This was the general attitude as the 15 of us students met each other for the first time Monday morning. Everyone sort of just looked at everyone else in awe and disgust and confusion. Many had sort of pained expressions on their faces as they wondered what could possibly be attractive about studying such a random, obscure language.
I admit, I imagined that I would be one of two students registered--the other being a Chinese boy who needs to learn Romanian so he can go to medical school here for mere nickles and dimes. Turns out everyone imagined that, so we were all a little stunned to see a rather substantial group of 15.
Quite a slew of countries are represented among us. I am the only American. And probably living up to every stereotype that these people have of our kind. I made sure they all remembered to honor the 4th of July. I celebrated the best way I could, which was to buy a red and white striped shirt and get a drink at Starbucks.
Canadian ex-pat living in Norway
2 from Switzerland
2 from the Netherlands
3 from Poland
Most are here because they already know like 70 foreign languages and Romanian was last on their list.
But not Mr. South Korea. This is his first time out of the motherland. The poor kid was probably shell shocked before his plane even touched ground. Come to find out he's majoring in Dutch but Holland is a bit pricey, so apparently Romania was the next best option? And what is his minor, you ask? You probably didn't ask and I wouldn't typically either, but I'm glad I did because his answer put me in stitches for at least the next hour.
Yes. A minor in Volcanic Eruptions.
"Are there many volcanoes in South Korea?"
"One. And it's dormant."
Next time any of you question me for majoring in European studies, remember that there are poor starving children in Korea who are studying volcanoes. Who have never seen a volcano. And be grateful you live in America.
God bless the USA and Happy (belated) 4th to you all!
|With Tania from S. Africa and sporting my patriotic apparel|