The Learning Curve

Tomorrow I begin what will be a challenging task: teaching myself solid mechanics in terms of biomechanics. I met with my professor today, and we discussed my past coursework. Today we spoke in English, to make sure that I fully understood his expectations and I could express myself more clearly. Soon, however, I plan to make the switch to Spanish, to gain more practice and make the transition back into my host family easier too: I want to be fully immersed. As I was sitting in his office, I was thinking of how to circumnavigate “past coursework” in Spanish if I had to do so. All I could come up with was historia de credito | credit history. It made me smile to myself: how terribly unfunny yet entertaining I thought it was. The little things! haha

Today was the first difficult day of my time here. I got up early to try and register with the Policía Internacional | International Police, but again, got lost and didn’t have time to wait in line once I finally found it: I had to be on campus for my meeting with my professor at noon. Hopefully I’ll go early morning this Thursday or Friday. I have to validate my visa, then go to the Civil Registration Office (I think that’s what it translates too) and apply for an identification card, which takes about two or three weeks to arrive. In addition to being my ID while here in Chile, it allows me to leave the country and reenter under my visa.

When I arrived on campus, I planned to connect to the wifi on my iPhone and use it to locate my professor’s office, as well as check my email and message my host family to update them on when I would be home. Unfortunately, I am not sure what happened with my credentials, but I was denied trying to log on. Frustrated, I tried to find a map but was unsuccessful. I wandered for a little bit, expecting to find the engineering building and ask the front desk or someone there. This, too, didn’t go so well as it’s not a single engineering building, but a whole portion of campus with different buildings for different types of engineering. And my project is a combination of multiple facets of engineering and biology, so I was very unsure of where to go. Finally, I walked around one of the general engineering buildings and found the receptionist for the Biomed department, who pointed me in the right direction, and I was on my way. Still, once in the correct building, I had to ask two more times before I could find my professor’s office. Between getting lost in the morning, and wandering around campus in the afternoon, I was tired and hungry and, to be honest, I kind of wanted to cry. I wanted wifi and a hug. Don’t worry about me though, please! I came home in the evening to the open arms of my host mom, a cup of tea, and a beautiful sunset over the mountains.

My meeting with my professor went well though! I have a lot to learn, but it will all be valuable. He sent me to the library where I took out a book titled Biomechanics: Concepts and Computation. If you’re interested in learning with me! My first few weeks will consist of reading and learning. For more information about my plan for learning/researching/working, head to the page titled “Work”.


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