Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 1 and 3/4

It's Monday, the first day of classes (and also my brother Danny's 16th birthday!), and I've gotten through 3 of 4 successfully so far. The fourth one is French grammar, which I have in a little over an hour.

So far, so good. The first two classes (Latin, and early modern concepts of "liberty of conscience") went fine; I had no problem understanding anything and both seem like they will be very interesting. After four hours of class back to back, I went home for lunch (because it only takes me 10 minutes to walk home, hurrah!) and back for my third class. That was more difficult, because the prof has a very heavy American accent when he speaks, and so I have to think really hard in order to follow what he's saying.

Observations thus far:

* Apparently, it is the French/German tradition to start class actually 15 minutes later than it is scheduled for. So I showed up at 7:50am, all ready to settle into an 8am Latin class, only to be told that it started, actually, at 8:15, teehee aren't we cute and relaxed. And actually it ended up starting at 8:30 because that's what was printed in the theology school's program. So I was 40 minutes early to class this morning. Can't say I've ever had that happen before.

* I was learning Latin, in French, from a native German speaker. Which mean that when we started doing spontaneous translations out loud, I had to go Latin-English-French, or French-English-Latin. Ugh. Can't wait till I can bypass the English bit.

* I have an upwards-of-an-hour presentation on the Irish rebellions of 1641, in French, in one month. Gack!

* After four straight hours of lectures and learning in French, my brain hurt. A lot.

* I can't take notes in French because it takes me too long to write, but at least I'm at the point of instantaneous translation: The prof speaks in French and I scribble simultaneously in English, without having to think. This is a step in the right direction.

* Finally, unrelated to classes but important nonetheless: I've discovered that at about 5pm, the grocery store near my res starts slapping the "50% Off" stickers on the fresh items (salads, yogurts, sandwiches). So if I hold off until then, I can go and get myself a meal for about the same price as it would be if I were just buying regular groceries and cooking them myself, but this system has the varied perks of (a) I save money, (b) I'm getting way more fresh veggies in my diet than I would otherwise, (c) it's super quick, and (d) I don't have to use the wonky communal stove and the too-small pot and pan that I have.

French class is about to start - the last of the day. By the time it's done I will have been in class for 8 hours and around campus for 12. Sleep will be so wonderful tonight.

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