When one talks about having a bad day, is it really that bad? It can be. When nothing works, when nobody helps, when nothing in the world is going your way.
I have had my fair share of bad days. Bad hair days, bad sales day, bad tummy days, bad bloated days but nothing beats this one BAD day I had on October 8th.
Ying San, if you're reading this, you can skip it. You know the whole story. hehe
Like many of you know, I'm in the middle of searching for a university to transfer my credits and complete that Graphic Design degree of mine. When we came here, we narrowed down to a few affordable schools that offers visual art designs. One of them on the list caught my interest was California State of Fullerton, located about an hour up north from where I live. It wasn't my favorite but the tuition fees pulled me in. So one day, I scheduled a campus tour and paid them a visit.
The day started out with me taking I-5 North freeway an hour and half early than the scheduled time. Traffic was heavy... so heavy, I didn't even have the chance to drive pass 30 mph. After an hour and fifteen minutes, I arrived at Lot G, guided by the e-mail I printed out for directions. Lot G is a big parking ramp which looked more like a shopping complex parking ramp, kind of giving the impression that the university is somewhat money-driven... or at least to me.
After I parked my car, with just 10 minutes to spare, I went to look to get the parking permit as the e-mail instructed. Walked near to the exit and every corner, close to the staircase and everywhere else, I couldn't find a clue on how to get that parking permit. Then I thought the only way to get a parking permit, maybe, is to ask the campus tour guide about it. I went into the building where we were supposed to meet, and had to wait for a bit until the campus tour guide came in. The moment he came in, he started calling out a large group of attendees' names, and began the tour immediately. I had no choice but to go on with the tour as he started introducing about the university. I thought what could worse, just go on with the tour and see if anyone brings up about the parking permit.
The campus tour took us about an hour, walking outside of the building most of the time. Like every part of Orange County, there isn't a lot of trees, hence no shade. Now in the Fall season, the weather has started to cool off but of course, the day I decided to be outside, it went up to 99 degrees! Sounds just wonderful, right?
I thought, that's fine, at least I have a glimpse of what the campus is like. I felt quite intimidated honestly, walking among the too many Lindsay Lohan and Zac Efron look-alikes. The vibe I got made me feel so old, although I know I'm not that far from them in terms of number. My first instinct was, I didn't like the campus. I felt like the university was very money-oriented than student-oriented. The campus definitely did NOT give me a good impression. Most of the building were not only ancient, which I don't really care, but they are not well-kept at all. There's no effort in hygiene, birds poop on the floor, on the railing, and almost no effort in landscaping at all. There's trash in the compound, it's dusty and there's also trash in the building, in the middle of the walkway. What's strange was there's a dumpster... IN THE BUILDING, under the staircase! With shut windows, none of the buildings I went into felt ventilated. I don't feel any cooling air from the A/C at all.
What's funnier is that, as reputable as the campus made it sound to be, making claims of names and names that have made it big nationally and internationally, there's only 200 computers in the whole campus for use. You might think that is impressive, but for 30,000 students? That's kind of pathetic. Is that why it was so affordable in the whole area? Could be it.
After the tour, I spoke to the campus tour guide and requested to get the Parking Permit. He said the only way I could get it (at this point) is by going to the Transportation Department on campus, where I have to drive out of the parking ramp, head out to the street and find the building on my right hand side. He was hoping that I don't get a ticket, but continue saying "... it's going to be messy". I didn't understand what he meant, while in my mind, I was also contemplating to stay back to check out the other parts of the campus myself, instead of going back to the car to check if I got a ticket. However, he insisted that I go to the car and check.
So, I went back to my car and not surprisingly, there IS a small piece of paper sticking on window screen. As expected, I drove to where the freaking building was located, parked my car and asked if I can be exempted as a visitor.
"I'm sorry ma'am. IF you think this is unfair, please fill out this form and send it to this address. We will take care of it but you'll still have to pay the fine first and you will be compensated.... if they find you are being treated unfairly"
She gave me the form, I looked at it and said "Hell with it, I'm just going to pay the $40 fine!". I have no time to write a 200 words essay to explain that I'm on a campus tour and give all these proofs that I'm on it today. Dang it. PAID it.... felt extremely guilty for the fact I could have just spent those money for lunch or better yet, at Forever 21!
I called my 'security blanket' (Hushby) the moment I got back to the car. I needed advice and comfort words from him. I told him I don't have a good feeling about the campus and I actually said "I don't feel good about this place. If I really do have questions bout the Graphic Design courses, I'll call them." He convinced me to stay back, since I drove an hour there, although he knew it wasn't words I wanted to hear but finally said "Ok go back if you want". He made me feel quite guilty already, so I went on against my instinct and do what he said.
Drove back to the same parking ramp, I placed the PAID ticket on top of my window screen (Better not fine me again!). First thing first, I walked to the Arts department, which is the closest to the parking ramp because I have to find some vending machines for bottled water. My throat was completely parched being under that hot sun. Upon seeing the many vending machines by the building, I was in full throttle heading to them! It was like finding an oasis in the middle of the desert. So I pulled out my ONLY five dollars note from my purse, pushed into the machine to get my only cure of dehydration. The machine spat my five dollars note out. Tried it again, thinking maybe I placed it upside down. Rejected again. Tried another machine, rejected. Tried a different type of machine, REJECTED. What's wrong with my five dollars? Lincoln Memorial is at the back of the White House, it cannot be fake. UGH
Dissapointed, then I walked to the nearest water fountain and guzzle in as much as I can. People who passed by sure have strange thoughts about me. Ah if not for those water fountains, I would have pass out... so who cares! Anyhow, since I was already there, I strolled along the building's hallway, wanting bad to like the university. I do find myself interested of the oversize classes, the quietness and the large space for exhibitions and displays but not overly impress. That was probably the only building on the campus that I actually like. When I was done, I thought to myself, OK lets find out how do I apply? So I walked to the OTHER side of campus to get information on how to transfer my credits.
First and foremost, I went to see the International Student Office and ask them how would I apply in my situation now holding a H4 visa. They said with this visa, I'm considered as a domestic student and suggested that I should see Transfer Students Office. Ok where is that? On the other side of the campus, of course. Without further ado, I got the campus map and stepped out of the building with my stomach growling. No food stalls in sight, however, I stumbled across another bigger row of fresh bottled water vending machine. Oasis again!
Push my five dollars note in hoping hard this one will accept my money... only to find out my five dollars started rolling out from it, again. Please help me Lincoln, oh Lincoln. Stepped to the right, try another machine - rejected. And another machine, rejected. Seriously, I was at my wits end, afraid that I might smash the vending machine unconsciously into pieces, I quickly walk away. I would sell my bra if I have to but I can't even get change there! Nobody knows where to get change, people just simply ignore. At this moment, I really miss Minnesota! So frustrating.
At that point, my frustration was taking up a lot of my energy. It was lunchtime, and my stomach continued to growl and whiz (gosh so embarassing) I knew I had to find food. With my limited detail map, I was clueless on where to find anything at all. Luckily, not too far on my mission to find the Transfer Student Office, I came across a bunch of students with sandwiches on their hands. I walked there and to my surprise, a bedroom size convenience store stood behind them. This time, I know I'm close to victory! Don't need to deal with vending machines anymore, I grabbed a tuna sandwich and finally! A BIG BOTTLE OF WATER, total up to $4.75.
That's good but not enough water, I bought another bottle before I embark on the hot sun again. I started by looking for the Transfer Students Office, strangely, located in some building (aren't they suppose to be housing these students application services in the same area?) where there is classes and advertisement department. Anyway, then I was greeted by a woman and I told her about my situation pursuing for a second degree but not done yet due to a sudden move from Minnesota. She quickly chipped in, "We actually don't encourage transfer students..." And went on and on about why.
Essentially, what they are saying in is, bearing you from all the details, because I have higher GPAs and more credits compare to most freshmen, gives me higher priority for getting into classes. Because of that, I will bump out other students' chances to register for the next semester. While I don't understand why freshmen get this priority more than students who only need two semesters to graduate but apparently will cause so much damage to other students get less priority, she went on and encouraged me to get a Graduate Degree in Graphic Designs.
I have look into this path before. It doesn't work, I don't have the pre-requisite classes to take Graphic Design in Master. I might as well complete my Graphic Design degree altogether if I really wanted to take that path. They insist that its possible and should speak to the Graduate Students Office. Ok where is that? On the other side of the campus. Sounds like fun again. What else can I do if I don't consult them? Guess I should really go anyway, the building made me feel as if I was baking.
Again, I stepped out under the blazing hot sun and walked to the OTHER side of the campus and found the Graduate Students Office. Opened the door, I walked into an office with one woman sitting behind her reception desk and another woman talking to her. I waited for them to finish on one corner, however kind of puzzle after two seconds when the receptionist stared at me without a word. I looked at her and looked at myself, check to see if I unbutton anything. Nope, nothing wrong here.
Then she opened her mouth "Yes?" in the grumpiest way possible. I meant it, literally. While the other woman who was standing also just stood there staring at me. Man, don't I feel like an alien, yet I went on and told her my situation that Transfer Student Office recommended that I come here and get some advice on how I should proceed with my situation. She got up from her chair, went to the rows of drawers and took out two pieces of papers and handed it over to me with these words, "Although it doesnt' provide a lot of information about our Graduate programs, you might want to look through and call us if you have any questions. The other sheet shows you who you can contact for more information on Graduate program based on their field. In your case, Jackie is the contact person in Graphic Design".
Ok, that was helpful, that I have to start walking to the Graphic Design department now. At this moment, my hair was fried and that felt like the longest walk. My head was as hot as the planet Sun but I stayed determine to look for Room 103 where that Jackie person, who ultimately would be able to answer my long listed questions. I honestly felt like Jackie was my last resort to this ever long quest on getting help. Not even want to mention the amount of time I had to look for Jackie's 103 office, I finally found it with another receptionist sat in front, on the phone.
Seeing she's busy, I decided to stand by the corner until she's done. She pulled her ear away, hanged the phone on her shoulder and asked what I wanted. I went ahead and said "it's OK, I can wait for you". She let go a grunt, somewhat displease with my respond, hung up the phone with some force. I didn't know what it was that I said cause such emotion but she turned to me and say "Ok what?" Rude, but whatever, I need my problem solve. Yadayada yada, introduced myself to her and ask if I can see Jackie?
"Jackie's off day is Wednesday. On other days, she is around. Come back tomorrow."
Today is Wednesday. That's just awesome. So then I went on to ask if there's anyone else other than Jackie who can help? "I'm sure you will speak to other professors after Jackie's consultation but for now, nope."
Can I make an appointment with her? I do have to drive an hour away to this campus, you know.
"It's better that you come back" NOT even suggesting I can call Jackie from home!
Even my last hope was crushed. I knew there and then, I will never step foot on that campus again! I will never find out whoever Jackie is! Without much thought, I knew I had to get home this time. I stopped myself from questioning the what ifs or who else, I walked back to get my car. Eventhough I was dizzy, I started driving BUT......
.... my oil meter was close to "E". UGH, just perfect timing! Great, made a pit stop, pump some gas and went into the freeway again. As if I didn't have enough of that blazing hot sun!
The girl having the blues
By the time I almost reach home, I felt dizzier and completely exhausted although I only spend 4 hours outside. I finished my bottle of water, and thought what better way to cool myself down than a large cup of smoothie. My favorite TCBY (The Country's Best Yogurt) store has my favorite natural, delicious fruity smoothie and it's located just next door of my apartment. Perfect location, I stopped over and walked into the store like a sloth. Unlike other times, the yogurt store was now filled with little people. Suddenly, where did all these kids come from, don't they have to go to school? I felt like standing in a zoo for a moment. Kid after kid, getting their orders, moms and all human-lings alike, went on the line, even jumping into lines but who am I to start arguing, I don't even have the energy. By the time I get to order, I was into 20 minutes of waiting.
10 minutes later, I get my smoothie and immediately head home with one goal in mind - to hit the sofa. Pipi rushed to the door as soon as I opened it, greet me with her usual jumping up and down playful manner, I could only pet her once and ground myself on the couch after. My head started pounding, my eyes were getting blurry. I kid you not, it was getting uncomfortable. The next thing I know, my nose started bleeding profusely AND my cat was jumping up and down on my tummy wanting to play. I had to put her aside, no matter how cute she was at that time, I just couldn't respond.
I couldn't do anything else for the rest of the day. The day after, I was sick. It was like waist down, I was paralyzed.
All because I didn't trust my instinct! I better be sure of it next time!
If you had a bad day, think of me. Or if you have worse, please share!