I double-checked the time and location for my Sound Design course the night before the first session, wrote down the address on a slip of paper to carry in my pocket on the walk over to the building, made sure I had my registration form and student ID card in my bag, and left myself 15 minutes extra time to find Room B-3 before class started. I double-checked my e-mail before leaving for class, in case school administration sent any last-minute messages, and saw that my inbox was free and clear. Brimming with excitement, I skipped down the street, singing "B-3! B-3! B-3!" But when I arrived at the building in midtown, the nice guard at the front desk informed me that my class was not on his list and that there was no Room B-3, there never had been any Room B-3, and that according to his records, I should not even exist. I thought about this for a moment, then decided that I had imagined the last part of his response in a hallucinogenic panic reaction when I realized that despite my careful preparations, I would probably be late for class. Next, I wondered whether I had fallen for an elaborate phishing scam in which I had thought I was registering for film classes on a legitimate NYU website but in reality had wired money to Nigeria. With only ten minutes left before class started, there was nothing else to do but check with the registration desk on the fourth floor, where another person had to call a central admin office to sort out the confusion. Sure enough, my class had been moved to another location downtown. I crammed into a cattle car - excuse me, 6 local train - and burst out, stressed and sweaty, at Astor Place. A hurried walk through my old neighborhood, which thankfully I knew like the back of my hand, and I finally arrived at the elusive Room B-3, which turned out to be a basement classroom in a building just east of Washington Square Park.
It turned out that NYU had been just as good about notifying the other students about the location switch as it had been to me, so I was not the only person late for the first class, and I don't think I missed much more than introductions. Unfortunately, that means I still have no idea who anyone is, what they do, or why they are taking the course, and I usually find that sort of information interesting. The instructor did mention, however, that we will be working in groups on projects, so hopefully I will get better acquainted with my classmates over the span of the semester.