From Fall to Winter

Greetings, friends and family!

These past few weeks I have been taking it easy compared to the previous weeks. I have been spending more time in school, as the season of presentations and critical papers has arrived. I am taking this time to get to know my peers in the master’s program for international affairs.

In my geopolitics class, my group and I presented about the Ukraine crisis and what it means in geopolitical terms for the regional actors and the international community. My group consisted of five of my peers, from Ecuador, Jordan, Laos and Hungary. Two of my group members had never given a presentation before and the other two had but not in English. Thus, I felt it necessary to take charge and lead my group.

My group members had chosen topics to discuss and I helped organize us to give the presentation. I did my best to help my group members with pronunciation and confidence. When it came to giving the presentation, we did a great job! The lecturer gave us positive remarks afterward and I even had some classmates come up to me to say what a great job we did. I felt some pride in myself, getting positive feedback from my master’s student peers.

Next week for my Central European Political Structures course I have a group presentation about the Czech Republic. My two group members are Eva, from France, and Ola, from Poland. All three of us are still studying for our bachelors and here via the Erasmus program. For this presentation we were able to pick our topic, so we feel pretty confident that we’ll give an A presentation.

Then in my Geography of Elections course I have a critical paper due in three week’s time. We have a lot of time to write this paper and we will need it because we have to analyze the electoral system of a state and provide a critical analysis about the workings of the system (who benefits and who gets put at a disadvantage and why the system was chosen to be used). I am not sure what state I will choose yet, but it will be one of the European electoral systems.

Switching to the weather, fall is slowly turning to winter. These past few weeks I have noticed that the leaves began turning yellowish red and then began falling — winter is quite literally around the corner and the temperature has also been gradually getting colder and colder. Two weeks ago the temperature was a steady 50 degrees Fahrenheit day and night. Recently it has dropped to 40 degrees. I checked my phone for this week and all week it will be highs of 30 degrees.

As I am writing this, my phone says later tonight there is chance of snow tonight. I have never touched snow nor seen snow in person so I am looking forward to the possibility. Even if it does not, everybody is reassuring me that, come mid December, snow will come to Hungary. Every time I tell somebody I have never experienced snow firsthand, they are shocked. Then I mention the San Diego climate, and every time my peers tell me, “You are not ready for winter.” I totally agree.

Yet I cannot contain my excitement. And to be completely honest I am freezing already, we shall see how I feel in a month’s time.

Lastly time feels like it is really flying by. I just now realized that I have exactly one month left here at the dorms. One month left to make the best memories I can with all the friends I have made — and those I have yet to make. So to make the best out of the time that I have, I am focusing on just enjoying myself and working hard in school to finish strong and proud of myself.

I will close with this. Stay tuned for my last two trips — one next weekend and the next big one once finals are over!

Talk to everybody soon!

Mauro Abel Ordiano is an international security and conflict resolution major with a minor in religious studies. He is studying fall semester at the University of Pecs in Hungary.



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