I wrote this following blog post in a two hour lecture last week, during which I questioned many, many things. What I was doing a million miles from home in an obscure Belgian city; why the hell had I ever chosen to do French as one half of my degree; whether I'd ever get out of the two hour hell into which I'd just willingly walked myself and sat down. However, I'm happy to report that a week later things have definitely improved! I've weeded out the impossible-to-understand subjects and doddery, rambling professors and am on my way to an organised timetable and an organised life. Stay posted for more!
So here I sit, in yet another class I don’t understand, listening to a philosophy professor ramble on about some philosopher who may or may not have been a Nazi and who may or may not have agreed with Sartre’s existentialist theories. I don’t know, because yet again I can’t understand. With no helpful aid in PowerPoint form, or a sympathetic, slow talking and plain speaking professor, I am left adrift in a sea of Gallic pronunciation and obscure European philosophers. At least this time I can somewhat understand the monologue manifesting itself in front of me; this time, it is the subject matter that has me at a loss. Apparently, I am in a lecture on the ‘Philosophy of Art’- ah, he just mentioned Vincent Van Gogh. At least now I’m 75% sure I’ve wandered into the correct lecture theatre. But that is the only hint that this is anything other than a two hour seminar on some flamboyant Nazi-loving (maybe), Sartre- hating (again, maybe) philosopher with an incomprehensible German name which, when first written on the board, I took to be the professor’s. Off to a flying start.
What exactly am I doing here? This is one of those moments, occurring with a growing regularity over the past two weeks, when it dawns on me like a slow breaking winter morning that I am not quite in my comfort zone anymore. This is no slumbering English lecture hall, with a reading list as long as my arm and half-asleep comrades beside me to share my half-guilt that I never got around to reading Paradise Lost. We’re not in