Monday, August 18, 2008

dormitory visit

I've been spending a lot of time with our volunteer filmographer extraorinaire, Bill. Together, we have been interviewing students, faculty, and staff about their experiences here at the College. Last week we spent most of our time working with the Agronomy Department. We interviewed professors, several thesis students who manage educational programs, and current students study Agronomy.

Today Bill and I found ourselves trying to find a way to make the most use of our time. Mondays at the UAC-CP are typically pretty quiet (classes are held Tuesday through Saturday) so we took advantage of a quiet day to spend time with students in their dorm rooms.

We met with three young women from the Pre-University class: Marecla, Roxanna, and Gladys. They showed us the room that houses the 41 women who are in their first year at the UAC-CP. They admitted that things are pretty crowded and that it's difficult at times for everyone to get along, but that their first year has gone well. They recalled that when they first arrived they were nervous, shy, and homesick. But now, they assured us, they're very content.

After our visit to the female dorm, Bill and I invited ourselves into the men's dorm. There are significantly less men in the Pre-University--21 this year. Their bunkbeds lined the outside of the room and a large table was in the middle. We interrupted several who were working on their algebra homework. They, too, explained that they were once strangers who are now the best of friends.

"Of course we argue and have cross words with each other," Jose Luis, one of the more outspoken guys in the group, told us. "But we are going to be friends forever--we are like brothers." Fernando, a first-year student from Caranavi, told us that for fun, they often sing, play guitar, and dance. In fact, peer pressure persuaded Fernando to set aside his math assignment, pick up his guitar, and play a couple songs. Several students crowded around, sang, and danced.¨

Turns out Bill and I found the perfect way to spend a Monday afternoon.

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