Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not a freshman, but a cohort

Friday was the orientation to the Master in Public Policy graduate program at Cal Poly. Of the 18 people who are in my cohort (part of the new graduate vocabulary I will begin using), there were 12 who showed up to the 1/2 hour meeting plus "reception" afterwards.

There is quite a variety of interests by my fellow cohorts, and it looks like the males outnumber the females, too! I feel like the only one who has a clear direction, but that could also be because I am one of the few who have been graduated for more than a year. Many are recent bachelor's degree recipients. A few of us are locals (meaning from San Luis Obispo county and hold bachelor degrees from Cal Poly already), but most are from out of the area.

Our "reception" was a little funky at first because it was really just us and a few professors from the department. So, we had to mingle and force interest in each other since we were encouraged by the director to form social relationships with each other early on. I found one or two people interested in talking. Some just didn't seem like they cared to get to know anyone. I even met a man who worked with my dad at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. We shared some fun stories, and I even found out that he was the Easter Bunny at the PG&E Easter Egg Hunt when I was just a wee one. That'll be an interesting friendship.

Eventually after asking around I found out that some of the folks would be going out afterwards. Heck, I wanted to get a jump on the social development aspect of our program since I know I'm usually lacking in that department. Spike's was the place, the pub down on South Higuera Street. I'd actually never been there before but was game.

Turned out I was the first one there. I hate that. So I went to Ladies room to kill some time. In the end there were 9 of us, 6 being part of this year's cohort, and 2 from last year's cohort (aka 2nd years). The remaining individual, in case you thought my math had suddenly gone fuzzy, was the husband of a 2nd year cohort, so take that!

We ordered beers: some of us ordered food. I got a Stella and fish n chips. I don't really know my drinks. I tried asking if anyone had ever had wheat beer with orange (it was recommended by my Polo player). The guy from Berkeley who went to school at Monterey State then ended up in Massachusetts said that it wasn't that great as traditionally citrus was added to wheat beer because it had gone bad and the flavor was supposed to mask that off-putting rottenness. Whatever. He spent his time with the owner of a bike shop, not with us.

So, the night was not a late one. It was pretty pathetic to think that we left at about 9pm. I guess the younger crowd will be more interested in beer nights at the local watering holes as they made sure that they got the run down of the bars in downtown SLO. Yippee! Just what I'm looking forward to.

I think we are all chomping at the bit to get started. Monday's the big day! It will feel strange to be a student again. Although I do look forward to the part where I get to study and learn new ideas.

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