Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Funny University things...

interesting things I've picked up or noticed as a "uni" student here at RHUL: (some of these are not characteristically English, some are just the idiosyncrasies of the professors... but just the same)

* The professors don't care that your can't write at a cheetah's pace... or that you have seriously hand cramps at the end of the lecture... they just rattle on for an hour throwing out words you don't know, and numbers you don't have time to write down, and people's names you have no idea how to spell.

* The paper is NOT 8.5" by 11" here... it's longer. So notebooks, handouts, etc. are too long for my 3 ring binder. Also they are not hole punched in 3... odd

* They don't bag things for you here... instead they hand you the bag and you do it yourself, or they have them set up next to the register

* A lot of my learning here is dependent on my own research... even though they professors talk a lot, they don't really tell you everything you need to know and instead assign like 20 books per session that you should read from

* the drinking age here is 18, so they sell alcohol in the college shop... funny

* I LOVE the discussion seminars for each class... they really encourage opinions and don't shoot you down if it's a little different... I really like my english lit class.

* My Modern British History professor says "um" A LOT!!! If anyone of you have seen the film version of Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow - she reminds me of Mrs. Bates.

* My Medieval Europe History professors name is Peregrin - which is just awesome! He seems really cool!! He struck up a conversation with me after our seminar - he seemed interested in that I am American... which is new for me.

In other news, I was undisturbed last night for sleeping... the girls apparently don't go out on tuesdays. I also blacked out the window above me door to the hall so it was COMPLETELY dark in my room (lovely). I also got a white noise application for my iPod touch. It can play the sound of a fan, rain, the beach, thunder, crickets, static (why would you listen to that), ticking clock (which is one of the most annoying sounds in my opinion, so I found that odd), and chimes. I listened to the fan (because I can have it really loud and it doesn't get annoying)... that too drown out the noise of doors opening a closing and people walking above me or talking through the walls. I think I'll sleep better from now on.
I also paid for several tours that are offered to me as an exchange student all over England. They are scheduled about every couple of weekends until the end of the spring term (end of March).
* This Saturday is a day trip to Oxford and Blenheim Castle!! I am so excited to see Oxford - full of the spirit of CS Lewis, Tolkein, Alice in Wonderland, Hogwarts Dining Hall (which I didn't know), etc.
* Then the weekend of Valentine's Day is Leeds Castle and Canterbury - home of the Cathedral and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. That Sunday will also be a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath!
* From Feb 27 - Mar 1 is a weekend in the Scottish Highlands and Edinburgh!
* March 13 -14 is York and Bronte country in the Northern England - full of Jane Eyre awesomeness.
* The last trip is on Mar 21 which is a day trip to Stratford and Warwick, which is a lot of Shakespeare.
Very excited for this opportunity! Very affordable trips - which is basically being funded with the money from my party!! Thanks to anyone who gave me money - I'll blog about each trip of course filled with pictures.
I am also glad to be doing some stuff before Amy or my parents come and visit. That way I will know some stuff when I take them!

I also just remembered something that I had forgotten from last night - I guess I was that tired! I was awoken by a fire alarm at 12:30am!! I was in my PJs... but I calmly donned my snow jacket and slippers and filed down the stairs along with plenty of other people from my dorm hall. Turns out someone stupid pulled the alarm... or something, I don't really know, I tried not to wake up fully. but I got back up to my room after about 15 minutes and just fell back to sleep... lovely. That's crazy that it's 2:45pm now and I had forgotten all about that until just now.

Well I am settling in nicely and meeting nice people in my classes... slowly making friends. I also looked in to a christian group called "regenerate," which has on campus small group bible studies of sorts. I emailed a nice girl who was in charge of it, and she invited me to check out her small group on thursday and they could get me hooked into a church home. Very nice. The church that I looked at earlier is pentacostal, and upon further research, doesn't seem that connected to the school... but the girl from "regenerate" goes to St John's which is an anglican church, which seems really nice. It'll be different from Open Door of course, but I just want a place to worship God... plus on their website it says that worship (music) is a big part of their services... which is what I like to hear. So in a couple weeks, hopefully I'll have a church.


Amy T Schubert said...

those trips sound AMAZING .... I'm ridiculously jealous...

Can't wait to see pics/hear stories...

Nicole T said...

Ahh dorm living. I guess its that same internationally! our classes sound awesome! Especially since you like reading! And I cant wait to hear of your travels! what exciting things you have planned!

Andrew said...

I'm not gonna lie.....I love your blog. Your time out there sounds amazing so far. Are you gonna visit Peter Gabriel's studio Real World when you're in Bath? hahahahahaha
Can't wait to see the pictures. I know Amy is going to appreciate the research you're doing when she visits