Today was my last day of classes until August. The next lecture I attend will be in McMicken Hall on the University of Cincinnati’s lovely campus. The school system is really different here, because there are two 11-week semesters (really only 10 weeks for us arts/humanities students who don’t have classes on week 6), and then an extra term just for exams. So when we get back from spring break in April, we’ll have a few weeks to study—or as they call it here, “revise”—before taking our final exams, which for the most part are staggered out over the course of a few weeks. A lot of my friends are going to be spending the entire month of spring break at home studying. Coming from a school system that only has one week of final exams per term, I can’t even fathom putting so much time and effort into revision.
I understand why people doing degrees like physics will need to revise so much, because they’ll have to memorize every single fact they’ve learned this year. But my two exams are just covering the literature and films that we’ve studied this semester. And I already feel really comfortable discussing those materials. So I know I won’t need to spend that much time in the spring term revising. All I really need to do is memorize basic facts about each book and author, as well as some important quotes from each work. I think the people who say they’ll be spending a lot of time revising are actually the students who just didn’t do the readings during term and now realize that they should read them for the exam. As you can tell, I’m not too bothered about my exams, especially when I have all of spring break to look forward to!
I’ll be spending tonight having a Lady Gaga dance party while fine-tuning my spring break plans. I might drag Molly in here at some point to plan stuff and/or dance. We leave on Monday (first stop: Belgium—can’t wait for some Belgian waffles and chocolate!), so you can look forward to more exciting photo posts of my travels rather than these mundane life updates.
Okay, so I didn’t get as far on my essay yesterday as I’d hoped I would. BUT I booked all of my hostels and all of my transportation and some tickets for the attractions I’ll be seeing over spring break. So a lot of the decision-making part is out of the way, and now it’s just the fun research part. And by research, I mean I read the Wikitravel page for each city and then download the city’s app on my iPod.
I also got my exam timetable for the spring term, and my last exam is on May 18. So I booked my flight home. I’ll stay for the weekend and then head home on Tuesday (the 22). Exactly two months from today. My family lives in Alabama, so I’ll be flying from Birmingham, United Kingdom to Birmingham, United States. HOW COOL IS THAT GOING TO LOOK ON THE PLANE TICKET?!
I’ll be sad to leave England, but I miss my family, I miss my friends, I miss American politics, I miss Kraft macaroni and cheese, I miss being able to say “pants” without the ambiguity of whether I mean trousers or underwear, I miss cars driving on the right side of the road, I miss so many things about America, I miss Ohio, and I miss Cincinnati and UC (I could list all of the things about Cincy that I miss, but that’s an entire post of its own!). Of course, for every thing I miss now, I’m sure there will be something from England that I’ll miss when I get back home. But still.
I’ll be making the most of my remaining time here (a month-long jaunt through Europe followed by one last month to enjoy the English springtime) and then I think I’ll be ready to head home in May!
I have three essays due the first week I get back from my spring break trip, so I’ve decided to be responsible and start working on my essays before I go. The one I’m writing at the moment is for my linguistics class, and the topic is: "Find two examples of broadcast interviews that contrast in some way." So I’m writing about an interview with Stephen Colbert and one with Rick Perry. I’m looking at technical stuff like sequential ambiguity, serious versus non-serious discourse, the frequency of discourse markers, and the maintenance of the interviewer/interviewee roles. So it’s pretty dry, but it’s definitely made better by the fact that I chose some interesting samples.
In other news, I leave on my spring break trip in FIVE DAYS!!!! I’m still in the planning stages, but everything’s starting to come together. Once I book my ticket back to England from my last destination, all of my transportation will be sorted. And then I need to book my hostels. And then maybe learn some helpful foreign phrases if I have time. (If not, there’s an app for that!) Surprisingly, I’m pretty un-stressed at the moment. I have a lot to do, but I feel confident that I’ll get everything done. Today is my day without classes, so I’ll be working at my desk all day, and hopefully I’ll finish most of my essay by tonight.
It feels like it’s been a while since I wrote a post, but there hasn’t really been anything post-worthy happening in my life. Since I got back from Bratislava, I’ve just been working on finishing the last of my homework for the semester. Next week is our last week before spring break, so I’ve been piecing together my travel plans. I’ll save the details for when we get closer, but I’ll tell you now that it’s going to be incredible! I’m usually more of a last-minute planner, but I’ve started preparing already because I’ll be travelling for almost a month, and I’ll be going to so many different places. So with less than two weeks to go until my Eurotrip, I’m getting really excited and also really busy!
And that’s pretty much an update of everything that’s happened in the past week.
Now that I’ve posted all of my photos, I thought I’d share my overall thoughts of my first time in Paris. I only ended up being here for about a day and a half, but I felt like it was enough time to see most of the things that I wanted to see. I walked around everywhere, and I got a really good orientation of the city. This was also a great chance for me to practice my French, particularly the phrases Je voudrais un café, s’il vous plaît (I would like a coffee, please) and Parlez-vous anglais? (Do you speak English?) Paris is the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen. I loved it, and I can’t wait to go back!