Week I

Sunday 22 January 2010

Blog II Term II: Week I

With every term comes lessons that need to be learned and realizations that are…well…realized. Last term I had trouble writing all 15 of my blogs and as a result I posted four of them past the due date. So this term I’m going to try to write at least a blog a week that is about my week (I’m really stating the obvious like a pro) regardless of how eventful it is/was. This week, lucky enough for you, was actually quite eventful and entertaining-at least to me.


Monday: I had my first class of the term, and only class of the day, at 12:10, it was my Scottish Literature class, which for those of you who don’t know or don’t remember, is my only first year and yearlong course that I am taking while here in Edinburgh, the other two are third year courses and only last a term. This class was rather boring because it was just a general introduction for the new exchange students just joining the class- two of which sit right behind me and continue to annoy the sanity out of me, it’s like being in a freshman class as a junior in the states (they are American by the way). But more (maybe) on them later; after class I went on a vigorous and final search for the test that I needed the next day for my tutorial (which is part of my Scottish literature class it’s just a smaller group of use with a professor so we get more attention and aren’t just lost within the larger lecture). This text, The Testament of Cressied translated by Seamus Heaney, proved to be the hardest of all my texts to find (and one of them just came back into print). I walked around for an hour or so checking all the bookstores (minus used) and finally found one copy in the last bookstore I went into. I then walked through the park to journey on a trail up to the castle that I had been wanting to explore since November (I was on Princes St.). It was a lovely trail on a gorgeous day, for the first time while here in Edinburgh I experienced the silence and solitude that brings me indescribable happiness (I later experienced this heightened feeling on a walk through Holyrood on Friday). I then met up with my dad, who was here until Thursday, and we returned to the hotel/apartment we were staying in down in Leith, which is the harbour area of Edinburgh on the Forth of Firth.


Tuesday: I had an earlier start than on Monday because I had my 11:10 tutorial; which I have resolved to enjoy more this semester instead of sitting looking angry with ‘F@$# Off’ tattooed on my head (I was once told this was true during my freshman year of university and ever since I’ve discovered that it is a perfect way to describe me…sometimes). Since I had successfully gotten my hands on the required text AND read it I was fully prepared for class (this was the only one all week). I was apparently not the only one who had had trouble locating the text, in fact, only two (not counting the professor) out of the six of us had been able to find the book. After this class I had my 2 o’clock third year course: Literature and Scepticism, which is worse than it sounds. So the way that the third year courses work is that the max amount of people enrolled in each course is 30 and then the class is offered at two times during the week (each two hours long once a week) to further divide the class into 15 students in each class. My Scepticism class is at either 2 or 4:10 on Tuesday, I wanted the 2 o’clock class so of course I got put into the 4:10 class *face slap*. So instead of getting to meet up with my papa at 4, I had to return to the dreaded 2.02 18 Buccleuch Place at the ‘witching hour’ (as my professor refers to it) to suffer through a two hour introduction. For those of you who are curious, yes I did fall asleep, not a good start to the term. It’s not that the class was boring rather it was that a) I hate eventing classes because I tend to crash about 5 in the evening and don’t recover until about 9, so I only digest half of the class before my brain becomes useless and b) the professor speaks in a lovely Scottish accent which I was very excited to discover but he talks very quietly which just lulled me to sleep faster. Scottish accents can lull one to sleep when spoken in a low tone, not really sure why it must be the gentle rolling ‘r’ and the overall way that words roll off the tongue, regardless of what it was I was gone. So by the time I got out at 6pm, I knew that what the professor had said was probably interesting but I couldn’t remember any of it. To make matters even more interesting (not uphill interesting but downhill interesting) my dad called and informed me that the car had been towed, we were both convinced that it would take hours if not a day to get the car back. It took an hour. So by half seven we were on our way back to Leith.


Wednesday: Exactly like Monday, I only had my 12:10 Scottish literature class in which the Irish lecturer introduced us to the critics of Scottish nationhood (this term we are exploring the idea of Scottish nationalism in Scottish texts). Since this class is only 50 minutes long I was out by 1 and returned to my flat while my dad was at the newly refurbished Portrait Gallery (which is definitely worth visiting). At three he picked me up and we drove down to visit the mall down in Leith. Though naturally I didn’t find anything because you never find something if you are looking. The key thing I was looking for was either a pair of boots to wear in my flat or another pair of slippers with hard soles. The reason I was looking for this was because over the break I nearly stepped on a dying mouse in the kitchen in my socks and ever since then I refuse to walk around my flat without hard soles (ugh continually remembering looking down and seeing that pink little tale inches from my toe, *shiver*). Though I found nothing at the mall I did find (or rather my dad found and talked me into getting, he does that a lot) some pink grandma slippers for 5 pounds which did the trick. (Oh something I didn’t mention because I started my week with Monday, is that on Sunday my dad helped me mouse proof the flat with poison that works within 24 hours versus the 5 day junk the school gives us so hopefully they won’t go dying in flats for people to step on. Plus he also put some sticky traps in the closet and steel wool behind the toilet because not only did I almost step on a mouse New Year’s Eve but I also found one emerging from behind the toilet at 1am on New Year’s Day).


Thursday: This was the day that I had been dreading all week because when my dad came to visit in November he left on Thursday and not only was I overcome with sadness but I also got food poisoning, so I was terrified that history would repeat itself. Luckily it didn’t. We didn’t have to leave the place we were staying in Leith until about 9am so I didn’t have to get up super early and we even had time to stop by the mall get some Starbucks, a muffin, and a gorgeous bouquet of yellow tulips and two lilacs (for those of you who are interested I LOVE flowers, in particular lilacs- I have a tattoo of one on my right shoulder bald). After obtaining sustenance we made our way to my flat and parted which happily wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be though I did comfort myself with the fact that I would be meeting up with my dear friend in Paris in three weeks than three weeks after that I would be going to London to visit my uncle and a week after that papa would return and following his departure my mommy would arrive for my two week spring vacation in April, so I was set for escapes from Edinburgh. Besides, I had been looking forward to Thursday all week because the RAs were hosting the term two Pub Crawl and since I hadn’t attended the one during first semester I really wanted to go not only because I had a crush on the male RA (pay close attention to the past tense) but also because I was curious as to how a Pub Crawl works and I concluded that I should be more social. Though there was a bit of a bubble burst to my excitement: my Stories for Boys class which everyone had to attend at the first class that evening at 4:10 (the other one is at 9am on Friday but the professor wanted to do the introduction only once so we had a group intro.). This posed a problem because I had to be ready for the Crawl at 7:15 and I didn’t get out of class until 6pm. My day was further problematized when I started to feel ill about 2 in the afternoon after spending a few hours cleaning up my room. My stomach hurt, I felt nauseous and my hands were shaking; turns out though I was just hungry and three pieces of bread started me on the path to feeling better. At this time I decided it would be a good idea to just eat a big lunch and have a wee dinner before the crawl. So I took out the salmon that my dad had left and cooked it (first time ever cooking salmon and it turned out fantastically). At 4 I made my way over to the David Hume Tower floor six for my Stories for Boys class praying that I would get into the 9am class on Friday (you guessed it I got stuck in the 4:10 class *face/desk impact*). The introduction to this course wasn’t nearly as bad as the Scepticism one but I was having difficulty hearing the professor, regardless it was interesting and I am looking forward to the next class (though we need to have read The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott which is about 400 pages long and I haven’t even started it). Finally, the day was done, I was feeling pretty good, and it was time to go on the Pub Crawl. So the Craw really wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be and I am not going to spend the energy or time to recount it (there is a Starbuck’s coffee with my name on it down the street waiting for me to retrieve it when I’ve concluded this blog). All I will say is that you really shouldn’t go on a pub crawl if you don’t drink, it is incredibly boring because while everyone else is getting drunker and enjoying the thirty-minute segments in each pub you are sitting there completely sober having a greater respect for clubs. Though it was boring I still stayed out until midnight because I had gone with my new flatmate and I didn’t want to walk home alone nor did I want to leave her (Ghaz has this rule to never let anyone go home alone and I wanted to make sure that my new flatmate didn’t). But when it hit about twenty past midnight and we had travelled from one bar to the Library bar in Teviot (a type of student centre here at Edinburgh) I couldn’t take it anymore and took the chance by walking back alone. Nothing happened to me obviously and I was overjoyed to be home and in bed though my mom had a fit when I told her and I honestly was freaked out the entire time I was walking back so no matter I won’t be doing it again.


Friday: The last day of the week was by far the most interesting for two reasons. The first reason has to do with my Scottish Literature class (I have the lecture Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, for those of you who didn’t catch on). Before class I wanted to stop by the library and write a quick email back to my friend but while I was typing it I realized that I was going to be late, so immediately when I was done I logged off and booked it to my class. When I got to the building and was nearing the closed door I had a thought that I should stop and double check the class time, I ignored this little voice and kept right on and burst through the door and keeping the pace sat in an empty seat in the middle aisle in the second row. I’m going to give you a moment to guess where I am going with this … …… …… ……… …… …… yes indeed I had walked into the wrong class and since I had been walking like a bat out of hell (bet you’ve never heard that used with regards to walking) the only action I could think of taking was just taking a seat and acting like I was part of the class. After about twenty minutes in the class I had discovered that the class I had burst into was a politics of sex and gender class that was interesting but I was so tired from my late night out that I didn’t grasp anything further than what class it was. Right at the point that I was convinced the room of my Scottish lit. class was different on Fridays and I was missing it, two other girls came through the door and sat down, but minutes later one of them got up and left quickly followed by the second. At this point I decided that my window of opportunity was shrinking and if I didn’t leave then I would have to sit through the whole class, so slowly I got up and launched myself out of the class and into the freedom of the lobby outside. Turns out that on Fridays Scottish literature is at 1:05 and not 12:10 like the rest of the week. Though I had discovered that I wasn’t missing my lecture I also discovered that I was going to miss my first Scepticism ALG (autonomous learning group: a assigned group of four or five students from your third course class in which you meet at some time before the next class and discuss assigned questions about that week’s text, these meetings are mandatory). I was unbelievably upset that this had happened though I decided my excuse was legit (it wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t walked into and sat in the wrong class). At 1:05 my Scottish lit class started and though I tried to fight through my increasing exhaustion I fell asleep. By 2, when I got out of class, I had resolved to go eat, then take a bit of a walk around Holyrood park and to finish off by taking a nap so that I would be able to stay awake for the second thing that made Friday interesting: my friend Paula’s 18th birthday party at the club Cav. The food gave me enough energy to walk up one of the many hills in Holyrood at which point I experienced the complete happiness and settling of my soul that I had experienced on Monday on my hike up to the castle. At four I returned to my flat and took an hour nap. Over the years I have discovered that me and naps really don’t get along that well primarily because whenever I wake up from a nap I feel a mildly sick to my stomach and I’m usually in a terribly mood, both these things happened when I awoke from this nap (I am not sleeping beauty, I more resemble someone coming out of an exorcism). At this point I was fully resigned to not go to Paula’s birthday, but after about an hour and a dinner of Annie’s mac and cheese in my incredibly crowded kitchen plus a cup of coffee, I was ready to go party! At about ten Ghaz, another medic and myself were ready and headed down to Paula’s flat for pre-drinks (note not drinking when going to a club isn’t boring it’s just on pub crawls because all there is to do is drink). Paula’s kitchen was PACKED! It was difficult to find a seat let alone a place to stand, I ended up settling in the corner near the refrigerator observing everyone interact and drink. I was beginning to get bored when a guy I had met during Halloween came over and started talking to me (there are some real gems here in Edinburgh who will just come and talk to you because you seem lonely or bored). Finally about ten to midnight we all started off to Cav, though Ghaz, myself and three others had gotten left behind by the larger group because we had gone up to Ghaz and my flat so I could use the toilet and Ghaz could change her tights cause she had gotten a run in them. Regardless of being left behind the five of us piled into a cab and within five minutes were outside of Cav, though right when we got out of the cab Ghaz realized that she didn’t have her ID. So we all decided to accompany her back to the flat so she could get it. Finally about twenty past twelve we were in the line to get into Cav and by half twelve we were in. While here in Edinburgh I have been to four clubs and Silk on grassmarket was my favourite but after going to Cav (which I was told should never be visited sober) I have decided that it is my favourite. The primary reason why I liked it so much is because the dance area is in a huge room with really high ceilings so instead of feeling claustrophobic I felt like I was breathing in air that wasn’t just the result of hundreds of sweaty bodies mashed together. Also there was a huge chandelier with a giant disco ball coming out of the middle of it. Not only was Cav the best club I’ve been too but that night was also the most interesting for three reasons: a) I was able to stay up without a problem until twenty-five past five in the morning which is really saying something; b) I got told by a random that my glasses made me look sexy (it’s about damn time); and c) while on my second trip outside for some fresh air I noticed two guys on the other side of the street looking at me and I guessed that sooner or later one of them would approach me. About a minute later lo and behold one of them came over to me and started talking to me. His ice breaker was if I had a light and after a minute of observation I came to the following conclusion that he was just using that as a reason to start a conversation because 1. I was not holding a cigarette while there were twenty or so others who were and if he really wanted a light I doubt he would’ve chosen the only person not smoking. 2. He did not have a cigarette ready to be lit indicating he didn’t really need a light and 3. He stayed around to chat with me. The conversation that followed was rather entertaining. About two sentences in our conversation the guy mentioned that I seemed sober and I told him that I was which started him on the questioning of why I was at a club, which I responded that I was with some friends. He then (using his skewed reasoning) listed out (on his fingers) that I don’t smoke, I don’t drink and I’m at a club which equalled the overall question of ‘how is that even possible?’ Please pause for affect. I had no answer for him except that it really didn’t bother me. At this point the friends that he was waiting for came out of the club (one of which was obviously drunk not to mention creepy) and the guy I had been talking with ended the conversation. But as he and his pals were leaving the creepy drunk one decided that he would take a shot at me and he extended his greasy, sticky hand and asked me my name. I told him it was Annie and immediately said that I had to leave at which point I pulled my hand from his and retreated to the safety of the club. As the dawn grew closer I started to get tired and by the time the club closed at three I was ready to leave though I had had a good time, except for the multiple times when I almost lost my shoes because the carpet was so sticky from years upon years of spilt drinks and who knows what else.

So that was week one which took me a total of two hours to type up, crimany no wonder I get behind on my blogs they take so long to write. Hopefully I will be able to keep up with this weekly blog and won’t run into the same problem I did last term.