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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

University!

I'm not sure how I'm feeling right now. Excited, definitely, because college is an adventure. Scared because it all seems so vast. In a strange land and missing home and my mom and dad. Wishing my friends were with me, that that would be all it would take to make these four years perfect. Confused, and sleepy, because I've been getting up early everyday in excitement, anticipation, and today, fear that I would be late for my first class.

College is where you bury your outdated dreams and dig up impossible ones. Where you take impractical but wildly interesting courses while assuring your parents that you're filling your 'General education' requirements. These promise to be the four most fulfilling and important years of my life.


I began writing that yesterday, but had no time to finish and post it. Mondays are the busiest days of my schedule. I have classes from 9 am to 7.50 pm, which will become 8.50 pm when my Economics 'Recitation' class starts. Crazy, right? But I have exactly one class on Friday, so I gain a three-day weekend, every weekend.

I go to every class excited about the course content, and so far nothing has disappointed. Some have even surprised. I walk about campus, from class to class, with a dreamy smile on my face, thinking of what I've learned in the last class, thinking I must look funny in the head, but unable to stop, because I am just so happy. I feel like this is what I expected learning to be like. The great freedom of picking of your own classes, picking useful and practical classes, and interesting and impractical classes, and classes you don't know about but pick because the name and course description sound interesting and you've got space on your schedule. Being able to skip classes but not doing it because it will impact your grade and the class is too interesting to want to skip. Feeling for the first time in two and a half years that there is not a single class in which I will have to fight sleep.

I've liked all my classes so far, but I found World Civilization and Reading Shakespeare particularly interesting today. The professor who taught World Civilization today (I forget his name) was old and experienced and very interesting because he had so many anecdotes to share. I will share a humorous one here.
On a trip to Mexico, the Professor (I don't think he was a professor then, and he was far younger), was assisting someone in a survey. He'd finished surveying all the tenants in a piece of land, when he finally met the owner. The owner was very friendly, and invited him in. He then asked the Prof to share a glass of pulque, a Mexican drink (made from some vegetable or fruit and non-alcoholic), which he described to us as 'baby food gone bad - an acquired taste.' To his horror, he saw black bugs all over the overflowing, foaming surface. Live bugs, to boot. But it would be unforgivably rude to refuse the drink. Another visitor had come in and was talking to the landlord, and the Prof welcomed the distraction, glad to put off having to drink the pulque (I hope I'm spelling it right). But towards the conclusion of his conversation the landlord said something to the effect of 'Salud!' or 'Cheers!' - "to which the only thing to do is drink" (the professor's words). So the Prof bravely decided to empty the whole thing in one gulp so as to get it over with. He poured it into his mouth, and the two Mexican gentlemen stared at him. They then said "Crazy American," in a baffled tone, shook the bugs off the surface, and emptied their drinks.