Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Last Day Before Classes Start

The last two days have been very calm. Yesterday I didn't do much: walked over to the math department (to make sure that I can find it) and then relaxed all day, hung out with Andres in the evening. (He's living in the next stairwell over from me; it's nice.)

This morning there was a meeting at the math department to tell everyone to sign up with an advisor and to introduce the course. It was a complete waste of time, as all of the information that they gave us was already up on the website and in the course catalog, both in really obvious places. (They spent two hours just going over all of the classes that are offered, all the while giving LESS information than was in the course catalog... I wasn't really sure what the point was.) They first spent fifteen minutes talking about how difficult the course was and how it's ok if it's too difficult and you have to go home. At Harvard, a talk like that would be followed by introducing several support services, explaining how to get help if you were falling behind. Here all they said was that if you decide to drop out early enough you can get your money back. I thought the whole thing was stupid and obmoxious.

And now for some pictures. First, my dorm. When you first approach it you have to cross a bridge,

and then you see the dorm complex itself.

My entry is one of the less nice ones (they're refurbishing the dorm, and they haven't gotten to my entryway yet) so it looks like this:

Next to the dorm there is a pond,

for no reason that I can tell. I've been told not to fall into it, as it's really stinky. (The tiles next to it are just the walkway between buildings, so it actually is possible to fall into the pond.)
The park around my dorm is very nice. Walking from my dorm to the gate to the park looks like this:

(I'm sorry that the last photo is so blurry; I couldn't get the camera to focus properly because the light wasn't very bright.)

Right in front of my dorm is the Fellows' Garden. In most colleges only fellows (professors) are allowed into the Fellows' Garden, but in Trinity everyone is allowed to visit it. It's absolutely beautiful, with a lot of corners to sit in and places to work. These pictures don't do it justice, but they give some idea of what it's like:

The math department is also very interesting. It's actually a huge site, with lots of buildings (which are called "pavilions"). In order to get into the site you go through a gatehouse

which has gates with knots on them:

At some point they lock the gates, but we get 24 hour access using a swipe card. The library, just inside the gates, looks like this:

It's really cool inside. It's round, and the bookshelves are arranged like spokes in a wheel. The rest of the site looks like this:

The most interesting thing about the way the site is constructed is that it's sunk into the ground. The grass that you see up there isn't actually on the ground: it's on the roof of a huge array of rooms, all located below ground level. If you look on the pictures above, though, you can see that there are railings around the site. Beyond these railings isn't more ground: it's a drop of a story or so, where the ground has been hollowed out around the building. It's a really strange construction for a building, but apparently it was done because the neighbors didn't want a lot of tall buildings around.


Anonymous mama said...


Very beautiful and interesting.
And the grass is REALLY green -- as it is supposed to be :)
I hope you enjoy all this!


11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This all seems very new. How about the old Cambridge?
Library seems like a place for you.


3:33 PM  
Anonymous Edward Wallace said...

You should really tell them about there being no half-decent support systems and the meetings being useless and obnoxious, because....they don't realise.

And I bet part III course catalogue still has some course descriptions which are wrose than useless, and every one in a different format so you can barely compare prerequisites &c.

I should send you a long email with opinions.

1:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Innochka, privet!
My hoteli by znat' pobol'she o tvoem samochuvstvii. Napishi nam. U nas vchera byl tvoj papa s Veroj i Marinoj. Marina vyrosla, pouchaet Veru v oblasti kul'tury povedeniya, chasto delaet zamechaniya. Glavnaya zabota sejchas - postupit' v horoshuyu i nedoroguyu shkolu. GP(MUSYA I DEDA).

8:47 PM  

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