Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This Must Be Cruel and Unusual

I pulled an allnighter. But not the fun kind of `Woo we're going out to party allnighters` or even the `Man I have a lot of homework to do tonight allnighters.` Instead, I stayed up all night because in Ireland, international students register for English seminars at 9 am on a Wednesday morning. There are only three spots in each seminar for international students and you can only sign up for one seminar. This semester, there are over five hundred international students studying at NUI.

My roommate and I were warned we needed to arrive early. That night I went to three bars, one with the chorus, the next in an attempt to see my friend play at a trad session, and the last where I was able to try out Irish dancing for the first time. We walked back in a hail storm around 12 and stayed up eating junk food and watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Four thirty we arrive at school to find thirty students already camped out. It's probably zero degrees and it's raining. Since registration doesn't start until 9, we had a solid four and a half hours to huddle outside on the wet ground. Not good.

Finally we're given numbers to que up later. I immediately determine I'll lose mine and promptly stick it in my right coat pocket, zippering it secure. We trudge to the cafeteria and slump in the corner couches, drinking apricot green tea and eating the best croissants I've ever tasted. That's when I discover my tiny slip of paper isn't in my pocket.

Just to give you a picture of those four and a half hours. My teeth chattered so hard the entire time I was convinced they would shatter. I shivered uncontrollably the whole time and spent most of it curled in a ball on the wet ground with my backpack on my lap as a make shift blanket. Even dressed in ear muffs, two hoods, gloves, scarf, rain coat, and a hat, the cold seeped into you skin. My whole body froze. I tried to curl in a ball to conserve warmth and ended up being unable to get to my feet afterward because my legs had gotten too stiff.

After all this I was signed up for my third choice of English seminars. It's still raining. All I can say is, NUI needs to learn how to post their classes on the internet.

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