Published: April 22nd 2009April 5th 2009
I can't believe it's April! These past few weeks have been very busy with classes. At the university I am studying at we had a two week "shopping" period. The idea is that during this time students can go to whichever classes they want and see if they like them. At the end of the period, you have to have finalized your classes because once the period ends, you are not allowed to add/drop no matter what. I was very stressed during those weeks because while I thought I knew what I was taking I read the schedule of classes wrong and scheduled two at the same time that I really wanted to take. So I went to a lot of different classes trying to figure out alternative schedules...which meant most days I was at school for about twelve hours, going to three hour classes. I remember falling asleep on the first day of one of them...right in the front row. (fortunately I am not taking that particular class anyways)
My final list of classes is as follows:
Latin American Nobel Prizes in Literature: (Tuesday, 3 hours) full of Americans, not the lit class I wanted but the professor is very nice, and at least we get to read some key works that I have yet to read.
Migrations in Latin America: (Wednesday, 3 hours) Feels a lot like Dean's Scholars in Globalization...but it counts for a major requirement (yay) and it's pretty interesting
Church and State in Latin America: (Thursday 3 hours) Very interesting, though with all the holidays we get off we haven't actually had class in three weeks.
Spanish: Just for the non-natives so we can improve. Mostly we sit and talk about stuff in spanish, it's fun. But it's also my only Friday class at an akw time (4-6)
Introduction to Journalism (monday/thursday) -This is a first year class and I chose it so that I would have one class that is with all argentine's. My other classes are with all international students. Also i have always wanted to take a journalism class. While I am not having a hard time understanding the professor or the readings, I am killing myself trying to figure out what the assignments are and when they are do and how to get the readings. Honestly, nothing makes me miss GW more than going to class at a completely different university, why would anyone put themselves through this? Here is why I am having trouble:
1.) syllabi here look the same, but they are not. They list a bunch of readings divided into units, but there are absolutely no dates indicating when each unit starts and ends, when each reading is due, nor does it indicate when there will be an assignment, let alone what it consists of. The past few homeworks that have been assigned I have had to copy off the board the class before they are due, or have had the professor randomly tell me at the end of class a vague description of what is expected. At GW we have the luxury of getting multiple pages of a detailed description of EVERYTHING that is expected of us as students in the class. Here it seems like either a.) no one really knows or b.) everyone knows and I can't figure out how.
2.) not many professors make students buy books here. Instead you look at the syllabus to see what readings are needed, then go to one of the photocopy departments in the school and buy the photocopies of the readings. This sounds like a better system but I just can't understand it. I have printed the wrong material multiple times, and have printed duplicates without realizing, because nothing is labeled. How do I know what readings I need if they are not labeled clearly?
3.) On the first day of class, a student passed around an email list so that the professor could get all the emails from everyone in the class. The student asked my friend and I if we were american, then skipped over us, so the professor did not get our emails. We didn't know it was a big deal until everyone started getting emails about assignments to work on before class...apparently because we are foreign we don't count as students in the class...but funny because I am still being graded.
Anyways, as you can tell I am still very frustrated with this class. Be nice to international students in your classes especially if they are on intercambio and don't understand your system. It's strange being a 3rd year college student and feeling like a freshman again.
I have class everyday, but it doesn't bother me that much. If I were in DC it would because I have so much more going on there.