Thursday, January 13, 2011

And so life goes!

Today was my second day of classes. I had Britain and Europe and US Foreign Policy. Both seem very very interesting and I am not going to drop either, so my schedule is more or less set. I just need to sign and turn in one more paper to make it official.
Every Thursday there is a Farmer's Market on campus. I checked it out with Kali, mostly there was hot cooked food, but we did end up buying some apples. Next week I'll probably cave and get a tiny cactus that they had in the booth next door.
My US Foreign Policy class deserves further recognition just because it will be the hardest class I have taken thus far with by far the most interesting dynamic. Out of the 40ish people in the class I am the only American to my knowledge, it is being taught by 2 Canadians, and most of the other students are in the middle of writing their dissertations about politics or international relations and are very opinionated and knowledgeable. In my discussion group there are 6 British students, 1 Bulgarian, me, and the Canadian TA. Today in the discussion group, we basically just had an open forum and after all the other students went around and talked about where they think US foreign policy comes from and if domestic issues, the media individuals, and ideology issues had more sway in the decision making process (and I was feeling properly overwhelmed) the TA turned to me and asked "well what does the resident American think?" Although she quickly realized what an open-ended question that was and rephrased it into several smaller specific questions, it was still a pretty nerve-wracking experience.
So what did we learn? That I really need to keep up with current US political issues while I am over here.
Also the term "resident American" makes me feel like the class fish.
Queen Mary has a film society where once a week they watch a film and then go to a pub and talk (sometimes about the film even!). So I went to the first meeting today and we watched Forbidden Planet (1956). Then we went to a pub down the street and talked for a long while. I left after 3 hours and conversation was still going! But it was a ton of fun and there a bunch of nice friendly people who like watching obscure movies, so I'm sure we will all get along fantastic.

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