23 January 2009

A Few Things

I am in a very introspective mood as of late, especially when it comes to determining my future goals and plans. I stand at a cross-roads of my life. The decisions that I make in these next few months will determine my entire future (or at least my immediate future). At the moment, no decision will be the wrong one; however, each one will result in a different outcome. To know this is both thrilling and terrifying. I would expound further upon this, but the words that have been ending up on the page seem wrong and lacking the proper gravity for such a topic. And so I shall leave it at this.

Way to be cryptic Rebecca.

Since the purpose of this blog is not to be an emo-kid and soul-search, but rather to inform everyone on the daily happenings of my life whilst abroad, I shall stick to the topic at hand and catch everyone up on what I've been doing this past week.

Monday marked the beginning of the second week of classes. and was the first time that it snowed here in Edinburgh since my arrival. Quite pretty, even if it didn't stick on the ground. In 'Popular Religion', I closed off the class with my riveting (albeit short due to the relative lack of available material) on medieval belief in vampires and how the church took an essentially pagan belief and transformed it to fit into its newly fashioned concept of 'purgatory'. Next week we are discussing the cults of saints with a special focus on St. Guinefort. Now, I have yet to read much on St. Guinefort but, from what I understand, he was a dog who was locally venerated as a saint by the French people after miracles were performed at his gravesite. I don't know about all of that, but it sounds quite interesting. We shall see. Monday night was the Retrospect editors/History Society committee dinner. We met for pre-drinks at Reverie (a converted gentlemen's club) and had dinner at Positano's. Not only was the company pleasant, but the food was excellent (and cheap!) as well. Quite lovely indeed. I have never drunk so much wine in my life (and I hate wine).

Tuesday was spent going to Medieval Europe lecture (kingship), running, and then going to Medieval Europe tutorial. It was weird to sit in Dr. Brown's office for a tutorial with nine other people rather than one-on-one as is typical of the Oxford system. I am not quite sure that I liked it. And I didn't have to write a paper for the tutorial either. It all seems a bit like slacking off of work to me, but then again, what do I really know? Apparently, this system works.

On Wednesday, I didn't have classes, so I went up to Princes' Street and examined the shop offerings. A bit too fancy and expensive for my tastes. But in Edinburgh, even more so than Oxford, everyone dresses up on a regular basis. Wearing jeans and a nice top is considered slumming it and people will give you dirty looks. Therefore, I regularly receive looks of 'what ARE you wearing?' on a daily basis. After shopping, I walked down from North Bridge all the way to Newington Rd in order to pick up my State Department package from the post office. I have absolutely no idea why they delivered it to that one, as there is a post office much, much closer to where I live. But at least it provided me with a nice walk. Afterwards, I went running in the meadows, came back, showered, and read for Thursday's classes.

Thursday turned out rather horribly. I woke up late and only just arrived to my Medieval Europe lecture on time. As it turned out, it was on chivalry and therefore a repeat of an entire class from last semester. 'The Blessed Union' immediately followed and I spent two hours listening to my teacher defend James VI/I against the various criticisms about him. It was interesting but I have to admit that after a certain point I really did not care why he had a dreadful fear of crowds, or why he chose to spend most of his time hunting. On Thursday night, I missed both the Retrospect meeting and pub crawl because I wrote down the wrong time for the meeting as 7:30 instea of 6:30. I was incredibly upset when I realized my error as I had been looking forward to both events all week, but such is life.

Friday was spent roaming around St. Andrew's square/Princes' Street/Leith district north of Calton Hill. Today I intend to run up to Holyrood Park and then climb to Arthur's Seat again. It's quite sunny at the moment, so I suppose that I should start before the unpredictable Scottish weather decides to let it snow.

This week?
Mon: Popular religion
Tues: Medieval Europe lecture, Medieval Europe tutorial
Thurs: Medieval Europe lecture, The Blessed Union seminar, OXFORD

No comments:

Post a Comment