Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Apologies and Assurances...

...to anyone who might have been alarmed by my previous posting, in conjunction with my failure to properly relate my phone number. Even though I did specifically caution you not to worry. I forget that none of you underwent a seemingly infinite series of orientations all of which made frequent references to the inevitable experience of culture shock, its symptoms and effects, and its transitory nature. Fortunately, however, I did undergo such a series, and if they taught me nothing else, I came away with an awareness of the possibility of such feelings as I experienced two days ago, and a resolution not to let them defeat me.

Nevertheless, I was deeply touched and encouraged by the offerings of advice and concern, support and supplies, poetry and pumpkin squirrels I received via blog comments and e-mails. You are all more appreciated, beloved and valued by me than I can express. Thank you.

I promise life is looking much sunnier today, not only literally (although that's also the case) but also in terms of most of the previously daunting areas mentioned in my previous entry. For instance:

I have eliminated Quantum Mechanics and Relativity from my schedule, and replaced them with Metaphysics, which I think will be a much better subject for the open-ended structure of a British University education. I also attended Writing For Theatre, which seemed, from the first lecture, to be a straightforward class from which I will gain much, with a helpful and kind tutor (their word for professor). The tricky thing about the British educational system is that your are left, much more, to your own devices. The main difference is, instead of being assigned textbooks and told which chapters to read for a given class, you are told the general area in which to focus and expected to choose your own area of concentration and choose the books you read accordingly. Which means (and Janel and Christine will understand my apprehension here) a much greater amount of time in and reliance on the library. On the plus side, you get to study what you're really interested in, and actually have time for it, so I'm sure once I've become acquainted with the system and with the library I'll be much more comfortable here. I still have to add in one more class to get my schedule full, which will hopefully happen over the next few days.

I took a trip into Brighton yesterday for some shopping, with verbal directions thanks to my indispensable and ever-helpful neighbor, Ben, a few hours to spare, and an all-day bus pass, and managed to find my way around and procure most of the items of which I was in need. I located a British 99 pence shop, which is of course twice as expensive as its American counterpart but amusingly similar in title and helpfully diverse in content. Most valuable, I think, was the package of stick tack, with which I was able to spatter my room with photos of all of your wonderful (and often delightfully silly) faces. So my walls are no longer frighteningly bare. I've also taken to propping open my bedroom door.

Thanks to my father, the mystery of the inoperable telephone number has been solved. (If for some reason you don't receive an e-mail with the finally corrected version of that, and would like it, let me know.) Thus I was able to speak to both of my parents--a surpassingly comforting experience. Merci, ma famille!

I still haven't cracked the riddle of setting up internet in my room (the computer is currently unable to find a dialtone) so I'm still forced to make great treks in order to bridge the communication gap electronically, but hopefully that will soon be resolved.

I continue to meet many helpful and friendly people. Tomorrow I'm off to a movie night at the Chaplain's house with some folks I met at church, which I'm really looking forward to, and there are also philosophy student meetings I now know about since I'm enrolled in Metaphysics, which will hopefully provide another place to meet people and engage in some good conversations. Be assured, however, that you are all missed incredibly, in my emotional high points as well as my occasional lows. I hope you are doing well and appreciating that which is familiar in your environment--something you take for granted, often, until it disappears. I love you all.

1 Comments:

Blogger Mistress Morwen said...

Hello my dear,

I am not worried, though apprehensive for my own trip eight months from now. You will be fabulous, you will adjust. Perhaps it barely resembles the first few weeks at UPS, but I hope you can still find the similarities.

Wish you were here so much. I believe that we have a week to find two directors, or at least one, since at least one of us should be an actual producer (in the event Amy is cast in Rough Crossing). It's daunting, but we'll get there. It would feel ten times more likely if you were with us though.

School returns to me in a week. Classes and life back in the real world. I start out my return with a day of statistics and theater 310. How thrilling...three hours with Jac. There is a bright spot to it all.

Keep a smile on your face, my dear. There are those of us who miss you greatly, and will continue to do so.

Cheers,
Phoebe

5:51 PM  

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