Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 11-13th Last Minute Preparations

The last of finals has come. A photography portfolio presentation on the 12th, that went really well. My graders and I came to the conclusion that I enjoy taking pictures of the overlooked people in society, the elderly and young. Many of the picture that I took from the semester had reoccurring themes like the pictures with natural frames and photos that tell a story beyond what meets the eye. After my presentation, back to the dungeon to study for my last final, art history. Saying that I felt slightly unprepared would be a fair statement. Waking up at the butt crack of dawn to do a little last minute studying, the day arrived which seemed to help. I think that the final went well. Tea and cake with two friends after the final and then off to pack for the trip of a life time. A few hours after my final on the 13th I set off to London and then the 14th off to Istanbul. Everything has happened so fast in the last couple of months. It seems like I have spent the semester counting down to important things. Ten days till my essay is due, two weeks until we are done with classes. One day till I set off to travel around. Why countdown? My time here in Glasgow has gone by so fast and now that I have less than two weeks left in Europe and three days in Glasgow. Maybe counting down has something to with being a math major, we appreciate numbers. As the countdown for my days in Europe slip by at an alarming rate the goodbyes pill up. The day I left to go to London, I had to say good bye to many friends that I have made here in Glasgow. Excited to travel but sad to be leaving friends behind, causes a mixture of feelings that leaves me unsure to what and how to feel. Until later, happy holidays!
To come: Istanbul, Athens, Rome, then back to Glasgow for a few short hours to pack then back to the midwest.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December 2nd-10th... Finals and Essay

Life has become consumed with writing a 4,000 word essay on the Scottish Enlightenment and the influence it had on Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Indpendence. One would think that this is an intriguing topic, however, after reading around 20 books from the library I now know more about my good, old friend TJ than his mother knew about him. I am a math major, never in my life have I had to nor cared to write a 14 page essay... In between attempting to write this dang paper, I attempt to revise for my two finals. I think that the only final I am looking forward to is my portfolio presentation for photography. It seems that the closer to the final the more procrastination plagues me. Prime example, tonight I did almost everything possible to not study for History of Art. Another great example, with in the last week I have been to two concerts, Mumford and Sons and the Black Keys. Also I made a trip down to England and visited Liverpool to see the Beatles museum. It was so interesting. I even walked by the bar that the Beatles started playing in. I have so many activities that I need to cram into the next couple of days.  In a matter of four days I will be finished with classes here in Scotland and I will be on a plane bound for London and then on to Turkey. The travels around Europe continue to Greece and then on to Rome and hopefully Pisa, where I can apply some of the valuable information that I have learned in Art History this term. It seems that procrastination and a lack of motivation is a disease that has been infecting all the students in university around the world. Maybe instead of working for the National Geographic I should try to discover a cure for it. Well, I should probably get back to pretending like I am doing some work or better yet go to sleep and dream of how much work I will accomplish tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

November 25th- DECEMBER 1st... Last week of classes

I know that the last couple of weeks I have been stressing how fast time has gone by, but it has. My classes here at Glasgow are finished. I guess this is the point that one would reflect over their time. I don't know what to say really. It seems like a blur. I know that I have learned a lot about art, photography and astronomy. But I think that I have learned the same amount about myself. Not only this semester have I been able to survive a school system that seems very impersonal and at one of the top universities in the world but I have survived situations that I could never have had in the States. I have mastered some of the most complicated subway systems in the world, ALONE and confidant. I have realized the not only in the small town USA that I am from there are ignorant people but all over the world there are people that will try to tell you things that are false. I have also been privileged enough to confirm my belief that happiness is universal. While my time here dwindles away in Scotland, the lessons in and out of the classroom that I have learned will remain with me for ages to come. I am happy to return to the small school that I came from but I will be very sad to leave behind the vibrant culture of Glasgow and Europe.
I used to never be a museum person but here I have learned to appreciate the works and work that goes into creating and maintaining a historical deposit. Here in Scotland I have been able to cross things off my bucket list at least once a month. What a life! This week I submitted two photos to the National Geographic photo contest. One from Paris that I took with my black and white film camera and one that I took on an adventure through the Highlands. I don't think that previous to my travels here I would have been willing to enter or would have I had anything so beautiful to enter.
Taking photos was not something that I enjoyed before, ask my dad. Hopefully the habit of documenting everything here will follow me home. I have two brothers that are growing up way too fast and they need some photos to help remember all their memories.
This reflection is coming a little early but the rest of my time here will be spent studying for horrendous exams and then traveling a small portion of the world. What adventures lie ahead!