Saturday, 15 October 2011

Hello old friend.

Hello there. I realize I have not written anything on this blog for a few weeks, but you try starting a new life somewhere and still having time to write all this junk down. Its been exceedingly hectic here, and this is the first Saturday where i have not had to desperately put out a fire of some kind, so I decided to write. Several things have occurred since last I wrote, so I will inform you of them, in list form;
-I joined the Frisbee Team, Positive Mojo
-Classes have started
-I did some traveling
-My dog passed away

Take a wild guess and figure out which of these matters the most to me. Jake passed away yesterday, and it still hurts to much to talk about so I'm not going to. And that's that.

But the rest is going fairly well. I did a bit of travelling, visiting Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness, and Culloden, all in the Inverness area. The castle was a bit disappointing, as it was in a ruined state because the last owners of the castle blew it up in order for it not to be used as a Jacobite stronghold. Loch Ness was very pretty, and I managed to get on a boat cruise to see it from the middle. It is extraordinarily long and narrow, with much rougher waters than you would imagine. Culloden was amazing though. It is the site of a battle between Jacobite forces of Bonnie Prince Charlie and a Royal Army. If your not familiar with this stuff just Wikipedia it, do I have to do everything? It was a really chilling place, because they have not changed anything, including the mass graves of all the highlanders who died, or their grave marker-cairns. I definitely recommend that you give it i visit if every you find yourself in the Highlands.

Classes have also started for me here in Aberdeen, and honestly, they bore me. It is a completely different style of education than at Gustavus (which is admittedly top-notch). There is no faculty of critical thinking, but in fairness most British university students are much better at that than us Americans, but it still stand that there is almost no aspect of critical thinking in my lower-level classes. My upper level history class has a bit, but it is difficult because the professor is working against the restrictions of the course requirements of a massive test at the end, in order to give us a good class. So I think that that class is good because of the teacher, not the structure. My Gaelic language class is a joke though. Three different teachers, all who say different things, and teach us in different ways. We are not taught any sort of grammar, or construction. We are only expected to learn words, and stick them into cookie cutter sentences that the teacher provide for us. such as 'Tha mi a Dùn Deagh' This means I am from Dundee. But i only know what Dùn Deagh means, the rest I must take on faith, because that is where I was told to put place names in order to say I was from there. It's just very frustrating, because the last language I learned (Russian) was taught by an excellent teacher, who made it a point that we knew how to construct for ourselves. very frustrating.

Frisbee, on the other hand, us much less frustrating. I must say that this team is reviving my love of the game after it was nearly smothered by the Gustavus team(sorry guys, its true). Somehow this team manages to be extremely competitive (we are looking to get top 3 in our region and go on to Nationals) but they also create an atmosphere of 'no pressure', where it is OK to make mistakes, have fun, and learn about the game. Not once, and I've really cocked up a few plays, have I ever been screamed at, or made to feel like I should not be there because I am not good at playing. They know everyone is good, they just need to bring it out in the player. So they support and teach, rather then scream and abuse (I'm looking at you Gregg). It is extremely refreshing, and makes me want to work harder for, and feel more committed to the future of this team after only a few weeks, than two years with my team back home. Lets just say that I would have a few things to change about the way the Gustavus teams comports themselves if I had any power back home.

Well, that's kinda all for now. I'm doing well, and having fun. I'm thinking about going back to Edinburgh next weekend, but we shall see.