I have visited with FIVE Wake Forest professors over the last 24 hours. That is about my average, maybe a touch on the low side, over the last 17 years. Of course, it’s well above my average for the last six weeks while I’ve been on a DIFFERENT FREAKING CONTINENT than Wake Forest.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or even an organic chemist, to realize it must be Spring Break back home. It’s been a nice change of pace as we had a very nice dinner last night where I tried Pastel de Choclo for the first, but most certainly not the last, time. I took my first cab ride in Santiago and was able to tell the driver that I knew he’d taken the long way around. The extra couple of blocks bumped the fare up to $2980 and I’d planned on just giving him $3000 anyway so it all came out in the wash. But it was nice to see him surprised I knew the area.
Despite it being Spring Break at home, it’s starting to feel a lot like work around here. The students have had their advising sessions and we’ve had to do some reshuffling of the schedule to accommodate the needs of a bunch of students lacking divisionals. One of my classes got pushed back to 18:40 – 20:00 and a few students aren’t happy about such a late class. (To be fair, neither am I.) Basically, we had to choose between the students with long commutes getting home quite late one night per week, several students losing their internships or having classes late on Friday afternoon. No one wanted the Friday class and getting home late seemed less a burden than losing an internship you’ve been looking forward to for months. Hopefully, it works out. We’ve also had questions about a few esoteric requirements; suffice to say, I’ve been liasing between students, Wake and UDP the last two days. A lot of this has been done in Spanish. I’ve probably signed up to teach Advanced Latin on Saturday mornings without realizing it.
Since we arrived on the continent I’ve held voluntary review sessions for the students. Attendance has been gratifyingly high. Many will be taking Organic Chemistry II with me starting next Monday. For most, it’s been a long time since Organic I. For four of them it’s been over a year. So I thought it was a good idea to go over some fundamentals. It’s been going pretty well and I think, I hope, it will serve them well. Several students showed up this morning while I was making the mistake of not being here. So they commandeered the whiteboard we’d been using for review, much to the consternation of the political scientist to whom the board belongs. One of the students (I’m not yet sure who) is a very fine artist and gave an excellent portrait of me.
So, advising, stuff drawn on whiteboards, lots of faculty around, and dealing with bureaucrats. School must be right around the corner.