June 2008. Week 1 in New York.
The most challenging part of “living” in a hostel and starting summer classes at FIT was a sense of perpetual uncertainty and confusion.
We all know: New York is a tough city. It grabs many newcomers by the throat upon arrival but then, after some blood, sweat and tears, one might get lucky to experience the city’s mellow side…
Starting at FIT (a.k.a. Failure Isn’t Tolerable) was not a piece of cake as we thought. Like normal guest students, we had pre-registered for courses ahead of time, planning it well. At least, we thought so.
It’s the first day of classes. We (and few other people from out-of-town) were greeted with a surprise test on industrial sewing machines by a cruel female professor, to check our sewing skills. We knew how to sew. Yet, panic set in among us, as I noticed some people had not seen industrial machines their entire creative lives, and I saw fear creeping up in their eyes. And to our utter astonishment, we all failed, no kidding. Gosh, people just like us came from Georgia and other states of middle America for the summer, just to be rejected. But, there’s one thing I learned very quickly: Do not give up and fight for yourself! Welcome to the jungle! We were told, the only option possible was to switch the class that we already failed (LOL) to an alternative certificate course, oh well, but there was only one seat left. My fast friend rushed with a speed of light to register, and succeeded and I almost fell off the boat with all others. I was on the verge of nerve-racking-panic-mode.
It’s the second day of classes. My time is running out. I’m still floating in the ocean of seeming failure, or else, my graduation would be postponed another year. “A whole year!”- that mere thought was consuming me from inside. So I decided to try the very last chance to leap back on the ship: to utilize my very best charm and try to persuade the teacher of certificate course to make an exception and let me into the class, and override the number of seats. As soon as I saw a sweet, nearly seventy-year old lady, well-dressed and glasses hanging on her nose, I knew I had a slight chance. My whole body shivered, I was just hoping it wouldn’t hurt the elderly woman to do some extra paperwork to fulfill a favor for an out-of-town stranger. My chance felt like a lottery. And, oh heaven, she agreed! I was so overwhelmed, I wanted to jump and cry, as this charming grandma had no idea she had saved me a big year of headaches.
After all that stress, the hostel screeching bunk bed felt like BeautyRest mattress and I just fell into a dreamless blackout. One thing was still unsolved: our apartment…
To Be Continued...
Photo courtesy from here
FIT logo is official logo from here
Message: my own
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