The Admissions Office has been lucky all summer to have an eager incoming student working with us. Hania contacted Roxana in the spring to say she would relocate early to the area and was looking for work. Our lucky day! It has been great to get to know her while there are so few students around, and while she is getting to know the area. Here, Hania shares details of her regional adjustment.
I first came to Fletcher in April of this year to attend the Open House for admitted students. I had been living in Lebanon where April already felt like summer. The chilling air of the frosty Northeast hit me like a ton of bricks. I immediately caught a horrible cold and spent the entire weekend trying to socialize without sneezing on people. But even though my experience was slightly tainted by this flaw in my immune system coupled with the extremely cold weather, I still found a kind of warmth at Fletcher that led me to know that this is where I belong.
At the Open House we had a chance to sit in on a few classes (something visiting prospective students can do at any time, by the way), and despite my weakened constitution, I could tell that there was a spark in the classrooms. The students were excited to participate, while the professors were surprisingly personable. They wandered around the Hall of Flags (commonly referred to as the “HoF”), and mingled with the newly admitted students as though they were one of us. There was no sense of superiority or of an intimidating distance that I was initially worried about.
I know what you’re thinking, though: this was Open House and everybody was on their best behavior. That may be so, but I have now been working at the Admissions Office for two months and it continues to be true that every person I meet at Fletcher is genuinely pleasant. They refer to themselves as the “Fletcher Mafia,” the “Fletcher Family,” or just plain “Fletcherites,” and I’ve found that’s exactly how they see themselves and treat each other. Everybody who knows I’m an incoming student is quick to give me tips and insight into Fletcher classes. They seem generally concerned for me, as any “family” would be.
Still, there are a few things that continue to make me giggle about this place I’m slowly discovering. First, Bostonians have their own language. (Some call it an accent). Don’t dare pronounce the names of the cities the way they’re actually spelled. For example Worcester isn’t pronounced “Wor-cester” but instead “Woousta,” not “Glou-cester” but “Glosta,” and “Pea-body” is “Peebdy.” And please do not pronounce the “r” unless you want to add it to the end of a word ending in an “a” sound. Also, everything seems to be a “square” around here. We have a few squares where I grew up in Texas, but those “squares” are actually square in shape. Here you’ll just come to any intersection and it’s called “Powder House Square,” “Ball Square,” “Teele Square,” Davis, Porter, or Harvard Square etc… But because none of them are actually square, and it doesn’t really help you find your direction, I wonder what this fascination is with squares. Is it just because it’s a geometrically perfect shape?
These days I’m enjoying just letting Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Fletcher sink into me. As a native and huge fan of warm environments, I find Boston’s “summer” to be quite mild (80 to 90 degrees is euphoria to me) and even tropical at times. I’ve been told the monsoon-like torrential rain and floods that have been spoiling my otherwise lovely summer days are not typical. But when it’s not flooding, and the sun comes out to play, so does all of Boston. That’s one thing about Boston I can’t get enough of. People love their outdoor activities. They love their sports, their dog-walking, their lake activities, their festivals, and outdoor patio seating. When the city is alive, I feel at home.
So to conclude my musings of a newborn Fletcherite, I’m happy and excited to be carving out my own place here in this city and school. I impatiently look forward to Orientation and classes starting in just a few short weeks!
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