Thursday, February 25, 2010

Quest for the Hidden Housing Design Class

9 February 2010
I went to all of my classes today and none of them ran. I also went to two of my not classes by mistake. I went to both thinking they were my house design class. I’m really excited about this elusive course. I’m obviously really excited about it, because it runs at 7:15 am and I got myself up all cheerful like to attend. Okay, I didn’t get there exactly on time. I got there though, and the professor had some equations and such up on the board. I figured that made sense, writing blueprints and all. Who am I to say what goes on in a housing design class? It was a little worrisome, though, as I have not taken math since high school. Nevertheless, I was exciting to learn about building houses and I did my best to catch everything. He talked a lot about pressure and force. It was a flashback to my senior physics class. I looked around and saw someone with a physics formula handbook. I leaned over to the guy next to me. “Is this house design or a physics class?” It was a physics class. That explained the flashback pretty well. I quietly got up and left.
I went back to the Home Science department to see what they knew. The answer was not much. I mean really, why should the Home Science office know when its courses are being offered? They told me to come back later in the afternoon.
So after pop band I headed back over there. On the way, I met a Nigerian named Frank who insisted upon walking me there. We talked about this and that and he asked if I was married. I told him no and asked if he was married. He laughed at me and said no. What was I thinking asking something so silly? Then he told me that he had met the love of his life. I told him that was nice. “Ask me who she is,” he said. I did. “You are standing right next to me,” he said. Then he asked if that made me happy. I said that I didn’t know him well enough to know if that was a happy thing and “Oh, there’s the Home Science Department! Nice meeting you Frank!” Then I slipped into the conveniently present home science office. Sorry Frank, but I’m sending you back out to find a new soul mate.
I asked if they knew anything about the course yet and they told me it was going on right then. This was slightly problematic because I had my voice lesson in an hour and this class was two and a half hours long. I figured I’d at least go check it out.
This was not my home design class. It was, however, one of the most entertaining classes I have attended. Because textbooks are not widely used in Ghanaian schools, some class lectures consist almost entirely of professors reading notes line by line, repeating each line a number of times, and students copying verbatim. In general, this would seem to me a monotonous way to gather information and I am fortunate enough to not have any such classes. In this case though, it added to the amusement of the situation.
Again, it took me a while to figure out that I wasn’t in the right class. The professor began talking about the way to furnish a sitting/ dining room. I had not expected anything interior, but thought that maybe I had misinterpreted the course description. This isn’t at all what I had wanted to learn, but some of the things she said were very unintentionally funny to me and I thought I could enjoy this class anyway. (I am going to type out the notes for you in another post because they are wonderful.) She moved on to talk about other rooms in the house and then passed around a sign in sheet and a syllabus. That’s when I realized I was in Interior Design. And I left to go to voice. I must say, I’m a little bummed that I won’t get to find out what type of frills are appropriate in a household washroom.

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