I woke up for my first full day of classes not only hung over but still reeking of tequila. Not one of my classiest moments in life. I met Tiffany at 8:15 to walk to our first class, Liberation in Southern Africa, which began an 9AM sharp on upper campus. I was not officially enrolled in the class yet, so I had to make sure to get there a little early to see if there were spots still available and luckily there were. Just like most first days of class, we collectively read through the syllabus and discussed expectations for the semester. The class has no required readings; however there is a list of 8 books that the professor recommends (one of them being A Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela that I was able to read over winter break) and I plan to get a few of them read. This week is sort of a historical week for South Africa as it marks Nelson Mandela’s 20th anniversary from being released from prison. It is rumored that on Thursday he will be in Cape Town to give a speech, so a few of us are going to head down after class to see if we can catch any action.
I had Gender, Sexuality, and Politics: Debates in Contemporary African Contexts directly following my first class, and Lindsey, my roommate, had a coffee waiting for me. Once again we discussed the syllabus, but our professor was able to lecture for the end of class. I am extremely excited to be in this class; it reminds me of a course I took at Minnesota called Politics of Gender, Sex, and Family, which to this day ranks as my favorite class of college.
Since I was adding Liberation of Southern Africa, I needed to drop A History of Anti Semitism. Being that nothing here is done on a computer, I needed to fill out paperwork in order to request the change of courses and then wait in line to meet with an advisor. After waiting in a cue (line) for over an hour and a half (and officially 15 minutes late to my next class), I was informed that my Minnesota transcript was not required, but my UCT blank transcript. UGH. I pretty much stomped into my next class, Africa: The Making of a Continent to 1800, and had to sit on the side of the classroom in order to not completely draw attention to how late I came in. I felt like a complete ass hole. After class I attempted to print my UCT transcript, but the printer wasn’t working so I headed to the Interstudy office to print it off. When I arrived back to the cue with all the “correct” materials, it was 3 hours long, and I essentially marched my way to the front and the adviser literally did not look at my transcript before signing the OK to change curriculum. Come on UCT, update into the digital age!
From campus, Lindsey and I headed into Rondebosch to grab some notebooks and search for folders. The standard paper size here is different than the US, so none of our handouts fit into our folders. Also, folders apparently DO NOT exist here, only portfolio folders or the equivalent to a large paper sized zip-lock bag. We also picked up cake mix to make for Tiffany for her birthday. After baking the cake, I would go as far to claim I lack simple domestic skills. I completely undercooked the cake, but thankfully, Lindsey threw it back in the oven and did a fabulous decorating job.