Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Bits and Bobs

A classic British term to describe the anticipated collection of random updates and observations to be included in today's post. (Incidentally, for the benefit of you in the States, as well, apparently, as the entertainment and edification of my British colleagues, I have begun compiling a list of British terminology unfamiliar to us Americans, which I shall share once I have got it into a somewhat complete state (so perhaps not until towards the completion of my surveillance I mean stay here).)

Hm, well, first of all, I spent the major part of my weekend holed up in my room working away on such projects as posting the pictures described in the previous post, responding to e-mail, and researching for and compiling my first assessed assignment here in the United Kingdom--an oral presentation for my Science Fiction class, to be delivered tomorrow morning at 9am. Fortunately, I have the benefit of having watched my classmates make similar attempts in the previous two class sessions, so I have some idea of what is expected of me. Nevertheless, it's a daunting consideration, not knowing precisely what they expect over here and in what unanticipated ways it might differ from what I'm used to back home. But the presentation (on Isaac Asimov's Laws of Robotics and their impact on subsequent science fiction) is now complete, and has been thoroughly organized and rehearsed, which means, hopefully, that by this time tomorrow that will be one down, ten to go in terms of graded coursework for the term.

Having barely finished my presentation, I headed down to the Christian Union tonight to have inspiration not just strike, but veritably avalanche upon me. The vision of a play I got is tenuous enough to be difficult to describe just yet, but is clear enough to me for some serious work the next time I have a moment. It basically involves an ensemble piece composed of a collection of poetic and visually metaphoric vignettes depicting a spiritual journey with God. If that makes sense. It does to me, which is really all that matters at this point. The poetic quality is very different from anything I've attempted before, which is both intimidating and exciting. So I'm looking forward to starting work on that.

Coming up this weekend is a retreat with the Skeptics Anonymous group to a country farmhouse, for conversation, prayer, walks, drinks in a local pub, movies by the fire, homecooked meals, and more. Very exciting! Hopefully from this weekend, in addition to solidified friendships, philosophical insights, and spiritual growth, will emerge more photographs to be posted on the neighboring blog, including, as per request, more countryside, as well as proof of both my presence in this faraway land and the existence of these ethereal Skeptics. Oh, man, though, if you want countryside, just wait until I take my camera on a walk or two around the area. Can't wait to share with you all the glory of Stamner Park, Falmer Village, and of course, the South Downs. Brilliant!

Other minor updates: I don't think I mentioned before my attendance of the International Student film screening of "L'Auberge Espagnole", a French film with the English title "Pot Luck," about a French university student who spends a year studying abroad in Spain and living in an apartment with flatmates from Spain, Italy, Germany, England, and America. A great film--highly amusing and almost painfully accurate, at many points, in its depiction of the study abroad experience, in everything from the bureaucracy of the application process to the joys of transporting your entire life in duffel bags to the complexity of the shared, multicultural living space. Of course, there's the usual movification of things, but it's a good enough film that I recommend it to any of you who can get your hands on it, and I trust you can jusge for yourselves which parts of it apply eerily to my own experience, and which are utterly irrelevant.

I think that's all for the moment. I cooked myself some curry last night to last me the next few dinners, and it turned out to be a pretty rousing success. All in all, getting the hang of this living situation. The best to all of you, as always. Keep up the e-mails and comments. My love pours back to the States and gets all over your brand new beanie cap.


Blogger Knightley said...

Well. Unlike the rest of your disloyal readers, I would like more pictures of you. Landscape, schmandscape. English trees: wooo oooh.

11:20 PM  
Blogger BayStateCousin said...

Greetings Cousin Liz! Your Mum and I spent the day corresponding and she was kind enough to send the url to your blog. It's very nice to see you're doing so well and having such a fantastic voyage!

Your latest post flooded me with humorous personal memories of some subtle and confusing nuances between the Brits and us Yanks as regards commonspeak. During my voyage to London a few years ago I spent the better part of 5 minutes trying to comprehend what the girl working the counter at McDonald's near Piccadilly Circus meant when she asked in her cockney accent "To Stay or Take Away, Sir?" Silly then, but laughable now!

Enjoy your stay and your experience in England. Good luck with classes and writing!

~Cousin Bob and Christine (and your new Cousin, Lucas)

1:36 AM  

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