interest in Dutch, but I was told it will be good practice for German next semester. I’m not even sure how Dutch functions as a language. My guess is that it’s an amalgam of English, German, and perhaps French thrown together in deep guttural sounds. I assume I’ll find out since the class is tomorrow.

I was able to telephone home and tell mom and dad that I had made it to New York. I assured them that my arrival occurred without incident. I arrived at Pennsylvania Station around 1:30. The marvel of the place really was a grand indication of the city I have chosen to school myself in. The glass ceilings in the depot alone were a miracle of human engineering. Then walking into that waiting room my jaw dropped. What a breathtaking structure! It looked like a magnificent church or a Roman bath (which I believe it was modeled after). In all honesty I had never seen a structure that large before, inside or out and it pleases me that it is the first thing I saw on my entrance. It is truly a divine gateway on which to enter this city.

After stepping off the train, I went out and found the nearest cab. It was a Checker Cab driven by a very polite Italian man. I so wished I had taken Italian so I could converse with him. Although I’m sure Spanish would’ve sufficed in a pinch, of course I didn’t want to insult him saying so. I told him the address in English and he brought me up to the campus taking Broadway all the way from 34th street. What a magnificent street, Broadway. It winds through the grid defiantly, as if it doesn’t care that it’s breaking all the rules, almost like a river cutting through the other streets.

Barnard’s campus is small, but since it is considered to be the sister school of Columbia, I also consider that to be my campus as well. It is quieter than I expected up here. The campuses have great trees dotting them, and the other students walk hurriedly around, not stopping to talk to one another. I did imagine a bit more noise and crowding. Perhaps I’ll need to go downtown for that.

I would think to write all this in a letter to my parents, but the mood doesn’t strike me. Besides, I promised to call once a week and they can hear it all then. Letters from my own hand bore me. I’d much rather read someone else’s written in a different language.

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