Claudia: down with this sort of thing

November 2, 2010

The subject of this post is from a graffito on our campus, which I particularly enjoy. I’m not going to do multiple back entries. I’m just going to condense everything right here right now.

The week after the highlands, as you can imagine from my last post, was a scary blur. I went out with my friends most nights, and tried to focus as much as possible on work the rest of the time. That Saturday, I was incredibly excited because we were taking a field trip, and I haven’t been on one of those in ages. Unfortunately, this field trip did not turn out so well. It was 12 pounds, which is quite a chunk of change, and we got on the bus, drove to the Scottish Crannog Centre along the same route we’d taken up to the Highlands the week before, got there, and when we saw what the Centre was, I think we were all a little disappointed. It was a tiny little building, and a re-creation of a neolithic lake-dwelling. We watched a dude show us how some prehistoric tools worked, and waited for him to finally get some fire made (the most exciting part of the day, by far), and then got taken into the Crannog, where we sat in the dark while a guy talked to us for a while. After this, we were left on our own to explore. I whittled a stick down, we looked at the exhibit 3 times, and had hot chocolate, and we still had an hour and 45 minutes until the bus was coming. There was really no path to hike around anywhere, and the centre didn’t really have an indoors area, so we were all sitting around outside, freezing our butts off and trying to figure out how to fill up the time til the bus left. We mostly ended up meandering around the gift shop (the only heated area) until it was time to go.

On Tuesday, my grandparents came to visit. I was really excited to see them! We decided to eat at an Indian restaurant, Kismot, that I had been dying to try. We waited forever and a day to get our food but filled the time talking about plays and Mad Men (I could talk about Mad Men for just about forever!). When the food finally came, we were so hungry, I could have eaten anything. But this was amazing stuff… Kismot is family owned and all of the food is made up from scratch, and let me tell you, the difference is notable. My lamb was so tender and delicately flavored.

Wednesday, we went to the National Gallery. Art is interesting, but blogging about viewing art is not interesting. Dinner at the Hotel Bonham was amazing, and accompanied by more family tales. Thursday brought us to the National Gallery and a sushi dinner (yum). On Friday, we went to Glasgow. I’d never been there before, so we got on the train and headed there with the intention of going to the Kelvingrove Gallery. When we got there, we weren’t entirely sure how to get to where we were going. I was so proud of myself that on my way to the visitors’ center, a man actually came up to me and asked for directions! I pride myself on blending in, and usually I can give simple directions, but knowing nothing about Glasgow, I sadly had to admit that I wasn’t from there.

We finally got to Kelvingrove and looked at French and Italian art, had some coffee, and then checked out the other side of the museum, where they have natural history exhibitions. When the museum closed, we went back to the train station and waited until we could get an off-peak train back to Edinburgh.

Safely back on familiar ground, we went to New Town to eat seafood at the Mussel Inn, which was delicious. Saturday, G&G went on a highlands tour, so I tried to get some work done, and then went out with my friends Chelsea, Sam, and Lindsey. It was good to be out and about, and do some dancing! I came back, and went to sleep so I could meet up with G&G for the last time on Sunday. We went to look at the outside of the Scottish National Parliament Building, which is rather controversial because it was 1)not designed by a Scot, 2) went hugely over budget, and 3) does not fit in with the atmosphere of Old Town at all (see photo).

The inside was closed since it was Sunday, so we went on a bus to Leith, which is right on the ocean. We had another delicious seafood meal, and we said a sad goodbye as we went our separate ways.

I finally feel like I’ve really integrated into something here, and it’s killing me that I have to leave so soon. I wish I could extend to a full year, but I know that I have to be in Minnesota for the spring if I EVER want to finish my degree. Edinburgh is amazing, but I think at the end of this, it will be time to go back home and focus on determining my area of concentration, etc. I am thinking a lot about the future and things I would like to do, and feeling more and more like I’m meant to be in the education/communication side of things than the actual science-y bit. I’m still up for learning about the science, because that’s hugely important (duh), but in the long run, I don’t think that’s where I’ll end up. I’ve been working on internship applications (I know, already, can you believe it? A lot are due 17 Dec, which seems ludicrously early).

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