Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Tomorrow I will have been in classes for a week now and I think I've finally gotten the hang of things. I assumed that classes here would be more straight forward than they were. I didn't think that class structure could differ that much abroad, but I was definitely wrong. Fortunately I only have two regular courses and then my WAC Seminar Course which covers a wide range of topics surrounding South Africa. Both of my regular classes are very large compared to WAC. I have a couple hundred in my Anthropology 1 class and fifty or more in my Art History 3 class. At WAC Anthro would have 30 and Art History would have 15. In all of my classes my professors switch every few weeks. You don't have the same professor for the whole semester you have a few different ones. This makes things very complicated. Unlike at home where we have the same classes at the same time Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday, here your times change everyday. It's really annoying. Also, since the classes are so big they have these tutorials once a week which are mini classes where we get to have more in-depth discussions. Those are nice, they feel more like WAC!

I like Anthro a lot, it's interesting, but the structure is difficult. Art History is cool, too, but it's very different than at home. I feel like what we're learning does not go along with the theme of the class at all, but I guess I'll just see where we go with it. We fly through things and we don't learn about individual works like at home. It's just a big contrast. I love my art history professor at home, so it really makes me miss her!

Rather than just having a textbook, both of my classes have a lot of outside readings which you have to get at the library. So they have this mini-library where all of the professors put books on hold for their classes then there are a dozen copy machines where students have to photocopy the readings. I went to do my art history copies the other day and I couldn't afford it! There are a ton of them and they're costly. That's another nuisance of academic life here at Rhodes.

Overall, I think I'll get something out of these classes and they're both exciting classes to take in Africa, Anthro for obvious reasons and Art History because it goes along with my major, but also because of the Arts Festival in June/July. I will have a decent background in South African art to take with me to the festival which will come in handy.

Our WAC course is a lot different. It's taught by a different professor from a different department every week (we only have class once a week), this way we'll get a good background in a variety of South African themes: economics, politics, music, etc. This class has a lot of work, but it will all be very rewarding in the end I think. This class was one of the reasons I chose to come to Rhodes/South Africa. It's nice to have time once a week where all the WAC kids get to see each other, and also we get to become more connected to the country through this class.