Friday, March 06, 2009

Events of the Evening: Reception

Today is Scholar's Day at UCSD. The most academically proficient of accepted applicants are named Scholars, should they attend, and given a special tour of campus, in smaller groups than would be available for the later, less discriminating Admit Day. One year ago, I myself attended this event. Emails invited me to greet potential students; I felt uninterested. But there was another event, too. A reception for Jacobs Scholars - those given a full scholarship based on academic prowess, limited to a small number of students in the Engineering school, paid for by the founder of Qualcomm. (If I understand correctly.) This was a group I was one of; I was invited to attend, and greet prospective scholars.

I had no such intent. It sounded like it might involve social interaction - and oh, oh, how I do despise that! So when the calls for RSVPs (via email, of course) came, I declined to reply. But my opposition was largely based on inertia - so when a certain lady of my acquaintance spoke to me on the matter, suggesting that she would attend, I readily agreed to do the same*. The day came; several hours before, one of my suitemates (N. Konopliv, a fellow Jacobs Scholar) knocked upon my door, asking about the time and the dress code. "Casual business attire?" he moaned as I read the event details to him. "I don't want to change clothes!" We agreed to compromise on polo shirts.

I played a video game just up to the moment of departure - then, leaving the game paused, I set out. I hadn't RSVP'd for the event, and Mr. Konopliv had; yet they had a nametag ready for me, and not one for him! This provoked some amusement. We observed the buffet prepared and ready for use - this being a primary reason for Mr. Konopliv's attendance - snuck into the auditorium where a presentation was just finishing, listening to a few minutes of Q&A - and then returned to the buffet, filling out plates with shrimp, cheese, bread, chocolate-covered strawberries, ordinary strawberries, m&m cookies, and what I can only describe as "meat on a stick", among other things. (The meat on a stick was quite good.)

The hall filled with people; parents, professors, students, alumni, and a few prospective scholars. With some amusement, many of us noted that the prospective scholars - for whom the event was intended - were four or five times outnumbered by current students and faculty present. (There were perhaps so many as eight prospective scholars present, though I saw no more than four.) We ate, we spoke, we made merry; it was a good time. The lady who had (unintentionally) persuaded me to attend made her appearance; I spoke to three of the prospective scholars, providing useful information to one, accidental disinformation to another (I misunderstood what she was saying!), and participated in a tour of the CS dungeon with the third, alongside the lady and three others. I feel that I handled myself well; if anything about my person terrified the potential scholars away, it was my beard, and, well - that simply cannot be helped!

Also, this fellow seemed to acquired a collection of nametags, from this and events past. He initially had them arranged in a line along the center of his torso; I helped him create a superior arrangement. He tells me that I should tag him on facebook. Senator Ted Stevens, I believe the nametags read? Something along those lines.

At any rate, somewhat over an hour after it began, the reception came to a close. The organizer began to speak, noting this fact and suggesting that those attending a succeeding event, the Game Night, should gather together to be led to the location of said event. ("Dogg House". I'd never heard of such a thing before, and... well. It wasn't as bad as it sounded.) I was planning to attend this event - I had RSVP'd for it, which might explain why my nametag was present earlier. And the lady who I persist in mentioning** had related to me, somewhat earlier, that no-one at all had volunteered to bring video-games - there were only board-games! This was startling - but there was nothing I could do about the lack of video-games. I had no party games! But I did have a collection of card games, exactly suitable for the occasion, which I had been waiting to use. I rushed back to the dorm to fetch them...

*This sentence is slightly misleading.

**I must note here that I am not Mr. Zhang, and so I shall give forth her name: J. Chandler. I hope that all present meets with her approval.

1 comment:

Calvacadeofcats said...

how forlorn like a towering seahouse upn the sshoe that i missed the festive platters and musck