Friday/Shabbat – Day 256/257 – Spring Fling

April 19, 2013

Now, I’m probably going to get shouted down for this, but I have to say, Spring Fling was one of my least favourite of my Penn experiences. This was probably compounded by the fact that I was still feeling pretty sick, but needless to say, my weekend wasn’t great.

Worst part of it all, being fling, my apartment was full with people of various shades, which wasn’t exactly idea for my recovery. Substances were downed, and loud music played, all over campus, and it turned out my apartment wasn’t exempt. Friday I spent much of the day working in the engineering building, trying to escape all the noise and fuss. I took plenty of rest during the day prepping for “Fling Feast” in the evening.

Fling Feast is an event arrange by the OCP as an alternative to the Fling concert and comprised of a lovely sit down dinner. Unfortunately Ariella ditched Louis and I over dinner (she had more ‘important’ people to sit next to) but the company was still lively and the food excellent. After the main course, a comedian was brought out who, for over forty-five minutes entertained us with clever jokes revolving around the experiences of Jews in college. It was by all measures a resounding success. For dessert all guests were given ‘magic berries’ and told to coat their tongues in them before eat sour foods with thanks to a little protein magic, suddenly tasted sweet.

Shabbat was awful. I felt pretty sick and my apartment was at times filled with unsavoury types, a number of times without either of my other roommates in the room. Every time I came back to the room during the day was another unpleasant surprise (aside from finding Priyanka Anand sitting on my couch at one point). I left for lunch at Hillel, nothing special. From there I decided to at least visit the Freshman Quad to see what ‘Fling’ actually was. I arrived there just in time for the Penn Glee Club band’s set, which was really fantastic.

The quad otherwise was a little underwhelming. Note so many people around, a decent carnival but nothing unbelievable. I hung around for a while with Glee people before deciding to head back to get some more R&R. On my way back I saw a Jew-crew heading down back towards the quad and they invited me to join them but I decided to decline having already seen what I needed to.

Back at home my room was full of people. So I wrapped myself in my blanket and went to sleep.

After Shabbat, I ate my dinner and then proceeded to hang out with Aviva, Michal and a mutual friend of our Ralph for the rest of the evening. That was a little more adventurous and a little more fun. Ralph has taste for the finer things in life and lived just alongside me in one of the other apartment buildings. We chilled and talked for hours and hours till I was ready for bed and then I headed back and closed my eyes. Thank heavens Fling was over.

Tuesday/Wednesday – Day 162/163

January 11, 2013

Tuesday was a run around and get stuff done day. Though there was no rehearsal, there was also no shortage of things that needed to get done. First order of the day was my attempt to obtain a SSN (social security number), needed to legally work in the USA. However in order to get one I had to complete over nine forms ranging from personal details, to employer details and even a survey on my ethnic and religious background.

From there I had to head to three separate offices on the University campus and then re-secure immigration status. This took another few hours and by the time lunch came around I was tired out and ready to head back to my apartment. However, it was only at this point where I was finally eligible to present the final application for an SSN to the social security administration in Center City. A few hours later I was back on campus for lunch//dinner and then had a quiet night in after what was certainly a most busy day.

Wednesday was the first day of classes and boy was I excited.Firstly I got to sleep in and have a banana and banana tea breakfast with Molly. Next with everyone back, I was meeting people I knew left. right and centre. Next up was my first class, Networking with Boon Thau Loo, a favourite professor. Additionally there were a number of friends in the class, significantly Charu Jangid, from Operating Systems the semester prior, with whom I worked well.

Next up was computer security, which though as an undergraduate student I was in a minority, I still enjoyed the class as I was passionate about the subject matter.

Five to seven was Glee Rehearsal. It was so good to get back to proper singing and even the few dances we did didn’t bother me so much. Plus it was good to hang out with the clubbers.

This week also marked the start of ‘rush’; the process by which fraternities decide whom they want to accept as pledges (potential members). Thus, the newmen and I decided to shop around and just see what it was like. I treated it all as a bit of a joke but met a few nice people in the process and had one excellent chat about music, cognitive science and its links to computer science.

Finally, I got back to the apartment and chilled with Molly, McLean of Glee and our last roommate Christina. An evening well spent.

Wednesday/Thursday – Day 157/158

January 6, 2013

Today It was back to Penn! I packed my two suitcases and my backpack as efficiently as possible and then it was off to Penn Station NYC, to catch the Bolt Bus ‘home’. On arriving, my first order of business was to get back to campus, which involved schlepping all my luggage down into the subway and then up and out again at the other side. By the time I got out in University City, I was nearly exhausted.

Next, I needed to find somewhere to put my stuff so I headed to the University City Apartments housing office, from whom I would be renting this semester, to arrange to sign the lease and pay my deposit and rent. This turned out to be much more difficult than expected as they didn’t take credit and I was expected to have a very large amount of funds available immediately. This required me to leave my stuff in there care for twenty minutes while I searched for a PNC Bank branch. Getting there I bought a check and returned to the office to fill it out. Next, I schlepped my stuff up about ten blocks to my new apartment, repacked what I needed for a few days into my backpack, and went to rehearsal.

Unfortunately, the next few days of writing there really won’t be much to report. This is due to 10AM to 10PM rehearsals every day for the PGC spring show, so I’ll be keeping it brief.

This rehearsal however I quite enjoyed as it was a good time to see everyone again after break and catch up over a little singing and dancing.

That night I slept on Steph Garace’s couch, as Martin, the individual from whom I was assuming the lease, hadn’t moved out of my apartment yet.

The next day the marathon began, and needless to say it was none to pleasant. Not enough time for meals, frenzied interviews with oldmen and far far too much dancing for my tastes. As most of the songs for the show were as yet unarranged, most of the time was spent staging and learning a few of the big show numbers.

Finally I got to bed around 1AM after getting back to Steph’s at around 11. I could see this was going to be a long process.

© 2012-2024 Shaanan Cohney