4800 Calhoun Rd.
January 2004–Tick, tick, tick, tick. Ding dong, ding dong. Chime, chime, chime. Striking at 7 o’clock evening, the old dusty grandfather clock can be heard all over the Celeste Amour Play Theatre. As the last couple dressed in fine garments settled down in some soft indigo cushioned seats, every light except for the stage lights were turned off and the music from the Astre Symphony softly faded away in the wind. Upon the middle of the stage, a young female actress in her mid thirties, wearing an old traditional Japanese kimono, Zori style sandals, and a Momoyama hair style announced that the play “New Space” will commence. Her extravagant dress full of elegant designs of flowers in shades of pink, violet blue, and soft fire, made her the show for the moment. As she left the stage towards her left as if gliding on water, the dark red curtains began to rise off of the floor.
For Scene 1, the first day of school, I mean college, I feel like a butterfly still inside of it’s cocoon. An interesting mix of emotions of a nobody and a somebody overwhelmed me as I encountered this new space. As Freshmen entering place of profound mystery and knowledge, a mutual feeling swept us from under our feet. I felt like a small lost rat in an enigmatic maze, but luckily I had a gray flimsy map of the entire campus given by my sister.
With misdirection, a person can really get lost. That happened to me and my new acquaintance, sporty Jordan with a confident look on his face. I went to my first class in the Roy G. Cullen Building and on the entrance steel door of the classroom hung a note about a room change. Not freaking out so I could impress the girls, I asked the guy next to me if he had this class for first period and sure enough, we both did. Racing against time, we both took off in a rush and gave each other a helping hand. We introduced ourselves and exchanged our past history to become better friends and allies in this new space. Entering into an auditorium where the lecturing has already begun, we thought it was the right class. Sitting on the rough carpet, I asked the person next to me what class this is and he told me, “We’re in politics.” I said thanks and I told Jordan the bad news and we took off again.
Jordan then asked an old energetic lady under a tent if she could help us find our Math class. She told us the same building as before, but in a different room. We went into the room she told us to go, but an English class swept our feet from the ground. A young female student told us the math class we’re looking for was the right room number on our schedule. We missed a good portion of notes as 20 minutes had already passed by.
My Psychology class open Scene 2 in Agnes Arnold Auditorium 2, which surprised me because approximately 400 students took seats. The 400 bodies of 98 degrees magnifies in the auditorium. To make matters worse, it felt like an oven used for roasting a 5lb turkey, stuffed with you know what because the air conditioner malfunctioned. The old pudgy professor lectured and cursed a lot about life which made the class fun for the most part. Time quickly passed by and class ended. From the corner of my eyes, I saw my coworker, Raul. Always with those sleepy eyes and yet a genius at Math, I went up to him to the other side of the auditorium and greeted him. We chatted for a while and parted because by stomach growled like a starving man at Christmas dinner. After eating at the Satellite, I left to find my next class in no sense of rush.
After the long break, Scene 3 paved the way to my English class in the Agnes Arnold Hall not too far from the Satellite. At first, I thought another tribulation was at hand because there on the doors hung a note about some other English classes, but a teacher, sage and unwavering, helped me out. As I entered the class, I saw computers on each seat for every student, a grand table in the center, and a wide white screen to illuminate clear-cut images from an image projector that hung on the ceiling. A regular English class with all these hi-tech equipment installed seemed odd and too exaggerated to me. With an office-like atmosphere and a place to hold a council meeting, this was just too overwhelming, but I felt really important as if a VIP. By the way, I met this blonde haired, gentle blue eyed, girl named Kelly in my English class and we have lots of things in common.
My History class ushered me into Scene 4 in Agnes Arnold Auditorium 1, which wasn’t that far from my English class. Life at college never ceased to amazed me as another auditorium again was capable of holding roughly 400 students. The professor had little helpers called TA’s or teaching assistants handling out outlines and a syllabus for us 400 students. Let me emphasize, tons of dead trees for 400 students. She lectured the first day of class and we took notes about every important historical event that might be useful to study for tests or quizzes that we might take in the near distant future. Fate would have it no other way, I made another friend. This was Chris’ 2nd year at University of Houston and he said that life in college is going great because he has easy class time management and an easy degree to study on.
Act 1 gave us an insight about things to come, and the full spirited community. Act 2 emphasized the location with the potential of drawing in different race, gender, height or size because of its infrastructure, colors, mood, atmosphere, and tone of a particular area. A student might go into a building where it has a cool breeze from an air conditioner and sit down on a wooden light brown coated bench with a tint of light from the ceiling. Another student might stay outside where it is warm and not too hot. A zephyr coming from the west caused leaves and little lovely peddles of a myrtle falling towards a smooth old gray concrete bench. Hiding under the tree’s arm full of leaves from the sun’s ray, you give a smile and the world smiles back right at you. The University Center Satellite by far exceeds my expectations of college luxuries and comfort.
Stationed at the Satellite were about 5 restaurants very closed by and it was very hard not to be picky what food you wanted to eat. There were also tables, chairs, stools, couches and a television set in the lounge, 3 computers, a pool room, a study hall, and of course a nice luxurious restrooms in the Satellite. Walking from my class towards this underground facility feels like I’m entering a night club at night, but in the afternoon. As I passed through those doors at the entrance, I have entered into a whole new world filled with a force of human invigoration. I’m always entertained by what I see or hear because I let myself be engulfed in the sea of lively people and of their thoughts. From a delicious personal-pan pizza hung gooey cheese and a mint of roasted pepperonis that caused me to indulged into my own little world. While sinking into a cushioned seat, I can only be shocked and awed. The continuous smell of fast-food can make a person hungry for some more even after a combo meal of a personal-pan pizza, a medium sized Sprite, and 3 long juicy bread sticks dunked into some sauce. Well, of course that’s just me.
Taking a huge gulp of the aroma around me and then exhaling it out, I turned my heat to the left and looked at the people around me. I zoomed in and out at certain people that looked interesting and I gazed upon a cute girl in the distance. Looking at my watch, the time told me to get my butt off and let the next person enjoy their peace at my seat on the far corner of the Pizza Hut that’s making their daily revenues and greetings. I took all of my belongings and headed towards the men’s restroom. I sanitized my hands carefully for 30 seconds with warm water, squirted a pink gooey substance ( liquid soap, don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression here) and dried them with soft white paper towels. Quite a journey for the first day of my college life and the end has not yet come to terms. As an image was taking shape in the mirror, a toilet flushed rapidly in anger or in anguish when it went down. Going through a different pair of doors to exit, I reentered back into reality. Passing by people, a squirrel on the ground searched endlessly for a decent meal so it can rip it up and swallow it whole in one gulp. At that moment 2 things came to mind: Food and the cartoon show Pokemon.
Once again the dark red curtains dropped from where it hung and the technician dimmed the light, enough so that we can see. Appearing on stage between the curtains was a young male actor in his mid thirties wearing a uniform in the 1700s. Old, yet with classic of traditional grace of honor and royalty, he tapped the small silver glittering bell in his left hand thrice to get attention.
His loud and florid voice spoke, “An intermission my Lady and my Lord.” With those words to say, he left the stage towards his right, walking slowly and calmly with confidence.
The Astre Symphony begun playing a soft tune from the piano, then the strings, and moments later the whole Symphony was in unison.