I won’t lie, every time the return to in-person classes gets delayed further I’m disappointed. I miss living in Nepal, I miss the Stūpa, I miss seeing everyone in class and talking in the hallways or at Utpala. But it’s not like I can do anything about it, so I’ve decided to accept it as a new study-experience and see how it goes.
I’m currently staying with my parents in the beautiful countryside of Northern Germany. So the benefits of studying here definitely include sitting in our garden and enjoying the sun during class or going for a swim in our lake during the breaks. And then there’s the obvious benefits of getting up 5 min before class, not wearing proper pants and having our cats join class.
At first I found it challenging to combine my two lives that are usually so clearly temporally and locally separated and I tried to do way too much of everything. With the first assignments coming up that’s not an option anymore, so I’m recreating my Nepal life-style, which is basically a study-retreat. So now it feels a bit more like my usual life during the semesters, just a different place and less Daal-Bhaat. The interpersonal connections to my classmates and teachers have changed a bit, since we don’t see each other outside of classes, but during classes it’s pretty similar. There are often a few minutes of personal conversations before and after class.
The student society is doing a great job of bringing us together as well and the teachers are as approachable as ever. RYI has always been a very diverse community, but the online-format allowed so many more people to join in, who enrich our discussions and can get a taste of studying at RYI without having to move to Nepal. I love how our classes encompass the whole globe! Though scheduling can be a bit of a nightmare, it took us a few hours and loads of calculation to schedule a study-meeting with three students; Nepal, New York, Germany is a difficult combination. And classes usually end with “Have a good day! … Morning… Night… Whatever!”
I can’t wait to return to campus, but for now studying from home is working out better than I could have imagined.
~ Miriam Meyer