There’s nothing like getting a pre-wake up call from an ambulance. And there is no sarcasm in that statement. The startling and loud sounds of ambulances coming and going got me really pumped up to start the morning right by getting up once the alarm clock goes off. I must admit that it was tempting to squeeze in a couple more hours and return to Sandman Land, but I fought the urge and instead went to the library to check e-mail. My internet for some reason is not working, and it has something to do with the NetId that I received from Yale. However, I have received promises that things will be fixed come Tuesday or Wednesday. So far, I have not pulled out my hair over not being able to retrieve my e-mails or Facebook messages in a timely manner. Let us all hope that the trend continues.

Food Debit Card
The words Hospital Cafeteria probably evoke a lot of emotions varying from dislike to disgust. However, I will give you the insider’s perspective (at least for Yale-New Haven) – It really is not as bad as you think. All of our meals will come from one of the three hospital cafeterias around the area. The best part is that they are free! We are given a meal card which has a non-transferable daily balance of $17.00. The first time I saw the monetary value, my heart skipped a beat. I was pretty confident it could get me through two meals a day, but I thought three would be a stretch. Of course I was wrong because the people here at SMDEP know what they’re doing! We get a 15% discount simply for being affiliated with Yale University. Check this out – Breakfast cost me $3.05. That’s corned beef, a huge bagel with cream cheese and a 20 oz bottle of apple juice. Not bad, right? Lunch offered more variety. Dinner tonight was free since we had orientation shortly after that. The leftover money was wisely spent as I went back to the hospital and spent it on drinks and a couple of munchies. I’m loving the fact that the program does not simply focus on academics, but also wants to teach us to manage our finances. We were given little piggy banks as part of the program, and we will even have Financial Planning Classes! Outstanding!

The Tour Guide Comes Out of Me
Leave it to me to explore most of what Yale and New Haven offered yesterday, before any of the official tours began today. Perhaps it’s the tour guide inside me. It was a lovely stroll, if I might add. I got to see Old University and the ever so famous Phelps Gate, Yale Bookstore (I got Yale chapstick! What a buy!) and various Yale buildings and a couple of galleries. So earlier today, when our group set foot to tour the place, I was able to enjoy it a lot more since there was no need to take anymore photos. A lot of people asked me if I lived here since I was already familiar with the place, and I just smile politely, tell them that perhaps I’m just a little bit more curious than others and point them to their destination. There is just so much to inhale about New Haven and Yale, and staying in one area does not seem to be enough. Although, safety comes first so none of the wandering around happens at night or in nonpopulated areas. And if someone does run into trouble, they have blue lights similar to our very own blue angels stationed everywhere. No worries. I may be adventurous, but I do not like to put myself in questionable situations.

“The Gym’s a Castle!”
The Payne Whitney Gym is very much like a castle indeed, medieval looking and just big in every aspect. We were told that it has the largest body of suspended water since their Olympic-Sized Pool is on the third floor and not the ground. Oh Yalies, that sounds too risky! The real treat came from seeing the original Yale Bulldog Mascot, which is a stuffed dog. I cannot for the life of me remember the name but I will report back with that information tomorrow. I took a picture as proof. The gym itself is a bit of a walk but if your goal is to work out, then you might as well get a head start by walking the extra 20 minutes! Speaking of twenty minutes, I need to get some rest, but I promise to deliver more tomorrow. Good night.

-Astrud Out-