Monday, October 23, 2006

A day in the life of....

I've been unable to write up an "average" day in my time here in London up until now, because life has been full of random only-needs-to-happen-once kind of things. But I finally feel confident enough to make some sort of representation of my week here. I need to put some sort of disclaimer, that there probably is some sort of blurred line between reality and how I'd like to think I've structured my day. Sometimes expectations cloud the reality, and a nasty head cold has intruded on my level of energy, but, I'll do my best to mark my good intention tasks, and what really happens. And so, an average day....

Mondays through Wednesdays, I do not have class, so I currently am at the mercy of my own self discipline. I usually wake up (ideally will go to the gym), make breakfast (yogurt and granola) and eat it while listening to the NPR Story of the Day Podcast from the previous day. Shower and tidy the room and try to make it to the library by 9:30 (so if I get there by 10, I only feel a little bad). The goal is to get two hours of honest reading done and then I come back for lunch. (Are you all at the edge of your seat yet?) My afternoon is usually mixed depending on if I need to run errands (like go to the bank or the supermarket). After lunch, I'll usually try to do more studying, and break it up with either vacuuming or doing laundry (it's a good 15 minute walk away, I do my best studying isolated in the laundry room for 3 hours). Dinner, sometimes I'll cook with a flatmate.
Evenings are mixed. My flatmate is in the journalism program, and half of their classes practically end up in the pub, so if she texts me I'll join up with them at the Hobgoblin across the street. Another friend joined the jujisu club on campus, and I showed up for one "practice" and nearly ended up sobbing on the mat (that is a post all in itself, hold me to that) but they love "socializing" and I am up for hanging out with them as long as it doesn't involve tapping your opponent because it is starting to hurt, so that is another pub group (you notice a trend?). Campus housing is not really set up for group interaction (I have a theory on that, another post), the only common room is the kitchen, which isn't conducive to "hanging" and bedrooms are too small, so pubs really are the option. I haven't really mastered the extended evening pub experience. I seem to run out of things to say after an hour or two, and those I am with seem to start repeating themselves. It probably has to do with the difference in level of intoxication (me being zero, them being iffy after three pints). I think I need to start having some fun with it. I bet I can be very entertaining to a group of drunk people. Pull out some jokes, some finger magic, impressions, anything. But usually the clock hits 10pm and I bow out.
Depending on how much reading I got done during the afternoon, I'll either keep reading, or I'll "relax" which is me listening to NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me Podcast or This American Life Podcast (which is free now! I think God did that just for me) while knitting my never ending shawl project. I also broke down while in the depths of my congestion and purchased a season pass to this season of CSI. So once a week, I'll get to watch my favorite team of good looking men in black vests unrealistically solve homicides using a micropipet. Sigh, the wonders of iTunes.
If I'm feeling crazy (or, to be honest am required to because of a doctor appointment) I'll venture into Central London. I'll usually use that opportunity to wander the Thames, and then end up at a yummy yuppy noodle house and take two hours eating my chicken fried rice while doing some reading.
Thursdays and Fridays are not much different, I've got two classes each day. Thursday is Reading the City at 12:00 with lecture then "seminar discussion" and then A Users Guide to a Gendered World at 2:00. Reading the City is often over my head, for the focus is actually looking at lenses and mediums that individuals or groups actually interpret the city. It feels very existential and abstract, so I am still orienting myself to it. Gendered World is totally immersed in Feminist Theory, which I don't have too much experience in (the theory itself, but I can discourse about our oppressive patriarchal society as much as the next gal) and we hop from subject to subject, but now that I know I have to read the readings three times in order to understand it, I'm actually able to get a bit out of it. Friday is Feminism, Politics, Equality, and Difference, at 10am, which I think is my favorite, because it's a mixture of theory and application. At 12:00 it's Urban Cultures, which is pretty self explanatory. Once again, same lecturer as Reading the city, so again with the abstract. Over all, I feel classes are too short, and I'm left on my own to navigate the material. But, in almost all classes, we are tackling multiculturalism within the next two weeks (which I think I'll be doing most of my assessment essays on) and I am hopefully that with topics I have a bit of background in and am very passionate about, I will be able to really dive in. (I'd love some prayer for that actually, my fatigue has made classes and reading harder to engage with).
Oh man, long blog entry. Weekends are mixed with sleeping in and hanging out with my International friends. We usually find something to do, whether it's just a house party or a play. I'm organizing a trip to IKEA soon. Hee. To sum up, often I feel most of my time is spent standing on my bed, opening or closing my window depending on the greater demand for fresh air or muffled noise. I've got a bag of forget-me-nots growing on my window sill, and they are threatening to bloom anytime now. And I've got a cell phone and internet connection, so I once again exist in the digital world. Thanks for the emails and thanks for the prayers. I am hoping to find comfort and security in a routine. Thanks for sticking with me through my ramblings. The End.


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