Journals from Fall 2010, University of Nottingham, England
2010-11-24 The out, about, and around the town
A ride at Goose Fair
10 October 2010
Laura’s 21st: One of our group had the fortune (and perhaps misfortune) of turning 21 abroad. And despite this country’s utter lack of concern with one’s 21st, we crazy Americans were gonna celebrate in style. We did a ghost walk, which while we didn’t go anywhere particularly fascinating, was DEFINITELY worth it for the guide. Long hair, black trenchcoat, scary silver fingernail covers, and a hidden knife. And, for bonus points, we met at what HAS to be a British biker bar. HAS. TO. BE. It was brilliant. Then, it’s off to the clubs/bars. We only made it to one, and then proceeded to try £1 shooters. We were impressed with the dozens of concoctions (literally every color of the rainbow) and the price. All in all, a pretty fun, and eye-opening night. We’ve come to realize that nights out with the Linfielders (and a few extras) are really quite fantastic. I think, for the most part, we kind of love each other.
Dance, dance: I went to an Advanced Jazz class! It had about 40 people, in a teeny tiny room. Wearing borrowed shorts (thanks Joanna!). It was exhausting and painful, but fantastic as well. I really wanted to go to Beginner’s Ballet the next day, but the pain and lack of clothes stopped me. Now, two full days later, my hamstrings and back are still unhappy, but my heart and soul are undeniably pleased. (My wallet is also MASSIVELY upset at the money spent for a new leotard, tights, and shorts.)
Psych(adelic): Not really. Really, it’s just psychology. We have these things called “tutorials” which are smaller meetings (a dozen or less) with an older student (usually a PhD candidate) to discuss the subject and assignments or issues at hand. Most modules (classes) call them seminars and have them at least once a week. Of course, being the Psychology department, we have 2 or 3 a semester, BUT we have class on Friday, and at 9 AM. I swear, anywhere in the world…
Just realized… do you call the people in your class, “classmates”? Or “modulemates”? They’re not “coursemates” because your course = your major. Huh.
15 October 2010
York: Last Saturday I got to go to York with a bunch of International kids. It was honestly a really nice experience, plain and simple. I, being the true lackadaisical freak that I am, didn’t even Google York before going, so I had no idea what was awaiting me there. Fortunately, I have friends who know how to prepare, and we were off! We just started walking, which despite my personal relationship with walking (in general, I hate it) this is the type of country and adventure where you just have to learn to like it, or at least appreciate it. We stumbled upon a street performer, who modeled a bit for me and was shocked (and a bit horrified, I think) upon learning that I was from Hawaii. Sadly, we were unable to donate to his cause, as none of us had significant change (a pound or more). His act consisted of a lot of humour and escaping from chains upon a ladder, both of which were entertaining. Moving on, we searched for food whilst taking pictures of nearly everything, and stumbled upon Clifford’s Tower and the Castle Museum. We skipped out on Clifford’s Tower (which is mainly a giant circle to look around at the rest of the town) and explored the Castle Museum. Now, I am not a museum person. Or an art exhibit person. I mean, I like pretty things, but still. I think I’m too in love with moving art forms (theatre, dance, etc.) to appreciate anything still or dead. But this Castle Museum was pretty fascinating. And of course, it helped to be around with friends. A good part of it was that it kept you moving, providing the odd “interactive” exhibit, including lots of audio tapes that really served to scare the stuffing out of you (fire crackling and a dog barking in a Period Room, and people calling to one another in a recreated street; the simulated rain shower during the evening was one of the most surprising). There was a bit of a prison storyline (as the Castle used to hold prisoners forever (“a thousand years of justice” is all over one of the walls) which was both scary and sad. All in all, worth the £7. Next came a pub lunch (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’ve been eating Subway and getting lunches like the “New York Style Chicken”) and off to the York Minster. I really, really wish my camera hadn’t died here, and that we had more time. As I’m not a museum person, I’m not really a cathedral/religious place person. But it was truly beautiful, and the choir practicing in the next room was phenomenal. Not gonna lie, there was also an air of creepiness, as the theme definitely seemed to be to carve as many faces into the walls and ceilings as possible, but still, an eerie beauty. I lit a candle, because it seemed right. Then, a VERY quick walk along a bit of the Wall. I know it’s massively historically significant, but don’t ask me about it. It was cool, and cold. I think it just taught me I wouldn’t appreciate the Great Wall very well.
Stag Night: For the sole purpose I forgot to mention it last time: at Laura’s 21st, we saw a guy (older; mid-twenties) in a full baby costume. Diaper, bonnet, bib. Near the end of the night, I found out, it was his Stag Night. And what is Stag Night? A bachelor party. After imparting an impromptu hug and letting all the Americans know we had a soon-to-be-groom in our midst, we sort of smushed his group with ours. (No, he wasn’t getting married the next day, but rather in a few weeks.)
Goose Fair: I almost forgot about this! The day before I went to York, I went to the Goose Fair, which is like a giant traveling State Fair. It’s mostly all rides and food stands, but it was awesome. I totally jumped on a ride that was more intense than I thought it was, ate a weird cheeseburger, got £1 cotton candy, and wasted money trying to win a GIANT STUFFED ANIMAL. I failed. :(
Aloha and cheers,