What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

27 August 2010

And So It Starts.

Wednesday. Day 1 of my first long UT semester.

Unlike my first day of summer school, I got up on time, made some tea (insurance for a good day, I always say), got out to the bus on time, made my transfer (the campus shuttle that was empty all summer long is less so now that everyone is back to class), and got to campus with 20 minutes to spare.

So far, so good.

So I went to my first class, took a seat, reflected that this teacher's Spanish was remarkably easy to understand, and had just thought, "Hey, I don't think the course number on the syllabus matches what I signed up for," when the sign-in sheet arrived at my desk. Which also coincided with the instructor asking if we all got the email she sent the previous day.

So I raised my hand and said, "I'm in the wrong room. Sorry." Then I gathered my stuff and left.

I did a little re-check of my planner, realised that I was on the wrong floor, and went upstairs to make an inglorious entrance in my correct class, where my proper instructor had just finished calling roll. On the upside, my first class has another non-traditional student who was sitting right next to me, so we did our group work together today.

I have this little rule in my academic life, apparently, which states that I must make some sort of impression on my first day of any class. If I don't, then there is no telling what might happen in the next class meeting; I'm likely to trip or get a nosebleed or both.

Yeah. So with that in mind, let's skip on over to class #2: Linguistics. I like this instructor already; she seems to teach in pretty much the way I would teach, if I were to ever be so mad as to try teaching. And she asked if any of us studied any other languages, so I raised my hand and said, "Scots Gaelic." What? It was more interesting that what anyone else said, except maybe for the guy who studies Swahili. And the instructor said, "Wow, right on! Good for you!" Heck yeah, it's right on.

And now back to Spanish, where I did not manage to draw attention to myself in any way. Uh-oh; this can't be good. My instructor for this class is Japanese, and can I just tell you how exciting it is to be taught Spanish by a Japanese woman? Possibly one of the coolest things ever. And what's really great here is that if she were teaching an English class, I probably wouldn't be able to understand her, due to my serious problem with accents.

Easy classes over; time for History of Rhetoric. Specifically, Deliberating War. I signed up for this class because I heard good things about the instructor, but her syllabus and long book list (nine books, including the ginormous course packet that I had to pick up at the copy shop) have me fighting the familiar what-have-I-gotten-myself-into panic. I'm writing two versions each of three papers, all over a topic that I'm not actually excited about. I'm going to call this one real-world practise for grad school. And while I did nothing goofy during this class, I did visit the prof's office hours to ask a question about the reading for Friday. Consider me introduced.

And finally, Spanish literature. The instructor came in speaking Spanish, and he didn't say a word of English for the hour of our class. I really hope that I understood everything he said. And one final impression before I go: This is one of those teachers who politely refers to the students as Mr. or Miss, except that it's a Spanish class, so it's Señor or Senorita. So I did my normal thing and told him I'm a Señora. Turns out that conversation is a lot more straightforward in Spanish, and a lot less awkward than "No, no, it's 'Mrs.'"

Also today, I managed to see Annoying Guy, but not in any of my classes, gracias a Dios para favores pequeños; I don't know that I'm ready for someone who can be annoying in two languages. Someone besides myself, that is.

And what's really nice about my semester: This space between the fountain and the tower has a long grassy stretch surrounded by six buildings (known as the six-pack), and my five classes all take place in three of those buildings. Nice.

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