I started orientation at the University of Florida today. It went well, although it wore me out. After a month off, getting up at 5:30 a.m. was brutal!
This morning, I was one of a couple thousand new graduate students (master's and doctorate) to enter the school. What was astonishing, though, was that about three-fifths of the students there were international students -- about half Middle Eastern and the other half Asian.
It was amazing to me how motivated these students were to come to a new country, where they barely speak the language, and they're able to do exactly what I'm doing. Incredible.
I met up with a small group of friends -- one of whom I'm carpooling with, and the other I'll be teaching with. We had a nice lunch, and, since they all completed their undergrad degrees at UF, they showed me around campus. Very nice girls.
After that, we returned to the student union, and we were among the hundreds of teaching assistants beginning this year. My teaching professor gave a speech to everyone, which was great. She's so enthusiastic and helpful. I know I'll have a great experience working with her.
I start again early tomorrow. So far, our schedule is the same, despite Tropical Storm Fay bearing down on us. Will keep you all posted on that!