Not as in the basketball. Which I have missed...March Madness as in the month that just came and went as a blur, and I think I survived? We will see how I go with the grades...
So yes, there was (is) a strike going on at school. They don’t go on strike indefinitely like at home. The way it was explained to me (because this is a semi-normal thing here) is the union that is going on strike chooses certain days that they are going to strike and announce it ahead of time, make their demands known and then unless things change they follow through with not working on those days. Well long story short, the professors want more money so they picked 3 days this semester they won’t teach. So I miss two weeks of class (there are only 13 in the semester). Calculated out, we (international students) pay about $200 a class. More than the money, it completely jacks with the syllabus/due dates/reading assignments, everything really. It has been frustrating, but more than anything the frustrating part is them acting like they don’t have a say in the situation, “we are so sorry that this is affecting you”, um, no you aren’t you are choosing to stay at home. Its just interesting to finish up a 2 hour lecture on the issue of POVERTY and then oh yeah by the way we won't be having class next week because I WANT MORE MONEY. Anyway. Other than than I actually really do like the professors. Their crazy liberal approach to everything really challenges me and makes me think about why/what I believe. They haven’t referenced Obama’s healthcare reform as an example of anything good, right, or wonderful yet so as long as we stay away from that topic I don’t think I will blow smoke out of my ears due to anger.
Life.is.so.extremely.busy. If I am not studying, I am at work, in class, in the library, or working on a project. Those of you who know me (which I would assume would be everyone that cares enough to read this blog) know that regardless of what the task at hand is, I have a hard time drawing boundaries and not giving 110% of myself to it. Maybe a little extreme. Well surprise, surprise, here we are midway through the semester and what am I struggling with BALANCE. If I could I would switch to a part time plan and do 2 courses a semester over 2 years, but they don’t let international students go part time. I have met some of the greatest people through school, church, work, and just living here really. I hate not being able to accept invitations for dinner, beach, shopping, coffee, you name it. I don’t want to get to the end of my time here, whenever that may be and not have any meaningful relationships because I was hidden away in the library. Yet, at the same time, that was my reasoning in coming here and I want to do it well. I feel really, really, really bad everytime I have to say no. It means so much that people are so sweet to reach out and invite me to do stuff. Sooooo yeah, I need wisdom in making decisions regarding that. I feel like I have been dropping the ball here and at home relationally. Not writing/skyping/emailing as much as I would like to. ☹
Because the first 2 paragraphs are so upbeat and happy let me leave you with a happy one. The projects in school are super interesting. They are really cool about letting us choose topics we are passionate about as long as we tie them back to class and format them as assigned. So far I have been working on designing a micro-financing project in Spain for women rescued from sex-trafficking. Tomorrow I will start research on a paper about failed international aid to the Sahrawi refugees between Morocco/Algeria (I did work there a couple spring breaks ago), and then my favorite is a project comparing education programs for immigrants/refugees in Australia/U.S. Another happy note is that if we have had a conversation going something like this, “Kate I’d really like to come see you, but its just crazy expensive…” Well, tickets are only (ha) about $1000 roundtrip in June/July. So come on down. I know I sound like I would be a blast from the rest of this blog but I promise I will be much more fun during those months, because I won’t be in class at the time, so come on down, where the sun shines brighter, all words are shortened into a nickname of some sort, and there are more…um, sharks?