Friday, April 29, 2005

u of i fall 2005

I registered a while back for my classes at the U of I next semester, just though I should post them here:

4 Introduction to Computer Science - CS 125 AL2 AYC
3 Probability Theory I - MATH 461 C13
3 Introduction to Hispanic Literature II - SPAN 227 X1
2 Spanish Phonetics & Phonology - SPAN 402 X2
3 Spanish Syntax & Morphology - SPAN 404 D1
3 Spanish Literature II Works & Writers - SPAN 452 B2 (ie from Spain)

for a total of 18 hours. If everything transers like it does in my dreams, I'll be able to graduate after this semester. But I don't know if that will all work out. If not, I can drop a course to lighten my load a bit and learn more fun things in the spring, which might end up being necessary if these courses are challenging. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, April 25, 2005

smoothly slipping away

Once again, I apologize for not writing for such a long time. It's so easy to just do all those things I do in a day and not even think about writing here. Maybe that's some sort of sign that, as someone said to me not too long ago, being in Chile is no longer new and exciting for me. Rather, it is the status quo. And of course that person is right, to a certain extent. But on the other hand, there are still things that surprise me, or remind me of where I am. I went for a nice twilight (well, I guess you call it twilight after the sun has set and yet the sky is not black but rather a rich, deep blue) walk around the neighborhood. Well, not so much around as to the bakery (breadery, really, but somehow that word just doesn't work in English) to pick up some bread to go with my dinner (which I've yet to make - not because I'm following the Chilean meal plan, but rather just because I can eat whenever I want to, and I've yet to get around to investing the necessary energy to prepare a meal). Said dinner will consist, probably, of the aforementioned pan, corn on the cob I bought today (the two ears I ate for lunch were excellent), and pasta with tomato, garlic, green pepper, and onion sauce. That's if I'm as ambitious in the kitchen as I am now.

In case you didn't infer from my lack of writing, everything is going along very smoothly. I think I'm doing well in my classes (I got a B+/A on my first topology test) and they are actually pretty interesting. Chilean and Hispanomaerican Narrative is finally getting interesting now that we are reading Borges, who I quite enjoy despite his excessive intellectualism. Short stories really are wonderful. I've also been reading a lot of Roberto Bolaño, a Chilean who lived most of his adult life in Mexico City and Spain, who died in 2003. So far I've only read short stories (though I started a novel, I have to read Borges so it's on hold momentarily), and find him to be an excellent author. As for those of you who are reading this and most likely don't read Spanish, I'm not sure about the availability or quality of translations. While the concept of translation interests me, there is no doubt that I prefer to read things in the language they were written, and thus have avoided translations of English into Spanish and vice versa.

Of cultural interest might be the way the death of the Pope was covered in the media. Without a doubt it was followed here with much more enthusiasm and faith than in the U.S. Chile is a Catholic country. Of note, though, is that just as the conclave was convening, the headline of a major Chilean newspaper announced that a Chilean cardinal could become pope with the support of the United States. As usual, Chileans like to see themselves in world events. There was also excessive and extensive coverage of the Pope's visit to Chile in 1987. Though I didn't watch it, I am told the television channels were non-stop Popevision for days, with interviews of everyone who had been even remotely close to him while he was here (physically, as in "I was 10 feet from the Pope," not "the Pope and I had a lenghty conversation"). In all, there was, as far as I can tell, nothing negative said about the Pope or his sucessor. But that's to be expected from the conservative Chilean media.

Now the hunger as built up enough that I'm going to get cooking. Enjoy spring, those of you lucky enough to be in that part of the world.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Just writing to let you know life is going well, i'm enjoying myself, etc. School also seems to be good - my first test went well - I got an A, well, not exactly, but the Chilean equivalent. In fact, the professor read a part of one of my answers (the test was two essays, in my Chilean narrative class) to the class when he was commenting on the test and his impressions of our interpretations. Granted, he prefaced it with, "This was written by a foreigner, and I think it's interesting to see the novel from an outside persepective," but still, it made me feel like I was in grade school all over again. But it is a good thing that he took the time to discuss the test with us rather than just hand it back and move on as some professors have the habit of doing.

Not much else new or interesting, so I guess I'll get back to being a student and read some more of Doña Barbara the Venezuelan novel I have to read for that narrative class. Enjoy the day of foolishness.