Thursday, October 13, 2011


So, week four of classes is winding down – a third of the way through these shorter, twelve week semesters (which essentially function as a weird hybrid between a trimester and quarter system on some level but are still referred to as semesters, so something is lost in translation to someone somewhere).  As such midterms begin middle of next week and run through the end of week six, leading into a five day weekend for a Hungarian national holiday that will be a sorely needed break.

Courses here appear to be a mix of styles: some are conventionally American graduate-style seminars, some feel like relatively typical lecture courses, and then most are to a certain degree peculiar to me – I’ll assume those fall under some guise of conventional European.  Unsurprisingly, I’m getting the most value out of those classes that are actually taught like American classes.  Given that CEU is a self-styled American university, one might expect a stronger American graduate style seminar system, but its lack is presumably related to fact that most professors here are continentally educated.

The peculiar courses to me are those that amount to 100 minute loosely plotted, streams of consciousness.  I avoided the ones that were obviously so, but had to drop a course that otherwise interested me because the lecture style was too opaque to result in actually productive learning.  Several professors appear to ascribe to this style, leading me to believe it isn’t any one individual’s idiosyncrasy.  It’s essential to determine who teaches in this fashion ahead of time, though, because if you find yourself in a scheduling situation where you’re trapped you’ve committed yourself to a semester of not having any idea of what’s going on – and that’s before you account to any differences in accent adding to the degree of difficulty.

My language course instruction is also a bit different than I’m used to; it’s completely conversational with no set textbook or readings.  Since I don’t learn terribly well aurally (and I’m up a level beyond where I ought be), it’s proving challenging, but I’m hoping that ultimately I can adapt to learning differently and keep up with the coursework.

In other not strongly related things, but things about the dorm:

1.     I’m still using my airplane blanket from Delta as my only blanket.  (I have a comforter/duvet thing, but it is not in use at the moment because…)
2.     This building has Twin South style heating, an applicable reference that only a few of you will get.  Let’s just say it involved essentially living in a sauna to the extent we wore swimsuits in the lobby in January.  I have the heat in my room turned completely off and the ambient heating from the building makes it too hot to function in my room.  My windows have been perpetually open until they made the switch far too early into the season.  Hopefully once it’s colder outside the heat loss to outside (and the reduction in solar gain) will allow me to close the windows once again.

No comments:

Post a Comment