Friday, September 15, 2000

Back in Kingston

After an exciting third year overseas, I'm back in Kingston to finish my degree. It's funny to experience culture shock in your own country, I must say, but I certainly have. It's funny to be back, and with a Scottish accent of my own, no less.

I have a place to live: it's a basement apartment and is cheap. I live with three guys: one is so quiet he is almost invisible, one is annoying, and the other guy is nice, but essentially lives at his girlfriend's place and pays rent to store his stuff. The furniture situation is rather sparse. We don't have anything in the living room/kitchen yet, but then no one ever spends any time in it anyway. Gord's parents said something about a kitchen table, which would be nice. Once the TV is finally set up, I am thinking we could just sit on chairs, unless Uncle Al can bring the couch down. Our biggest lack at the moment is a vacuum cleaner. There has been a small potato bug problem, but a can of Raid is going a long way towards solving that! The place on Division St. had silverfish, and I am not sure which I dislike more. The rug is fine, except I still have a small circle area that is still wet. Ryan gets the same thing when it rains, so I am thinking that it is a problem with the concrete. Whatever, I just avoid it and spray it with Febreeze occasionally to prevent any smells. In general, the place is not as damp now that everyone is in. There is very little hot water for showers, but that is an "old house in Kingston problem", so no surprise.

The petrol situation in the UK is annoying, because now I can't get any mail from Alan. As for if Scotland is affected-yes. Britain includes Scotland, England, Wales and N.Ireland, so when you hear Britain mentioned as a rule, it will include Scotland. With the new Scottish Parliament, there may be some things in future that will affect the rest of Britain, and not Scotland, or Wales, which also has a limited assembly. Only if England is mentioned is Scotland not included. In a quirk, however, England and Wales are more closely tied than England and Scotland, so sometimes when people say England, they also mean Wales. Hope all of that makes some sense.

As for my classes, they are ok. I am taking all half courses, and a correspondence course in Women's Studies that lasts all year. This term I have History of Life (geology), Greek History, Myth and Religion, Greek and Roman Epic. My women's studies course is slowly making me into a rabid feminist. The amount of oppression that has and still does exist is really sickening. My annoying housemate said the other day that the only way sexism will disappear is if all the men decide en mass to stop being sexist. Somehow he didn't realize that it is extremely misogynist to say that women's acceptance in society is completely dependent on men's actions. The funny thing is that while I am doing the readings, I get really annoyed, but in day to day life, my feminist attitudes are pretty basic. I am starting to feel that Germaine Greer is my most recent role model, as she has an interesting type of feminism. My History of Life course is sooooo interesting-I wish I had taken this one sooner, because I am thinking that I might have done some other geology courses too. I also wish I had taken anthropology, but I didn't have the prerequisite. It is funny to think that there is no more time left to take all the electives that I now wish I had done. I really regret wasting some of my time on my second year history classes. Anyway, back to geology. We were discussing plate tectonics, and it really is so amazingly interesting. Next week we have three classes on the basics of biology (we did the basics of geology this week), before getting into the actual course. Apparently there are students from over 40 different departments in this class, and they are even distributed among all four years. In fact, for the first time in my university career, I have labs. Only three of them though. The other big bonus of this term is that I have a course that has no essays, no final, and just six multiple choice quizzes, every six weeks. And the worst mark drops out too! I am thinking that I might even get a 90% in this course.

I am extremely broke this year, which means getting a job. I have one, and will probably get another, and maybe get rid of the one I have, or only do it for a day on the weekends. That and six courses means that I will have very little life. I seem to know more people on campus than I thought I would, but to be honest, I am largely focusing on next year, and am not to bothered if I don't get out much. I miss Alan a lot, and it is a rather lonely feeling to be so far away from him.

I found out that they are giving me two credits for last year, which is more than I expected. And actually, it sounds like I may have actually passed the Greek course, since they only mentioned in the email that I failed the Latin. They just said that since I had a credit for first year Greek here, that I couldn't get another credit for doing it in Edinburgh. Maybe the prof just included my marks from the midterms, and assumed that I didn't have to write the final? I could have passed that way, and lots of exchange students don't have to write finals. And I certainly didn't write mine!!!

I am thinking of getting a Maclean's subscription, since I am rather oblivious to the world at large at the moment. I would never manage to read a paper every day, but maybe once a week is doable. I just hate ordering things like that and then not reading them. We shall see. But I am far to ignorant for my own good at the moment, and hate reading the news on the net, it just isn't the same!

No comments: