Monday, June 30, 2008

rolling up the semester

today's date, june 30th, marks the end of this year's summer semester. with my last exam today [hindi] behind me, my view is resting on the three months of holidays ahead of me and all the things those encompass.

first things first: packing. i have rather strong dislike for packing; not that i'd hate it, or dread it, i quite simply don't like it. this time around, packing means planning ahead [packing ahead] for two months, as only in the beginning of september i'll get back for a couple of days to my flat in vienna. between now and then lie many journeys and quite a number of countries. still, i decided to stick with summer and hope for the best, packing lightly.
packing lightly is my current mantra, anyway, as i'm trying to end my habit of travelling with everything i can somehow carry along and will never need or use during my trips. instead, i want to live a simple life and enjoy the destination rather than all the convenience and clutter i used to bring along. so far, i cannot tell how effective my endeavours are, but here's for optimism.

soon soon soon, on wednesday the second of july, i'll be leaving vienna by train. until then, my flat has to be put to sleep and all loose ends tied up.
as usual, the joys of everyday life master the art of picking the exactly right moment of appearing, as did the leak in a pipe coming out of my bathroom ceiling, wetting my walls. luckily, only two days after contacting my landlady and the house's plumber, this problem has been fixed. anyhow, with this matter taken care of, i look back at the last 4 months and in retrospection, wonder how the semester could pass so quickly.
before even properly diving into the subjects, it seems it's already over again, with 3 months of holidays there to wipe any acquired knowledge from my mind again [with tibetan being especially easy to wipe out of my memory, it seems]. on the other hand, though, the feeling of finishing things is always one of the biggest rewards of the each semester. when in the last weeks i'm having exams and last lessons, it is a joy to write down one score after the other under my timetable and know that there is one thing less to worry about, one thing more that is already finished.
but what, actually, were those things?
quite simply, my timetable can been divided into two parts. the first being language courses and the second being language lecture classes [to clarify: reading of (old old) texts]. the obvious lack of content other than in relation to languages simply stems from me finishing all the classes left needed to finish the first phase of my studies; that means: i'm halfway through.
my language classes were modern tibetan and hindi, both since the winter semester of 07/08. two days a week of language training and after these less than 8 months i'm able to talk about my holiday plans, my daily routine, where i live, what i did in my childhood, how i celebrate christmas and so on. sometimes, i look back with wonder and feel the excitement and  joy of suddenly being able to converse, even on a basic level, in such different languages.

the the text lectures i did were in classical tibetan [whose language class i finished 2 semesters ago] and sanskrit [the language class of which i finished last semester]. in classical tibetan, we read excerpts of various texts about the history of western tibet, all basically describing the same events and thus being very repetitive. sanskritwise, i did one reading of texts on pramana [buddhist epistemology] endangering me of developing brain tumours and one on kavya [sanskrit poetry] which, at times, was uplifting, and further trained my rhythmical reading of this intrinsically rhythmical language.

also, as the only thing except languages, i visited a lecture of the social and cultural anthropology department [ethnology], together with a friend, bearing the charming title of funeral art. sitting there out of pure interest, i didn't aim at taking an exam and simply enjoyed hearing about funerary rites and culture in various regions all around the planet.

now, with today's hindi exam finished, i have nothing left to worry about from this semester. all the courses are finished, all exams taken on their first date; i'm free.

i'll enjoy that while it lasts.


saturninus said...


Monomorai said...

I think, last time I really "packed lightly" (when I lost my bag) and I tell you, if you would try, you will enjoy that!

pílong said...

lucky lucky, lots of vacation ahead !

zs. said...

Is the blog off duty as well during vacation time? Nothing worth mentioning or no time to mention them? On behalf of poor working blog readers I demand more posts!