Alrighty, week two had quite a bit going on. This was my first week of classes, so I’m going to make a separate post with photos and captions of my trek to school that ought to work out to a mini walking tour. Hopefully a few short videos will also work as attachments.
Anyway, here’s the run down of the week!
Sunday September 18th:
A blissfully low-key day at home. I was super productive, managing to take care of the blog, work on my presentation for Thursday, organize the kitchen, read a course text, and make plans with my flatmates. The comforting sort of puttering around that one seems to do on a Sunday made me feel very much at home here. I’m definitely settling into the flow of things. Sunday in particular is basically built for noodling around at home, as everything opens late and closes early. No guilt at all for not going to the shops or trekking around!
Monday September 19th:
MY FIRST LOAD OF LAUNDRY HERE. A few comments on this nonsense… £3.40 for a full wash and dry. THREE POUNDS FORTY. THIS IS WHAT EXTORTION FEELS LIKE. And if it’s not enough that they’re robbing me, they’ve also posted ‘helpful guidelines’ for the people who apparently have never done communal laundry. Pardon the expression, but it’s a laundry list of things one shall or shan’t do, including specifications on laundry soap, load size, etiquette, refunds, and more. I was a bit of an elitist twat about it until I watched three other people make mistakes that could have ruined their clothes or the laundry room itself. I’m sure my mom would laugh to see me helping other people do laundry, but she can just hush. I’m a CREDIT to her teachings.<3
So the wash cycle takes about 35 minutes and the dry cycle takes about 50. Jafet and I went down together so as to keep an eye on the loads and to keep one another entertained. We heard, from each of the people we met, that their flatmates don’t socialize much/they never see their flatmates/they all mostly keep to themselves. I think I really lucked out with my flatmates, and the fact that we’re all interested in balancing getting out and DOING stuff with just hanging out in the flat. Done at last, we gathered up our stuff and came home, content to pat ourselves on the back for that productivity for the rest of the night.
Tuesday September 20th:
BABY’S FIRST DAY OF GRAD SCHOOL CLASSES.
Tuesday was Decadence and the Modern, my option course for first semester. Apparently it’s usually only a class of four or less! This time around there are about 13 of us, not all necessarily from my Fantasy program. Actually, only about five of us are Fantasy students, the rest are from film, research, literature, history, etc. I think the class will be okay. I’m not blown away by how fun it is, but staying on top of the reading should be easy enough. I anticipate a bit of trouble settling on essay topics, simply because I don’t yet have a sense of HOW we’ll be evaluating and discussing the material.
The highlight of Tuesday was that my books from home arrived shortly after I returned from class! They’re so beautiful. I think having some familiar spines on my shelves was one of the missing pieces of feeling settled. 🙂 Tuesday night found Richard, Megan, and myself out for a bit of comedy at a pub called the Dram. It’s free entry, and the comedians test their new material. Sometimes a joke doesn’t work the way they thought, and sometimes it’s a rip-roaring success. We had a great time all in all, and Meg and I met some of Richard’s classmates and their friends! We turned out to be a fun group of about 10 postgrads. Bless them for letting us all in.
Wednesday September 21st:
This week only, no class on Wednesday. I was able to finalize my presentation for Thursday and I managed to spend no money, so it could be considered my second most successful day this week! Really though, it was exactly perfect for gearing up for class on Thursday, which is what the bulk of the rest of this post is going to be about!
Thursday September 22nd:
FANTASY CORE COURSE ONE PRESENTATION DAY!
My presentation was about the way narrative structure and symbolic language support a sexual Eucharist reading of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market”. After realizing that my outline was a mess and I didn’t really have a thesis, I scrapped the whole thing and started over. If you’d like to know more about that, start my reading the poem, AND/OR go to youtube to have it read to you. The oral/aural quality of the poem was one of my points! After you’ve experienced the poem, feel free to leave a comment about it. If I get enough interest I’ll give a rough explanation of my presentation. Rough by necessity, since my presentation was about three times longer than it was supposed to be. I’m okay with that though, since I went first and set the bar.
The final product came out great, thank god, and what I really want to share with you are comments from my course convener, Dr. Rob Maslen, and one of the published authors in my class, Ruth Booth. I’ll insert some explanations of the grading system here as well.
<—–UMMM, WHAT?! 😀
!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!! JUST SO YOU CAN GO AHEAD AND REREAD THAT.
Ollie is the awesome guys I might have mentioned last week, whose novel is on the reading list for the folk taking the Sci-Fi course!
So, to hear such nice feedback form my professor and my peers was the cherry on top. Thank you to every single one of you who has ever critiqued my papers, helped me practice presenting or performing in front of crowds, reminded me to keep breathing when I’m nervous… all of it… all of you, helped me snag this WIN of an opening presentation. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.
Friday September 23rd:
I went shopping as a reward and bought two pillows and a fuzzy blanket so I can NEST whilst digging into my course texts. I have ALL the squishy/cuddly bedding now. Friday was also a day of celebration all around, as Richard turned 24, and Flora turned 23! We went out to a delicious dinner, found a cool bar to close out the night, making it a perfect cap to a pretty solid week.
Saturday September 24th and Sunday September 25th:
Unfortunately, my throat is sore, so yesterday and today are sacrificed to intervals of tea, schoolwork, naps, and snacking. Not the worst thing ever, but decidedly inconvenient. No worries though, the high of my presentation hasn’t entirely worn off, so my spirits are bolstered and I’m pushing through.
I’m going to go grab a snack, and then figure out how to help you make sense of the other pictures I have for this week.