Archive for May 5, 2008

First Week at Ross, Part 1

May 5, 2008

Apologies to everyone I left hanging for the last couple of weeks – things were pretty hectic!

I’m currently sitting on the deck outside of the student center with Sugar, my new macbook, enjoying a balmy breeze off the Caribbean Sea. Things have been a bit overwhelming since I landed on Dominica early Thursday evening but I’ve secured an apartment, got a new cell phone, and am starting to settle in. My parents came down to make sure everything was all right but they flew out yesterday so I’m officially on my own. Even though everyone I know who’s traveled to Dominica has described it as a “third world country”, it certainly isn’t as “third-world” as I imagined. Yes, cows roam randomly along Banana Trail (my neighborhood) and there is jungle all around, but it isn’t that different from parts of the Kansai countryside or the rural South. 

Today is the first day of orientation. While Sugar was being configured to run the campus media sites, a large group of first semesters was ferried down Indian River, a winding waterway along which the native Carib Indians used to live. There was a first semester social last night and a bonfire on Saturday. Tonight, there are several welcome-type lectures at The Annex, the complex where all first semester classes are held. I’m both eager and anxious for classes to begin but we’ve got another week before they start (feel free to call/email while you still can!).

One of the things I’ve noticed is that students have already formed cliques – some of these groups consist of people who met each other while they were MERP students (MERP is a sort of post-bac in Miami with linkage to Ross) while other groups seem to be self-segregated mono-racial pockets. Both types appear to be difficult to infiltrate. In my Action Plan for Supreme Success in Medical School, I didn’t factor in much of a social life. I have met a few cool people so far but to be honest, I’m here to work, not to make friendship bracelets. However, I was hoping to find a few like-minded people to be my study buddies. Will forming lucrative study partnerships be worth the time spent navigating the social scene? Do I really need to make time for fostering relationships?

Here are some pictures –