I'm currently signed up for four classes. The first two are required, and both look like they'll be interesting: information organization and retrieval will cover with the technical side of information, and social and organizational issues of information will cover the social side. Qualitative research methods focuses on practical training, with lots of field studies (which will revolve around Telegraph Avenue). The quality of information will be co-taught by one of the authors of a summer reading group book that I found very interesting, The Social Life of Information. I'm a bit concerned about taking four classes and continuing to work on at least one research project (two for now), but I can't decide which to drop: the first two are required, the third will be very useful for research, and the fourth sounds like it'll be interesting and will probably be taught only this once. I'm going to stick with all of them for now and see how it goes.
Coming from a big, competitive program like CS, it's nice but a bit unnerving to suddenly be part of a small program like SIMS. I don't feel like I constantly have to prove myself as a techie, though the habit will take time to fade. Today I spent an hour with one of the SIMS sysadmins, convincing him that I didn't have any viruses on my computer and then convincing my wireless cards to recognize the non-broadcast SIMS network.
I've started biking to campus again, and so far my neck and wrists seem to be okay with it. The ride from Rockridge is flat and pleasant, with bike routes available the whole way. The SIMS student lounge on the first floor is nice, but not as well stocked as the CS grad lounge (or even the CSUA office). We're all given small, square lockers in the lounge, where I store my helmet and my new strap-on saddle bag.