Monday, 21 December 2015

A Little Life Update

After 10 weeks of busy university life I am finally back home for the holidays and already enjoying the peace and quiet! It's been a hectic couple of months trying to find my feet at uni, while also adapting to life in the UK, completing assignments, keeping up with all the reading my course requires and of course making new friends. Unlike at home where I will happily sit on the internet for hours on end and generally lounge around there is always something to do, from looking over the following day's lecture material (yes I am that student) to late night soda bread-frying sessions in the kitchen. So while I'm really enjoying myself up north, it's going to be really lovely to have a whole month off to relax and fill up on those home vibes - plus write about 4 essays and prepare for 3 tutorials, eeek!

The journey back was really quite smooth, or as smooth as taking two trains across three countries can be. I was lugging a huge suitcase, a backpack and a small holdall so I suppose I didn't make things easy for myself, but the small holdall was definitely necessary given the amount of Christmas presents I needed to bring back with me - hopefully I will be able to fill that space up with slightly more summery clothes on the way back. Also I am apparently yet to take the Eurostar without either setting the security scan off or getting shirty/into an argument with the person at the bag scan, but that's another story.

My little Christmassy corner back in my uni room

On another note, I am actually really enjoying my course, although there are parts that I really hadn't expected to be studying. Purely for your enjoyment, I've been keeping a list of weird, wonderful, interesting and unexpected things that have been touched on in my geography lectures so far, in no particular order:

  • A brief history of fine art, including linear perspective
  • Several paintings of the gardens of English stately homes in the 1700s
  • Living in high-rise apartment blocks
  • The 50 shades of grey trailer
  • Discussion of the BDSM community
  • Henry VII and the dissolution of the monasteries
  • Renaissance humanism
  • A brief history of feminist theory
  • The entirety of Wordsworth's "Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey", with analysis of metaphors, allusions and allegories
  • The relationship between the individual and nature
  • Cartesian dualism
  • A PowerPoint slide called "Zombie Geographies"
  • The place of Australian gay culture in landscape
  • A clip of '28 Days Later'
  • Lana del Rey's 'Video Games' as a somewhat relevant pop song to start off the lecture (on video games and landscape)
  • A clip from Call of Duty
  • Photos of Chernobyl
  • The post-apocalyptic landscape aesthetic in The Hunger Games
  • A screenshot from Wall-E
  • Photos of the surface of Mars
  • A slide called 'The Physical (and some Human) Geography of Christmas'
  • Dicken's 'A Christmas Carol'

Also I will be writing an essay on landscape in Austen's Mansfield Park over Christmas, which I am slightly thrilled about because it combines English, history and geography, which are my three absolute favourite things!


Anyway. Christmas is of course just a few days away and I am well and truly in the festive spirit after spending most of Sunday draped in tinsel and decorating the tree. In a way I almost feel like the big day has already happened because we had so many Christmassy events going on at college in the last few days of term, including a formal dinner, a candlelit carol service (which was lovely and definitely a potential fire hazard), carols in the bar (which was a potential hazard for one's eardrums), a Christmas jumper day and even a couple of days of proper snow! On top of that my friends and I bought cheese and crackers to be extra posh and Christmassy, and also made a gingerbread house which tragically got left in someone's room over the holidays... 

But after all that festivity I am definitely ready for a lovely family Christmas at home and a month just to enjoy the calm, see friends and prepare for next term!


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