Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pre-sessional and the first two weeks

I love all the living statues. Cardiff is the capital of Wales. Cardiff city centre!
I took this picture at a protest in Cardiff city centre
Cardiff Castle
Bath. Not sayin I need one, but this was at the Roman baths in the city of Bath.


Pre-sessional. Blah. Don't get me wrong, the pre-sess was not a bad thing. It was just somewhat exhausting and intensive. With the first couple weeks rolling on in my new 'world,' I began to settle in, but it was a very strange first weeks. Here's why! Busy, busy, busy. We had the Pre-sessional, which was a two week course for anywhere from four to six hours a day for the first two weeks. It was an entire course on the politics and culture of Britain. I learned a lot about the U.K. and how everything runs, which has been fantastic for helping me understand the people and places I have been. While that course was going on, I met tons and tons of people. Mostly Americans. It is easy for us all to migrate to each other. We are all misplaced souls looking for someone to relate to. Then of course, there was the pub, the bar, the clubs! It was all very much a social mixer for the first couple weeks. Getting to know people, going out, pint by pint by pint. It made it much easier to meet people. During the second week of the pre-sessional was the inauguration of President Obama. That turned out to be a really big deal on campus. The BBC came on campus and interviewed a handful of the American students on both the radio and tv. I got interviewed on the radio, live while watching the inauguration on a large projection screen in the lecture theater. I never heard the interview, but another girl did and she said she heard me. That's really all I have to go on. I've never found it. Plus she said that she saw me and some other people on tv in the background. It was like a big party. They hooked us up with free champagne and munchies, then interviewed people. Um, plus during the first couple weeks is when you find out all those little things that you forgot to pack when you leave home. I spent many a day and many a pound in the city centre buying things I had not had the foresight to pack. Really though, I knew I'd have to buy some things. I packed very lite. I had only brought two suitcases with me. Like I coulda survived for nearly six months with the few measly pairs of socks and underwear and clothes that I had brought. Finally, each weekend was a field trip, including the first weekend. So I had three weekends that we took trips to different sites within the city and other cities. First weekend (the day after I arrived in Swansea, completely confused, but incredibly ready to tackle it), we go to Mumbles/Gower and see Worm's Head and the stone King Aurthur supposedly pulled the sword from. But would you believe I didn't bring my camera. I had no idea what to expect. Meh? I'l go back soon enough. I actually went back to Mumbles today and watched my friend Nate do some windsurfing with the windsurfing club (which I plan on joining after I get my hands on a wetsuit). It was incredibly cold and they all said the water was freezing but I'm still down to go next week after Amsterdam. Second weekend: Cardiff, the country's capital. Third weekend: Bath. I'd like to say more about these but I don't have much to say. Cardiff was nice, Bath was beautiful. I mostly walked around and took pictures. So I'll post those pictures separately for your pleasure. So, to recap the first two weeks: 1. British Culture and Politics class 2. Need to meet people/make friends 3. Pints 4. Going to town every other day/nite to buy 'necessities' 5. Fear of the impending paper due one week after the two week course finishes. Oh, did I not mention that earlier. Yeah, I had a roughly eight page paper, due the following week the pre-sess ended. This was not nearly enough time for a research paper. Plus I am not a real big fan of writing papers. Plus we had to enroll in the regular semester classes Friday, which started Monday after the pre-sess ended on Thursday.

1 comment:

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