October 3-8, 2016: Hopkins by Any Other Name

There are a few different kinds of study abroad. This kind is studying at Hopkins, but somewhere else. And as I probably should have anticipated, Hopkins is Hopkins, no matter where in the world. What does that mean? It’s school as usual at a Hopkins level.

I think Hopkins kind of jaded me. Unlike my classmates, I’ve been at Hopkins for the last 3 years. And I’m kind of over it. Everyone is still trying really hard. On the contrary, I am finding it really hard to care too much. Maybe it’s senioritis. Even though I’m not a senior anymore. I think one of the differences between American-educated students and foreign-educated students is that they don’t know how to do the bare minimum. We understand that what is actually required of you is not all of the reading, it’s enough of the reading. And at the very least, I think my writing is probably better than the non-native English speakers.

There is another way to divide the class. About half are always in the library doing readings. The other half is taking advantage of being in Europe to travel. This is study abroad after all. When will I ever get a chance like this again?

I do find that I have to spend more time in the library now. That’s because I get the books at the library. And we get four hour loan periods. I feel obligated to take notes on the readings because I don’t own the books. I can’t just look at it in my apartment, so I should take notes, which makes reading a much longer task than it should be.

And as usual, I find economics to be extremely boring. I am fine at economics. It’s mostly just basic math. But man, is it boring. At least I have come to realize that the economics requirement that they emphasize so much is really no big deal. It is a minimum of four classes, which wouldn’t even get you a minor in undergrad. And yet, I can tell people I concentrated in economics. It sounds like a bit of a hack.

I think the worst move I made was taking Theories of IR for credit, as was recommended. I should have known better. The recommendation of an incompetent administration is never a good one. I shouldn’t take their recommendations. I could have just sat in on the class and passed the exam no problem, but instead, I now have to do well on the test. Which is going to be impossible. For starters, the class is super boring. And I recently discovered that an A is equivalent to being ready for a PhD in international relations, which is totally unreasonable. So there was really no incentive to take a class no one likes with no hope of getting an A. What is most insulting is that there are two TAs and they both hold review sessions, but they review different things. And they meet the same day. And I refuse to waste my time going to both sections.

And if there was any question as to the Hopkins-ness of the school, I present you Exhibit A. Sleeping in the library. It’s the same old, old reliable.

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