Roommate Bios

Just for some added fun, I’ll give a short personality rundown of the people I’m spending the most time with.

Emma, my roommate: Very short and bouncy with dark curly hair, reminds me of a cute elf. Seems innocent but has some funnnn stories. Loves pizza hut, Jesse McCartney and The Bachelor–ashamed of none of it. Shit you might hear Emma say: “If you insult Taylor Swift I will kill you,” “I’m really f@#&*! good at scrabble and I will beat you.”

Mimi (Mimz) : We all thought she might have been a foreign person before we met her because her full name is very ethnic but she isn’t, though she does have an EU citizenship which is sick. Also has dark curly hair. Mimi has lots of STRANGE stories which are great to listen to. She also loves rappers. Shit you might hear Mimi say: “I got a staph infection in Ghana,” “When my room was set on fire…”

Fin: (Aka Sarah, Findawg, Finnegan) Quiet when you first meet her, you soon realize she is crazy. Fin also has great stuff to tell and enjoys narrating what she is currently doing by turning it into song. Loves sheep and Kate Middleton. Eats almost as much pizza as I do. Shit you might hear Fin say: “I was a three time gold medalist in the national latin scholar competition,” “I wish I lived in the Cold War era.”

Wait, I actually have to do work?

Here’s a little update on the “real” reason I’m here: classes! This was what I mainly did this week, as well as catch up on TV, exploring, and shooting the breeze with the roomz. I think our professors are actually called tutors but I’m just calling them professors, sue me.

Mythologizing Shakespeare: The best anecdote for this class I think involves my conversation with Lucy, our head academic lady (descriptive, I know, but I have no official titles in front of me).

Lucy: So, how have your classes been this week?
Me: Oh good, just some professors are a bit more formal and different than I’ve encountered in America.
Lucy: Oh so you’ve met Brian then?

what have i done???

what have i done???

YES YOU READ MY MIND LUCY! Brian, my prof for this class, is pretty much a Shakespeare genius but this guy is HARSH. Even in America when you don’t get the professors who are nice to you when you get a wrong answer, they still don’t make you feel like a complete idiot. He does. He does not take kindly to getting things wrong either, so I think I may just forgo a good participation grade in this class . . . he also seemed slightly offended when I yawned in class. Dude, I wasn’t out partying I’m just tired! What do you want me to do, leave the room? Le sigh.  I’ll figure it out I’m sure it’s just weird being introduced to a new teaching and learning style.

I’ll end this section with a choice quote from Brian:

“One time in a final essay a student complained that though this class was titled Mythologizing Shakespeare, there were no Greek myths in it.  That was possible on of the most fatuous comments I have ever heard.” (Like okay yes, clearly this class has nothing to do with greek myths, but you have to have heard comments more silly than that and also, who says fatuous in everyday speech.)

picard facepalming

picard facepalming

British Detective Fiction:

Our professor seems quite nice but also had had several teeth removed before our first class so it was difficult to hear her . . . There will be a lot of reading (womp womp) but its easier stuff so I am excited. My class is full of nerds who love BBC and Miss Marple and shit. My parents would feel right at home. Now I just have to get through The Moonstone…

World’s Beyond Oxford:

Our professor is adorable and a Kiwi (not the fruit, she’s from NZ). We spent a lot of time talking about children’s literature which was slightly confusing because we’re reading LOTR. IMHO, LOTR is not children’s literature. So maybe that will have to be clarified.  We’re reading Narnia for next class which I’m excited for mostly because Narnia was so overshadowed for me by HP and LOTR that I never really cared what happened in it; we’ll see if it still sucks or if it has hidden value!

im actually excited doe

im actually excited doe

Writing from the Self:

This is not a creative nonfiction class, contrary to my belief– according to my space cadet professor, you kind of “write whatever the eff you want.” Ummmm ok Rob, as long as there are workshops I don’t really care. He’s a dual citizen of the US and UK but has an American accent so I feel gypped, but he also liked my diagnostic paper so there’s that. I have to a give a presentation on Stephen King next class sooooooo we’ll see how that goes.  Maybe I’ll just talk about his friendship with Aunt Diane.

That’s that! I have 3 books and a play to read so I’m screwed but hey, I can do it. When in Rome.

keep-calm-because-yolo-24

Stonehenge (Yah I did) Salisbury (not steaks) and Lacock! (no laughing)

Disclaimer: I hate it when people who have been to Stonehenge say it isn’t impressive. Sure its not like looming over you but CAVE PEOPLE dragged these BLUE ROCKS over from SOUTH WALES and BUILT SOME COOL SHIT LIKE A TEMPLE OR WHATEVER and it’s still here. ROCK ON, STONEHENGE CREATORS! SHOUTOUT!

Ummm yeah. There were also some swiss people buried there and I guess they visited Stonehenge to get healed because one had bone density problems and the other one was his son or relative and also had similar problems. Snaps for radiocarbon dating! It was really freaking cold at Stonehenge and there were also a ton of Asian tourists (freakin’ duh they’re everywhere.)

Stonehenge, it happened

Stonehenge, it happened

frannz and I at the henge

frannz and I at the henge

 

After that we also went to the town of Salisbury, where Salisbury Cathedral is.  Very pretty and also holds one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta. As Ryan Lochte would say, Jeah! We toured the Cathedral with Angela, who was like kinda quiet and also had a flat nose, but it was fun. It was hard for my brain to process a lot bc I was cold but William Golding hung out there a lot and Thomas Hardy based his town of Melchester of of Salisbury. We encountered some small British boys who said “are you Americans” and I said “umm yeah” and they said something indecipherable, but which my roommate Emma assures me was “muggles.” Well then.

El Catedral

El Catedral

closer up

closer up

Cloisters!

Cloisters!

 

Last stop on our day trip was the HISTORIC village of Lacock. Seriously, don’t laugh, because I did and felt bad. It’s pronounced lay-cock which sounds a bit better (maybe?). This is where many period pieces are filmed because you can’t see any telephone wires. (Eg. Cranford, Wolfman, Pride and Prejudice, etc.)

Also: HARRY FREAKING POTTER!!! There’s an abbey which was NOT OPEN during this period but where the Hogwart’s courtyard was filmed for movies 1 and 4 (I thought they were saying 1 in 4 and was confused why we were talking about the rate of rape on college campuses, but realized it was and, not in. My b.) There is also a house used as Godric’s Hollow. HOW. COOL. I wasn’t there but the owner came home a few minutes later and was like mad people were taking pictures of her house. Well maybe you shouldnt’ve let them put it in a movie then.

Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey

Godric's Hollow!!

Godric’s Hollow!!

Lastly, we had a traditional “English Roast” dinner, which culminated in a TRIVIA NIGHT! If you know me, you know I love trivia. My team (my flatmates and I, obvi) actually won (which isn’t a shock, but still nice).  There was a tie breaker because we didn’t listen to Fin on question (the Red Lion is the most common name for a pub in England I guess) but we got it right so we won some CHOCOLATE and of course the hate of all our other program mates for being so smart (JK JK to any ASE ppl reading this). On the bus ride back we played the game where you put a celeb on your forehead and then guess. I was George the 6th, Mimi was Pitbull, Fin was scary spice, and Emma was Tom Daley. Pretty well rounded.

This is where we nommed

This is where we nommed

 

 

Pictures of (Lily) BATH! (get The Who reference?)

FEAST YOUR EYES UPON MY PHOTOGRAPHIC PROWESS.

This is what I see every day when walking home from Nelson House where I have class!

This is what I see every day when walking home from Nelson House where I have class!

This is where I have class, study, hang out, whatevah.

This is where I have class, study, hang out, whatevah.

This is parade park, which is right across the street from me!

This is parade park, which is right across the street from me!

This is the River Avon

This is the River Avon

Bath Abbey!

Bath Abbey!

Inside Bath Abbey

Inside Bath Abbey

DSCN4388

annnd me obama and prince harry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orientation and First Week Recap (rockin!)

It might be easier to just get the words out of the way first and then make a separate post with pictures. I’m just trying to get it all done now that our wifi is finally functioning!! I’ve found that living in an apartment building with 4 flats of about 4 people each, everyone on the internet at the same time = internet that seems almost like dial up (okay, that was an exaggeration, but still. I like my internet.)

The beginning of last week mostly consisted of the program directors talking at us about expectations of academics, activities we should do, how to assimilate ourselves into british society (jk, how to make friends), etc. There’s no way around stuff like this so it was expected, but still, we mostly wanted to get out and around Bath. That did happen, and we learned where to do our grocery shopping, food being very high on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In case you ever come to Bath, Sainsbury’s is the most similar to what we have back in the states, and they have ORANGE BAGS which I think is super cool. Iceland is where you go for cheap frozen food (good for our french fry habit) and also cheap toilet paper, soda, beer, etc. Things you have to think about.

Probably the MOST FUN PART of this week was taking our diagnostic exams! What happens is each professor gives a prompt for their class so you have to write an 800 word essay responding to this prompt. While jet lagged and tired. Sounds great, right? It was. All mine weren’t disturbingly difficult so I was fine but I couldn’t imagine having taken a class where I didn’t know the subject matter, and then taking one of these exams.  We took two on Wednesday and two on Thursday and somehow survived. Free time was spent getting to know the quirks of my roommates and also exploring Bath a little bit more.  We also toured Bath Abbey, which has some nice stained glass, ceilings, etc.

On Friday we took the bus up to Bath University (or BU) to check out the campus, gym, student commons, etc. Definitely very 70’s and concrete campus. A lot of people who go there study “sport” I guess and all sorts of sports management stuff.  There’s another popular major but I forget… anyway, it’s different than Bath Spa which is further out of town in a different direction where the focus is on nerdy, literary stuff. The gym was naiiiiiice but I was not about to spend £100 + on facilities which I had to take a BUS to get to. I’ll attempt to jog, thanks.  So far that hasn’t happened (hello, busy and having a great time) but I’m sure it will.

Saturday we toured some markets! I love markets! The first one, Guildhall, is open all the time and has a used book section (where I bought some cheaper LOTR books for my class that I hadn’t gotten yet), some noms, wool, costumes, tiaras, the like.  The next one was by the big Sainsbury’s and had lots of food so we picked up some vegetables, bread, and brie (which I may have eaten all of… oops). After that my flatmates and I got more groceries, went home, and promptly collapsed for the whole day, taking a break to eat french fries.

 

Bath itself:

This place is gorgeous.  I profess to love places like Boston but really, I’m a Brunswick, Maine, girl at heart. This city, however, is amazingly sized, amazingly cute, and also I haven’t encountered a sketchy area! I hear it is very safe and it really seems like it (don’t worry Mom, I’m being careful!). The weather is obviously rainy (THIS IS ENGLAND) but like… It’s fine. I prefer it because when it’s sunny it’s colder (boo). Might need to by a liner for my Barbour.

The staff at ASE are so nice and friendly, and also BRITISH which would make anybody, even Nicholas Cage, sound cool, but I think these people would also be cool if they were, dare I say it, American. It’s hard to get used to a whole new way of doing things after finally acclimating to W&L but change keeps me young.

Nightlife: I won’t get into the gory details because this is a family blog, but I’ll just say it, I’m enjoying being of age here. Not in a crazy way but it’s nice to be able to get into a club or just get some wine to have with your dinner. The bars and clubs I’ve been to are great so it’s fun to experience what I guess is just a difference between small town frat parties and what people do in cities for fun haha.

Pictures to come ASAP, now that the wifi is finally workingggggg.

BATH TIME – Monday / My house

sorry haven’t really blogged, I’m just having too much fun

🙂

So! Everything went smoothly getting to Bath. We had a to wait a longggg time at the train station for the bus to come get the second round of us and then we all got dropped off at our properties. I live about a minute away from Nelson house, where we take most of our classes. It’s so great! We also have a view of the river Avon, and  Parade park which is very pretty.  The easiest way to locate where you are is to look for Bath Abbey, which is a big ass church built buy William the Conqueror’s son. Or commissioned by him… On monday my flatmates and I just hung out and tried to stay up until 9. My roommate is super cool and also an ADPi and my other flatmates are super cool as well. YEAH!.

Here’s where I live:

you can see four doors from this spot... its small and awkward but me like

you can see four doors from this spot… its small and awkward but me like

my odd sleeping platform

my odd sleeping platform

my franns!
my franns!

 

dining room!

dining room!

 

Travelz

1. Sat by myself on the 7 hour flight to Amsterdam. Hollah atcha gurl. 

     a. Two benadryl apparently = two hours of sleep for me. Eff dat. 

     b. I LOVE IN FLIGHT MOVIES. But why the heck would they have Taken 2 on there? IT’S ABOUT PEOPLE BEING KIDNAPPED AND TRAFFICKED. 

   c. Watched the Perks of Being a Wallflower and Beasts of the Southern Wild. Neither impressed me. Mostly because they were both confusing. 

 

2. Amsterdam airport what are you? SO euro. 

3. Heathrow still sucky as always– had a BLAST toting my two rollys all over the airport to finally wait for my bus, which was filled with Spanish hooligans who loved reading the road signs aloud. Also while waiting for the bus I got doted upon by pigeons. 

4. Love my accommodations for mainly one reason: literally the closest to where all our classes are. 

5. Will update with more photos and info about housing later. For now, all I can say is I’VE BEEN UP FOR OVER 20 HRS

One Day More (One more day all on my own)

Actually not one day more until I fly to Bath but really, who can resist a Les Mis quote? Not I. It will also not be one more day all on my own, but a NEW day on my own; again, splitting hairs. My flight is tomorrow around 4 outta the BIG D (hopefully I’ll finally see eminem? does he even live here anymore? idk) and then I oddly fly through Amsterdam to Heathrow, where I will take a “coach” to Bath. We’re supposed to meet the ASE people at the train station, and though the packet said that it was on the same street as the bus station, I’m picturing myself wandering through slushy streets with my gigantor blue duffel and unable to cross the vast distance. Well. Let us dearly hope it does not come to that.

Image(kill me now?)

Frankly my nervousness is a little bit more consuming than my excitement–I’m just a homebody okay? But I’m sure once I am safely ensconced in my “flat” the apprehension will dissappear. I’m okay with travel, but I’ve never actually had to go to a foreign country by myself before and use local transportation alone.  The 8 hour flight will be easy-peasy after the 15 hours I spent on a plane last spring (13 to Korea and 2 to Ho Chi Minh City), however. Also, no language barrier in England– at least, not overtly, though the slang will probably come in time.

Casually watching ice skating with my parents with my cat in my lap drinking Baileys, which is a nice goodbye.  Though I will miss my parents it’s weird not being at school when all my friends are so it will be nice to finally be doing something with my life (and friends who are scattered throughout Europe!). BATH, HO!

Image

so ready for this. where the shit is my ADPi fanny pack?!