Friday, May 25, 2012

Last Call

It's closing time, as it seems. 

I will be rather preoccupied tomorrow finalizing all my travel arrangements, packing, printing boarding passes, online check-ins, and the like, so I figured today would be the best day to give my closing post it's due respect and attention. 

It's been a remarkable 9 months. I can say I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in this country, a time I will not soon forget or let fade. I think being isolated a great distance from my usual territory has been a wholly positive experience, one that I regret must come to an end. My relocation back to the States will be one of mixed emotion. I look forward to seeing everyone again, but I will be conflicted with a sense of the now unfamiliar country I used to call home. A truly remarkable country, with truly remarkable people, Scotland has been more to me than a region, a sovereign state of the UK, it has been a home. She has been my home for the last 9 months. A home that has treated me quite well, and one that fills me with great hesitation to vacate. With my usual verbiage unable to explain the connection I have fostered with this place, I find myself struggling to conjure words powerful enough to convey my current thoughts of leaving this place. 

But as the dog of fate yet again pees against the leg, I must carry on with this post and inevitably carry on with my departure from this dear country. And although I was far more consumed with school work than I had previously thought imaginable, I was able to see the city of Edinburgh for all of her glory. I regret not finding the time to make my way to the Highlands or explore the far reaches of Scotland, but I assure you all, and more importantly myself, that this will not be the last time I enter Scotland's boarders. For as much as I have accomplished in my time here, there is more to be done in this country. I have not given this fine place in the world the thorough exploration she deserved, and I will return to complete this task. Not that I desire to underplay the wonderful experiences I have had in Edinburgh over the past 9 months. I simply wish to stress that this will not be the final time I call Scotland home, whether that be for another temporary stay or one of more permanence. 

So with that I leave you, and I leave Scotland. 

Scotch-Hunter over and out. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

4 and 5 down

Well that was a rough couple of weeks, but its over now, thank Odin. The fourth final was easily the hardest one, but thankfully it was followed up by the final today which was, quite simply, baby town frolics. I think they all went well, so my time was not entirely wasted while I was busy studying away. I have one more final next Saturday,  but its Scottish History, and in no way shape or form is it relevant to my scholastic progression. In the meantime I will be instituting a policy of relaxation, in order to let the soupy consistency of my brain re-congeal  into its rightful shape... and consistency.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

3 down

One more final was vanquished today, leaving only 3 standing. 2 of which will be done by week's end. I think this one went pretty well, Professor seemed generous and gave a relatively easy paper. Hopefully the remaining 2 physics exams go the same way. And for that 3rd exam, the history one, well I don't really care how that one goes, as its not an important class to me in any way.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

2 Down...

Dynamics & Relativity is now completed. So I am now 1/3 of the way done with my finals. I think this one went pretty well, so I'm confident I'll pass the class and likely do pretty well. So good news. Going to ease back into the studying again tomorrow and prepare for my 3 finals next week. First one of those is Wednesday,  so I will have a small window of luxury before the hardcore studying takes place again.

Drawing close to the end.

Monday, April 30, 2012

1 down, 5 to go

Quantum Mechanics final is now completed. I think it went pretty well, I should pass and might do pretty well, if certain answers go my way. Now I have to get back on the horse and study for my Dynamics and Relativity exam tomorrow. Then I'll have a nice week of simple studying for my remaining physics exams. So the ball is officially rolling now. Lets hope it lands in a nice spot.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

...Back to Business

Well after an amazing 5 days with my brother here it is time for me to get back down to business. But before I do, I will give you guys a run down of what we did. Arriving late Thursday Evening, Stu and I took the night easy. We got back to the hotel, had a few drinks at the hotel bar and then he fell asleep. Long day of travel for the little guy. I stayed up a bit longer and watched some TV.

On Friday we did some city exploring including seeing Edinburgh Castle, and some of my favorite spots around the city. We then headed back to the dorm area so he could meet some of my friends and see my shoe box of a room. We went to a pub across the street and had a few drinks before meeting up with my friends as they are young and still sleep in until 11:30 or noon. When they were ready we took a walk up Arthur's Seat and ended up sitting at a nice pond near the top, equipped with two mutant huge swan. We had a very nice time up there drinking and watching the ducks/swans fight over territory. That night we went out for a big sushi dinner at my favorite sushi place here (well the best of the 2 I have been to). We then walked to the Lebowski Pub to see what it was like. Unfortunately other than the large chalk drawing of the Dude outside the bar there is little other reference to the legend himself. Rather disappointing, the pub is more of a hipster scene bar. We then retired to the hotel.

On Saturday we were catching a train to Manchester at 18:15, so we had some time to kill during the day. We did some shopping and some more exploring, saw a movie (21 Jump Street, hilarious by the way) and before we knew it, it was time to catch the train. During the 3 hour ride, we had a nice time catching up with what we had been up to in the months since I had been home. We arrived later than expected so we stopped by a small corner shop and bought some snacks and then hung out in the hotel room until we fell asleep.

After a restless night of excitement it was finally Sunday morning and we were off to Old Trafford to see the greatest football team in the world, Manchester United. We arrived there at around 9:30 and had 3 hours to kill before the game started. Lucky for us Old Trafford is home to the team "Mega Store." Essentially Nike Town but with only Manchester United gear. Needless to say Stuart was in heaven. We spent a good amount of time and money in that shop buying clothes and souvenirs, and then made out way to our seats. Which was increadible. Not only were we lucky enough to be undercover as it had recently started pouring, but our seats despite being in the 3rd row from the very top of the stadium had a magnificent view of the field. With the stadium still pretty empty we took advantage and took some pictures, a majority of which are still on Stuart's phone, so I will post them once he gets back and sends them to me. Soon enough it was time for the match to begin. Now I have been to sold out hockey games, sold out baseball games, and sold out football games, but none of those can hold a candle to the atmosphere of this stadium. With just over 75,000 fans in the stadium this place was electric, roaring, passionate, and utterly absurd. Chants and songs would break out from one end of the stadium and would be immediately picked up by the rest of the 75,000 viewers. It was an amazing game. Although the score was not ideal, a 4-4 draw, we got to see 8 amazing goals, each one putting the MLS league to utter shame (no offence). It was amazing. After the game we made out way back to the train station on foot as the traffic was, as you would expect, immense. After going the long way and making little progress on foot, we found a Hilton hotel with plenty of cabs outside it, so we jumped in one. Arriving at the train station about 2 hours before our 18:15 departure, we went searching for food. And as it seemed every place we found had a policy of "No Football Colours" (they spell colors wrong here). So after being refused by 3 restaurants we found one that was more understanding. We then made our way back to the train and returned to Edinburgh. This ride was less pleasant  than the last however, as there was a problem with the East Coast Main Line and everyone going north of London (which is pretty much everyone as London is near the bottom of the Island) had to take West Main Line with us. So our train was packed with people, standing in the isles, sitting in the "transition area" between cars. Now this wouldn't have been a problem normally since we had reserved seats but we had  been drinking a lot of fluids on the train before it got crowded. And by the time nature was calling us, the train was packed like an obese man's arteries. Needless to say that last hour or so of the train was pretty awful. Thank god that our hotel was across the street from the train station as we both ran inside to use the facilities. The train had come in late with all the over crowing and so we retired for the night shortly after.

Which brings me to Monday. The last full day of my brother's visit. We woke up and went to brunch, then decided to finish up our shopping. Once that was done we went and saw another movie, Cabin In the Woods. An excellent satire on the horror film industry. We then went out for a late dinner and some drinks. Which was very fun. We then went home and retired for the night.

This morning we woke up early got everything packed up and left for the airport. The sad end of one of the best vacations I have ever had. So thank you to my parents for flying him out here and giving us this opportunity to have a sibling vacation in the Old Country.

Which brings me back to the present, were I am currently really resisting getting back to work. But I know I have to, and the good news is once I get back into study mode, the remaining time will start to pass rapidly again and before I know it I will be back in the United States. Which I can say after Stuarts visit I have never been more excited for. Who would have thought I could get so excited for a 9.5 hour flight?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mental Lapse

Sorry for the delay again. I have been so engrossed in my studies that I had actually forgotten what day it was. Fortunately I made a calendar event for my brother's arrival so when I awoke this morning I was greeted by a friendly reminder that I had to pick him up from the airport today. His flight will be landing in the next 2 hours (1 hour delay in Gatwick as it seems). Then the Sibling Scotland Shenanigans can begin! During his visit I will try to keep you all posted on what we are doing, but at worst case I will have a long post on Tuesday when he leaves with pictures and stories.