I owe Katie an apology. I told her I would blog every week while I’m here. Clearly I’ve failed—I’ve been here for two months and only posted twice. I guess it’s time for an update!
Life in London has been fun and crazy and exciting and stressful all at once. Two weeks after everyone arrived here, we set off for our tour of the northern UK: Scotland and the Lake District, for the most part. Highlights included hiking King Arthur’s Seat above Edinburgh and visiting the Romanticism exhibit at the Wordsworth home and museum. The latter was mostly about Wordsworth, obviously, but it did have a few displays about Percy Shelley, one of which included the book that was found on him after his death. So cool!
As much as I loved the northern tour, it really threw me off in terms of teaching. I’m teaching a section of English 218 (creative writing) here but didn’t realize until I got here that I was actually teaching it instead of assisting. Getting things organized and figured out took much longer than it probably should have! I had trouble getting my feet under me properly. That was fine for me—I seem to function best when I’m flying by the seat of my pants—but my poor students and co-teacher probably would appreciate better organization. As it is, I’m not sure I would’ve been able to teach at all if not for my theory class and my writing center training.
As soon as I got in the groove of teaching, we left for our tour of the southwestern UK. John and I had planned to hold writing classes on the trip, but that didn’t happen. Everyone spent the trip either sleeping or hiking, it feels like. We did a five-mile trek along the coast of the Irish Sea, which involved switchbacks, dramatic ups and downs, and incredibly seaside scenery. My favorite hostel was at Tintagel, and it reminded me of Shell Cottage (from HP7) at first glance. It was so tiny, I didn’t know how we would fit our group (half the SA folks) inside. Well, clearly it was a TARDIS hostel, because we managed! It was bigger on the inside. Highlights from this trip included visiting Merlin’s Cave beneath Tintagel Castle and, of course, going to Stonehenge!
The rest of the time, I’ve been wandering London. I realize that doesn’t sound particularly exciting but it has been. I’ve seen a Shakespeare play at the Globe, been to a Degas exhibit at the Royal Academy of Art, lost myself in Soho, and visited all the yarn- or bookshops my internal radar could find. I always keep a book in my purse and an idea in my head. It’s strange, being out alone in a big city, but it’s also liberating. (And why I haven’t been posting.)
So, why am I posting today? To be honest, this post is brought to you by the fact that I’m sick in bed. For the last few days I’ve been queasy and fatigued. Going to class for even an hour makes me dizzy. I spent yesterday alternating between sleeping, trying (and failing) to read Sense and Sensibility (not good for tired minds), and watching “Bleach” reruns. (Special thanks to Yas for introducing me to crunchyroll.com. I feel completely pathetic sitting around watching “Bleach” all day, especially since each episode takes as long to load as it does to play, but it’s better than sitting around feeling pathetic and not doing anything. I’m doing better today: I’m watching “Reborn!” instead.) Today, I’m trying to force myself to be productive. Thus, this post.
I’m sincerely hoping to be better by tonight. It’s our Halloween party and I have an awesome costume planned. Look for a pic or two on facebook! Most of my photos won’t go up until I get home, since the internet here is so abysmal. Love you all and hope you’re doing well!