Thursday, December 3, 2009

What I Wish I Had Known, continued

In my last post I started a list of things that lots of prospective students never find out about until they actually arrive on campus. After getting some reader feedback, I've decided to continue that list for two, maybe three more posts. So, here we go.

5. There are free condoms EVERYWHERE.

And I mean all varieties of condoms you can think of (use your imagination). Personally, I think it's terrific. Not only is it a representation of how open Mac is as a community and how supportive everybody (including admins) is about making realistic healthy life choices, but it also makes for some pretty fun condom/balloon debauchery. In all seriousness, Mac administrators, professors, staff, and everyone else are extremely committed to keeping students healthy and happy, and this is one way they show it.

6. Navigating Cafe Mac

Nowhere in our ridiculously long and detailed orientation did they cover how to make ones way around possibly the most crowded place at Macalester: Cafe Mac. While we did spend 1.5 hours debriefing our icebreaker games, somehow no one managed to inform me that Harold the card-swiper would yell at me for trying to bring my backpack to a table! Here are some Cafe Mac basics:
  • You have to store your backpack in a cubby thing, or lie and tell Harold there's a laptop in it. Otherwise he thinks you're stealing food.
  • The food is good, and there's plenty of it, but when you get tired of the same old same old, there are plenty of options for creativity. Fro yo and Lucky Charms is one of my faves, but grilled cheese bagels (from the toaster), fro yo and Belgian waffles on brunch days, and the "currito" (curry and stuff in a tortilla) are all popular options.
  • BRANDI! Brandi, who serves pasta and veggies everyday at lunch, is the coolest person ever. She calls everyone either sir, buddy, or homie, and always knows what you wanna eat. She never fails to make me happier.

7. Study Areas

Now that you've satisfied some of that tummy grumbling, it's time to get down to business (no, not Facebook creeping). There are a bunch of study areas around Campus, and each have their perks. I'll give you a few of my favorites:

  • The Dewitt Wallace Library: free printing, open til midnight on school nights, 3 during finals week. All the resources and help you could need in a productive environment.
  • The Humanities Lab: located on the first floor of the Humanities building, this is the only place to print in color for free. On top of that, it has a great collection of language dictionaries.
  • The Campus Center: honestly, I get incredibly distracted here. But it is open the latest, and there are some great group study areas.
  • Kagin has some great study space, including the MAX Center, which is ever so helpful (its basically peer tutoring on steroids). It also has a computer lab.
  • The Kirk Computer lab: OK, its in a basement and has awful fluorescent lighting, but this is the only 24 hour computer lab on campus, which makes it a godsend. Also, not many first years know about it or use it, so this is cutting edge stuff.

There's a couple more things for you guys to think about. Again, if you have any further questions or feedback PLEASE COMMENT!

Until next time,