Day 22: The Academic Challenge… / by Sarah Kakusho

So, today [last night too actually], I did a little calculating with my GPA and grades. I need to get all A’s [A/A+’s, not A-’s] either this semester or at least do well enough this semester and get all A’s next semester back at SUA, in order to bring my GPA back up to a 3.5. I’m kind of mad at myself for not putting in that extra effort for those “required” courses. Oye, makes me so angry. -__-;; Yes, so I’ve decided, or rather re-determined, I’m gonna work hard, much harder than usual in academics this semester, mainly because I have the time. And, I’m going to get all those A’s, and bring myself up.

Well. Aside from this rude awakening, I decided to take a trip to Chinatown, more in depth, and it turned out, half the stores were closed, probably because the festival they had over the weekend for the opening of the Olympics. But, I found more [smaller] Asian marts, some slightly cheaper than the one I went to before. So bought a small lunch there, and ate it in the park.

Oh! I bought Paradise Kiss, a manga that I absolutely, absolutely love, by Ai Yazawa. And it’s in Castellano, not just Spanish! So, I was happy I was able to READ some Castellano [because the books I bought thus far are more traditional Spanish, than Castellano] and to be able to read MANGA again. So, when I was in the park, eating lunch, I was reading ParaKiss and learning new phrases like “qué hice yo para merecer esto” which means “what did I do to deserve this?” XD You know, manga here are the same price as Japan, and they maintain the size of the book. I think Americans are the only ones who try to rip manga-buyers off.

So, while I was reading and eating, I somehow got distracted and started looking around at the park I was sitting in. It was different than the ones I’d been to. There was more concrete. I can imagine a lot of street performers tangoing and break-dancing there. Then, I had this idea. I wanted to make a movie. Right there. So, I took out my cell and started texting people in my film track. 4-5 months to create a short film IN ARGENTINA. How exciting, right? It’s definitely a national and international endeavor, working with students from all over the U.S., filming in a country that we’re not from.

Makes my heart race happy thoughts.

ANYWAY, I’ve decided to give myself a weekly budget. Because I have to pay for everything [food, water, pesos for my cell, laundry services, transportation, plus the extra I want to use] money goes fast. I realized back at SUA how much I needed to watch my spending [especially that one month I was in debt], but here, I’ve become more conscious of it because it’s not just about using it for that extra thing that I want; it’s for survival.

It’s gonna be slightly difficult, since there’s a slightly big difference between what I’ve been spending up till now and what I am allotting myself starting this week. But, I think I’ve got my pesos down for my cell phone since I put enough to hopefully last me the semester [if I don’t make anymore long distance calls]. So, no need for that. I can do it.

Outside of all the exciting things that happened to day, I had class at 9pm. Since night classes were offered here, I decided to experience what it was like to take a night class, especially since I’m more of a night person than a morning person. So, 8:20 came rolling around, and I left. USAL is only about 10 blocks down. While I was walking, it started thundering.

WOW. I didn’t think it was possible to hear thunder or rain here.

But, I was happy about it. I missed walking in the light drizzle at night [it was quite a normal thing for me back at SUA]. Rain is definitely much appreciated for me at night than in the day. There’s something about how the light reflects off of the wet asphalt of the streets that bring about a love for the city. Something so nostalgic about it.

Anyway, I got to the university, and I asked the security guy where the classroom was, and he didn’t understand me. So, I kept repeating “V202, V202.” He finally understood and pointed the way. So, this V202, I got from the secretary of the uni. But, it was the wrong classroom. I was totally lost. So, I had to go to the counter and ask where the class was. Even though I arrived 5 minutes early, I ended up finally sitting in the class 5 minutes late. And the professor knew. I had to explain to her my situation, and she seemed cool about it, though she had to mention that the class was an annual class and not a semester class, so I had already missed half of the material, which was fine.

So, I was sitting there, and I started to get worried, because in this class, everyone has to talk and a lot of what they were saying made no sense to me. I think they were reviewing stuff from last semester. But, it was interesting, to go over prehistory, in Spanish. About halfway through the class, I was ready to call it quits. I didn’t think I would be able to take the class and pass. A little hard to understand, but then I thought I’m sure with a little background reading, I would understand it. I just lacked the vocabulary to fully comprehend what was going on [luckily, a lot of the words are cognates].

After class, I asked the professor where I can get the reading material for the class. She said she would gather everything for me, for Wednesday, which is when our next class is. I’m so glad she’s nice. At first, she kind of scared me, because when I walked in late, she tips her glasses down and says, “Y Señorita, ¿cuál es tu situación?” But, yes. She reminds me of my high school world history teacher. She was really strict, but was a great teacher with a dry sense of humor.

So, I think I’m going to officially register for this.

It’ll no doubt be a challenge for me, on all different levels, but I think it’ll be for the best in the end… hopefully. So, here I am, a person who used to study for the wrong reasons, trying to turn things around to study for the right reasons. Straight A’s would be nice [really, really nice]…but I have to remember what’s most important is what I get out of the class and how I can apply it to how I live my life.

All my energy that used to be channeled to extracurricular activities, work, and academics, will be channeled for this one semester towards this academic endeavor, all while enjoying what Argentina has to offer.