Student orientation today at UW-Madison, and I was required to go. My last required meeting was extremely productive, and resulted in me signing up for classes. Orientation, not so much. Despite being a transfer student, we sat through several people talking about how one makes it as a student at UW. I folded my napkin into a paper crane, and a postcard on academic requirements into a fancy airplane.
The second part of orientation moved us around to several group were we could find information about joining research projects, studying abroad, ext. While more useful, I found I had learned most of this information in the sign-up for classes.
Once done with orientation it was time for something I had to do: finding my classes. The campus, to say the least, is much larger than UW-Rock County. I had printed out my class scheduled, and a map (which printing quite poorly) of where each of the buildings were. So I biked around to each of them, found a good bike rack (all the buildings had good racks) and searched for the class rooms I would be using.
Some of the buildings are fantastic. One of the buildings had a physics museum with a bunch of demos I had to play with. By far the oddest building was the Humanities building, which I think was designed to be a hybrid labyrinth, and 1950ies sci-fi set. It took me awhile to find my class rooms, but it was an interesting tour.
After that, it was off to the bookstore. I had put this off probably too long, but it needed to be done. Naturally they were out of one of the books I needed.
So once all this traveling was complete, it was time to head back home. Madison is an easy city to bicycle. Many of the one-way roads, and closed areas to motorists are still accessible by bike, and I found it makes biking easier than driving. All day there was a huge quantity of foot traffic—people everywhere. Yet was an easy coexistence between cyclists and pedestrians.
The weather was awful with temperatures in the 90ies, and I returned home a sweat monster, but it was a good endurance test. I will not be required to bike this long with my backpack for classes, and the heat is probably as bad as I am ever going to encounter. And tomorrow, the first day of class...