Posted by Emily Block | 1 comments

War and Peace

    I have come to the conclusion that I have been cursed.  My friends' theory is that it is the work of the Silence or Stone Angels (doctor who references) making me disappear starting with my paper trail.  The unfortunate side effect of this curse/alien intervention is that my University has kicked me out.  I know I already mentioned this, but the situation has gotten significantly worse in the last few days.  My awesome mom called the school about the situation and found out that I was officially kicked out and would need to reapply to graduate from my home university.  Not an e-mail that is fun to wake up to!  To give a bit of background, I started planning for studying abroad my freshman year of school.  I read all of the instructions and forms several times.  I even gave presentations on behalf of the international department, so I knew my stuff.  Last year, I saw my academic advisor twice to make sure I had done everything necessary forms to study abroad and graduate on time.  She had told me that I didn't need to fill out ANY forms since I wouldn't be gone more than a year.  I insisted on filling out a medical release form (for Summer and  Fall quarters while I was recovering from surgery) AND a study abroad notification form.  I handed them in personally to the appropriate offices.  Then I get an e-mail in the Bahamas that my account is being deleted because I am no longer a student.  I spent some long distance phone minutes calling about that and after being sent to two different offices, I had someone tell me that it was only my websites I created for a computer class and that I was still a student and not to worry.  So I didn't.
   Then I kept getting e-mails about my account closing and I started to investigate.  I contacted several people and they all assured me it was ok and all I had to do to graduate was to send in my study abroad transcripts once I got home in May.  (This included the assurance that they had already received my transcripts from classes I took at community college.)  
   My mom called for me to follow up since I still was feeling uneasy about it, and it is a good thing she did!  I am not a student anymore!  And worse, the people I am working with, including the person who I handed the form into, were blaming me and saying I should have known better than to study abroad without filling out forms.  So frustrating! I've been e-mailing back and forth with a peer advisor and she is trying to help me out, but I keep getting different answers of what I have to do, and if it is even possible for me to graduate in June.  I was told to send in a few forms from the ship, which I did in addition to the forms I know I need but they didn't ask for.  Everything is so disorganized!  The tone of all the correspondences is still that it is all somehow my fault which REALLY irritates me.  
   In addition to this mess, the peer advisor was completely surprised that I had taken any classes at community college as my transcript never arrived.  (The implication, of course, was that I never sent it.)  I wrote a very angry e-mail, deleted it, and instead sent a hopefully more level-headed one explaining that I did send in the transcripts.  In fact, I have an e-mail confirmation that they were received by the school AND I called the office and double checked before I left for SAS.  I think it is funny because my academic advisor thought I was being paranoid by filling out all these forms and double checking, and now I'm still completely (pardon the language) screwed.    I can't even imagine if I had done the minimum, as I was advised to do.  As of now, I have re-turned in all the forms (plus some) that they asked for and I'm waiting to hear back from the school on Monday.
   Sorry for the vent.  IT's been a rough few days in this area compounded by a bum rib.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't handle pain well.  It makes me irritable and grumpy.  haha  Thanks to torodol and a borrowed hot water bottle, it is getting more and more tolerable though.  Yay!  :0)

  Luckily, the rest of my life has been going wonderfully!  The day all this started I was in quite a bad mood until I went to lunch and, yippy, it was TACO DAU!  I don't even usually like tacos, but I was super excited that it wasn't chicken or pork!  There was much rejoicing.

Two nights ago I went to a reflection on Mauritius.  Instead of it being the usual telling funny or exciting stories, this reflection was geared toward addressing the problem of disrespectful durnkedness.  I guess TONS of people managed to get completely smashed in the four hours we were in Mauritius.  There was much trashing of beaches, puking in cabs, and having to be carried onto the boat.  Personally, I found this a bit embarrassing, but also not necessarily my business.  I can't drink, my friends don't drink (much), and I don't contribute to a culture where getting wasted is coo so it doesn't really concern me.  My indifference was not shared by many.  Attending that meeting was like an anthropological study in hatred.  The microphone was passed around and people were absolutely ripping into the people who drank.  Like saying they were all despicable people, how could they live with themselves, and there was almost a blood lust for punishment.  Some of the things said, should never be said to a fellow human being unless they like murdered someone or something like that.  On the other side, I had a lot of people who were "drunk tanked" sitting near me and they were equally as vicious.  After one girl spoke about how disappointed she was in the drunk people, the person sitting near me snorted and said, "well it's revenge of the nerds now isn't it?"  There was just as much hatred in that statement.  I think the person felt attacked and like people looked down on her, but honestly my opinion of her didn't change based on her exploits in Mauritius.  My opinion of her did change when she said that.  I felt like the girl in Mean Girls who stands up and says, "why can't we just all get along!?!"  (Possibly not the exact quote.) haha The goal of the session was to bring our community together, but I feel like it just splintered us more.  Towards the end, there were more even-toned comments from both sides, but I don't think anyone felt good coming out of the reflection.  (Well except me who found it academically fascinating haha.)  It is interesting/scary how much rage people have over topics I hardly care about.  But perhaps people would think I am crazy for things I care deeply about.  It was definitely an interesting experience that represented a huge division at most college campuses.  

  I've also been doing lots of Doctor Who watching and chatting with friends.  They started a project (and I joined in) of folding paper cranes which we will string together in groups of 1000 and place on the Hiroshima monument in Japan.  In Japanese culture, these strands of 1000 paper cranes bring luck and peace to the maker and/or the recipient.  They are often given to honor important events such as births and weddings.  I think a symbol of peace is a really nice tribute to honor those who were lost or affected by the bombing.  

I got included in a really well developed system.  My friend Courtney got all of the exams from global studies which she cut up into squares as our paper source.  Hannah and Courtney taught me how to fold one (patient people!) and I'm getting pretty good at it.  We take breaks from folding to string already folded ones in chains of 1000.  We are already on our second string!  Go us!

My first one!

As long as I don't think too much about my rib or my home university debacle, I am having SO much fun!  I totally understand how past voyagers say the shipboard community is worth the trip in itself!

India tomorrow!  

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, that is mind boggling. Being kicked out of school that is. I'm sorry that it has to intrude on that fantabulous experience that you're having. I know I keep promising an email! I'm really bad at communicating via email in general, and I've put it off for so long that whenever I try to start it, it seems like too much and I put it off. But I will do my best and eventually you'll get it!


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