Week 2

First things first: I finally tried fish and chips this week! The fish was kind of gross, because I haven’t had fish for so long and forgot what it tasted like, though the texture was nice because it was just the right amount of crispy. Also, the chips—in America, we just call them fries—were kind of stale. Overall, they satisfied a greasy-food craving; plus I think I earned at least ten British Tourism Points (which will from this point be referred to as BTP). However, I don’t think I’ll be getting fish again any time soon.

It’s been really warm and sunny all week (temperatures have gotten up to the 80s the past few days). I’ve worn my raincoat once and haven’t even used my umbrella or rain boots since being here. Though I’m sure if I hadn’t brought any rain gear, it would have poured every single day. C’est la vie!

I just finished my first week of classes. I’m really excited about all of them, even though I think they’ll be a lot more work than the other courses I’ve taken in the past.

Here are my courses: 

Talk, Text, and Identity: We study the way that humans use language, and how our use of language shapes individuals and society as a whole.

Narrative Analysis: We study specific examples of narratives, and the relation between narrative and individuals/society.

Media, Culture, and Communication: This is fairly self explanatory. We study various forms of media and specific historical and contemporary media case studies.

Survey of American Literature up to 1890: Is it ironic that I came to England to take courses about America? We’re reading the autobiography of Ben Franklin at the moment.

20th Century American Literature and Culture: I’m reading The Great Gatsby this weekend for this course. 

By this point, I know my way around Birmingham really well, so it’s nice that I don’t get lost going to class. I explored the library this week, which is huge, and I already feel at home in it. I also have spent quite a lot of time in the bookstore, Waterstones, and discovered that books are typically cheaper here than in America. Especially textbooks: my big Media textbook cost 25 pounds here (about $40) and would have cost over $70 in the US.

I did something completely out of character today and got up early to go on a run by the canal. It was really pretty to see everything come to life as the sun was rising.

One last thing: I got my fix of America after class this afternoon by going to the Starbucks on campus and ordering a coffee. It’s just as good here!

Have a great weekend, beautiful people!

love, elizabeth