I have been in the US for over a month already, and tomorrow I will have been in Chicago for a month. Can you believe it? I sure can’t. It puts it all in perspective sort of though, I mean, if I get to stay here for 12 months and one month goes by so fast.. It’ll be over before I know it. It’s a little bit ridiculous.
But, looking back on this month, I feel really good about it all. Orientation was a great start for me. I met a lot of wonderful people and the tour through New York was definitely awesome. And Chicago has been amazing. All the Au Pairs that I’ve met are really nice and I would like to see and hang out with them more often. I’ve done really cool things already, although there’s still so much more on my ‘to-do’ list. I feel like I need to get to the City more and start planning some of my travel.
Speaking of thinking.. I need to make some decisions about my education course that I’m going to do here. I told you all that I wanted to do a course called Abnormal Psychology. But after a couple of visits to Triton College (the school that I would be attending) and a very long wait period (2,5 hours!!!) it became clear that I wouldn’t be able to do that course, as it is a 238 course and you need prerequisites. I would have to let the US government officially validate my degrees, which costs time and amounts of money that I’m not willing to pay. The alternative is that I do the placement tests for Writing, Reading and Math and then do an introductory course (like intro into sociology or something). I’m also not crazy about this idea either because, without trying to sound stuck up and arrogant, I have two degrees in which I touched on most of the subject that would be the main topic of the course that I would be taking. Sociology for instance, or Ethics. Definitely Psychology and Education. I mean, I could probably teach those classes. And let’s face it, these classes aren’t cheap. I don’t feel extremely enthusiastic about the idea of having to pay several hundreds of dollars to do something that I don’t benefit from and I don’t enjoy.
Alternatively, I could do a weekend course. My friend told me about one that goes to San Fransisco. I would only do one weekend for all my necessary credits, and I would see San Fransisco, AND it would be on my education budget which means that my host family has to pay the first $500. It’s like a triple strike. It’s something that I need to figure out on a short-term basis. Time is ticking away.
I also need to get a library card, a gym membership and a bank account. Sigh.. administrative stuff. I don’t like it. It means that I need to get my ass in gear and it doesn’t like being that way. Oh well.
When it comes to home-sickness and stuff, it has been up and down. Now that I’ve settled in, I definitely don’t feel a rush to get home. But that changes from moment to moment. You know how that goes, sometimes you just get a flash of ‘I want to be back home’. But mostly I’ve been dealing with this very well, if I say so. The first day of when I arrived in NY was the worst, Newark was dreary and dreadful and I was pretty much thinking ‘what did I get myself into?!’ and ‘a year is a verrry long time..’. But as I found out that everyone was so nice and everything will work out fine, I started to relax.
I’m really feeling very good here. It feels like home in the sense that I feel calm and relaxed and at ease here, but on the other hand, I would never want to move here. This is definitely temporary. I am sorry to all the US loving people out there, but this is not dream place. It kind of makes me miss the UK even more than I already did. Because I did have that feeling there. Maybe moving to England for a while isn’t out of the picture yet? I don’t know.
Anyway, so yeah, it’s been really good so far. Except for the nasty nasty cold weather that we’ve been having. You’ve probably either seen it on the news, or you’re in it yourself. European people, please be assured that we’re not dying over here as your news will make it out to be. Luckily, it’s a lot better now but pretty much from New Years till this Wednesday on was horrible. Such low temperatures and lots and lots of snow. I’m glad that I pretty much got to stay inside all that time. I usually don’t mind the cold that much but this is just ridiculous. Not to speak of the unpleasant things that it’s doing to my body. But I’m not going to bother you with that. Let’s just say that it’s uncomfortable.
Anyway, like I said, I’m going to get a library card soon and I need some new insight into books. Because I’m really bad at discovering new books so I need recommendations. I’ve been thinking of Coraline by Neil Gaiman, A discovery of Witches, and ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ by Maya Angelou. Can you guys recommend me some more?
So that was the first month. Let’s see what the next one brings!