Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ryan's First Impressions

Before I get into any recounting of my first few weeks here at Macalester, I should probably introduce myself. My name is Ryan Schleeter, I am from Novato, CA in the Frisco Bay Area, I went to Marin Academy (for any of you who know what I’m talking about) and I play the saxophone, enjoy long walks on the beach (don’t make fun I actually do), and I am strangely really excited to be writing this blog. Honestly, when I was first approached about writing a little blog for the Admissions Department, I was slightly dumbfounded. I felt that there wasn’t much more I could possibly know about the school than the average PF. I’ve only been here for four weeks- not a significantly long amount of time. However, the very first thing I learned about Macalester (barring the info from the insane amounts of mailing you will all receive, which I lovingly hand-pack myself at my job in the Admissions Office) was that at Mac, it is incredibly easy to immerse oneself. Whether it’s meeting new people and friends, extracurricular activities, or getting engaged in classes, there is such a wealth of options and people eager to help you “figure things out” that I found myself with a full schedule of things I enjoy before I even realized it.

In the past week and a half, I managed to audition for and join a comedy improve group called “Fresh Concepts” (our 24 hour show is #18 on the list of 100 things to do before you graduate. Give me a year and it’ll be #1), join the coed club volleyball team (NOT a sports person here, I’m expanding my horizons), join the jazz band, MacJazz, and meet and become friends with virtually everyone on my floor (Turck 4 shout-out!). All this and I put out essentially no discernable effort. It is as if this school is simply designed to allow connections like this to be made- it just makes sense here. Probably the one drawback about this amazing multitude of activities is that, due to class schedules and other conflicts, a lot of these awesome activities happen at the same time (in my case, Tuesday and Thursday nights). Most people are able to avoid conflicts like this, but evidently I have random, “eclectic” interests that conflict. This, however, is not the worst problem one could encounter.

One more thing that I pretty much have to comment on is the weather since I have been here. This first two weeks were absolutely amazingly beautiful weather-wise. Sunny days, people chillin’ on the lawns, and not even cold at night- it was a like I had never left California. As my International Studies professor put it: “for those of you unfamiliar with Minnesota weather patterns, we’re just kidding.” Only he was right. The last couple days it all of a sudden got cold! I mean California cold, which is 50 farenheit with some wind chill, but never the less, people are definitely bundled up. I know it can only get colder and colder (and colder) but so far it has actually been refreshing for me. I find it “brisk”. Ask me again in a month or two and you will encounter a different type of response, most likely one involving a few expletives, but for now it’s enjoyable.

That is all I have to say for now. I completely encourage all of you to strongly consider Macalester, because for me so far, it has been better than I even imagined.