New students need not despair, here are the absolute essentials

    Chewed-up pencils are in the trash. Highlighters are still at day-glo levels. Notebooks are available carte blanche, and just waiting for professor’s musings to be copiously penned in them.

    Photo Courtesy of

    These signs can only mean one thing: It’s the first day of the quarter at UCSD. What’s more, it’s the first day of the 2002-2003 academic year — and if this year’s Academic Calendar is any indication, this year is going to blow the neon lights off Warren Lecture Hall.

    Yes, faithful hiatus readers, the Academic Calendar foretells a year more stimulating than Bastille Day. Yes, a year possibly more electrifying than UCSD’s 40th anniversary celebration. Yes, non-believers, more fun than Free Bagel Day during Commuter Week.

    It seems that the powers that be (the UCSD administration) have arranged an Academic Calendar chock-full o’ important days and deadlines. There is the first day of instruction, the last day to add classes, the last day to withdraw without an “”F”” and many more dates imperative to student life.

    Photo Couresy of Google Images

    These special dates, however, are not just UCSD Very Important Days. They are worldwide Very Important Days.

    The following is a guide to vital days of the UCSD Academic Calendar, which were cleverly planned on crazy, wacky and very necessary international celebrations. Party on, Wayne.

    Sept. 23: First day of the quarter/the Hearing Aids Birthday

    Our frightfully aware administration has deftly accounted for all students seated in the back row of Center 101 Lecture Hall. It is a day of celebration for the hearing aid, first available on Sept. 23, 1899. The contraption was made of carbon, commercially manufactured and cost $400.

    In constant 2002 dollars, that same hearing aid would cost $8,171.66 — roughly the price of the average engineering textbook. Conversely, if a hearing aid cost $400 today, it would be worth $19.58 in 1899 — roughly the buy-back price of that same book.

    Sept. 26: Instruction Begins/13th Annual World Chicken Festival

    Celebrate this hallowed four-day-long event from across the nation. Locals in “”The Nation’s Finest City”” (to clarify, that would be San Diego, in case anyone missed all the local PR) can hold their very own Chick-o-lympics, reminiscent of those in London, Ky., for the World Chicken Festival.

    The festival is in memoriam of fried chicken godfather and founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Col. Harland Sanders. London, Ky. was home to the first KFC, so the locals take it upon themselves to honor such groundbreaking advances in the world of modern fast food science.

    The sizzling, free entertainment lineup includes the World’s Largest Skillet, the survival egg drop contest, the chicken wing eating contest, the Best Chicken Costume competition and the Colonel Sanders look-a-like challenge. An unofficial survey of UCSD students says that the most campus-appropriate event would have to be the Colonel Sanders contest.

    Oct. 1: Rush Begins with the Panhellenic Sorority Information Night/The Best Day to Diet, according to The Old Farmers Almanac

    The Old Farmers Almanac proves itself worthy of more than just weather predictions yet again. Almanac oracle Celeste Longacre authored a 2002 Astrological Timetable, in which she prophesizes essential life events for the year.

    According to Longacre, Oct. 1, 2002, is the best day to begin dieting. Beginning on this day, hundreds of Greek hopefuls will rush UCSD’s fraternities and sororities. October 1 is the day to drop those five pesky pounds.

    Coincidentally, it is also the most favorable day to cut hay, castrate animals and prune plants to discourage growth.

    Oct. 11: Add Classes Deadline/The “”Almost There”” Columbus Day

    Legend has it that at 10 p.m. on Oct. 11, 1492, Christopher Columbus saw a dim light on the horizon while aboard the Santa Maria. He anticipated it to be land and jumped about the ship in fits of excitement. In between patting himself on the back and shaking his own hand, he pointed out the “”land”” to Pero Guiterrez and Rodrigo Sanchez. Guiterrez saw the light, but Sanchez reportedly called Guiterrez a brown-noser and denied seeing any land. Four hours later, the ship drifted ashore the New World and Sanchez hung his head in shame.

    So, to celebrate that, add a class to your schedule. Columbus would have wanted it, on account of his being such an overachiever.

    October 19: Open House/ Nationwide Pasta Day

    During Open House, UCSD has the chance to entertain visitors (i.e. keep parents happy). With all the mommies and daddies arriving in town, it’s a good idea to keep the blood sugar up. Our astute administration cleverly incorporated healthy eating into what could be a stressful time.

    Instead of just eating pasta, however, make art projects for your parents. Revert back to the yesteryears of second grade and glue macaroni onto construction paper. Or, if you’re feeling a bit more ambitious and learned (since you’ve been at big-time, seventh-in-the-nation UCSD for about three weeks), construct a Pasta God. The Pasta God Festival will inevitably follow, so everyone’s a winner.

    December 2: Drop Without an “”F””/the New Moon

    Before the moonless night falls, and the campus assumes its nightly orange glow (UCSD is never shrouded in darkness — the lights at night don’t allow it), students have a dire choice to make: drop a class in which teaching assistants clearly don’t recognize your intelligence, or stubbornly keep it and hope for a miracle on the final.

    A new moon is symbolic of a new beginning. The academic calendar is subtly telling students to cut their losses.

    December 9: First Day of Finals/Computer Software Day

    It is a little-known fact that hiatus has decided to break to the student population: The administration likes to play with our emotions. Students put in a full quarter and are rewarded with gut-wrenchingly difficult finals. It is a time when computers are more important that oxygen, food and clean underwear.

    Yet the first day of finals are the one day when computers have the excuse to crash.

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