It’s been one week since school started! Lessons, class size and the culture of class participation are similar to the ones back home. The classes here are alot more homogeneous than I’d have expected – not much diversity in the humanities classes I have in terms of the proportion of international students to local students, as well as exchange students. I even attended a class with only 7 people including me! The class gets into you when the professor throws in a U.S. politics/current affairs topic or example all of a sudden and everyone gets it except you. Politics back home is already messing up my head that I turned from a insistent but ignorant stance to not knowing who is right and wrong anymore.
This week in school, having to introduce myself and make comments on questions that were asked in class, makes my accent stands out… like a prick and realizes how much of an impairment it is to the interactions I’ve had with people here. Talking to both Easterners and Westerners. But I don’t hate Singlish. I am proud of it in just one sense that sentences now contain a friendly and casual (non-serious) connotation to it and at least I’d think that this manner of talking will make an acquaintance or a stranger more comfortable in a first-time meetup setting. That is… I’ll have to learn to form grammatically-correct sentences in my head and make the effort to pronounce words right in a less-hasty manner.
I think the next season is coming soon. Mornings are windier now and I am seeing strange webs forming on the shrubs all around the campus (I googled and it can’t possibly be an infestation since they’re in every other bush). I still get freaked out by squirrels who’d jump onto the middle of the walking pathway and decide to take an alternate pathway although they look docile enough but fearless to scurry about where people are at. Not forgetting intense stare-downs when they notice that you are near and looking at them! We went for a walk around Westhampton Lake this evening after dinner and here are some pictures which I think that they’ll take your breath away!
More updates: They found my luggage and returned it last Saturday (thankfully) so I have settled down quite nicely now; I have a roommate now and her presence makes everything familiar as if I am renting a place with a local back home, until I get out of my dorm and it’s the USA again. Richmond, VA, has yet to become a place where I’d think “there’s no place I’d rather be than here!” and all the expectations I’ve had about this place, that is USA in general, I’d have to hold back all of these long-standing preconceived stereotypes and try to see everything around me with an accepting and open-minded perspective.
The readings I have to do are as burdensome as the ones I did for the last semesters. We got some nice-tasting champagne at a cheap price and ingested the stuff for the last two days in the safe space of our room. I must sleep now. Here’s to more conversations with diner servers and shuttle bus drivers about how things work in this part of the world…? Still missing all of you back home.