18 September 2007

Late, Late, Late, Late, Early

Monday my bag arrived! Three weeks late, but I've reached the point where I don't really care if the airline apologizes or gives me anything for it, I'm just glad to have it back. Maybe that's their strategy...
It's nice to have different shoes to wear, and a cozy sweatshirt, and SOCKS! I've been changing clothes about three times a day, just because I can. Last week I would have said, "Aw, shucks. It's cold outside. I suppose I'll be chilly today." Today, I get a choice of sweaters, and can wear a different one when it's chilly in the morning, warm in the afternoon, and cold at night. Plus I have different pants to match the sweaters, which is exciting. It's wonderful to have so many choices!

Yesterday was my first math class. And last. I somehow misread the schedule and ended up in a chemistry class (awkward moment) so I was late to the math class once I found it (also awkward). Algebra 3 is more at my level, but it's at the same time as a linguistics course, so I decided to try out Algebra 1, which would be very easy material and would serve the sole purpose of keeping my brain in math mode. But I hated the class. I've never hated a math class before. The material was relatively easy, but the notation was confusing.* The teaching style was, in my opinion, harsh and scary. The teacher spoke very fast with a lot of slang, so a lot went right over my head. In short, as I politely told the professor after class, "The math is too easy but the French is too hard." I think that was a diplomatic way to say "I'd rather take anything other than this class."
* For example, to prove that the multiplication of complex numbers is commutative, they used z*z'=(x+yi)(x'+y'i)=xx'+xy'i+yix'+yiy'i , which I think is absolutely stupid compared to the easier to read, harder to mess up w*z=(a+bi)(c+di)=ac+adi+bic+bidi . Plus all of this is read confusingly, so I felt completely lost for a lot of the class. Which is ridiculous, since I would be a lot less lost without the primes. They got even worse with the exponential forms, with theta primes in exponents, since the primes look like exponents themselves.

Today I had a translation class, which I'm taking because I need to add a bunch of classes now that I don't have five hours of math in my schedule. The schedule said that the class was in room 401 (fifth floor) from 11:30-12:30. Easy-- I take the 11:13 bus and have plenty of time to get there. Except that the 11:13 bus arrived at 11:23, so I got to campus at 11:30. And by the time I had run up the five flights of stairs, I had enough of an asthma attack that it took me about two minutes to get enough breath so that I'd be able to apologize when I got in. Luckily the professor was very nice, introduced himself again and asked where I was from, and didn't see too bothered that I was 5-- no, make that 20-- minutes late. That's right. Becky, the exchange student who convinced me to take the course with her, explained that the schedule was wrong and the course starts at 11:15. She at least had arrived early enough to be almost on time! However, the class was interesting, and we did a small translation that wasn't a bad text. It doesn't seem like it'll be a bad course. I'm planning on taking an English-French translation course too.

Nothing could go wrong. Choir practice started at 6:30, I left home at 6:00, the bus was on time, I arrived on campus on time, I found the room when I thought was on time... and apparently it started at 6:00. Great. So I waited until they were in between warm ups, then hoping the door opened into the back of the classroom (it did!) went in and excused myself. I'm getting really good at that. Luckily, the director was nice, and I had a quick conversation that I had NEVER had before in my life:
Choir director [apprehensive]: Which voice are you?
Kel [guilty]: Soprano
Choir director [relieved (!!)]: Phew! We don't have many of those.
That's right. Me, the soprano who's usually in the alto section because there aren't any altos. Me, the soprano who occasionally even has to sing tenor at church. Being welcomed for who I really am, not what a low range I have, for a soprano. La Maîtrise has about five altos (me included) and ten sopranos. The UCO Ensemble Vocal has about 13 altos and, including me, four sopranos. Four. Smallest soprano section on the planet. Plenty of tenors and basses as well.
The big piece, which will be performed in February with the Schola Cantorum of Nantes, is the Verdi Requiem. The choir is a bit slower at sightsinging than I would like, and the tenor section is a bit throaty, but I think it'll be a fun group to sing with. And a way to feed my choir addiction, which is all I really need.

Every Tuesday, there is what is called "Mardi Café" (Tuesday Café) which is a gathering of exchange students and French students who want to meet exchange students or speak other languages, at a different bar or café every week. This week was at the James Joyce, which is a couple blocks away from one of my centertown bus stops. I only stayed for about twenty minutes, since it was packed with people watching rugby, there was smoking inside and out, and it was cold. I couldn't see the situation getting any better once the other 30 people expected showed up, so I decided to take the 9:53 bus home. My next option would have been 11:13, and I didn't want to wait that long. So I left early, and very happily so. Next week is supposed to be at a calmer place though.

Tomorrow my alarm clock will beep at precisely 9:00, though I don't have any morning classes. My first obligation is French class at 5:00, and I'll take an earlier bus just in case. Nothing (I hope) will go wrong...

1 comment:

Lori said...

Ha, commenting again. Actually, we have the dearth of sopranos thing at my church at home, so I sing soprano there even though I like alto better.