My first day of college! …or was it?

I think today was my first day of school. I’m not sure. Was today my first day of school?

I should have known today would have been like it was. After all, the only reason I didn’t miss yesterday’s orientation was because my friend Jacob told me via Facebook message the day before. Jacob only knew because his host sister’s friend told him. I guess that’s how word gets around here.

Yesterday after orientation, Jacob turned to me and asked, “Wait, are we supposed to come to class tomorrow?” I could only shrug my shoulders.

You tell me if we should have come to class today.

This morning, I set my alarm for 8, but I awoke a few minutes earlier – perhaps I was eager to start. No one else in the house was awake. After a shower and some breakfast, I trotted out the door with my raincoat and my backpack, ready to fill my head with sociology, political science, economics, English and Hindi.

The problem was, the weather and roads weren’t cooperating, so Saket and I arrived at the college about ten minutes after the 9:06 start of my first class.

Were this to have happened at Uni, it would have caused me considerable distress. For some reason though, I felt unusually at ease at Hislop. The campus seemed far, far too quiet for a school with several hundred students.

Saket and I walked around, looking for the room and the building where my classes would be. We asked a man where the arts building was, and he pointed us in its direction. So that’s where we went.

– The good news: It was indeed the arts building.
– The bad news: It was empty, save for three or four students walking around, just as confused and disoriented as us.

So we continued our search, heading back to the main building, crossing the eerily quiet courtyard between. Deciding it would be best to ensure we were looking for the right room, we asked someone to help us find the timetable like the one I’d copied from yesterday. We were pointed down the hallway towards a large board.

– The good news: About a dozen schedules were posted on the three bulletin boards.
– The bad news: Not one of them applied to me.

As we walked around the campus in search of anything that could help us, we passed empty classroom after empty classroom. Occasionally we’d find small clusters of friends and teachers, but we only found two classrooms populated by both teachers and students. Having nothing to do, we decided to go home and try again Monday.

That’s when Saket and I found Jacob. Jacob, an exchange student from Washington, is also in my class at Hislop.

(I feel kind of bad each time someone asks him where he’s from. When he says he’s from Washington, the other will add “D.C.?” Jacob then has to explain “No, Washington STATE in the Northwest” and the other will look down, sad they haven’t met an American from the nation’s capital.)

With Jacob’s help, I found the classroom. It was about 9:40, near the end of English class. We looked inside.

– The good news: I had finally found the classroom.
– The bad news: It was empty.

Jacob had woken up at 6:30 to sit in an empty classroom for two hours.

Our political science class consisted of the teacher, two commerce students, Jacob and me introducing ourselves. It lasted about five minutes. The room seated about 50. And none of the others are taking political science.

That said, the morning wasn’t completely wasted. I met two teachers and three students. I explained to a student that the WWE isn’t a college sport in the USA. Jacob and I became a lot more familiar with the campus, to say the least.

Can I now say I’ve spent a day as a college student? As I expected, I went to school today and I learned something. It just wasn’t the kind of college or learning I’m used to.

Hopefully, class will start on Monday.


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7 Responses to “My first day of college! …or was it?”

  1. pyoder Says:

    Who wants to make it the 3000th view?

  2. Aunt Wilda Says:

    Did you feel like Alice in Wonderland?

  3. pyoder Says:

    Please explain how the term “college” is used there. Based on what you said about course selection, it appears that Hislop is the liberal arts part of Nagpur University.

    “English, environmental ed, Hindi are mandatory, and [students must also take four of these]: sociology, econ, history, poly sci [sic], philosophy, psychology, logic and Sanskrit.”

    Are these courses for the semester or for the year? Are you taking any religion courses at this missionary college? Can you take AP exams there? Are you interested in writing for the college, university, or local newspaper?

    I know that we educators ask you many Qs, but we are curious.

  4. John Says:

    Hm— It is very mature of you to feel relaxed. I know on my first day of college I will most certainly have more stress hormones flowing in my blood stream 🙂

    If the event so occurs, please post on a more normal day at your college, unless this was normal O.o.

  5. cyoder Says:

    Aunt Wilda: No, actually. I was half expecting yesterday to be like it was, since I’ve already had similar experiences at the Mumbai airport and the police station when I registered with the city. It didn’t have the feel of a school day, and as it turns out, the morning’s heavy rains may have been a reason why so many students didn’t show.

    John and Mom: Indian “college” is a far cry from American “college”. 11th and 12th grades are called college, but it’s essentially high school. College is just the name attached to the school. And where’s the pressure when no one’s around?

    Mom: Hislop has three colleges: arts, science, and commerce. It is not affiliated with Nagpur University. I believe these courses are yearlong. No religion classes, although there is a chapel. No AP’s. If any writing opportunities arise, I’ll see what I can do.

    I should also clarify that students can choose between Hindi, Marathi and Sanskrit, although most take Hindi.

    And mom, you know very well that 1,000 of those views are from you!

  6. pyoder Says:

    I can understand how we could be confused, but check this link and Wikipedia entry:

    Hislop College, Nagpur is one of the first college[s] in the city of Nagpur. It is currently affiliated to Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University [AKA Nagpur U].

    Perhaps you could volunteer your services as a writer for the school Website….

    1001 and counting LOL

    • cyoder Says:

      I stand corrected. Hislop is a part of Nagpur University. I suppose I was so used to Uni’s connection to UIUC that I expected a big sign proclaiming the affiliation somewhere.

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