Monday, March 23, 2009

Oh god. It's been a long time. So much to tell! Where to begin?

So, during the first week of March, dear Amy Porter came to visit me!! We did a ridiculous amount of stuff, so let me try and recap. We went to a Rugby game...Scotland vs. Italy...and obviously Scotland won! People REALLY love their rugby here, so it was fun to see everyone get so into it. We climbed Arthur's Seat and experienced extreme wind at the top, but it was so beautiful. We went to Edinburgh Castle of course, and to Camera Obscura! It was the coolest place ever...5 floors of optical illusions (I can't hear the word "illusions" without hearing Job from Arrested Development say "Illuuuusions, Michael, Illuuuuuusions!") and some really neat views at the top. Oh! We also went to this museum called Dynamic Earth! DE is all about the earth, evolution, climates, and pretty much anything else having to do with the planet. It was so high-tech and had such beautiful was amazing. Hmmm...we did a ton more and of course now I can't think of any of it. We went to Bannerman's and the Tron for drinks on her last night, and of course went to Palmyra for falafel wraps afterward. It was so much fun, I wish she could have stayed longerrr! :(

After she left, I spent the next 14 days spending between 10-12 hours a day in the library. I think I counted up the full number, and it was around 140 hours. It was intense. I lived off whatever I could scavange in the library cafe...mostly baked potatoes, mars bars, and a steady supply of Coke Zero. That's pretty much the epitome of health right there. But, I got all of my papers done, hurrah! I think they all came out pretty well, but I don't know how well they will hold up to Edinburgh's history honours' scrutiny. Whatever. We'll see.

Right after I handed in my last paper on Friday, I met Kristine/Hannah/Katie/Cassie AND Chrystina and her friend Kyle who were visiting from home!! We hopped on a bus to Glasgow and spent the whole weekend there. Glasgow is only an hour away by bus, but has a COMPLETELY different feel. I guess the best way to explain it is ummm...Edinburgh is like Boston, and Glasgow is like NYC (without the skyscrapers). Much grittier, but very very cool. Our hostel was amazing. We had a terrific view, and I must admit....their beds and showers were 5 steps up from what I have in my flat here. It was a treat!

We spent the first day exploring and walking around, and then ate at a really cool place called The Goose. One great thing about Glasgow is that most things are a pound or 2 cheaper than in Edinburgh, so we took full advantage of that. Theeen, at night we had tickets to go see Joshua Radin at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut. Best name ever for a venue? I do suppose. It was so cute and small, probably even smaller than Toad's Place if I had to compare it to something. He was SO ADORABLE...we were all in love. I wasn't entirely familiar with his material, but it was really enjoyable. The next day we dedicated to shopping and it was glorious. They have a store here called Primark which is pretty much the most incredible place ever. Imagine H&M or Forever 21...but 1/4 the price. I hadn't really bought anything for myself before that day, so I treated myself to some new stuff. The main shopping stretch was also very cool- every 20 feet or so had a different street performer. There were traditional bagpipers, mimes, teenagers with guitars, a guy with a saxophone, singers, a drum/bagpipe group, and lots of other cool people. It was just wonderful. The third day we went to the Kelvingrove Museum, which is probably one of the coolest museums EVER. It had art, exhibits on different cultures, stuff about the earth, rare taxidermied animals, and lots of other stuff! It was off the beaten path but definitely worth the walk over. We were pretty exhausted by the time we caught our 8pm bus, but it was definitely a great weekend overall. Glasgow is great.

Today is my last week of classes, and then my parents come to visit for 2 weeks on April 1st. After a change in plans, we are spending the first week driving around Scotland (Edinburgh, Oban, Skye, Glasgow) and then the second week will be spent in England (York and some other places). It will be good fun, and I'm definitely excited to see them!

Alright, I'm pretty tired so I think this will have to end it. I'm going to make another post this week about more things that have caught my eye, so look back in a day or so!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

March 20th Can't Come Soon Enough....

It's time to pay the price for all of my procrastination! On March 16th I have two papers due, and one other on the 20th. They all have to be 3,000, so approximately 12 or 13 pages double-spaced, which isn't too bad. But still. The "study" part of study abroad shouldn't exist, according to my theories at least. Either way, I have to lock myself in the library until then to attempt at getting all of my reading done. If I can survive 2 weeks of 12-hour library days I'll be pretty content. We'll see. I'll probably attempt at a real post sometime before then, cause lots have happened and I should probably keep this thing up-to-date. Ohwell. Wish me luck...

Oh, and on the off-chance any of you are willing to write my papers for me, they are...
1) Were humanitarian, economic, or political reasons paramount in making the decision to go to war over Cuba? (the most interesting of them all!)
2) How did the Civil War change nationalism in America? (or something dumb like that, yawn...)
3) And something about how the environmental movement of the 60s/70s basically fibbed a lot, and why they were so opposed to the free market solving the Earth's problems. (kill me)

Uh, so yeah. If I survive, I'll let you know.
(On the bright side, right after I hand my paper in on the 20th, we are taking a weekend trip to Glasgow! And then there is one week left of classes...and then Spring Break. And then a month for finals. And then we leave. Which is actually not a bright side at all. I've been here 2 months already, how is that possible!!! I don't want it to end...)

Okay, this was completely disjointed, but whatever! Back to reading.........