Leaning in

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I am fully immersed into the first week of classes at my new University, Freie Universitat or FU as everyone around here calls it…yes, FU, you read correctly.  I still chuckle when I hear it out loud.

I am learning at a rapid pace about the things I didn’t know, the expectations and just becauses of the system that I didn’t even realize I didn’t know and even just the day to day minor things.  Yesterday I finally felt as though I was making strides in this whole university life because I a) finally figured out how to get online (it’s a whole thing) b) figured out how to put money on my campus card so I can buy food on campus and c) figured out how to use a locker outside of the library so I can go into the library sans backpack as per the rules.  I told a fellow classmate that this week I was just resolved to feel like an idiot this week since it is all new.

I have also discovered things that are so different for me and yet everyone seems to know these things around me….

  1.  When a class says it is two hours, its really an hour and a half because it turns out that all classes actually begin 15 minutes after the listed time and they end 15 minutes before the listed time.  You thought 10am meant 10am but it actually means 10:15am.
  2. This first week is affectionately called “shopping week” to those who have been around which also means that professors so far spend the first session trying to convince you to stay in their class and tell you at warp speed what they will cover in the semester.  You have some time to actually decide if you want the class and yes, I have seen people get up mid class and leave as if their shopping experience for this class is up and they chose otherwise.
  3. At the end of the class, in appreciation for the work done, it is customary to knock on the table…like applause but not applause.  The first time I saw this I looked around as if I was in an alien land to which a classmate said, “It’s super German, just go along with it.” Alright, I can do that.  Thumping the tables it is!

I am sure I will discover more things as I go along but for now I have attended three classes and am excited about three classes with two more to go for this week.  So far I have met really interesting people and I look forward to what is to come!  My class list includes “Awkward lit” and “Formations of Blackness” and “A revolutionary culture” with two more classes to try tomorrow, “American Anarchy” and “Frontera Fictions.” I mean, come on! How great is this!

Stay tuned for more school updates…and yes, you will definitely be getting them!

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