Brie: So, for the first day in Norwich it’s been sunny! It’s bright and sunshine-y! Still cold, but light. This feels like a huge deal to us, and it’s put us in a sunny mood to match the skies. The sun may have started setting at 4 pm, but we take what we can get.
It’s our 1 month anniversary in England, and so far we only started two of our classes. Biochemistry seems like it’ll be the stickler. Marianh’s a “lil scared,” but I think it’ll just require too much self motivation. We both like our professor: Dr. Richard Bowater. He seems nice, and he’s such a snappy dresser! On the other hand, Human Physiology is straightforward, with a dull professor so far. The education system here is unusual. They don’t have assigned readings, and it’s going to depend on a lot of independent learning. Also, modules/classes are organized by a professor, who may not teach more than 3 sessions. Instead, they have guest speakers, who are experts on the subject, to teach groups of classes. For example, our Physiology class has 9 different professors lecturing. For a creature of habit like me, it’s going to take some getting used to.
And if that’s complicated, our timetables/schedules are even more so. We don’t have class at a consistent time during the week; it changes day by day. Some of our sessions don’t have a room allocated yet. Lab groups are split up by last name, but as visiting students we’re considered separately from the group. Apparently for Physiology, we have seminars that we sign up for early in the week, which range in time, topic, and teacher. It’s a rat-race. We are checking our schedule online multiple times per day, and I don’t think we’ll ever fall into the swing of things.
We’ve been having fun though. We made chocolate chip muffins and stirfry. So domestic of us! Every day, we learn a little bit more about our crazy microwave/convection oven hybrid. Like today, we discovered that there is a grill adapter and somehow lifting the pan makes the heat circulate more evenly. We only burned two muffins! This is an accomplishment because we almost burned down Marianh’s flat with our spiced nectarine muffin adventure earlier this week. It’s smelling much better now… A couple nights ago, we went out for a night with the International Society. They rented out a club, and had music and mingling. The icebreakers were actually a lot of fun, and we met some nice kids. As per usual, we called it an early night though, and hit the hay around one. We just can’t wrap our heads around going out during the week, even if classes don’t start until 11. (Have we mentioned that we don’t really go to class? This’ll probably change.)
Since we’ve last posted, the Brits moved in.
- Dean – SO ATTRACTIVE boy from Cambridge who’s making fajitas tomorrow
- Lou – very sweet girl who’s bubbly and social
- AJ – sweet boy who’s studying media here
- Faye – never leaves her room
- Sarah – never leaves her room, and won’t speak at all
Marianh’s flatmates (better friends)
- Bea – too cool, but friendly towards us; I wish we could be besties.
- Christine – next door neighbor, quiet and pleasant
- Michael – never leaves his room, doesn’t speak to us
- Bryan – never leaves his room, doesn’t speak English
- Giles – WAY too cool for us, plays a lot of guitar
- O-girl – (we don’t know how to spell her name) disassociated from the flat
- Ben – really friendly and nice, could be best friends for LYFE, yo
Interactions in the flat are pretty awkward. As upperclassmen, we recognize the freshman aspect. We’re trying though, and things are going well. Especially since we have a little dinner club worked out with Jesse and Sandy. Dinnertimes are really times for socializing with the flatmates and discussing our cultures. Did you know that Reese’s peanut butter cups are really expensive in Britain? And people usually just use peanut butter for cookies? Everyone is always surprised that the US drinking age is 21, and we let 15 year-olds learn to drive. Also, curries are the quick fix meal, rather than a stir-fry or pasta. It’s pretty precious/delicious. We talked about language a lot with Jesse’s flatmates, and the Brits feel that their accent should not be too posh or “like you’re from Essex” (which is hickish, I believe). Overall, good times and good talk.
We’re off to nuke some more dinner. The nuances of frozen food are so clear to us now. Will’s coming in tomorrow for a visit. I might be more excited than Marianh. (Just kidding, Will.) We’re hoping to explore the city this weekend, and maybe hit up the town.