What kind of things, you ask? All kinds. Take for instance, my recent Amazon purchase…
I didn’t know how much a kilogram of peanut butter was. But now I know. It’s a bucket size. This is actually a happy accident since I happen to love peanut butter and this will last until Christmas (probably).
On Tuesday, I was nervous as hell about presenting with Abby on a paper I needed to read for my Art of the Body class. I had spent the whole prior evening trying to squeeze Greek into my head (and failing) and then trying to speed read the multiple essays and book excerpts also needed for class. I didn’t finish them. Thank goodness reading week is coming up. I did finish our reading, but I had a rough time understanding a lot of it (partially because it was very theoretical and used big words, and then partially because I waited last minute and read until the wee hours). I met up with Abby before class to go over things and was feeling mostly okay for class. We had done some quick research on the author of our excerpt and chatted about admitting what we don’t understand. Whenever we got to class, everything was done in chronological order. Meaning we were last. Meaning we only had five minutes to talk after everyone else had gone and we spent forever discussing their readings. Abby and I tried to speed through our thoughts and notes, but it wasn’t the same. Afterward, we both admitted to each other that we were a smidge disappointed. We had wanted to prove we weren’t idiots.
We also discussed how whenever we talk, we feel like everyone is thinking how stupid we are. Mainly because when they speak, their accents sound…well…smart. They sound smart. They sound well spoken, fancy, and put together. Then there’s us… sounding a bit valley girl and midwestern south. With lots of “uhm” and “well like” thrown in.
I wrote down to note on Wednesday how I was a lazy good for nothing. I don’t remember what I did, but I have a feeling it consisted of me not leaving my room except to eat. And, well, being a lazy good for nothing.
On Thursday I had my BA/MA combined lecture class for my Making course. The reading didn’t make sense to me (does it ever?) but I was still pretty excited for the class. Not because we were doing anything spectacular, but just because I enjoy the class. Even when I don’t understand it. However – spoiler! We DID do stuff that was exciting (to me). Currently, the class is learning more in depth about mosaics and how they’re made, how economics influenced them, etc (Now you see why the reading was a snoozer). My absolute favourite thing about this course is that I get to do hands on things. Dr. Shaggy actually brought in his own toolset and a bag of little tile pieces for us to cut our own tesserae.
Fun fact: Tesserae are the small, cut tiles used in mosaics to make the patterns.
(Insert heavy breathing)
Everyone was able to have a turn cutting several pieces and he was super supportive even when our cuts were bad. He instructed us the correct way to hold and position the tools, as well as what kind of force we should probably use. I was holding the axe up high, because I figured holding it closer to the top would make my swing more accurate. Less likely to miss and knock off an finger and all that. Dr. Shaggy told me instead to hold it lower and let the axe weight do the work (don’t move the wrist, the movement should come from your arm), however as he was saying this I cut a very straight piece. So he finished off with, “or…maybe not. What do I know?” But I fixed my grip afterward. Anyway, the point is it was awesome.
For this Thursday, our assignment is to take a drawing he printed off and reconstruct our own tesserae pattern over it. I am WAY too excited for this task. I feel like a loser because I’m practically drooling over this assignment. Others in the class, not so much. I’m debating if I have time to colour it, or if I could do another picture, too. We also are going to make our own mini mosaics Thursday. Actual mini mosaics. I don’t know if we get to keep them… surely so… I can’t wait! I know in the end I’ll likely be annoyed with whatever I make because I always am. But nevertheless, I’m excited right now.
I did my creepy research on Dr. Shaggy during my application and eventual acceptance to the university. So I knew a bit about his background. Meaning I knew he had studied mosaic making with a modern, popular mosaicist.
Side story: he also told us to be careful with spell check if we write about mosaics/mosaicists. He was looking over someone’s paper and apparently word had corrected all the times the person wrote “mosaicist” to “masochist.” HAH!
Back on track: he has all these tools, I knew he had worked with the lady, so I asked him after class if he made his own mosaics. He admitted he did. I asked if he ever shared it with the students. He said no. Then I asked, “is that from embarrassment? Or…” not trying to be a smartass, but wondering if it was self-consciousness or some kind of professor life/student separation thing. I was SO curious. In the end, he showed us one of the lady’s large scale mosaics that he had helped on, and gave a general idea of what parts he worked on. I guess that’s a compromise.
Side note: I wrote out the last part of this entry while on the train a few days ago. I thought it was clever and was SO excited about finishing and posting it. Then I came back and saw NONE OF IT SAVED OR POSTED! Unfair life. Not cool. If this was a video game I would have rage quit. So instead, here I am trying to be clever and think of the funny jokes I made. My heart isn’t in it, though. And I also can’t remember half of them. Stupid technology.
Amazon over here is sort of amazing. Or maybe it’s just big cities in general have awesome Amazon. One day shipping is a thing. And it’s free with Prime. There’s Amazon Fresh that will deliver cheap groceries to your door next day. They also have where you can order from local shops with your Fresh order, so you can have something local along with general grocery goods (like a fancy bread or something). Amazon Now also exists, where they deliver to you IN AN HOUR! If you’re in the right zip code, at least. That’s crazy. CRAZY! So I have been taking advantage of this magic and ordering tons of school stuff. I’ve also been ordering things from Amazon Fresh (see tub of peanut butter above). I bought more than I realized, I guess. When it was delivered, I opened the door to find a woman hauling three boxes up the stairs. I just blankly stared at her and said, “Geeze, how much stuff did I order?” She gave me a withering look and started handing me bags from inside the boxes. Needless to say, I have a lot of food now and will also be more careful about ordering from Amazon Fresh (if indeed I choose to again).
On Saturday Eley convinced me to go watch her tag rugby game. She was also trying to convince me to play. I was sure to tell her how I have terrible hand-eye coordination and that I don’t really have any athletic ability. Nor do I know how to play rugby. Her response? “It’s easy, you just run forward and pass backward. Then grab people’s tags while trying to avoid getting your tag grabbed.” Preeeetty sure there is more to it than that, but what do I know? After they played (which, it did look like fun. I’d love to go to a real rugby game and watch. If I was fit, I’d try to play intramural female rugby), they all went to this pub to have a drink and some food. While there, I ended up talking to this young, British guy from her team. He was a funny dude, and so obsessed with American life. Not general American life, but fraternities and the like. He was asking me what my experience was like in college, and if it was really like the movies. I was honest and said mine was not like the movies, but some schools probably are. The bigger party ones, at least (I’m looking at you, WVU and LSU). Apparently, one of this guy’s biggest wishes is to go to Cancun during our spring break. *Sigh* boys.
Claire and I met up Sunday to go for brunch. We had been talking about doing something on Saturday evening, but I was wiped from getting up early for rugby and day drinking. I also am not cool enough to know where to go on a Saturday for London fun. So I suggested brunch instead and looked up a few places. I came across this Aussie Brunch spot that looked promising and so our plan was made. As always, I got there early. There were a few people standing around outside with to-go coffees in their hands, so I assumed they had just exited the building and were waiting around. To be safe, I walked up and asked them if they were in the queue. They said yes. I’ve not done the brunch on my own thing yet, so I wasn’t 100% on how it works with a queue and all that jazz. So I also asked the group, “Do I need to go in and tell anyone I need a table?” I was in a bubbly mood and full of smiles, and didn’t really think much about it when one of the guys looked at me and said, “Uh, yea, if you want a table you should probably tell them so.” Looking back, I’m not sure if he was being a rude or not. I think he was. Screw you, Aussie queue guy! I take back my smiles.
Brunch was freaking delicious, though. And pretty. I got pancakes, but people here don’t do normal buttermilk pancakes with syrup. It’s a production. Pancakes here are buckwheat with fresh berries, toasted almond slices, lemon puree, and a creme fraîche (whatever the hell that means). Mine had lemon meringue crumbles on them with edible flowers sprinkled around the plate edge. Fancy. If you want regular pancakes, brunch in London is not the place to get them. At least nowhere I’ve found yet.
Claire and I also had a really nice catch-up. She made me feel less suicidal about the massive loans I’m using, and less crappy about the degree path I’ve chosen. She also talked to me about being homesick, and I tried to help her some with that. She’s not 100% sure on staying to get her MA/PhD after she finishes her Grad Diploma. I just want her to be happy and do whatever it is that will make her so. I’m not homesick yet, but I know it is coming.
Getting up early for brunch meant that I was alive to do more during the day (what a novel idea!). I went to the libraries and attempted to study Greek, as always. I am seriously debating getting a tutor. I can see stuff written down and figure it out, but on the exam there will be so much more than that. I know all of the vocab needs to be ground into my brain, as well. I do so poorly on the tests every Monday and I’m lucky we aren’t graded on them. Though maybe that is why I haven’t been doing better. …I don’t know, I’m trying either way.
I packed up from the British Library when closing time came around and headed to the Maughan to attempt to finish studying. When I was walking up, I noticed there were a lot of people in reflective vests standing around and signs about blocked off areas. I wasn’t sure how to approach, so I just kept walking and hoped no one would yell at me. When I walked through the gates, I saw there were a ton of people moving tents and video cameras/equipment scattered around. Obviously they had been/were filming something, but no idea what. I tried to hurry into the library as fast as possible so I wouldn’t bother anyone. It’s a beautiful building and apparently used often for filming, so I guess this could occur more often. My main wonder, though, is what I would have done if they didn’t let me in because they were currently shooting. Fall onto my hands and knees and beg? PLEASE, SIR, I NEED TO GET IN THERE! I AM FAILING GREEK AND NEED ALL THE HELP I CAN GET – DON’T DO THIS TO MEEEEE!