Der Amerikanische Urlauber

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Finals Week...

Finals week is here... Posted by Hello

Today was officially the last day of the Spring semester for me. The way it works at American universities is that the week following is then devoted to finals. Some schools I guess have even more time... my friend who goes to McGill University in Montréal was surprised to learn we devote only roughly two hours' time to the taking of a final exam.

Compared to last semester, this is pretty much a light finals week for me. I have one final in French, which honestly doesn't intimidate me much because I study French daily and everything on there should be known by now anyway if you want to have any faculty in the language. The other final is actually just a last exam in Intro to International Studies. I need to study more for that one, but again I'm not stressing. I always feel that if you work continuously throughout the semester then a final shouldn't be that intimidating and require a huge long cram session. Of course, some classes are different. Like last semester I had 100 question final exam, in Intro to Public Speaking, a class where we never once covered any material out of the book. Intro to Public Speaking has a "common" final, meaning the department, not the individual instructor, is the one who makes the exam up. So I had to spend a lot of time reviewing for that stupid class.

Anyway, it's just so relieving to finally be done with this semester. Of course, I still am going down to campus both to go to the gym and for Summer session B, which goes from July into August, for French II. Being that French II uses the same book as French I (French I covered Première étape to Chapitre 5; French II covers Chapitre 6-12) I think it would be smart of me to like go through and start studying vocabulary and stuff from future Chapitres in order to have a head start, because we're going to be moving extremely fast to get three months' work done in one and a half month's time, and at least this way it would help it be less rushed for me. Plus, I need to keep my French up somehow in the next two months.

What's so nice though is now I get to devote for the next... oh what is it now, 25 days, intensive Italian studying, but I also can finally get back into progressing in German.

I'm still awaiting the final itinerary for this trip, they said it should be coming shortly after the beginning of May. I'm so curious as to what we'll exactly be doing, because we only had a really rough itinerary when we got our acceptances. I also eventually have to book the accommodations in Rome, but when my mother is ready to, since she's generously paying for it. I really appreciate that too.

I remember a month back when I told this one German professor at USF who I used to talk quite often to until he shot down my aspirations at every turn (including applying to Georgetown, which is a story I'll perhaps touch on at another time) asked me about where I was staying while in Rome. He had previously suggested I stay in a monestary. I thanked him for the suggestion. Anyway, when he asked where I was staying and I mentioned the great deals on some fantastic hotels in Rome, he started flipping out on me, saying I didn't even consider what he said, and he called me a "spoiled rotten American brat"

To this I took great offense. Neither I nor my family are rich by any means. We live comfortably, but with limitations. In other words, we're middle class. I don't see how pretending you're poor and subjecting yourself to staying in crappy hotels makes the experience better. I'm a very strong proponent of not surrounding yourself in luxury all the time, because you experience a lot when you have a diverse travel experience, but I mean heck, my travel experiences are indeed diverse. I've lived in Jamaica as a normal Jamaican does, and I've experienced with it all the joys of third-world living; meaning coping with power outages and taking a bath in a huge shower/tub in my stepdad's father's house, but with a tub of water because the water service was down. When we moved to Florida, we had only one car, which my stepfather had to use for work, so when I got the flu one hot September day I had to walk the mile and a half home with my mother, vomiting along the way and shivering like crazy.

I don't think it's fair to judge someone like that when you don't know their past. And the scorn he had in his voice was just disgusting. So needless to say, I really haven't been in a rush to talk to him anytime soon. That's what happens when you flap your mouth around freely without knowing someone too well. I enjoy a very comfortable life by many means, I always try and remember people that have it worse off, (but of course it's always easier to be jealous of someone with more.) But I don't know why people feel the need to judge like that.

And to his remark about not being able to experience taking a cold shower in Italy, I just merely responded "no, I take those daily at home"


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