Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 19th-24th.. Thanksgiving and

This is the second to last week of lectures! It feels like it is only the second week of lectures. Fortunately, I finished my essay for art history on the weekend so I won't have to worry about working on during Thanksgiving and I can spend some more time potentially studying for my astronomy exam... good intentions but not likely going to happen. Photography class went really well on Wednesday! Most of my pictures from Paris turned out, the ones of the Eiffel Tower at night weren't so good since it was so dark. But the other ones were really good. One of the pictures that I took was very similar to one that was on the National Geographic homepage for photo of the day, I bet the camera that the person used was digital even. I was so proud of myself when I saw how my picture turned out. This is the first Thanksgiving that I spent away from my family. I didn't think it was a big deal until I realized that if I wanted a pumpkin pie or Mom's sweet potatoes, I was going to have to make them myself. We celebrated with the people from out flat. Everyone was suppose to bring something. I made a chicken, didn't get a turkey in time, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and a pumpkin pie. If I do say so myself, it was all delicious. It was a little frustrating that I had to go to lecture on Thanksgiving and that some people were pretty negative about the celebrations. My only response to the people that knocked the holiday is that if you don't know what it is about and have never participated in it then you have no right to say anything about it; of course I didn't say this to the people that were rude about Thanksgiving I just bit my tongue and cursed them under my breath. Other people were really excited to celebrate the holiday and were so interested that we watched a couple episodes of Friends where they celebrate Thanksgiving. Even though I had finished my paper early I didn't spend a lot of time studying for my astronomy exam, so after stuffing myself at dinner I had to get to work revising. The exam was Friday afternoon so I spent some time Friday morning studying. There were only a few that I wasn't positive about the answers. We will wait and see how it went. Next feat, a 14 page paper on the Scottish Enlightenment! I don't write essays, I am a math major. Looks like this coming week I will be spending a lot of time in the library. 

November 11th-18th

After the long weekend in Paris, most of my time in the beginning of the week was spent sleeping or lying in bed. I think that Paris got the best of me and may have given me a going away gift, a cold. After I took a few days to rest and recover, I had to get back to work two more essays, an exam, and two finals still left in a short matter of time. I spent a lot of time in the resource room for art history trying to find books on Donatello, not the Ninja Turtle, and his master Ghiberti. After researching all week, I sat down Saturday and Sunday to write my essay. To get me excited for a fun filled or lack of fun filled weekend, Friday night I went to a Band of Horses concert. It was great! I was in the second row and a guitar pick was thrown almost directly at my eye. I swatted it away not knowing what was flying at my face, Hannah and I looked all over for the pick and so did everyone else around us. We didn't find it, until Hannah got back and she was getting ready for bed and magically it fell to the ground of her room. I must have swatted it in her purse, hair or sweater. Anyway, she had heckled the band to give her the set list of the concert, so she gave me the pick!! Saturday spent all day working on my essay. To continue the musical weekend I went to the Scottish National Symphony. It was really good, they explained the movements in the first part and then played all the way through after. I only closed my eyes for a few short moments. Coming next week, essay due and another Astronomy exam. Also in photography class I get to develop my last role of film from Paris!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Paris Pictures: Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame

November 8th-10th... Paris

I am back in Glasgow, safe in my room where the majority of the population speaks English and are generally friendly. Paris was overwhelming for the first five hours to say the least. I made it to the airport in Glasgow and made it through customs in Paris. I hopped on a bus that took me to the center of Paris. I was still feeling confident, earlier this year I was able to manage the London underground and the Paris metro seemed similar. Looking at the map, I found the nearest station to my hostel and was able to operate the metro. However, the overwhelming part was finding my way from the station to the hostel, by MYSELF. I don't know any substantial French. I asked people for directions and was blatantly ignored several times. The station that I got off was Bastille circle and there are about six roads that part. I walked up and down ALL of them, unable to find my way. Finally on the last option, I found a lady that had an iPhone and who was kind enough to show me where to go. She didn't really speak French but we managed. I made it to the hostel and realized that staying in a booming metropolis all alone is slightly overwhelming. I went for pizza at six which is odd for French people, usually they eat around nine. After a dinner for one, I headed back to the hostel. Don't worry the weekend gets much better. My roommate for the night showed up. She was a fashion editor from the Ukraine. This was here finally night in Paris and she had met some people earlier in the week. She invited me to join her and her friends for wine and dessert. It was wonderful!! There was a group of about 15 of us. Everyone was very nice and warm, much different than my experience earlier. 
Friday, I was busy running around Paris hopping on and off of metros. I went to the Notre Dame, Meuse d'Orsay, the National Assembly, and Sacré Coeur. Everything was beautiful, it looked like a postcard. After a long day, I headed back to the hostel to meet up with the girls from Glasgow and some of their friends from their home universities. We walked around Paris and headed to the Eiffel tower. Did you know that is shimmers every hour for 10 minutes. It was phenomenal! It is one of those things that you imagine of doing since you are young. I generally don't cry easily but I was almost moved to tears. After all the walking we were starved, so we headed to a small bar where we had some wine and pasta. It was delicous. I don't think that I have ever eaten so much bread except when Grandma makes fresh bread. 
Saturday I spent most of my time in the Louvre and walking around. The architecture in Paris is all Victorian and beautiful! I didn't take very many pictures but I did take a roll of black and white, fingers crossed they turned out. I made it back to Glasgow and had to wait for a bus, after a long wait at the airport and a brief walk back to my dorm I immediately fell asleep. The best nights rest since I have been here. Overall, it was a great weekend. I now know that I can handle myself and any situation presented.

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 5th- 7th

Relaxation and Recovery from horrible week:
The time has come and gone yet again this week. You probably think that I keep forgetting about writing but this small thing called life gets in the way or my not so secret obsession with Friends gets in the way. Monday in the UK is a celebration called Guy Fawkes, I am still not quite sure what the history is behind the holiday but it has something to do with some blowing up the parliament and rebellion. Similar to the movie V for Vendetta, is what I have been told. Monday night we, my flat mates and I, ventured to the Glasgow Green for fireworks. The walk was long and cold but along the river. There were thousands of people on the Green. The fireworks lasted for about twenty minutes and the whole walk back there were other fireworks from surrounding cities. Tuesday night went to a French film that I wouldn't recommend to anyone unless they wanted to be depressed for the rest of the night. I had every intention of starting some work but my motivation depleted by the film. Wednesday night photography class and birthday celebrations for a girl from my flat. Went pretty well this week, still my pictures are not focused the best. Things to work on for the next roll. Thursday I head to Paris... by myself for a day and a half. Nervous considering that a girl in photography told me that two of her friends lost or rather were pick-pocketed and had there passports and credit cards and everything else stolen. I have already had to deal with a stolen credit card here, I don't want that to happen again. Always an adventure!

Monday, November 5, 2012

October 29th- November 4 Week from Hell

This post is so late due to the fact that I have been barely keeping ahead of my classes. So, apparently since there is little busy work in the British school system, all essays and exams carry a lot of weight. We are talking about 40% of my final grade... Two exams and one paper this week. First exam, Thursday was for art history. Task: memorizing a bagillion pieces of art and being able to recite the artist, date, subject, medium and some other random facts. Plus side of this strenuous task, I can now carry on an intelligent conversation with a person about Renaissance art. I now know what counterposto is and what Donatello owes Ghiberti (soon to develop into an essay). After spending countless hours studying for the exam, I felt semi-prepared. The exam went decent, I knew all the artist that we were quizzed on and all the topics. As for the dates, not so much, I thought that being a math major the numbers would stick. 1302 became 1332. Unfortunately you have to be within five years to get the points. Now, we play the waiting game to see what scores I will recieve. Friday, exam 2, Astronomy. I don't know if professors find pleasure in asking the most obscure questions about topics that were barely touched in lecture but this is what happened on the exam. I knew at least 15 of the 30 questions, so I guess that is better than none. I was so preoccupied with studying for my art history exam that I neglected astronomy. Kids, procrastination is the devil and when you procrastinate get ready for hell. Not really but pretty close. Nothing good comes from procastinating. My head was still throbbing after my exam on Friday from memorizing light waves and artists, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Still to complete, a 2,000 word paper, which sounded simple. Did you know that is roughly SEVEN pages? Well, it is. Introduction done Friday night, revise intro and two points done on Saturday and finish it on Sunday. Little breaks were taken throughout the weekend but other than that isolation in my room. Let me remind you that Halloween was this week. Did I get to celebrate, minus the candy corn my mom sent? Nope, in my room working on homework all week. I didn't even really get t enjoy photography this week thanks to Art history. Oh, well. So is life, hopefully it will pay off. This week should be much better nothing due and I am heading to Paris on Thursday! As always, should be an adventure!