Mosaic day on Thursday did not go as I had hoped. I feared that would be the case. I stayed up working on the drawing I mentioned, only to find out I did it wrong. Everyone (minus Dr. Shaggy) seemed impressed by my rendition. I was worried I had done it incorrectly, but after I started it, I didn’t want to change it. I also had done it in pen, so I couldn’t if I wanted to. The problem was that I used tiny tesserae that were not uniform in size or shape. The Romans generally used 1 cm square pieces for their mosaics, and tried to avoid cutting them into smaller shapes as much as possible, as that would increase time and cost spent creating them. Dr. Shaggy said I had a good flowing form (which, I will pat myself on the back for because I knew I had done that part well. It was similar to pointillism, except with squares. I am stellar at pointillism – my one conceited thought of the day). In my defense, the assignment didn’t say specifically that we needed to do it in the Roman fashion. At least I don’t think it did. Probably should have assumed since that is what we are studying, but I used a more modern/Byzantine approach.
Making the mosaics didn’t go well, either. I feel like since I have a BFA I need to do any kind of hands on project perfectly, but that never happens. It started off poorly because we only had a limited time to create our mosaics. I take ages to do anything. Anyone who knows me knows this. I’m also absolutely terrible at cutting things and hate glass shards. I don’t know why, but broken glass is one of the few things that really makes me angry and anxious. The mosaics we were making were made from glass. We had these tools used to cut the class squares into smaller pieces, and they showed us how to use them. But no matter what I did, they didn’t cut evenly. Sometimes they shattered, other times they shot pieces out everywhere and made me scared I’d hit someone (despite me trying to cup my hand around the glass as I cut it). There were buckets of precut pieces, but most of the pieces were also not square. They were the remnants of pieces like I had cut. I decided instead of cutting, I’d use these already cut pieces. So I had to dig around to try to find colors and well fitted shapes. This took even longer. And it wasn’t really how we were supposed to do it. At one point Dr. Shaggy came over to see my progress and I just said, “I’ve given up cutting and am going for ‘whatever fits works.'” He commented on how it was fine, it’s just a more modern approach. But I think he was disappointed. I ran out of time in the end, and another girl who finished up quickly sat to help me try and finish. We were speed fitting/cementing pieces down, and then trying to grout. Half of my pieces fell off on the edges and it looked ugly. It was a disappointment. Abby and I both were mumbling to each other under our breaths about how we wanted to cry. I avoided crying by not calling Momma. I knew if I called Momma and talked about my day I would cry. Isn’t it sad how a stupid little mosaic can be so upsetting to me? I think it was the combination of failing making it as well as all the assignments I have looming, and Greek study. It’s like the one thing I thought would be fun and I could do well – a tiny mosaic – I still couldn’t do.
On Friday, I have Ancient Greek and my Core Seminar course. I may have mentioned this before, but I’ve taken to writing ahead in my book little translations. That way no matter how far we go in reading, I should have some kind of answer. The problem with this, is that it means I’m not always sight reading and memorizing the vocabulary as well. I do have some of it memorized, obviously, but probably not as well as I would if I was doing everything the correct way. Regardless, I’ve done it and so I can avoid looking like a dumbass as much as possible. There’s an older guy (an American, unfortunately. I say this because I think he makes Americans look bad) that I wish would do this. He’s auditing the course, and it makes me think of what Dr. Shaggy told me when I was first enrolling in courses (as a reminder: he said I need to be careful if I audit a course, because I still need to do the work. People tend to slack off if they aren’t really doing it for a grade, and it can affect the professor teaching as well as the students in the course). This guy does not take the class seriously at all, and every time it’s his turn to read out loud or answer a question, he never can. It wouldn’t bother me if he was trying, but I don’t think he is. He just gives this awkward laugh and “uhms” a lot. It isn’t funny! Do your work! Do like I do and write ahead. I mean, is it really that hard? I think it really is bothering Dr. Soothingvoice, too. Since reading week is next week, Dr. Soothingvoice gave us all the suggestion of how to study. She said, “My suggestion, although I know no one will do this, is to spend at least an hour a day doing Greek work. You really need to learn the verb endings and declensions, because as we go into this next section things will be getting more complicated and things will be more difficult if you do not have a good understanding of what we have already gone through. At the very least, I hope you all spend time on Sunday cram-revising for Monday.” I thought it was funny how honest she was about the whole thing. Still super nervous about her suggestion on having everything memorized. A week is not enough time for me to have everything down. I feel like I need to email her, but what will I say?
Dear Dr. Soothingvoice,
I suck at your class despite attempting to study almost every day. Please help. Magic me into learning.
After all my Friday classes I had this weird, nerdy moment where I realised I have friends. It was after my core seminar when we were all getting on the underground to go our separate ways. We had been talking about how we felt about the class and what we were doing on our reading week break, when it hit me. Abby looked at me and asked what I was smiling about. I told her I was being a loser and thinking about how happy I am to have friends. In a month I’ve gotten a small little group and while we still aren’t super close, and we may add in more or lose some, it’s nice.
Our house has a group WhatsApp message where we say if we are having issues, or the landlord tells us about changes in things. This week, we got the exciting news that he is building a new bathroom! He had said a room on the bottom floor was going to one day be a bathroom, but I assumed it was just one of those “yea, it’ll happen never” things. No idea how long it will take, but I am pretty excited. That could possibly be a factor in me not leaving the house after my lease runs out (or heck, before). We will see.
I had a great Friday evening. Seriously one of the best nights I’ve had in awhile. Melanie invited me to go again to see her friend’s band play. This time they were playing at the O2, which meant I needed to get a ticket. I didn’t mind, since it wasn’t expensive and I like the band enough to support them anyway. I was worried at first, because Melanie and her housemate, Annie, were wearing dresses, and all I had to wear (since I live forever away) was my plaid shirt, black jeans, and grey boots. Melanie and Annie tried to help me dress up more (ends up I’m Annie’s clothing size and Melanie’s shoe size) but it didn’t really work out. In the end, I was dressed just fine for the place we were going. I need to quit being so damn paranoid about what I’m wearing all the time, but it’s hard since everyone always looks nice.
As we were walking to the underground, Annie mentioned she was worried about her dress riding up and made a joke about us needing to tell her if she accidentally flashed someone. It reminded me of what my friend, Maggie, and I used to do in our college days when we were going out. We had a code word to tell each other if we were busting out of our clothes somewhere. Our code? Sugar cookies. Because why the heck not? I told Annie and Melanie about this and we had a laugh and agreed we’d use that if needed. While we were in our giggly mode, we talked about how we could secretly point out attractive guys to each other with a code word, too. Annie shouted out, “BUTTERNUT SQUASH!” and it stuck. All night we were laughing about whether we deemed a guy a butternut squash or a Kent pumpkin (meaning he was unattractive. I’m not sure why a Kent pumpkin specifically. Annie came up with that, too, so I’m guessing Kent pumpkins are disappointing in pumpkin world).
I mentioned to Melanie that I though the guitarist in her friend’s band was cute. This resulted in her and her friend oddly trying to set me up. Oddly how, you ask? Well I’m so glad you did. It started with Melanie asking her friend, “Hey, is he single?” and then turning around to tell me in front of her friend. So obvious. This led to them both later on bringing the guitarist over to where Annie and I were standing, and awkwardly presenting him. I wish I could recreate it, but there’s no way I can achieve the same amount of awkwardness involved. I can’t even remember exactly what they said. I thought my eyes were going to bug out and my face would erupt in flames. Even if the guitarist didn’t know who the set up was for (Annie or myself), he must have known what was happening. Despite that, I had a blast. The music was great, and I laughed a ton with Melanie and Annie. I really get along well with Annie, she’s just such a nice person. And so dang funny!
Afterward, we all went to a pub and hung out and talked. It was like the whole venue left and went to take over this pub. There were so many people. The people in the band thanked me several times for coming because they recognized me from last time. I laughed and said it was my pleasure. I mean, I like the music, why wouldn’t I come? I wound up talking to the guitarist at the end of the night for awhile, and learned he’s not only good looking, but also really nice and funny. My little crush increased tenfold. When it was time for us to leave, I gave him a hug and said I’d see him next time. Melanie and her friend from the band kept telling me to go back and get his number, but there’s no way I could. What if he didn’t want to give me his number? That would be humiliating. So who knows if I’ll ever see him and chat with him again. As we were walking out, Annie told me she talked most of the night to a Kent pumpkin with the personality of a butternut squash. Did I mention I love her?
We hopped in an Uber back to Melanie/Annie’s place, and Melanie took over the radio. She plugged in Bohemian Rhapsody and we all went wild. If you are a young, white person, there are two songs you will sing loudly EVERY TIME: Bohemian Rhapsody, and Don’t Stop Believing. It’s science. At one point, I looked up and saw the driver’s face in the rearview mirror. He was so not amused. His face looked like he would wreck the car just to make us shut up. I couldn’t stop laughing after I saw that.
Our Uber driver wasn’t the only moody guy of the evening. We went to a sketchy kebab place (they’re all open way late here. It’s like the UK version of Waffle House) and the guy behind the counter was the moodiest, most unfriendly guy ever. I got a falafel wrap, but I didn’t want any salad on the side (why waste it, I know I’m not eating it). You would have thought I told him I wanted to spit on his grandmother. If I could recreate his face somehow for you all here, I would. Maybe later I’ll try to take a few selfies and post them. I’m sure they still wouldn’t hold a candle to the real thing.
My evening ended with Melanie’s friend making jokes while we were sitting around eating. Melanie had gotten this baby bottle of Prosecco earlier in the day, and got it out to ask if anyone wanted some to drink. Her friend looked at it, and wouldn’t stop laughing. The neck of the baby bottle was the size of a normal bottle’s neck. It was half the size of the whole thing. Truly, this baby bottle was pointless. Anyway, he took it and held it under the counter with only the neck sticking out. He asked, “How disappointed would you guys be if I was like, ‘I’ve got a surprise! Prosecco!’ And then pulled this up the rest of the way?'” he pulled the rest of the bottle out and the look on his face was priceless. I was snort laughing. It was that good.
The very end of this blog entry is me constantly saying, “IF YOU HAD SEEN THE FACE HE MADE – HAH!” Picture a series of funny faces and maybe you’ll have a tiny idea of what I experienced. 😉