Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
92Trip End Dec 25, 2007
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I guess in every semester there's at least one class that's basically killing time; unfortunately I have two of those. And there's always one class that could be a good class but you hate it anyway because it's not what it could or should be, material-wise or instruction-wise. I don't have to tell you which one that one is. And there's one that really challenges you; I have one of those too. It's funny that with social science classes and literature classes my favorite class is a political science. Funny how that happens sometimes. I just don't have that one class that's really exciting and inspiring. There should be one of those too. But in comparison, usually I have ten classes to hold up to these criteria, and now I only have four. Think if this ratio was applied to my usual course load. Yuck!
We had salsa class again tonight. They're going to try to have it ever other class day - Green day, as it's called to differentiate which classes we go to as opposed to Blue day. It was a much smaller class and we worked with both beginning and intermediate in the same class, which was okay because we jumped right in and kept moving ahead so I wasn't bored. Carla is a really good teacher. I was dancing with a boy from Mongolia who had done some dancing before and was a relative beginner but gave a good lead. It was good to have a chance to follow this time, rather than lead. I'd hate to get to Panama and not know the girl's steps because I'd been leading in all the classes!
I'm really excited for the chance to learn some dances - particularly Latin dances - from people that actually dance them. Nothing against my ballroom instructors, but you won't exactly see them in Salsa clubs. And learning from other students is really good too. They know how to teach people their age and there's better selection for partners. Now that we've gotten to the point where just the serious people are coming, we're actually evening out the number of guys and girls and there are only a few girl-girl matches now. I think with the spontaneous way things have to work on the ship there will always be some people there just for the sake of nothing better to do, but at least there will be regulars who really want to learn to dance.
We learned some really fun and easy steps that can be used for just about anything, and we learned them in a routine so that everybody would be doing the same thing and Carla could keep track of everybody. The downside is that sometimes people think they have to keep doing that pattern over and over and the dance loses its spontaneity and impulse. I guess we'll have to get to that in more advanced classes. Having the class every green day means we'll have three more classes before we get to Panama and probably two between Panama and Ecuador. We'll be able to learn a lot of cool new things in four or five classes! I hope the classes continue even after we've left Latin America; I'd love to come back with some great moves even if there's nowhere to use them.
After dance class it was really hard to do my homework and I went to bed early. We've been setting the clocks back almost every night now, crossing time zones like crazy on our way across the ocean, so we get an extra hour of sleep every night. Or an extra hour of homework time, however you want to look at it. I've been taking advantage of the sleep, personally. I just can't get that motivated to do homework for classes I don't really like and for professors who don't inspire the desire to do extra outside of class. It's become a huge relief that I didn't buy books - that $268 reader for Global Issues turned out to be a pile of photocopies and I have yet to read for that class or for Intercultural Communication. I've arranged to buy the World Literature texts from a girl who was originally enrolled but isn't anymore, so I'll have the most important one. It's the most important because the library doesn't have it, not because the class is the most relevant, unfortunately. The Politics of Terrorism reader is in the Library and I think I'm the only one using it, so I haven't had any trouble getting it on reserve and even checking it out overnight. So far so good as far as books go. Good call, Dad.
Well that's all for now. Sorry I don't have more exciting stories. I'll have free time in both Panama and Ecuador since I don't have Academic Field Programs, so there will probably be some things to share about those trips. I'm thinking of going on the Amazon excursion from Ecuador, but it's really expensive. I don't know. On one hand, the Amazon is probably a place that I will come back to at some point. On the other, you never really know if you're going to have a chance to come back. I'll have to take a really good look at what else there is. I think Vanessa has some plans for Panama that she wants to get me in on; I'll have to pick her brain a little about that and let you know. G'night!