Monday, September 01, 2008

School Start up Struggles

In my last post I mentioned having to put my fight face on, but I failed to mention what the issue was. Simply put: School. We started classes today, which meant last week I was in the office several times trying to register.

I have only studied Uyghur for four semesters, but that currently makes me at the highest level at our school. The school refused to open a class just for me and said I could either join the first year students, or “just go to another school”(this was said with a whole lot of attitude). Since I have already paid my tuition and gone through the police to get a visa for this semester, it is unwise and next to impossible to change schools. I also really like my school (most of the time). Instead I tried to encourage them to help me find a solution. They just kept insisting that this semester they were only going to offer one Uyghur class for all the foreigners no matter what level they were at.

My friend then suggested to me that maybe I could study with the local students who are in the Uyghur major. Thankfully the school agreed, although they never did call me back with my class schedule.

So this morning school was set to start at 7:30 am. I met my teacher and she took me to the local student’s registration office. She thought that the third year class would be the most suited to my level, but sadly those students are away for seven weeks on their practicum. So I decided to push myself and join the fourth year students. After writing down the times and room number, my teacher even walked me to the classroom (since we were now running late) and introduced me and my situation to the professor. It was a good class and I thought it would be a good semester.

But… the moment the bell rang , my teacher called to tell me to come back to the foreign students registration office, that new students had arrived today, and that they are now going to open a higher level class ( which is funny and extremely aggravating if you had heard how firmly they had insisted just three days ago, that they would under no circumstances be opening another class).

My new classmates are still more than a year behind me in their studies, but I am no longer allowed to study with the local students since they have opened this new class.

Okay quick recap of what the school told me:
- No class for you
- Go to another school
- This year we are only offering ONE Uyghur class, if you're not happy, go to another school
- Yes you can study with the local students
- No you can’t study with the local students
- We have opened a second Uyghur class

All this in less than a week, no wonder I often have to remind myself that I am attending the top University in the province.


Anonymous said...

I hadn't known about your blog, but I saw this posting when it was picked up by Google's alert service. I spent a couple of weeks doing linguistic interviews with Uyghur students two years ago and their culture and the well-being of the nation has become very important to me.

I'm sure you'll find a solution or compromise that lets you continue doing your study somehow. I have studied a hard foreign language for 28 years now, and I can tell you that the world will probably throw many obstacles in your way. The important thing is to take the long view and not give up. After all, why should I let other people prevent me from my own self-cultivation? So smile and do what you can - I'm sure you'll do well in the end.

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