Becca Cohen’s Blog

School’s out till… exams

While everyone at home is done with finals and has begun summer vacation, it’s exam time at UCT. Luckily for me, I don’t begin until June 4, which gives me some nice free time until I have to start studying…. or not studying (don’t worry, Mom, I’ll pass).

The last week of class was consumed with writing a paper for my South African politics class. Grades here are different from at home: 100-74 is an A, 73-50 is a B, 51-59 is a C, 50 is a D and below 50 is a fail. They are also much more public with marks, posting them on the department walls or sending them out in word documents with everyone’s names and grades. I recently received back the grades for my South African politics test— marks in the class ranged from a low of 12 to a high of 92 (only 8 people scored higher than a 65). I can’t imagine the uproar in the States if everyone in the class could know everyone else’s grades.

Last week I discovered one of my favorite places in Cape Town— Kalk Bay. This quaint beach town is filled with antique shops, galleries, bookstores and cafes, the kinds of places I could browse in all day. There is a fish market and a boardwalk that juts into the sea, making it picturesque. A highlight of the day was hearing “Boee,” by Idan Raichel’s Project, one of my favorite Israeli groups come on in a gallery, making the world feel smaller than ever. Another highlight was the delicious focaccia and hummus we got from a bakery for our train-ride home. Probably the best (and funniest) highlight was when my friend Julia fell crossing the street— so gracefully that she didn’t even spill any coffee.

While everyone here is getting ready to pack up to go home, I’m getting ready for a three-week trip. After exams end, my good friend Ellen and I are going to Botswana, Swaziland, Mozambique and Kruger National Park in South Africa with a tour operator called Nomad Tours. After the trip ends we’re spending a few days in Cape Town saying goodbye, and I’ll be back in Boston on July 12. Sadly, this means no camp reunion (or camp), but I will definitely be up for visiting day and go down to Maryland to say hi there.

That’s all for now. I hope everyone at home is enjoying the start to summer. Today is 61 and pouring, but we’re still getting our share of beautiful days— yesterday was a gorgeous sunny and 73. Love to everyone!

Latest pictures (the first 30 or so aren’t new). Enjoy!


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