Monday, January 23, 2012

Bleh, I'm not very creative with titles...

   Sorry this post is so overdue. Now that school has started I actually have to do homework and study. But anywho, here goes.
   I've been here for almost three weeks, and I absolutely love it! All my classes seem like they're going to be great, and none of them have been too boring (which is honestly a first). I even get to go on a field trip for my Archaeology class. Any class that takes field trips has to be great, right? I'm also in two history classes that seem like they'll be really interesting. I've got seminars for each of my classes, and unfortunately I'm graded for my participation in the discussions, and we all know how much I dread class discussions, so we'll see how that goes...
This is my school in Glasgow!

   Last weekend I decided to stay in Glasgow, and get to know the city a little more. On Friday, I went into the city centre to one of the main shopping streets. As some of you may know I'm a pretty picky shopper, so of course I bought nothing, except for a good, hardy meal at a pub. Later that night I went to this bar called Lebowskis, based off the movie The Great Lebowski. For my first bar experience in the UK, I had a really great time! Don't worry everyone, I didn't go crazy and order every drink on the menu (although the drinking age in Scotland is only 18, so I guess technically I could have...). I had two White Russians, which were pretty much like drinking milkshakes. One had chocolate milk in it with a brownie and the other had a banana flavored liquor. Delicious! Saturday was spent doing homework and grocery shopping. Nothing too exciting. But Sunday was much more eventful. I went to this church called Rehope which is led by an American pastor. The music was pretty much the same you'd sing at any contemporary service in America, so it was like a little piece of home. Sunday night I went to my very first ceilidh, which according to Wikipedia is a traditional Gaelic social gathering which consists of playing Gaelic folk music and dancing. It was so much fun!! And yes people I actually overcame my shyness for the night and danced. It was funny watching all the international students, myself included,  trying to follow the dance instructions of the few Scottish people there. You'd think because I'm so good at that video game Just Dance that I would be a great dancer, but alas my rhythm was not so great and I stepped on my partners' toes multiple times. Maybe at the next ceilidh I'll get the steps down because yes I will be going to more in the future because they're so much fun!
    Not too much to report for the week. I pretty much just went to lectures, did homework, and caught up on all my tv shows. This past weekend, however, I went to Edinburgh on Saturday and was shown around the city by a native, which is much more informative then just aimlessly walking around trying to find your way. We went to the War Memorial Museum at the castle, which is free but you can't take any pictures or go anywhere else in the castle, and if you try to veer off course the guards will say something to you. Since I had already been to the castle, this was much preferable to the 14 pounds it would have cost to look around. Our native Scot, Gordon, took us to his old school in Edinburgh which was built in like the 1600's. Spanish Fort High School felt very incomparable to this school which had a great view of the castle. After lunch at a delicious Italian restaurant we took a quick tour of the Natural History Museum and then did some shopping at all the tourist shops, which was quite fun. After a long day we headed home on the bus.
Me at the foot of the castle.

 On Sunday, I went to Rehope again and had lunch with Laura, a girl from Northern Ireland, and some of her roommates and friends. We spent most of the day playing Belfast Monopoly, which of course I was the first one to run out of money, but it was nice spending the day with people and learning new British phrases to use when I get back to Alabama.
    This weekend I will hopefully be going to Stirling, Scotland where we'll be touring the castle and going to a whisky distillery. So until then!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First Day of Class

  So I've been in Glasgow for a week, and I've managed to survive to the first day of classes. This may not seem like a hard task, but considering Glasgow is one of the most dangerous cities in Europe (yeah I found this out recently from a Finnish girl and a Romanian girl...) I think I'm doing kind of amazingly.
  Nothing too exciting has happend this past week. I've met a lot of nice people and a lot of Europeans, something that doesn't happen much in America. I've worked out the bus system to and from school, and I've even called for a taxi to pick me up.
  Today were my first classes and surprisingly they were very similar to a typical class at Alabama. The teachers tell the same kinds of lame jokes. They had the same problems getting the projectors and the computers to work like at Alabama. However, at Glasgow they haven't seemed to figure out that it's easier for the students if you put the doors to a lecture hall in the back of the room than the front. So instead of sneaking in late to a class, you're the lost foreign exchange student who's almost twenty minutes late to class and everyone stares at you walking in. Haha super awkward... And here I guess people think it's okay to put on deodorant in class because I saw a guy whip out a can of aerosol deodorant and start spraying it on. That was quite amusing. They also must have a shortage of teachers because in two of my three lectures the teachers switch out classrooms each week, so one week I'll have a teacher in my classroom and the next week the teacher will be in another classroom on campus projecting a live video of themselves teaching onto a screen in my classroom. I feel like Zenon from Disney who had projections for teachers on the space shuttle where she lived. So I guess Glasgow's so far ahead in technology that we're comparable to people living in space stations? (Definitely a joke...)
  Although I've only met a few people out of the 14,000 students at the University of Glasgow, I've managed to have someone I know in each of my classes, so I'm already starting to feel more at home than I did when I got here.
  Hopefully, I'll have much more exciting news to report next week, but as of now nothing else need be said. (Oh yeah, except for Alabama winning our 14th National Championship!!!!! WOOOOOO!!!!!! I just want to run around yelling "roll tide" but I feel people might think I'm a crazy American.) So peace out until next time!