26 September 2009


This first week of classes has been exhausting (although that was probably made worse by spending Monday in the hospital). Grad school is weird. I do not approve of this style of seminar here in which you get a reading list with twelve+ books on it, from which you're supposed to pick and choose, thereby constructing a situation in which everybody shows up for seminar with basically nothing in common to talk about. I'm trying to develop an entirely new system for reading and taking notes from the library, because my entire undergrad/high school career was composed of writing in books purchased for the class. I most definitely cannot afford to buy twenty books a week for two classes.

On top of budget and note-taking issues, it's just overwhelming to feel like you've been reading and reading but you'll never even make it through your seminar's recommendation list, let alone make a dent in the topic. In the last five days, I've read about 7.5 scholarly books. This includes a grand total of zero for one of my two classes. My To Be Read pile is about eight books deep.

I'm hoping as I get more familiar with Edinburgh I'll find more and better alternative places to study. The library is always swamped, probably because it's all there is nearby. It's quite disconcerting to have come to Edinburgh, UNESCO World Heritage Site for architectural oldness, to a university that dates to 1583, and end up in an ugly 1960s modernist rectilinear beast of a library. My apartment is older!

But enough kvetching. I know I'm just tired (with Justin both sick and swamped by a research project, I'm doing just about everything else) and disoriented, and things will look better as I get more into the swing of things.

PS. I was going to post a video here to make up for the whineyness, but either our apartment internet or Blogger is not supporting video right now. It never rains, but it pours!

24 September 2009

Classes; My New Modeling Career; Nana's Job

Classes have started, and the first week so far has been busy, as expected. Nana may have a short post about our Monday hospital visit, seeing as she was the one who was actually lucid throughout the day (long story, nothing major, and I'm feeling much better), but otherwise we'll probably be on a short hiatus, through Sunday or so.

In other news, earlier this week, I was invited to be a model for the University Prospectus (ie, gigantic brochure). Apparently almost no guys applied, and they thought it would look more scholarly to have a balding guy with a beard!

If you e-mail me in a few weeks, I should be able to send out some of the photos. For copyright reasons, though, I can't post them here on the blog.

Last but not least: Nana landed a cool part-time job today, working for TANDEM, a student union group that organizes free language-learning partnerships and cheap activities for students looking to improve their skills in a foreign language. Apparently, she completely rocked the interview, so hats off to her!