Of course, if you don’t have a Facebook or just don’t want to join, you’re not at any real loss here. Like Facebook itself, it’s just another nice tool for connecting with others.
Talking about getting ready for Prefrosh Weekend makes me think it might be a nice time for me to share my PFW experiences with you. It is, after all, the next thing to think about once you’ve been admitted. Since there’s a lot to talk about, and a lot of time to write this holiday (I can only be a TV junkie so many hours of the day), I think I’ll split it into a couple of parts. First, I just want to talk about what it was like getting there, and once you hear the story, I think you’ll understand why that merits its own entry.
Like most people, I think, I made the trip to PFW by myself. Unlike most people, however, it was my first time flying. Now, I may be from New Orleans, but I went to school in practically rural northern Louisiana and flew out of the tiny Alexandria,LA airport. I was already nervous enough, printing out three copies of my tickets and insisting that we leave with 3 hours to spare- for a 7 AM flight. I didn’t walk through a gate to get to the plane, oh no. I walked out to the runway and took a flight of stairs to board a 20-seat place- with propellers. I settled into my seat, looking out onto the still-dark runway. One propeller started up…the one on my side did not. It sputtered, sputtered…nothing. A few rumbling noises…ok there we go, it’s turning now. And then, on the loudspeaker, something a first-time flyer does NOT want to hear: "Uhmmm….the pilot is a little unsure about taking off in all this fog, but uhhhhh….we’re gonna go for it anyway." I gripped into my armrests and started looking around for someone, anyone, to tell me this was all completely normal. An older couple must have noticed how white my face was, as the wife asked me, "Well where are you headed to, honey?" Through quivering lips, I said, "Los…Los Angeles." "And what are you doing there?" "G…Going to Caltech." And then it happened…a voice from the back, some tough-looking guy, shouted, "Caltech? You’re going to Caltech? Hey guys, HEY! We got a genius on this plane!" I kid you not, it really happened. I felt awesome, I felt great, I felt brilliant, I felt…ready for take-off! We lifted up through the rain and fog, and suddenly..sunshine above the clouds. One plane change, one shuttle, and 5 hours later, I was at Caltech.
My host met me out on the curb and helped me get my bags over to Lloyd House. She was unexpectedly sick and needed to find someone else for me to stay with, but I needed to get over to registration. I asked her what I ought to do with my stuff in the meantime. "Just leave it here in the hall," she said. "Just right here, out in the hall?" She looked at me, grinned a little, and replied, "Honor Code."
Well, that’s probably enough for now. Next time, I’ll let you know about the actual weekend, and more importantly, what it meant to my - and my parents’ - decision about Caltech.