Monday, January 31, 2005

New beginning

Today I walked by a bank with a giant poster in the display window. It showed a frog doing the splits with a speech bubble saying, "I'm flexible! Is your mortgage?"

It has also come to my attention that Barb Wire, in which Pamela Anderson plays a crime-fighting dominatrix, is supposed to be based on Casablanca.

I went to the first day of my new classes today, and let me tell you they're a HUGE relief after the nightmare that was last semester. Despite the little voice in my head reminding me that plenty of my issues with university still remain to be solved, in a really wonderful way being in that classroom with those people and that professor felt like home. Not like I was back at UW or in America, but like I was somewhere I belonged. This is how it should have been last fall.

This semester I'll only have two classes to go to at any given time. I have three classes total, and they're all taught by the same man. In a bittersweet development, that man is an utter and complete weirdo. Bitter, because he speaks in a relentless monotone from which it eventually becomes impossible to extract words or meaning from. Sweet, because this speech mannerism has some kind of hypnotic effect that results in missing chunks from my memory. I look at my watch and it's 2:30. I look 10 seconds later, and it's 2:47. That's what his voice does. This is obviously terrifying, but on the other hand it passes the time quite efficiently.

It's not that I spent the whole class period waiting for it to be over, it's just that the whole time the professor was speaking I was waiting for him to not be speaking anymore. This might seem like a rubbish approach to learning, but (1) it literally becomes a struggle to work out what he's saying, and (2) the class discussion took on a life of its own and I got a lot more out of that than...what I wasn't listening to.

I just hope this professor doesn't say anything important for the next 12 weeks because I can assure you I will not catch it.

My second class is European Cinema, which will be the first (and possibly the only) class I will have taken this year that will actually fulfill one of my degree requirements. Wow, it doesn't sound like I've accomplished much this year when I say it that way. Luckily, I can say it another way which makes it sound a lot better: I'M GOING TO SPAIN IN TWO WEEKS, BITCH. I DON'T CARE.

Seriously, I just need to get out more. I'm bouncing off the walls in anticipation of my upcoming travels. "Travels?" you ask. "Don't you mean travel?" "No," I answer, "I said travels and I meant travels. I thought I told you never to correct me on the internet." "I'm sorry," you whimper, "Please don't put me back in The Box."

What I'm trying to tell you is, I'm planning a trip to Germany in April since we get most of that month off. I think we've established that staying at home and having a month to myself is a horrible idea, so I'm heading off to Deutschland to stay with my friend Josh (who's studying abroad in Tübingen from UW) and visit my friend Kristina (who lives there for real).

My belated New Year's resolution is to get out of town as much as possible. Not just out of the country, but around the UK too. Aberdeen was enough for the first four months because everything was so new and I was just getting comfortable making new friends. Now, it's a testament to how at home I feel here that I'm looking for adventure elsewhere.

In short, the new semester is off to a decent start.


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