Wednesday, 26 September 2012

La rentrée

So I finally made it to the Université d'Aix-Marseille in France, and after one month of no work, no studies and no major responsibilities i'm back to the grind. Sort of. You should see my timetable....most of my lectures / seminars are in the afternoon and i've specifically dropped modules which start at 9am AND don't sound toooo interesting either .It's all for the greater good. If I wake up too early i'm moody and unhappy, and therefore I'd be unhappy for the rest of the day: If I wake up later and go to the modules I have in the afternoon already, i'm more likely to do better in them, and enjoy them more if I drop the shit ones early on in the morning!

Method in the madness.....

I really didn't realise how different university here is to the UK until this week: the workload is already a lot bigger, the lectures are true lectures with minds full of historical dates and names of kings and writers and penseurs to soak up somehow, lecturers sometimes turn up late with no apologies, students turn up late and apologise profusely, the building is covered with political graffiti and 'down-with-capitalism' posters (French students seem enormously more politically active than back at home which is great), and French students seem very work-orientated rather than pissing around in class chucking paper balls at each other like in kindergarten. Serious studies happen here, and for someone who has come from universities where students regularly take the piss and waste the lecturers time, that's quite a refreshing thing actually...

Also, i've realised that admin is absolutely capital in these parts. For my Traduction class, I need written confirmation from my tutor at my home university to verify that it is course-related and I have the sufficient language level to participate, despite having already discussed and planned which modules to take with my home lecturers. I can't enrol for the class until I have that and the class starts soon so it's a big mess of paperwork and trying to wrestle my lecturers into action, which is tougher than it might sound. Fucking academics.

I have une fiche pédagogigue which has to be taken to every exam , un certificate de scolarité which has to be guarded 24/7 and never lost on pain of certain death, une fiche d'évaluation which to be honest I still don't know what to do with, as well as all my other Erasmus shite to wade through; arrival forms, exit forms, grant forms, learning agreement, changes to the learning agreement forms, changes to the changes form etc etc.....

It's going well though, and it's only my first week/few days back so I have plenty of time to make a tit out of myself as usual by getting lost or walking in the wrong class (which seems to be my speciality).
But I like it here. I'm looking forward to my courses, although i'm sure this blog will be the only thing keeping me sane with the immense workload we have ahead of us!

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