Becca Cohen’s Blog


Hectic is South African slang for “cool” or “awesome.” The word in its traditional American meaning has been representative of my time at UCT so far. Having been at Maryland for two and a half years, I am familiar with large school bureaucracy, huge classes and everything that goes along with that. However, Maryland does not come close to the chaos that I’ve found at UCT.

Registration occurs in person, only after getting the necessary signatures from the various departments. Coming back at 2 because the department head isn’t in. Coming back tomorrow to pick up your pre-registration form. Waiting in line to actually register, and then waiting again to enter the data into a computer. Not waiting in a two-hour line to get an ID card and dealing with it later.

I’m used to a large campus and navigating my way through crowds of people. UCT is built on a mountain with tons of steps everywhere. It’s beautiful, with Table Mountain in the distance and ivy-covered buildings, but something about its layout does not work. Uneven sidewalks. Tiny walkways not nearly large enough to accommodate all the students. Remembering to look right for the cars and then to move left to doge an oncoming person. Needless to say, I’ve tripped many times trying to balance finding my class, taking in the surroundings and my innate clumsiness.

Taking the Jammie (shuttle) to upper campus. Having it unexpectedly stop before getting to the top. Getting to class two minutes late to find the lecture hall overly crowded and having to sit on the steps in the back. Not being able to see or hear the lecturer. Reminiscent of the first day of ECON200 at Maryland, only then I could still hear the lecture. Mass chaos at the end of the lecture, as 200 students try to exit through the same door that another 200 are trying to enter. Two hours later my politics lecture was overfull as well— 212 students registered for a class that should have 150. The professor warned us she would gauge our eyes out if we came to her office hours on Fridays. She was really excited about that thought.

In spite of all my struggles, so far my classes are going well (day two). I’m taking Applied Ethics, with the first topic being the ethics of humor. I’m also taking South African Politics, which is especially timely giving the country’s upcoming election. My Conflict in World Politics lecturer is the one who threatened to gauge out our eyes, but her bizarre antics make the class go by quickly and despite the thick course packet I’m looking forward to the class.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * Allison says:

    everything you are doing sounds amazing! mal and i are currently on the prowl for a hectic new member of the fam.. miss you!!

    Posted 9 years, 4 months ago

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: