And the countdown begins…Buenos Aires, Spring 2011

So this volcano in Chile has caused more of a problem than I initially thought.  I have heard so many rumors about airports closing as far away as Australia because of the giant cloud of ash in the sky.  The two airports in Buenos Aires have been closed for almost a week, and I’m really hoping they open soon – I go home in 10 days! I have finally reached the point where I think I am ready to go home. Of course, there will be a lot that I will miss about Buenos Aires: the cafés, the food, the friendly people, the way that everyone holds their fork in their left hand (it makes eating so much more efficient!), and just wandering around the streets and finding new surprises every day. However, I am very ready to see my family and friends from home.  I am very ready to get back to the summery weather.  And I am very ready to be done with classes! To be honest, I think I’ve done very well considering how I usually am during finals.  Normally I am stressed out beyond belief. But I am halfway done and I have been feeling fairly relaxed.  Two exams down and two to go! Or so I thought… Last week I took my exam for my UCES class (at the partner university where I am literally the only foreigner).  We had to show up for class again today, and I figured it was just to get back our grades from the test and the project we had turned in earlier.  So I dragged myself out of bed at 6 am, with the knowledge that this would be the last time being the only motivating factor. But when I got there, we had a real class – where we actually learned new things. I was so confused! I thought we were done, and that I didn’t have to worry about this class anymore. When I asked my friend if this was the last class period, he shook his head.  Apparently there is another class next week. Then there is a week off, and the week after that is our FINAL! So not only do I have another final, its an oral (so much more difficult than a written exam), and it is scheduled 2 weeks after I get back to the States. The old, American Julia would be freaking out right now. I would be desperately trying to get my mom on the phone, on the brink of having a nervous breakdown because there is no way I will be able to finish this class, I don’t know how the teacher will be able to grade me, and what happens if the airports are still closed? What if I am stuck here and am forced to give an oral presentation? Dear Lord, Help ME!!! The new, Argentine Julia, however, is doing much better at handling this news. As the old Julia is throwing a fit in my mind, the new Julia is taking a cleansing breath and handing the old Julia a paper bag to hyperventilate into. The new Julia is the voice of reason. “Stop worrying. It’s only 11 o’clock in the morning. Go get a coffee and take a breath. Everything will work itself out. You will be okay. You can talk to IES later this afternoon, I am sure you are not the only one in this situation. In fact, IES probably said something about this at the start of the semester, only you most likely weren’t listening.” So as the two Julia’s in my mind try to sort this out, I am sitting in one of my favorite cafés, enjoying a large cup of tea, and knowing that in 10 days I will be back in Illinois, probably wishing I were still in Buenos Aires.  Because to be honest, I do not know how I am going to survive without empanadas, medialunas, and drinking mate every day. (Finals countdown to be continued…)
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