Sunday, June 25, 2017

Week One in San Diego | Hi, my name is Hannah (because Hallie said that's what I should title this post)



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I was awake most of Tuesday night freaking out about moving to San Diego for two months. I cried when Dad prayed for me in the hotel room on Wednesday morning at 4:45 AM, I cried when I went through security at PDX, I cried when I sat on my Alaska Airlines plane, I cried when I sat on the trolley, I cried when I called Mom at Trader Joe's, I cried when I sat at the dining room table writing this sentence. I didn't really expect this; I had already lived in Ellensburg for nine months, gone through that whole homesickness phase, and learned to be independent.
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But I knew that the homesickness would pass within a matter of time, and that once I got busier and actually started the REU and got to know more math people (because math people are the bomb), I would be as close to fine as I could be, and would be able to enjoy my time spent in San Diego. Mercifully, I'm feeling a little bit better about things the last couple days. I still call and whine at Mom every night (but let's face it, that happened in Ellensburg too for pretty much nine months straight) about wanting to go home, but at least I'm not on the verge of tears almost all the time anymore.

Wednesday, June 21st: My flight to San Diego was short (2 hours 3 minutes) but we took forever to taxi out of PDX. There was very little turbulence. I had an aisle seat and was sitting in the same row as a service dog, who wasn't a huge fan of the sound of the engine, which I'm pretty sure we were sitting right over. I forgot how cramped airplanes are (it's been four years since my last flight out to Indiana with our Momentum group). I also was hit with a wave of claustrophobia and motion sickness, which I didn't expect but maybe should have since my stomach has always been sensitive. Once we hit the ground, I had to navigate my way to the bus and subsequently to the trolley. On the bus ride, I got to see the marina and (from a distance) the Star of India, a tourist ship attraction. Then it took a long time and I lost Mom's water bottle and felt really guilty even though she was nice and said it didn't matter, but I finally boarded the Green Line trolley headed to Santee. (Also, the trolleys do not look like the trolleys in Mr. Rogers. I was sad.)
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Then I went to my apartment (gosh it took forever getting there and it was sweltering hot -- 75 degrees and 68% humidity and I was in a denim jacket carrying tons of luggage), signed the sublease papers, and got my stuff unpacked. I went to Trader Joe's and bought a few groceries. I tried to take a nap because I hadn't really slept the night before and was consequently suffering from kill-everyone irritability, and I walked around campus a little bit and called Mom and went to bed.
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Thursday, June 22: I toured campus, I went to Walmart, I got accosted by a skateboarder who asked me out (I was creeped out and have been judiciously carrying my pepper spray ever since . . . well, mostly judiciously I guess), and I called Mom while sitting at a table at the Conrad Prebys Student Union Building adjacent to a group of Christians who apparently use the time from 6:30-8:00 on Thursday evenings to pray for passersby and share the Gospel. So if you need prayer and you live in San Diego, go to the Conrad Prebys SUB at San Diego State University at 6:30 PM this Thursday I guess.
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Friday, June 23: I was really lazy. I think I watched more Glee episodes in a day than should be allowed in several days. (That sentence probably didn't succeed in making the hyperbolic point I wanted it to, but I'm not much into hyperboles these days. It's probably something to do with forcing myself to be as clear and specific as possible 6-15 hours a day for the last three months.)


Saturday, June 24: Today, I was a tourist, and I spent about five hours waiting for the bus, riding the bus, walking a mile and a half to Balboa Park, walking in Balboa Park, waiting for the bus, and riding the bus. I was seriously unimpressed with Balboa at first, because I hiked up to it through a desert-y looking trail and bracken, and I thought the desert-y looking trail and bracken was Balboa because that's what my new-as-of-Monday Smartphone told me. Turns out the property was probably on the park, but the park most people actually tour was another quarter mile uphill and up the road. I should probably let the photographs speak for the Balboan beauty, even though I was too tired from heat and humidity and already having walked around a bunch just to find the park to really appreciate many of the sights. I hope to go again (especially since admittance to the park is free, and I need to hit the San Diego Zoo while I'm there anyway) to walk around more of the trails and see if I can find any cool birds.
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Sunday, June 25: I walked to the College Avenue Baptist Church, a mile away according to Google Maps, and spent an hour sitting in a pew (I've never really attended a pew church before), and enjoyed beautiful worship music (they had a violinist and a black grand piano!) and a sermon on the eternal nature of God (based on Exodus 3:14 and Psalm 90:1-6). The church is huge and essentially has its own campus, but there couldn't have been more than 150 people in attendance. They seemed like a caring bunch of people even though no one actually approached me to talk (but to be fair, I didn't stick around because I thought that would be really awkward), so I think I'll go back. After that, I walked to Trader Joe's and bought groceries, and then had a meeting with my TA and program director for the REU that begins tomorrow (!!!). I'm extremely excited and ready to get back to thinking about math for eight hours a day. And ready to sit with math people and goof off for eight hours a day. (Okay, we do get some math done too. . . .)

Hopefully I will get one of these posts published every week. I doubt I'll follow the same format every week, because I get bored easily and there's a strong possibility I'll have some topic on my mind that I need to really write about (like this). Also, hopefully these get less boring as time goes on. I'm mostly writing for the benefit of a friends and family, but if you want to follow along more closely, I'll probably be posting almost daily on my Instagram, where my handle is @hannahelisebarta. See you there!
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