Round 2 of Chaos

Just a warning: these next couple posts have a lot of rambling in them…I was really tired and slightly delirious when I wrote them. Enjoy!

Our second day of school was just about a long as the first. At least it didn’t rain!

We got to campus super early again, but I didn’t have to worry as much since I already knew where my Climatology class was located. On Friday there were about 7 of us in class. By the next week the class had grown to about 17. I don’t know if people just couldn’t find the class the first couple of days or if that many just decided to transfer in after the first week. The class is two hours long. Two hours of very intense concentration on my part in order to understand all the rapid-fire Portuguese (well at least most of it). I felt pretty accomplished after two hours and only zoning out a few times and understanding about 75% of what my professor said. My professor for Climatology is Professor Assis who did his doctorate at Columbia and therefore speaks English, which is awesome. If I have any questions, if I’m completely confused, or if I just get generally freaked out by the class, I can ask my professor in English for help. After class I headed back over to DEHA to hang out and waste some time on the Internet before lunch.

Once again, lunch was interesting. Lara and I didn’t know if the process was going to be the same as Thursday or what. We still didn’t know how to acquire the magical student cards to put lunch money on. So we took our schedules back to the window to see if we were supposed to get them signed again. After waiting in a ridiculously long line for about 30 minutes, we finally got up to the front of the line only to find out that we had to get our cards first. Thankfully the guy pointed us to the correct line and we jumped in it and started waiting again. Getting the cards was actually pretty simple: we just had to show our schedules and our CPFs and they handed us a card. The girl working the card table looked at us funny since our schedules say we’re “special” students. But she was very helpful, gave us our cards and told us to get back in the line we were originally in. Since we still weren’t sure how to put more than one day’s worth of money on, we just paid for one day and got in yet another line to get our lunch of rice, beans, cucumbers and chicken. It tasted absolutely delicious after waiting in lines for over an hour.

After lunch, Lara and I headed back to DEHA to wait for our classes. My Friday afternoon class is Tratamento de Água e Esgoto (aka Water and Wastewater Treatment). I hadn’t originally planned on taking this class, but I  was still super excited about it. André told me my teacher was very good and that I would enjoy the class immensely. Around 1:40ish I headed over to my classroom. There was one other person in there, so I double checked with her to make sure the classroom was the correct one. Most of the rest of the class and the professor all arrived about 20 minutes late…apparently they couldn’t find the classroom since it wasn’t in the building listed on the schedules. Like I told you…chaos. Anyways, once everyone got settled in, my professor started looking around the classroom and asking random questions to different students. Then he looked at me and told me in English that if I had any questions or needed help, I was welcome to ask in English if I needed to. How he knew I was the exchange student I have no idea. I guess André warned him or something. Then professor José Capelo went around the class and asked for names, majors and why we chose to take his class. I was the second person to get asked so I only had a vague idea of what I was supposed to be answering. Usually, I like picking up on patterns, especially when it comes to language, so being the second person completely derailed that strategy. I managed to say my name and that I majored in Chemical Engineering, but saying “I picked this class since it focuses on the topic I’m supposed to be studying here in Brazil” in Portuguese on the spot didn’t work out so well. My mouth was completely dry and I managed to mumble something along the lines of “Eu escolhi porque é interessante” (aka I chose it because it’s interesting). My professor kept asking me questions and smiling while my face turned redder and redder until some girl next to me yelled him for putting my on the spot. She basically said something along the lines of “poor girl! Leave her alone! It’s the first day of class, don’t do this to her.” I laughed nervously, smiled and thanked her when the professor laughed. I talked to her after class and found out that she studied abroad in Canada last year and therefore was able to empathize with my absolute embarrassment in class. She’s a really sweet girl and I tend to go straight to her to make sure I’ve understood everything in class. Of all my classes, this one probably excites me the most. In my college career right now, this is the topic that interests me the most. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with what I’ll learn, but that’s what studying abroad is all about: discovering new things, not only about a different world, but about yourself as well.

Lara had her first class ever and it went pretty well, according to her. We both got out of our classes early and headed home where we had a delightfully nourishing dinner of pão de queijo with an episode of Rizzoli & Isles on the side. The weekend was very relaxing. We didn’t do much other than gear up for the first full week of school. We also caught up with our friends still at PUC…they didn’t start school till the following Tuesday since Carnaval was still going on down in Rio. I kinda wish I had been able to experience the festivities of the sambodromo and the ridiculous parades, but hearing everyone’s stories was fun.

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~ by dfsg1991 on April 8, 2012.

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