If I’m not eating anything other than pastries, coffee, and sushi… having a multivitamin fixes all my nutritional deficiencies, right? That’s how those work, yea? Yea. I thought so. I didn’t even get the gummy kind. I got the real, hardcore, horse-pill kind. Legit.
Speaking of pastries… today on the train I was eating this sticky-bun cinnamon roll type of treat. It had that flaky pastry dough that croissants have as well as a cinnamon-flavored icing drizzled all over it. It definitely didn’t qualify as a no-mess snack. However, I thought I was doing okay when eating it. I was tearing it into smaller bites, I was covering my mouth whenever I shoved a giant piece in there, and I was trying to lick my fingers in a non weird way. Maybe it was the finger licking that did it. But the damn thing was sticky! I didn’t have a napkin, and I wasn’t going to waste that deliciousness. I happened to look up during one bite and made eye contact with the woman who sat across from me. She handed me a wet wipe, saying she had tons of them. I’m not sure if she did it because I was that much of a slob of a human, or if she just happened to notice I didn’t have a napkin. I have a heavy suspicion it was the former.
This is why I don’t enjoy eating in public. People at my old work, this is why I never ate with you. Because I am an atrocious eater and I didn’t know until recently just how bad I am.
When everyone went to get off the train, the conductor came on over the intercom and said there had been an “incident” at Victoria station, so we all needed to exit through the front of the train. I have no idea what the incident was, or why exiting from the front doors made a difference. All I know is that it takes much longer to exit a train when the whole of it is heading towards the only two open doors. Hopefully whatever the incident was, it was okay.
Today was my meeting with my tutor for course choices. I have been stressing over it for a full week. Which doesn’t seem that dramatic in the long run. Either way, I put together my own Excel sheet of days/semesters/course times to try to make sense of it for myself. Our department has the chance to do intercollegiate courses with other University of London schools (Royal Holloway, University College London, Birkbeck, and the Institute of Classics). On Tuesday there was a sort of intercollegiate induction, where all the schools involved talked a bit on what they offered and gave information as far as studying with them. I looked through the lists that were provided to see what could fit where. The only thing is, I knew there were two KCL courses I really, REALLY wanted to take. Pretty much everything offered by the other schools that I had an interest in clashed with those two courses. I had a few backups, but mainly all my courses were KCL. Which is perhaps a waste, because I’m not taking advantage of other teaching influences, but I’m not too upset over it.
In true form, I got to campus two hours early. I am terrified of being late since I get lost all the time. It worked out because I momentarily forgot how to get to the Classics wing and ended up doing a bit of wandering. I found it in the end, though. I also ran into a girl I met at the Graduate gathering last week, and we chatted a bit. I didn’t really expect that to happen since it is a big campus and our degrees aren’t related at all. Guess it’s a small world after all (I hope you have that song stuck in your head the rest of the day).
I didn’t know where to go, so at 3:00 (my meeting was at 3:30), I went ahead and just hung around outside of my tutor’s office. He popped out after his 3:00 appointment and saw me and the boy whose meeting was before mine waiting. He called the boy in and then said sort of worriedly, “And, Meghann, your appointment isn’t until…” and I cut him off to admit, “I’m wicked early. No worries, no rush.” He’s a really laid back guy, and I think today might have had him a bit frazzled. He had like 15 tutor meetings back-to-back every 15 minutes.
When I finally went in for my meeting, I asked him if he was exhausted. He admitted he was, since he also had a 3 hour course he taught this morning. Thankfully, we didn’t talk about any kind of dissertation topic. I was scared that was one of the things he would ask, and I have NOTHING. I’ve never done a dissertation. I’ve barely written essays. Just look at this damn blog, I have no idea how to be cohesive. Definitely have no idea how to be succinct. Don’t get me started on grammar. This year will be a struggle, to say the least. Especially now that I’ve talked to other students about what they’re thinking they will do their dissertation on. More on that later.
Anyway, I had my little Excel sheet that I pulled up, and I read out my top choices and secondary choices. He did caution me on taking Ancient Greek. He said he’s found that some people have a natural disposition for languages, while others simply don’t. People who don’t have that natural disposition will often fail, are largely “mature” students, and it can be discouraging. I have to admit, I’ve never taken any language course past the very beginning level. Spanish in high school (barely) and then Mandarin in college. I told him I did Mandarin and I did fairly well. Maybe my memory isn’t serving me correctly, but I finished the class out with an A or a B. I didn’t do well on the spoken portion of the final, but I was okay at reading/writing. Sort of. Regardless, I told him I thought since I had done okay at Mandarin I thought Greek being another sort of symbol language wouldn’t trip me up too much. Maybe symbol was the wrong word, I don’t know. He asked why I wanted it and I was honest and said since I didn’t have any language experience, I felt I was at a sort of disadvantage. It kept me from being able to do several offered courses as Greek or Latin were prerequisites. I asked if he thought me auditing the course would be better, since it would take some of the pressure off, and he again expressed a bit of hesitation. I don’t blame him, he explained how audited courses often get pushed to the back burner and not taken as seriously. A student not showing up and actively participating can be a burden to the course convener as well as the other students. Sooo… currently I am down for beginning ancient Greek, but am debating changing my mind.
I actually got all the courses I wanted. Barring any problems with the number of students in the “Classical art of the body: Greek sculpture and its legacy” class, I should be able to do it, too. It is the class that takes students to Greece. 😀 I am obviously excited for that, as I’d get to see the sites I will be studying. Fo free. Trip costs are taken care of by a fund set specifically for the class. Hence the cap on students. My tutor said to just turn up to all my classes next week as if I’d be a part of them, and if anything changes, he will let me know. So, here I am. Taking “The Art of Making: Craft production from classical antiquity to today,” “Classical art of the body: Greek sculpture and its legacy,” “Beginning Ancient Greek,” and my archaeology core research dissertation course. All of my top choices. There are three other classes I really liked the sound of, but there isn’t enough time in a year to take them all. 😦 Who would ever think I’d be upset over only having so many hours in the day to take classes? I certainly didn’t see it coming.
After my meeting, I met Marina for a quick bite so I could tell her how it went. She has been sick, but was a good sport and listened to my rambling. We went to this restaurant called “Pizza Express” that I have avoided because I assumed it was some junky chain place. Once again, Meghann assumes wrong. It was actually a nice restaurant. Not a five-star place or anything, but also not Pizza Hut.
When the waitress came to take our order, she heard my voice and said, “Do you have an American accent?” Obviously I said yes. To which she mumbled something that ended with “unfortunate, that’s very unfortunate.” After she walked off, I asked Marina, “What is unfortunate?” and she laughed saying she thought the waitress had said my having an American accent was unfortunate. No idea why. Later in the meal the waitress came over and made a comment about how the portions of tiramisu were large and I had finished mine. I don’t know if she meant it as a, “wow, fat American” slight, or if it was just a comment without meaning that sounded off. As we paid for the check, she noticed Marina’s last name and asked if she was Brazilian. Marina admitted she was, and the lady said, “Oh, you have an American accent so I didn’t think so.” Marina told the waitress she and I had met in college in America. I can’t remember for the life of me now what the waitress responded with, but I know it was super unenthused. I am not sure if I was imagining things, or if she really did have an animosity toward Americans. Maybe her visa got denied multiple times when she wanted to visit, or maybe her husband from her mail-bride service cancelled on buying her so she got stuck as a waitress at a pizza place in London (too far?). I have no idea. Regardless, she sucked.
I am supposed to have a milkshake date tomorrow with my boy from the night bus. I never wrote about him, as he was in the entry I lost. Brief summary: He’s nerdy. He’s blonde (strange for me). He’s British. He’s funny. He seems like a gentleman (but don’t they all at first?).
Despite all that, I don’t really feel like going. I don’t care about boys, I don’t feel like trying to impress someone, and I have three huge, cystic zits on my face that I cannot hide with makeup. Mainly that last one is my deterrent. They’re monstrous. I haven’t wanted to leave the house, they are legitimately that bad. Why God let adult acne be a thing, I’ll never understand. We are supposed to get over that in high school. It’s not meant to torment us in our 30s. I wish I had thought more about all those lattes I was drinking to avoid drinking Americanos. I am regretting my influx of dairy so much now.
As a final note, so my last paragraph isn’t about my deformed face, let’s talk about this one guy’s dissertation topic. We met again at the intercollegiate thing and talked more about ourselves. He is from Pennsylvania. He went to a smart kid school in Connecticut. He wrote a dissertation in undergrad, like all of the UK students. He has also actively participated in archaeological digs in various parts of the world. Once again, I am feeling pea-sized in a peer’s presence. I tried to keep the topic on him so I wouldn’t be forced to admit all my deficiencies.
He told me about his undergraduate dissertation and presentation. I think he said it was titled something like, “What’s for dinner? Cannibalism in Minoan society.” Cheers. He went on to tell me how he examined the leg bone of a young boy that had knife marks on it, likely from someone snacking. The last slide in this presentation was headlined with “Food for thought.” Someone tell me 1) how the heck one responds to this discussion, and 2) how the hell I’m supposed to come up with a dissertation topic anywhere as intriguing (though morbidly) as that.
I cannot keep up with this craziness.