Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Will the Real Cartographers Please Stand Up?

Will the cartographers at JCU please stand up and do a service to your school? Note to all of those people who enjoy maps, enjoy reading maps, and otherwise enjoy knowing where you are--JCU is looking for people to hire.  Thus begins my tirade about map problems and receiving them from John Cabot University.

Yesterday (and sorry about the lack of post-homework really puts a damper on blogging.  Bum city.) I was scheduled to attend my Digital Photography class at the mysterious classroom at Platform 9 3/4.  So I went to the Tiber campus and decided to ask a few more obnoxious questions before wandering around Rome searching for a class of lost students. Conveniently enough at the welcome table there was survey about orientation. Hoo-rah.  That's right world, that survey was doomed from the start. On a scale of 1-5 (1 being poor, and 5 being good), how did you feel about Navigation 101? This girl drew a fat old "0" next to the 1 and circled that instead.  On the "Do you have anything else you want to share" section, I wrote an exemplary essay about how it was unsafe to misguide students by either giving them false information, poorly drawn maps, or not posting valuable information on the already overly crowded website. Not only that but it was a matter of school pride that the orientation leaders should know where all of the campuses are, regardless of whether they have personally taken a class there.  Feeling relatively cleansed after that little cathartic exercise, I wandered back up stairs and headed in the direction of what I assumed to be my class.

Walking, walking, turn here and suddenly those magical doors that seemed so ominous before were open.  Taking a chance, I walked through them, flashed my JCU ID (about the most useful thing they've given me) and was directed upstairs.  So these were some fancy almost spiral stairs-just a square shape.  Walk up those and hear voices coming from a room down the hall, there I find a small room with a table and chairs enough for the prof, and about 5 students. That left me with the floor and listening to a French man who has lived in Italy for 18 years.  Welcome to 2.5 hours of talking about photography. At least he's really excited about photography, he says things like "If you do not have your camera with you, take pictures on your telephone- click!"

I then walked back to the Guarini campus and met Kate for lunch and gelato, then to my Ancient Greek Art and Archaeology class with the ninja billy goat tour guide from Ostia Antica. After that class, I walked back to the Tiber campus, hung out there for a while, found the mysterious "Almost Corner Book Store" (may be hanging out there a lot, they're really nice), then went to Philosophy class. Instead of thinking about Plato, and caves, and how in the world I was going to log into MyJCU, I thought about Moua. What a dream boat. Then swing by the grocery store, and back to the apartment.

Moving on to today, I went to my Italian Cinema class after the daily expresso, and discovered that not only does he want us to buy a text book, he also wanted us to obtain elusive copies.  After class, I made about 4 stops to attempt to figure out what in the world he was talking about, and ended up paying a ghastly amount of money to the librarian who gave me instructions to this "copy point".  Enter: Another shoddy JCU map.

The thing I most enjoy about maps is being able to read the street names. I know, it's a perfectionist tendency of mine, but it's nearly necessary. Let's just say that it's a good thing that I borrowed Kate's nifty popup map. Otherwise I never would have even had an opportunity to find it. I walked down the main drag right outside of our apartment, straight along the bus line until this street that had been conveniently crossed out by the theoretically helpful black arrow-therefore making it impossible to read. It was a nice try, but not so very useful. So after staring at multiple different maps, I decided to walk southward, and hope that I landed somewhere I could actually identify on a map. Having just past through the Argentinian Sacred Site, the gods were with me, and I found myself lead to a tiny courtyard with an adorable fountain. Walking just a few steps further, I looked, by chance to my right and saw a room with copy machines. B-I-N-G-O. Done. And now I have a nifty little bound book of my readings for the semester. Golly Gee.

So now I think I'm going to make some din din, and enjoy one of Erica's delicious (and this is fate right here, she loves baking, I love eating=pure love) chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes. Just smear one all over my face.

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