- After getting our UHaul on yet again, the wife and I are now the shiznit at this moving game. (Though she’s staying in Chicago — more on that later.) I’ve taken the wizened Ikea furniture we had lying around from my 23-year-old days and brought it to Ann Arbor for a two-year last hurrah. I think the bed and the computer desk will make it through, but I have my doubts about the dresser that I bought in 2003 from some sketchy Euro-dude furniture store in Astoria. It’s sub-Ikea quality and failing fast, so I’m rolling with the Millennium Falcon of dressers — “You hear me, baby? Hold together.” Luckily Ann Arbor has a thriving freecycling community, so if all goes according to plan I won’t have to move this junk back with me to Chicago in 2010.
- Speaking of moving, if I end up staying in the same apartment until I graduate — which will likely be the case from my end of things, as teleporting will have to be perfected if I want to shorten my commute to class — then this apartment will be the one place that’s housed me the longest since I left Pittsburgh for college. In those ten years, my record for staying put is a tie at 16 months: one stint in a shared house in Forest Hills, N.Y., and the other in a Foggy Bottom studio. I’ve always left voluntarily, yet I’ve had no fewer than 12 addresses in ten years, and Ann Arbor is lucky No. 13.
- Leadership training during Ross orientation wasn’t quite what I expected. I figured on a classroom situation, but the thing was really a lot more of a corporate management retreat without any trust falls. (We did cross an “acid river” using only two boards for six people and tied a rope into a knot while we all six maintained a grip on it. But, like I said, no trust falls.)
All kidding aside, I’m still a little unclear on how it’s possible to teach intangible character qualities like leadership, creativity and self-awareness, but all of these activities did make the week kick ass at the team-building thing. I’m already buddied up with most of my sectionmates, and we seem to have a really laid-back but competent group — the combination I’ve always appreciated the most in the workplace. Things have clicked so well that we won the Grill for Glory competition over the other five sections, fulfilling the mathematical reality that 6 is always greater than 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. Holla.
I did take away one big negative experience from the orientation week, which is that it kicked off the less-than-awesome reality of being away from the wife while I’m here at school. Objectively you could say I have it pretty good — we live in the era of email and IM, there are other people here in similar and even longer-distance situations, Chicago is only four hours away, and neither of us are deployed to a hostile area like some of the military peeps I know. But this experience is the one I have to live, so in the meantime I’m dwelling on other things and waiting to get my semester on, when I figure I’ll be so busy that I’ll have no dwelling time anyway.
Also, Michigan lost this weekend to Utah. This disappointing-football-upset BS was supposed to end once I left Northwestern.
Related P.S. – Props to my fraternity pledge son Adam Rittenberg for his awesome Big Ten gig at ESPN.