Monday, January 17, 2005

First Day of Classes

For some odd reason I woke up at 6am. Perhaps it’s still because my body is all screwed up still from jet lag. I think by tomorrow I should be better. Hopefully...

Anyway, we got up and got ready for our first day. We took the Metro to get to the school and that was interesting. I bought a one way ticket for 1.15 Euros because I didn’t have enough to buy the 90 day pass for 95 Euros. It’s a lot of money at one time, but it’s for the whole semester and it’s unlimited use of the Metro, so I think I am going to get it before tomorrow.

We finally found the school and it was pretty interesting. We wanedered around until we found where we were supposed to actually be for orientation and waited until it got closer to 11am before we were going to ask what was up.

Our professors passed by and led us into a room with the words Texas A&M on it. For some reason, just those words on a piece of paper on a door felt like home. We went in and they spent some time introducing themselves and talking about the program. Afterward, we had a million questions already and Alba and Michael Newman (an A&M faculty member on sabatical) tried to answer them for us. Then we met up with our Spanish professor and he took us around town to some places to help some of our group get cell phones and stuff. Then he took us to this restaurant (because we were all STARVING) where for 9 Euros we got a 2 course meal with beverage and desert included. It was very good...definately eating there again sometime...

By the time we got finished up there, we were already running a little late for our next class. We got there probably 10 minutes late, but the guy had said that we didn’t miss much and that it was okay. He then continued for what seemed like forever about his photographic work. I really didn’t like it at all. Basically it was pictures of his “artwork” and it was weird. Oh yeah, and the room was really hot, so that didn’t help either. There weren’t enough chairs for all of us (also in that room were the students from Clemson and Monterrey.

After he finished that lecture, we moved to another room because I guess someone else needed the room we were in. He then kind of told us what was going on as far as our assignment. Oh yeah, this was the room where we have access to 2 computers for the whole group. Anyway, somehow he managed to make us (the A&M crowd) feel like a bunch of idiots because we were late. He had said it was okay earlier, but I guess he changed his mind or something. We told him what had happened (that our Spanish prof dropped us off at this ritzy place, which it seemed and that we really couldn’t help it) and he went on about “when he was in London, blah blah blah, he had meetings and he always made them on time.” He said something about punctuality and stuff and we’re not morons, we know what happened and we didn’t mean for it to have been that way. We just got in the country like 2 days before...we’re still trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B. And I really think the other schools have been here at least a few days before us, so they’ve had some more adjustment time.

Anyway, the point is that he made us feel like idiots in front of the other schools. And in the room we were previously located, the lights were off and we were all focused at what he was “teaching.” In this room, the lights were on and we were all in the same place. Also, he went around the room asking who was from what school, etc. Basically, now everyone could see our faces and know that we were from A&M and that we we’re punctual, and were retarded. At least that’s what it felt like to us.

I don’t just wasn’t cool. Not a good first impression and all of us really don’t like him because of that. He might not even know that he did it, but it still wasn’t cool. Our main profs seemed like a neat bunch and I know that we are going to enjoy learning and working with them this semester. This guy...well let’s just say we all had some words about him when we left the building...

After that, we made our way back to the apartment via the Metro. I am definately going to get the 90 day pass or else I am going to go broke spending 1.15 each way. We got back and hung out for a little bit and then my roommate and I went to take a nap. Next thing we knew it was 10pm and we were starving. We went out in search for food only to find everything closed. I thought this place was supposed to start later! I am still trying to figure out what the heck is going on. So we came back and knocked on Amon’s door to see if he knew anything about when places opened or closed because he’s walked around the city more (his girlfriend is living with the other girls in Muntaner...30 min away). He said he didn’t really know, but he gave us some extra groceries he had gotten...a loaf of bread, some ham, and a 2 liter bottle of water. Once we make it to the grocery store tomorrow, we’re going to buy the same stuff and give it to him as a replacement...easier than figuring out how many Euros we owed since he didn’t have the receipt on him.

So my roommate and I went to our room and ate a sandwich and it’s now 12:15am. He just left with some of the other guys to go check out the night life that is going on tonight. I think I am going to call home and tell my parents how they can contact me here and then maybe go get on the internet and check my email. That should be the night. We have class at 9:30am and I want to be able to get there way ahead of time to show my punctuality. ...I really don’t like that guy. At least as of right now...


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