Adjusting to a New System …

To properly explain my first two days at school I’m going to borrow a tecnique from Silver Lining’s Playbook (a book I read yesterday that I absolutely loved/couldn’t put down)


My first day at school as a montage in a movie:


See me walking up to the orange building pushing past pololos and groups of people standing around talking. I’m smiling, my running shoes are hanging from my backpack, I have a handwritten list of my classes in my hand. (happy music is playing in the background)


See me checking my paper against a list posted to the wall.


“Excuse me sir where is the gym?”


See me  alone in a classroom. I check my watch.


Ok that’s room 119, 120, 121, 122, 124… oh.


“Excuse me mam where is the gym?”


See me alone in a classroom. I check my watch again.


“Chilean Student Federation, here have a flyer.”


See me walking confidently past a cluster of benches and a construction site.


119, 120, 121, 122… you should be here!


See me gathering my things in the empty classroom.


“Do you  know where the literature department is?”


See me wading though a throng of people as I climb a spiral stairs.


“No you have to talk to the woman in the history department, that class isn’t under my jurisdiciton.”


Hear heavy breathing as I climb more stairs.


“But the woman on floor one just sent me to you, so I thought that…”

“That’s not a history class, you’ll have to talk to the people in the philosophy department.”

“Which floor –“



See me walking less confidently in the other direction past the same cluster of benches and construction site.


“That’s funny that’s a second semester class. I don’t know why it’s listed online.”


“Chilean Student Federation, here have a flyer.”


More stairs.


See me looking at a door ‘Carla Flores Foreign Student Affairs’ – Ms. Flores will be out of town is out until march 18th.


“Is this the gym?”


See me looking at my handwritten paper and at a list taped to the wall.


“Welcome to Advanced Biochemistry, my name is Professor Ruiz…”


See me back at the list with my handwritten paper.


“Excuse me sir, can you please help me find the gym?”


See me walking down the spiral stairs.


“Is this Contemporary Chilean Liturature?” Laughter.


Hear heavy breathing as I walk up the stairs.


“Chilean Student Federation, here have a flyer.”


“Sorry to interupt, but is this Contemporary Chilean Literature?”


See me sitting in class, pen frozen on my open notebook, wide eyed staring at an ancient professor who is scribbling illegible words on a blackboard.


This is the gym???”


See me standing in line at the cafeteria looking nervously at my watch.


“And you, what do you think?”

“Ummm, I…”


“Chilean Student Federation, here have a flyer.”


“She’s out of her office until next week, so how do I replace that class without an advisor code?”


Sign: Bathroom out of service.


“I’m Angel, what’s your name?”

“I’m Caitli – No! Elena, my name’s Elena.”


“I’m sorry I don’t know. You’ll just have to wait until Carla Flores can help you. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s my lunch break.”


See me sitting on the bus staring forward without blinking. A woman, about 60 boards and stands in front of my seat. I sigh and stand.


2 thoughts on “Adjusting to a New System …

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