30 October 2006

First wave of exhaustion and panic attack

Update on uni proceedings:

As the term progresses, our required readings become more in-depth and demanding. I experienced some difficulties with the texts due to my not being native speaker. The thing is, that I don't associate as many emotions or memories to english words as I do to german ones. They are a white sheet without stains to me. That's probably the reason why using english words in German is so cool - they are new and not laden with long-used or outwashed meanings (Can you say that in english?). However, the point is, that this fact makes it more difficult to recall what you've just read (or heard in the lecture - making you try to jot down every single word because you can't restructure sentences that quickly yet). I guess my language centre in the brain is stil running the German Operating System. Probably my thinking still follows german patterns even if I speak and think mostly in English these days. There must be some research on that, maybe in connection with bilingualism, I should definitely look this up on the internet.
Also, Stacia has got me hooked on Neurolinguistics now, after giving me a free lecture on this (and the dimensions 3+) while we were waiting for the laundry!

Yeah, result of that problem is, that I freaked out last week and dashed to my UG tutor "Jonathan" (I also have to get used to calling professors by their first names) for advice. He was really relaxing (and rational, in contrast to me). "The point is not to make you fail. I am human too." After this huge sigh of relief, I picked up my Development reading pack and started reading "An Analysis of IMF conditionality" and wanted to throw myself out of the window again (guess it saved me that it doesn't even open far enough for my hand). Economic terms all over the place - it's not that difficult to look them up in the dictionary but it takes time to do cross reference in order to understand the relevance for the given argument. Spent hours on Wikipedia to read about the East Asian crisis, capital account balance, the calculation of balance of payments and (side-glance at Taschi) macroeconomics in general.
I guess I am not the only one who is whining. Other people in the tutorials were complaining too. This is probably what the PhD student I met said about SOAS: "They will push you to your limits but you learn a lot."

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