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Showing posts from March, 2006

Routine

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As I was writing to my friend Megan (aka The Fist) who's last known whereabouts were reported to be in Botswana I seem to be entering a new phase of my experience here. For lack of a better word I will call it the boring time. And maybe that's a little too harsh. To be fair it's more like the, "my life is not currently ruled by my fear of failure" time. Basically, it means that I've found a routine in which I can succeed reasonably well and don't need to make many decisions on a day-to-day basis.

The awesome part of this is that I've actually become pretty comfortable around here. The less awesome part is that since I've become more comfortable, I get the feeling that I'm not growing as much.

I won't say that my rapid personal growth spurt is over for good, but once you get comfortable it's hard to want to get back on the "everything is new and intimidating" train. Still, I think I'm starting to enjoy this time a wh…

I think I might actually have some more pictures available...

So yeah, philology! It happened, I was there, it was... okay! I'm not ready to rave about it yet. The secretary that my group coordinator talked to said the prof was kind of a slacker. Let's just say he was no Dana Burgess. Plus my attention span is slowly stretching out to reach 2.5 hours, but it's hardly there yet.

So from what I've been told, (I think at least, you can never be sure in this language) philology is the study of language, but different from linguistics in that it's kind of like "the history of culture". So maybe it's charting the significance of words or something. Anyhoo, I'm bound to get it sooner or later.

Tomorrow I have another 7 am class, and it's a day of the arts. Theater, Dance*, and Art. I'll be pretty much spent creatively after that, so don't expect nothin' impressive. Or, y'know, anything at all.




*The dance teacher is impressively crazy. We're going to have an hour-long lecture on hour …

Philology- workin' on it!

Okay, so last Thursday was supposed to be my first philology class. It was at 7 so I woke up at 5:30 AM. I get to the building with minutes to spare. I'm fed, I'm in the right building- I'm even slightly awake. Things are lookin' up. However, when I arrive at the room in question (Letras 114) there seems to be a decided lack of philology classes currently meeting. Like zero. Whereas I was expecting at least one. I as the first student I see what class we're in. He says English. I ask him if he knows where philology is supposed to meet. He says he's blind.

So I asked a blind guy for directions. Not the best sign.

I run around Letras trying to get a hold of a schedule or something. I look at all the doors where they have posting of the classes that are held in that room. Nuttin'. I go upstairs to the school of philology offices and there's a big listing with all the classes, times, dates, and rooms.

Intro to Philology - 0700-950 M 0114
Now for those of you wh…

Already past closing...

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... in the internet cafe so I'm working on stolen time. The picture is from a volcano. Not the last one I went to but the one before that, in Cartago. I'll be honest, I was a bit disappointed when I went to see the volcanos and they didn't explode. They're not that much to look at otherwise. I mean when they're doing stuff it's awe inspiring, but when they're not... they look a surprising lot like puddles of arsenic.

Anyhoo, tomorrow marks the first day of classes, which is pretty exciting. I'm now expected to be a (more or less) fully functioning student at the University of Costa Rica. I think my secret weapon all along has been my ability to sleep. As we all know, sleep improves memory, so my Spanish should be more awesome the more I sleep. Sadly, I don't really have a backup plan, in the case that an excess of sleep just helps me to avoid having to interact with actual ticos.

Side note: I saw a guy with a t-shirt that said "the 80s…

8 minutes until closing

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I've completed a month here. I think I'm just starting to get the hang of language and life and the moments of utter confusion are much less constant. Or at the very least I've grown to appreciate the diferent flavors of confusion that are available to me.

Notes on confusion:
1. The first kind is a complete lack of words. Only a stream of vowels is parsed out. I don't hear this one as much anymore.
2. The second is a content lacking confusion. All that is intelligible is a very basic key word or cognate. "El" "Porque" "Sofa"
3. I don't know the 3rd kind. I think there's a hand gesture involved.
4. I'm at the 4th kind right now. It's where I get confident enough to respond moderately incorrectly. I know all the words, but not the meaning of what was said to me. If I ask them to repeat it to me it would probably clear up the confusion. But I have my pride... no... that's gone now too.
5. I'm working up to thi…