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Posts Tagged ‘student life’

Lately, I’ve been having this overwhelming feeling that I love life, and not just here in Krakow, but my life as a whole; and that I’m going to always feel this alive[1]. And I like that, because it means that it doesn’t matter where I am and how far away I am from the familiar,  I can always find that feeling. Simply glancing back at old photographs brings joy to my heart. Maybe tears to my eyes, too (rarely). I just feel so lucky to have lived the life I have and so blessed with all the amazing people in it. But it’s not just remembering the past and being thankful for it. It’s living in the present, enjoying where I am, who I’m meeting, what I’m doing, and not worrying about the past or future.

I’ve been finding less and less time to blog. I had an urge to write a week and a half ago, I remember, right after the start of the second semester. But by the time I got home (I went and had coffee with new friends), did some chores, did my homework, and sat down by my laptop to write, my exhaustion was worthy of passing out—and I did.

I do feel a lot more exhausted lately, though. I think it’s just because it’s the start of the new semester. I remember when last semester started, and I was a fresh fish in the sea of Poland (haha), and how exhausting it was beginning to relearn this crazy language. Now, after a much needed three week semester break, mind utterly relaxed, I think starting the process all over again did the same thing. Semester 2 is more difficult. I moved up from a B1 level to B2. Theoretically, when we’re done B2 we’re supposed to be at the speaking level of a born and raised Pole. I don’t think that’ll come to happen, but I think (hope!) I’ll be a lot closer. Grammar just got a lot more complicated (and I was already having difficulties before), we’re increasing are vocabulary at a much faster pace than before (there’s so much more memorization than last semester[2]), reading much harder texts, and writing longer lengths. But, I am enjoying it, despite the work. I just love learning, yep.

Also, to my great satisfaction, I am doing a Literature course this semester! I’ve always been interested in Literature, but I’ve never had an opportunity to really study it yet—it was canceled in highschool because there wasn’t enough interest (just me and 5 other kids in a school of 500!) and this is my first year in uni[3], so! The literature is obviously Polish literature. The first class was incredibly intimidating, half of the students were C1s! ß Real Poles. :O It was really intimidating being in a class with them, and I’m not trying to make it sound like they’re another species. But when we did a writing response to a satire piece we read—I just felt like their creative writing is probably as good in Polish as mine is in English. And my Polish writing is pathetic—I’m still missing too many descriptive words not used in everyday speech, but used in writing. These things come with time, I think. Either way, I still really enjoyed the reading, the metaphors, the exercises, and this new way of thinking. I haven’t had any creative-language classes here yet, just straight-forward, analytical stuff.

The next class we started poetry! Was the Polish language made for poetry? Because I love it. I’ve never been a big fan of poetry, I’ve always had a hard time understanding it, and never very good at writing it. But I think I’m falling in love. Maybe doing poetry in another language is more constructive for me? Or maybe I’ve just been missing out on a creative-thinking class and my mind is revived from whatever I get. I’m not sure what it is. But I delved into some English poems today (of my own will!), and I feel like I’m seeing poetry with a whole new eye. (This is after one poetry class. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.)

So that’s the small update on school. We’re only a week and a half into the new semester, so I don’t have too much to say as of yet. Just an optimistic outlook that usually accompanies the start of something new with me. Before the semester started, I was definitely not looking forward to it: going through the same process, all over again!? It was terrible enough as it was. (I was not a fan of my teacher last semester). But this semester—I love all my teachers and every new student (mostly Americans this semester!) is delightful. I’ve met so many new people and have manage to have an excellent conversation with almost all of them. So this semester is looking up.

Righto! So, I have officially avoided homework for four hours. Time to really get to work now. Good day to you!

Joanna

Ah, also it’s my younger sister’s birthday today! Shout out to Nell, happy birthday! 16! Can’t believe it!


[1] Old age isn’t gonna hold me back!

[2] I felt like last semester was more of a review for me, whereas in this semester I will actually be learning a lot more.

[3] Uni—a shortcut for university. I’ve gotten used to saying it because my friend Jessica from England does, apparently they always say uni rather than university, which I always said.

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I’m starting to feel better about things. I know; when did I ever let on that I was feeling not-so-great about things? I sometimes am not honest with myself[1]. That is, I don’t really admit feelings I have. I see two sides to it, and always stick with side one.

1) I am in a completely new place, with new people, new scenery, learning a new language, getting to know my family, my history, in Europe, that thing I’ve always wanted to do. And it’s only been two weeks here, by the time I have to leave, I won’t want to. I’m in another freaking country.

2) I don’t know anyone. The people that I spent 95% of my time with, my friends, aren’t here. Ninety-five percent. Especially towards the end of summer, the time I had to leave, I was constantly out during the day. I felt like my house was for the purpose of sleeping only, and even that wasn’t definite. Basically, it is a little lonely being cooped up in this 9 by 11 room, or whatever it is.

And what side have you heard? Side one. Because that’s all I let myself hear. It’s like, if I admit those negative thoughts are there… it becomes real. So I don’t. I push them away, not so much ignore them, just not accept them[2].  Yeah, it’s probably unhealthy. And better yet, when the feelings I’m ignoring are gone, in this case the negative ones, I can wholly admit they were there in the first place. But only once they’re gone[3]. Yeah, does that ever sound healthy!

Anywho, back to the land of positivity! Basically, I’ve just met some really great people today. And that makes me feel better. Because, so far, the little-over-two-weeks time that I’ve been here… I haven’t really met anyone. And part of me was loving the alone time and finally being able to catch up on all the shows I’ve wanted to watch. But let’s be honest: I’m a people person, and up until now, I haven’t really met anyone that nice, open, friendly… the qualities I kind of thought most university students possessed. Wrong idea? Too optimistic? Anyways, I don’t even know if I’ll hang with these people again, it’s just nice to know that nice people exist. Seriously. I had an awesome evening.

I went to the kitchen to cook some hotdogs…only to discover that the pot—whose residence is strictly the kitchen—was stolen. And even the cutting board! I didn’t bring any cooking utensils or pots with me, I didn’t have the baggage weight to spare. So now how am I supposed to cook dinner for the rest of the year[4]? I asked a couple people moving in and out of the kitchen if they had seen them. Nope. Anyway, one girl offers to lend me her pan, and ta-da! Discussion time. Here are the 5 most popular questions everyone asks everyone in this dormitory:

“Where are you from?”

“What do you speak?”

“What are you studying?

“Why are you studying in Poland?”

Okay so there’s four questions usually asked in either English, Polish, Chinese, Turkish, Belarusian, Ukranian, Russian, and Bulgarian. At question five, people start getting creative.

So she asked me, this complete stranger in the kitchen, to just return her pan when I was done, and she gave me her room number. A half hour passes, I eat my food, wash the pan, and go to return it[5]. Then, on her doorstep, I am offered soup. I step inside, am introduced to her charismatic roommate—who totally reminds me of someone I know, can’t pinpoint who, clashed with a vlogger-personality. That’s the best I could bring it down to. This story is getting boring. Basically I met their two neighbours, the Chinese guy who always cook amazing-looking-food in the kitchen, roommate’s good friend, and others. And eventually, I had a decent conversation with all of them. In English. They all speak excellent English, the slightest of accents, and it’s not anyone’s first language! It felt so nice. Just to converse, naturally, in English, be able to say what I wanted to say, without having to dumb it down for the foreigner[6]. I hope that didn’t come out rude, but since I got here, I’ve met a lot of people who can’t speak Polish; but many of these people know a little bit of English. But in order to communicate, you have to bring down what you want to say to the bare minimum. Think of words you would learn in school, no slang, and speak slowly and clearly. Not my forte.

So, in conclusion. I feel good about things. Contrary to what my great-aunt said, there are some incredibly nice people here and, even though I didn’t earlier mention it, I’m starting to like my teachers more, getting to know my classmates, and I’m even getting used to sharing a bathroom with three other people now[7]. The only difficulty remains in remembering what language everyone speaks. There have been way too many times when I’ve said, “Czesc” to the English-speakers, and “Hi” to the Polish-speakers, among other things.

Asia


[1] I know. That is such a contradiction to what I always say. What the heck.

[2] Never treat people this way.

[3] These feelings are of all varieties. Nope, I’m not angry. What, so not upset with you. No, I do not feel any interest in you whatsoever.  No, it’s fine. [Not so straight up as my examples there… it’s usually like this deep internal battle to deny, deny, deny.] Wow, was that a way too truth-filled footnote or what. This is why you don’t give in to your random writing urges at 1:30am.

[4] You guys know I don’t cook. Hot dogs don’t count, I know. But I had it in my mind to try soup, and chicken breast, and other things. Easy student food.

[5] In between that, I had a very small, but pleasant, conversation with my Polish next door neighbour. This guy I’ve barely talked to, seemed a lot nicer than I thought he was at first. Good realizations.

[6] And be able to use adjectives other than “very” and “really”. Such a good feeling. [See title]

[7] If there’s a chance to use the bathroom, take it.

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