My second week of classes has just come to an end, and what an experience it has been. Here’s a brief summary:
In reality the paperwork began about two and a half weeks ago with course registration, which managed to make UW’s ridiculous system – waking up at 5:30 with 2000 other to click the “submit” button, a process that always includes at least one server crash – seem efficient. PUCV has evidently been slow to embrace the internet, so the day consisted mostly of copying course numbers and professor names onto various sheets of paper while tracking down department heads. This in turn led to yet more copying of course numbers and professor names.
PUCV makes it quite easy to drop courses yet almost impossible to add them, so while I’m currently only attending four classes, I’m enrolled in somewhere between ten and fifteen. This means that the first week functions as a trial period, and despite their best efforts, professors have a hard time getting much of anything done. Also, for some reason that has yet to be explained, history classes did not meet, and the building itself was closed. In accordance with PUCV’s policy of not providing its students with relevant information, this was not officially announced or confirmed until the end of the week.
Now that the second week is over I’m beginning to settle into my classes. The schedule is quite different than what I’ve come to expect at UW; each class meets less frequently but for anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours. Three days a week my last class ends at seven pm and is inevitably followed up with a trip to one of several nearby bars for wine mixed fresh fruit. I’m currently taking two intermediate level Spanish classes – writing and communications – the modern history of Latin America, taught in English, and a literature class, taught in Spanish. At this point I already know that the lit class is going to be a huge stretch for me as it requires a lot of reading, but the material is an interesting mix of historical primary sources, and I would really like to take a class taught in Spanish. I’ll make the final decision in two weeks at the course drop deadline.
A quick footnote: due to the amount it seems to take to post these, I’ve started recording the date on which they were written at the bottom. In the future I’m going to try to be a little more regular about blogging, but it’s only been three weeks so I’m not making any promises.