Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Explaining Chaos

Yesterday, I was told that the course I had been attending for a week would no longer be valid for credit and I would need to find a new course. Knowing that the other course I had been attending was changing its schedule, I knew that Monday I would go to the Literature and Philosophy Department to start from scratch, picking classes from square one once again. Last night I wasn’t feeling so hot about the idea, feeling that stress I had felt the week before. But the morning after, something had changed. I went into that Department building determined but aware of what I was dealing with.

I am basically shopping for classes, like I would be at Harvard, except that more is unpredictable. Not only do I have to pick classes, I have to find classes that work together. On top of all that however I have to deal with the idiosyncrasies of each class. One class doesn’t yet have a professor so the class, understandably, hasn’t yet started. Another class had its schedule changed. While yet another exists and has a syllabus online but exists nowhere on the schedules posted in the Department. Another class has two sections which meet together this week and then split up. While yet another class won’t start until next Tuesday. And all the while finding information for these classes is just short of impossible. Meanwhile, students back in the United States are going to class, reading for class, writing midterms and papers for classes and taking a midterm break.

What am I doing? I am taking it very lightly. I am going to seven or eight classes, taking notes and knowing that I may not take the class. I’m trying to laugh at it, because while it could be stressful, I should rather find it funny as my dear Marina suggested. Oh the class isn’t meeting tomorrow? Oh it’s changed classroom? It’s one big adventure. Within two weeks, I’ll have four courses, I’ll do the reading for said courses, get through the semester and finish the oral exams in January returning home felice e contento, happy and content. In a country that thrives on disorder, you just have to learn to adapt and say that maybe tomorrow things will be completed. The installation of our new shower has been going on for a week, and they still haven’t installed neither the knobs for the water nor the showerhead. Maybe tomorrow.

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