18th – 24th January 2016
I’m finally starting to feel more settled in my routines now I’ve had a full week at uni without any additional stresses. The working week ticked along smoothly until my last class on Thursday morning, after which I gave myself a bit of a break and prepared for G’s visit this weekend.
Academically this week we’ve been focusing on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist in my Victorian Lit classes and Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih for Global Lit. I love the Dickens and we’ve had some really fascinating conversations about it, but the Salih for me leaves a little to be desired. Next week we need to start planning our first Global essays which are due on the Monday of week 6 (that’s just two weeks away) so I’m hoping I’ll get on better with the next book, as I find writing on texts I dislike really frustrating.
I also switched Global Lit classes, partly because my original timetable was more awkward than necessary and simply because I knew I wasn’t going to respond to the teaching as well as I’d like. Although for some it worked really well, it simply wasn’t for me and I’m incredibly grateful to be studying somewhere which took that so seriously. I’m much happier in my new class, even if it means I’ve three nine-am starts a week, especially since I walked in and saw Becca, one of my Nouse team, was also in the class!
And despite my complaints about my nine-ams, I’ve actually found it super useful this week – a daily seven-am alarm has kept me in a much better routine than I’ve seen since starting uni in September, and I even managed to get out for an early(ish) morning run on Tuesday around the perimeter of campus (this was followed by an entire tour of my campus as I helped distribute copies of Nouse in all the main buildings, so my FitBit step-count was pretty impressive that day!). I’ve also been working hard to walk to and from campus much more, especially as we’ve had some particularly beautiful weather this week. On Wednesday I walked from home to Wentworth College which is the furthest side of the other campus, and although I was late to my seminar I was treated to an absolutely stunning sunrise over campus, so I couldn’t really complain.
Jess and I have had plans to start up a first-year English Lit study group since last term, so this week we tried to get the ball rolling on it. A lot of people have shown interest but for one reason or another only five of us were able to make it for the first meetup. That said it was a really successful couple of hours and I have a much better idea of how to organise and run the sessions, so hopefully we’ll be able to include a few more people this week and together create something useful both on an academic level and a social one.
After my class on Thursday I got the bus into town and I was so glad I did. There were a couple of errands I needed to run but I ended up just sitting in the Waterstones café sending off emails and completing admin as well as writing my journal. It was the most therapeutic few hours I’ve had since coming back to uni and I think it might have to become a bit of a habit. If anyone has any favourite coffee shops or cafés in York, please comment below as I’d love to check out a few more!
G arrived on Friday evening and we had a truly lovely couple of days exploring York and feasting on all sorts of amazing food. I’m really excited to fully blog his visit so keep an eye out for that later this week! It’s another three weeks until we see each other again when I head home for the weekend after all my deadlines, so now he’s left I’m feeling pretty down. Thankfully I’ve got plenty of blogposts to read to cheer me up, along with some Tennyson ahead of tomorrow’s nine-am lecture…
This week I’ve been…
Reading: Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee. This is my next Global Literatures text and I’m enjoying it more than the previous books for the module. I’m planning on writing about it for my first essay of term, so I’m really excited for my lectures and classes on it this week.
Watching: Call the Midwife. It’s one of those shows which I just adore. My grandmother was a nurse in a similar area of London to where it’s set at around the same time, so I find those parallels really fascinating, but it’s also just so beautifully shot and acted with a wonderfully strong political message. It’s incredibly pro-women and pro-NHS, and I rarely find fault with it. This series, the fifth, is going to focus on the Thalidomide tragedy and I’m really interested to see how they handle it.
Listening to: Notte Veneziana by Xavier de Maistre. Maistre is an outstanding young French harpist and this CD takes various famous venetian concertos and rearranges them for solo harp; it’s been perfect for chilly northern evenings spent reading, and tonight when I’m not feeling my best.
Grateful for: G and his patience and kindness. He drove all the way up here after work on Friday and took all the pressure off me for a couple of days. We had such a lovely touristy weekend and it went way too fast, but I’m so thankful for all the new adventures we’ve had and memories we’ve created in such a short time.
I need to start planning my first essay and writing my feature for the next edition of Nouse, which I’m really looking forward to. As ever there’s plenty of reading to be doing but I’ve also got some blogposts planned, and soon I’ll be counting down the days until my weekend at home (who am I kidding – 18 days to go!).
How’s your week been? What have you been reading, watching and listening to? What are your plans for the coming week?
Let’s have a conversation – comment below!
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