There always seems to be a million things that I want to say. I came here for a different experience, and that’s what I’m getting. I love all the local, spicy foods, the nice welcoming people that smile and say hello when you walk down the street. I love that I’m getting tan without even trying. I love being here, and I’m happy that I can say that after a week.
So this week is the first week of classes, but I still don’t know when half of the classes are scheduled to start. This is all part of the experience. Registering was quick and easy (and online), but finding out the schedule proves a more difficult feat. We really are spoiled with how organized ISIS is. Before registering, I had to walk to each department to find out which classes were offered. After registering, I had to walk back to each department days later to see if the timetables were posted. It was a hit or miss. History and Philosophy, yes. Archeology and Spanish, no. I understand that since international students had to register earlier that all the information was not available last Thursday… but today was the first day of classes. Not to mention a good share of the lecturers (and I’m suspicious of the Spanish department… their doors were locked) are on strike. I’m told that not many people go to classes the first week anyway. Normally, I liked to have everything out to a tee, and last semester, I designed schedule to have no gaps – even if that meant taking a class that wasn’t my top choice. I really want to walk to the campus radio station to say I’d be willing to help out, but I can’t do that until I know what my weekly schedule will look like. I want to have either Monday or Friday (or both) off from classes so that I can travel around on the weekends. I’m learning to take every day as a test of patience.
In no means do I take that sarcastically – I do hang around some Brits, but their humor hasn’t quite rubbed off on me yet. It’s just a different way of doing things. I can only imagine the difficulty of getting every single department to communicate with each other, and I applaud UF for doing so.
Besides registering, everything has been smooth sailing. Well, almost smooth. The International Office took a group of students to Bojo Beach on Saturday. We got in a minor fender bender, but it was a good two hour ordeal. It’s “Ghana Time.” We all shared a laugh. Especially when we didn’t understand what was going on when all parties involved were screaming at each other in Twi.
I won’t lie, the beach does make me a little homesick, but I’ve been learning some Bruce Springsteen songs to stay in touch with the Americana in me.
Good luck, Gators!