Persian Immersion IV

Courtney (in semi-profile,)
Ferozan, Sebastian, and
Will (in semi-profile)
Madison, USA
July 2, 2014

Too tired. Too much homework. I was highly inclined to pass on the invitation to go out.

Instead, I've just spent this past evening at a downtown nightclub. A few fellow language immersion students were going for jazz. I figured that--while I will certainly regret how tired I'll be in class tomorrow morning--my greater regret would be not taking advantage of what-all was on offer around Madison after I finally leave this town in August.

So, I tagged along to the Cardinal Bar. Three students from across different levels of our Persian immersion courses, the program RA, and I went out. Tuesday nights are Jazz Jam night: it's an informal session with no cover charge that anybody with an instrument can join in on up on-stage. Fellow student Sebastian wanted to get out and play some music. Last night he showed that not only is he deservedly at the top level of our language program but he is also very, very talented behind a drum set, as well.

The rest of us gathered around small, round tables and nursed cold drinks. I found that, true to Wisconsin's reputation, the local beer on draught was, fresh, tasty, and a pint cost far less than it would have most other cities around the U.S.. I'm glad I got myself out.

With such a late night I'm sure it'll be rough for me to get up for breakfast then walk over to class in just a few hours. But, if I hadn't gone out I'm sure that I'd look back upon leaving and wonder why I did nothing else in Madison this summer but finish my homework and attend class.

Ferozan, Sebastian
Courtney & Will
outside Cardinal Bar
On the subject of classes, the program director has arrived at a solution to my discomfort with the level they placed me at. They're not going to let me slip back down a level as I requested. Rather, they're providing me with a private tutor for three hours a week, a UW Madison graduate student who is originally from Iran. The program will pay her costs.

I'm not sure what to think: I've never had a tutor before in any of my studies. I suppose if it does allow me to get that much further with Persian this summer--and at no cost to me--it's the logical way to go. Though, it also sounds like no reprieve from difficult coursework and an additional three hours of commitment each week on top of an already tight schedule.

The only other news is that Kayla and I seem to be cementing our status as summer-school pals. During our class breaks every morning we text each other from across campus comparing notes on our respective lessons. Every lunch we each take extra snickerdoodles from the cafeteria to snack on later--and blame the other when there are none left in stock. We're in a friendly competition to see who can rack up more mileage on their B-cycle bike sharing account--which is difficult given that we tend to ride to all the same places together. We share our taste in music with each other when hanging out in my dorm: Lady Gaga is the only artist on her iPod who I even recognize. She probably feels similarly unaware of just what it is I'm playing from my collection.

I do sometimes wonder if we don't strike an odd pair to be hanging out together. As an undergraduate, Kayla will have to be among the younger of the students in the program. As the ultimate perpetual student I'm certainly among the older--if not the eldest--enrolled in the program. Whatever. It's been enjoyable having someone to spend time together with during the day and chat with on all manner of topics late into the night.

Time to hit the sack. Wednesday's class begins in just a few hours.