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.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The List of Lasts

As my time here continues to wain, I'm beginning to take notice of a few things. Tomorrow for example will be the last time I walk to the physics building, yesterday my last tutorial section met its end, and the day before saw the conclusion of my final physics lecture . Although I can't say I'm going to miss having class, I am not discounting the experience of going to a foreign university. As my classes come to a close I realize I am a mere 6 finals (mere being an odd word for SIX finals, but no matter) away from completing my time here. A bitter sweet moment to be sure. A few steps closer to graduation and a life outside of school, but a tragic departure from the place I have come to call home over the past 7 months. So while I am eager to return to the United States, a place I am rather ashamed to say seems foreign to my mind, I will certainly miss this place. A lot was accomplished here, and perhaps more was discovered. In my remaining time, I wish only to prepare well for these exams, and in that final week after my last exam and before my return flight, to soak up so much of this place that my mind becomes a soggy wet sponge of experiences... but, you know, in a good way...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Plugging Along

It's been a pretty standard week. Nothing too exciting going on, just beginning to seriously study for my exams. Knowing there likely wouldn't be too much to say this week, I figured this would be a good time to post some pictures of the places I'm frequently at, including the physics building, the gym and a photo from my window showing the heavy fog we had yesterday. Other than that it's been a pretty regular week. I applied for a summer internship at Boeing a few days ago and have my fingers crossed that it works out. Hope everyone is enjoying themselves. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Good Week

It's been a good week. They finally posted my finals schedule so I now know my studying priorities for each exam. Isn't a great lineup but it will do.

April 30th: Quantum Mechanics
May 1st: Dynamics & Relativity
May 9th: Thermodynamics
May 11th: Electromagnetism
May 12th: Math for Physics 4
May 19th: Scottish History since 1914

The difficulty level is likely as follows (from hardest to easiest):

Thermodynamics > Quantum Mechanics > Dynamics & Relativity > Electromagnetism > Math for Physics > Scottish History

Scottish History may not actually be the easiest but I don't really care about it as it doesn't apply to my major so I'm not going to stress on it too much. It sucks that all of my physics finals are so tightly compacted but that will help them get over faster. And now that this list has been posted and made official is making it far more real that this trip is really winding down to a close. Which is both sad and a relief. On the one hand I will miss this place and the people I have met here, but on the other hand it will be very nice to be in the same time zone as my friends and family back home.

On another note yesterday was St. Patrick's Day, and I had a lovely time. Watched the 6 Nation Rugby Finals at an Irish pub in town, sat in the sun and drank beer for a few hours (may have gotten some color too, which is odd because I'm in Scotland), and went out to another pub that night for a friends birthday celebration. All in all it was a good day, and I had a great time.

Hope you guys are enjoying yourselves.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Man of my word

And although I really don't have much to say today, I said I would make another post on Sunday, and I'll follow through. It's been another painfully short weekend, one that started too late and ended too early. I'm sure you all know the feeling. Shouldn't be a tough week this week, 2 standard weekly assignments one additional assignment, and that's it. Well that and I should continue going over my stuff from last semester in preparation of these exams, the dates of which I'm still unaware of. The rest of this semester should be about the same as this week, so essentially I'm in a nice dry trail before I enter the muddy swamp that is finals in May.

Lets hope I have the proper boots for that mess.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Busy Couple of Weeks

My apologies for not posting in a few weeks, things have been pretty busy around here. I was meaning to make a post this past weekend, but got too busy with writing a paper and preparing a presentation. But those have been handed in a presented now, so I have a little more down time. In fact today I have a little too much down time and don't really know what to do. As free time has become ever more rare in time of late, I'm struggling to remember what I do with my time when I'm not studying or doing homework. Things will start winding down now as this semester starts reaching its end. I only have standard weekly assignments left, no more big projects or papers, which is nice. I am still unaware of the specifics of my finals schedule, all I know is that all 6 of them will take place sometime in May. I won't know more until the 19th when they FINALLY post the schedule. Until then I'll just be plugging along with my work, trying to squeeze in some more adventures before I make my return Stateside. Pending my finals schedule, I plan on making some trips outside of Edinburgh, to Saltcoats or Stirling, in April. Go see some more of the countryside before I return. I can say however, that if I was coming home tomorrow, I wouldn't have many regrets about what I have done here. Although I do wish school was a little less demanding so I could go explore more. But we play with the cards we are dealt.

I'll likely be returning to my regular weekend posts as things wind down, so I'll be here again on Sunday.

TTFN, ta ta for now.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Not quite as nice of a golf tale as last time...

Well I went golfing again today, same course as last time, but struggled a little bit more this time. Probably because I haven't swung a club since September, but it wasn't terrible. Struggled a good deal off the tee but was pretty solid in the mid and short game. Made a few nice chips and a few solid putts, but just couldn't get the driver to cooperate. Things were going decently well, I was behind a foursome so I was playing 2 balls which was nice. Everything was going reasonably smoothly until the 18th. Sliced my second tee shot pretty bad, and as I realized it was heading in the direction of the "middle-aged to old" guy behind me, I yelled FOUR! Well evidently this guy was going deaf or maybe the wind carried my voice past him or something, because he freaked out. My ball landed about a yard or two away from him, and he was not happy about it. So as I approach him I can hear him cussing me out, no big deal, he's mad which was totally understandable. I apologize profusely, completely taking the blame and saying I must not have yelled loud enough in my now raspy voice. It's here I notice that he just isn't having any of it, and keeps yelling, all the while stand right over my ball. So I figured I'd fight fire with fire, and intimidate him right back. Staring him straight in the eyes, I again apologize, this time a little more angrily and aggressively, walk up to him forming tight fists with my hands, and stand in front of him until he backed away from my ball. Wherein I picked it up, went to my first balls location, and finished my round. But I was smart enough not to stick around for too long, changed my shoes and went home. So I guess it was equally as exciting as last time, but in a completely different way. And thank god my genetics made me a good size, otherwise I imagine this would have not played out so "smoothly."   

Friday, February 10, 2012

1 Month Mark

Things are going pretty well out here. And I assume I haven't been writing too much recently because nothing special is really going on. Just plugging along with classes and what not. Haven't had too much time to go out and do anything really unique. Which  is causing the days to melt together, I can't really tell how I feel out that. On the one hand the sooner I get back state side the sooner I can start making moves for graduate school or a job after college, but on the other hand I don't want this time here to go by too fast because this will likely be one of only times, if not the only time, I live outside of the United States. Which is obviously a unique experience. So here's to finding the happy medium and coming home with no regrets. I'm in the process of making a "bucket list" for my remaining time here, but it seems like things are being added much more rapidly than they are being crossed off. I do have the week off the week after next so hopefully I can get some stuff crossed off during that week.

The Scotch Hunter Abides

Hasta Luego.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Checking In

I have been a little forgetful about this blog recently and for that I apologize.
Things are going well out here. These new classes don't seem like they will be as tough as my classes last semester. Convenient since I need to review all of those classes too. In the next few days I should find out how I did on my final from December, and should also find out the exam schedule for May. So hopefully I can start planning some trips around the area, to get a better feel for the country.

I went to the Scottish National History Museum today, as it was required for my history class. I was disappointed I didn't have more time to spend there actually. It's a lovely museum, I could have easily spend half a day in there walking around. But alas I only had a short hour to see the exhibit I was told to see for my class. Perhaps this weekend I will go for a longer visit. I thought this museum was much more interesting than the museums in Paris, but that is probably because art museums are rather boring, whereas history museums have far more interesting things in them, like skeletons, and cars, and rockets and what not.

That is really all I have to say for now. I will try harder to keep you guys posted of my adventures here in the next few weeks.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Return

Dust off your computers, and clean those glasses because the Scotch-Hunter has returned. I've been here for a few days now, and am surprised at how quickly I've gotten back into the routine here. This semester seems like it will be a little easier than the previous one, as my classes seem to be a fair bit more simple. That being said I still have to stay on top of the material I learned last semester, as the final exams are in May. But I'm hoping that won't be too difficult. So all in all I'm hoping to have a little more free time this semester so hopefully I can get out a bit more.

That is all for now, as I'm still attempting to re-adjust to the time difference, and am very tired.