My visa is finally here. I feel like I have suddenly accomplished so much even though I did not really do anything except throw money at a middle man to process documents for me. It took the visa processing company about two weeks to work with my paperwork. The Indian Consulate took less than six hours to get their stuff done. Oh well. A few polite phone calls and now all is well.
My flight is officially scheduled for May ninth at 10:35 AM.
I still do not have housing, but I am sure that will figure itself out eventually. I have sent out another round of contacts. Did I already say that in my last entry? I cannot remember. Anyhow, new round of pleas is out and we shall see. If worse comes to worse I will just be in a hostel for a while. I am concerned about my ability to approach people to see if I can stay with them, because that is incredibly far outside my comfort zone. But getting out of my comfort zone is the whole point of this endeavor, now isn't it? If I wanted to be comfortable I would have just stayed home, worked, and saved money rather than going out on this madcap adventure to India on money I don't really have to do something I am not exactly sure I even know how to do.
I am meeting with Dr. Eastley tomorrow to confirm I have all the reading material I will need. There is no required reading for IAS 397R or ENGL 490? 493? (I can't remember which one is the mentored research one). For ENGL 358, my Southeast Asian literature class I already have the required texts. It is just my ENGL 480?, the directed readings course, I think I have about half of the books I will be reading from, I just need to confirm if I am missing any, and then get the specific chapters I am supposed to read from Dr. Eastley.
Okay, you know what, I am just going to confirm everything for future reference so everything is clear when I talk about my classes. These are the classes I am taking:
IAS 397R Field Studies Field Course
ENGL 358R Southeast Asian Literature
ENGL 480R Directed Research in English
ENGL 490R Individual Readings in English
There we go. I had it backwards. Anyhow, I have all the readings except for I don't think I have them all for 490R, at least not the specifics. I am super excited for the news reading assignment for IAS 397R. I will probably just get either The Times of India or The Week (an Indian news magazine thing) or something like it. We will see how I am feeling. I think the only part about the FSFC that concerns me is the writing two or three pages everyday. I have had bad experiences with journaling. Maybe it will come easily. I hope so. Maybe if I do it on my compy it will be easier.
Other than that, everything should go smoothly. Before I leave I am definitely going to have to set up a reading schedule for my two reading courses because they are fairly rigorous. Well, exceptionally rigorous, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It is so exciting to finally have a semester in college that is specifically, completely geared entirely towards exactly what I want to study. I am curious how I will feel coming out of it. Will I discover things about it I don't actually like? Will I like it more? Will I like it less? It is so exciting and new. I wish all of college could be like this.
For now I am kind of in this limbo space. In less than a week I will have so much to do it will be crazy, but for now things are basically set. I just need to do a little preliminary planning and pack. Well, besides locate housing, but there is not much I can do about that except e-mail and/or call people and hope for the best. So for now I just work and then come home and read. Right now I am in the middle of Bombay Time by Thrity Umrigar. I actually started it a few months ago, but lost interest in it, yet suddenly it has become a page turner for me. It is so strange how that happens. One day I would like to know the psychology behind that. I mean, I know sometimes the story just gets better, but in this case I read the first ten pages and could not find the energy to keep going and then I started again the other day and I could not put it down. Maybe it is all in perspective or something or psychological state.