Well, I haven't been soo uselessly sitting around after all. July 16th was the day of glory or doom for all Sciences Po exchange students, because after receiving our final admission and documents (finally!), we were informed that class sign-up would be on this day at 3pm, Paris time. Of course, we didn't right away get the class listings or - God forbid - the course schedules. Noo. Students don't need prep time at all! The first time I even saw the classes offered this semester was 2 weeks into the St. Petersburg program, so 6 weeks before sign-up. I mean, that's ok. Although my internet access possibilities have been pretty limited for all of that time, so I was super glad to get to my grandparents' house to use their computer and my dad's laptop. I miss my laptop. So much. (Excuse me for a second, I need to blow my nose.) Ok, back to topic - course inscriptions. So I spent the evenings at the Baltic Sea hogging my dad's laptop to send course descriptions to my academic advisors with varying responses, I still have no idea whether any econ courses I take here will count or not. Well, we'll see. Then, I had a list of about 13 courses that I would like to take (I needed 6). Those 13 courses were in 4 different categories. I could take 1 in category 1, 1 in category 2, 2 in category 3 and 1 in category 4 OR 1 in category 3 and 2 in category 4 OR only one each and French language class OR the same plus another foreign language OR... well, you see the point. It. Is. A. Mess. Plus, that was still the week before sign-up. Obviously, in the week before sign-up you wouldn't need any course scheduling, right? None of your courses could even fathom to fall in the same time slot, right? Well, the people at university did seem to think so, because the schedule went up online 1 day before sign-up. As in one. day. That day was well-spent trying to fit those 4 categories into one working schedule. The way I remember it, I had 3 slots with each 3 classes at the same time that I had been considering. Then, I remembered prof evaluations. Which I found online thanks to my friends' tip. After which I crossed out a couple of courses of this list. Ending up with one schedule that fit. Plus second options that fit. Plus a variety of third and forth options of the type 'If you don't take this course (time conflict) and decide not to take that one (same topic kinda), you could take this course, but then you would have to take this conference session for the first course instead of the second... I made a little chart. I like little charts.
Friday afternoon, 2.00pm. T-1. I try to use my aunt's computer because the internet is more reliable. Password-protected. She not home. Fail. Run back to my grandparents house, start their computer. T-0.45. Think long and hard about how long I could count on the internet being fast (it continuously slows down the longer you use it) vs. how early I would have to sign into the server before it overloads. T-0.30. This is the time I decided to risk it, and sign into my sciences po portal, making sure to click back and forth on random options every 5 minutes to avoid being kicked out of the system. T-0.01. I get ready, chart and time table in hand. T-0.00. The Clicking Contest has begun. I get my first class, check. I enter my second class, check. The third one. Woah, times changed, but it still fits my schedule, check. Fourth and fifth are fine, check. Where is the foreign language class? What, the Russian level I self-evaluated my way into is called moyen-fort? Whatever. Check. It is 3.02pm. I am out of breath. Once I check that I am really signed up for what I wanted, I click on the classes again out of interest and see that they are full. All of them. ALL OF THEM. At 3.07pm. Oh geez. Now I get interested and click random classes to see how popular they are. Full. Full. Full. Oh, a place open! Ah, that's the Theatre Workshop with 4 options. Full. Full. Hospitality and Parasitism? Really? I go and get a glass of water. And pity all the people that overslept/had to work/logged in at 3.08 and get to study Hospitality and Parasitism. (P.S. Quote from the FB Sciences Po Exchange Students page: 'I got raped by enrollment.' Comment: 'Unfortunately it was mass rape.' Or: 'Good to hear I wasn't the only one who got crushed in the stampede.' Oh noo..)