Friday, February 10, 2006

I heart French bureaucracy...haha

I went and registered for my Sorbonne class yesterday. Quel cauchemar (what a nightmare). The Sorbonne has several campuses all over Paris. The one that I had to go to is almost an hour away from my house, so I spent an hour experiencing the joys of public transportation before I even got there. After that I spent another hour wandering around and trying to find the right office. I had a little piece of paper with me saying where I was supposed to go and who I was supposed to see for this class, but it didn’t really do me any good. It sort of reminded me of Hogwarts – I swear to you, the hallways shifted behind me and the staircases switched sides whenever I turned around. Not cool. Not only that, but no one in the whole freakin’ school seemed to know where I was supposed to be going. I asked 5 different people and they all sent me to different places, only one of which I was actually able to find. The guy there seemed to know that he was talking about, and he told me that I needed to go to Malesherbes at 2pm (it was noon at the time). I was like oh, ok, and which hallway is that in? He gave me a funny look, pulled out a student guide to the Sorbonne, and pointed to a blurb about Malesherbes – another campus on the OTHER FREAKIN’ SIDE OF PARIS. I was so mad. I spent all morning wandering around completely for nothing because not only was I in the wrong hallway, I was in the wrong arrondisement. Turns out Skidmore’s infallible secretary hadn’t looked at my class closely enough and sent me to the wrong school.
After lunch I reattempted the enrollment. It was much less painful than the first time around. I waited for probably half an hour in the wrong line, but after that everything went off without a hitch. I think, at least. There seems to be a problem with the TD section that I picked. [TD = travaux dirigés. It’s the French equivalent of a smaller, seminar-style class. The other part of the course is the cours magistral, which is basically a big lecture.] The students doing the registration were trying to convince me to come in at 8:30 on FRIDAY MORNINGS to take this class. Not only that, but I would’ve had an hour break, and then TWO HOURS of CM. That’s 5 hours of that class, all on one day, that day being Friday.

I don’t think so.

Ugh. The scheduling, or lack thereof, drives me nuts. At Skidmore, they have the course listings posted halfway through the semester and you can easily make your own schedule far in advance of the following semester. Not here. I’ve been here for almost 3 weeks and my class schedule isn’t even set yet. The French universities just barely released the course scheduling information last week. ARRGH. I need to be organized, I need to have a plan. I do not enjoy flying by the seat of my academic pants. It makes me crazy, it really does.

I say again: quel cauchemar.


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