Friday, September 23, 2011

The Astronomy Society, The Second Week Recap, and much much more for the low low price of... well internet access I guess

Despite my initial opinions, the Astronomy Society actually kind of grew on me. It was off to a rocky start with every member coming in speaking broken English with heavy Eastern European or Asian accents, but as more people came in it got better. It was a solid mix of people which was refreshing. Seems like I finally found a society that is nerdy enough to hold my interest, but cool enough not to force my quick and quiet departure, never to be seen or heard from by that society again. Splendid news. The meeting was in a bar I hadn't been in yet so I was interested to explore it and got there a little early. In actuality I read my clock wrong and left super early, but that's not important. The Frankenstein Bar was one of the coolest bars I had ever been in (Pictures soon). Two levels, lots of themed decorations, complete with a wax Frankenstein that scared the hell out of me when I first sat down, and realized there was something behind me. It reminded me of that Jekyll and Hyde restaurant in New York City, but was smaller and more easily navigated, that place was a maze and not the terribly fun sort. So in my early arrival waiting period I ordered a drink. I decided on the signature drink of the bar, the Dr. Frankenstein. It probably would have been pretty good if they put some booze in it, but it tasted just like pure pineapple juice, which while delicious was not entirely worth the extra cost of a cocktail. Soon the meeting started and I got to met a few of the "board members" of the society, nice enough chaps. As the meeting carried on we started playing simple party games, like the one where you have a famous person's name on your head and have to ask yes or no questions to discover his or her identity. I got mine first, probably due to my superior American intellect of films and famous people, and won a pint, payed for by the society. Which was awfully nice of them. I stayed out for a few hours talking to different people in the group, and decided at around 11 it was time for me to go home back to my dorm room, before I fell asleep in my drink. Overall I would say that was a fun first meeting, which was lovely because the other society meetings were, to be quaint, bloody dreadful.

I had my first Quantum Mechanics lecture today, which means I've finally been to all of my classes, and this is going to be a tough year... But I suppose that college had to pick up the difficulty at some point right? The professor for QM, however is very good. A stylish Italian with a lovely accent, one of those teachers that gives a lot of effort, but expects a lot in return. Should be a fun class, albeit pretty challenging.

I worked out in the King's Buildings' gym today for the first time, and after discovering how everything works, no simple task as it seemed, I found a nice little gym tucked deep into the recesses of the "home" building. Equipped only with the essentials, it should be quite nice. The only major hitch is that I need to pay for the lockers, it's only 10 pence so it's not expensive by any means, I just have to start stashing my 10p coins from now on, which are oddly hard to come by.

This brings my first week of school to an almost close, I have one more class today in an hour, but I've been to it before, so it's nothing new, just the next lecture. I'm starting to get the hang of the homework system here, it's different than the UW system and not as clearly lined out, but I'm getting there. I'm also starting to figure out how the final exam system works here, and it looks like it will be drastically different then the UW system. The whole month of December is essentially for finals. So I have 3 weeks to study for and take my finals. Seems nice, but I was told last night that most 3rd year classes (which most of mine are) have their finals at the end of second semester, even if the class itself was in 1st semester. Which I hope isn't the case with my classes because then I would have to review the material from 1st semester throughout 2nd semester, on top of my other new classes. On the up side however that means I potentially could only have 1 final in December, which would be kind of nice, as maybe I could plan some traveling. However if that's the case I will have 6, very technical finals, in April or May. I suppose I will discover more as the year progresses but seeing as for most of my classes the final exam is at least 80% of my final mark, it's kind of hard to not have present in my mind.

It's hard to believe that I've already been here for almost two weeks. Amazing how regardless of some days passing slowly, on the whole time moves by pretty fast. And I'm trying to stop and look around once and a while so I don't miss it.

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