This semester has been going wonderfully compared to the last, so much so that I don’t really have anything to complain about. Now that I actually have friends we can work on assignments together and I can get so much more help and as a result my grades are dramatically higher, I am dramatically happier and I get to have more of a social life! Life is good.
No more 30 hour classical mechanics assignments, no more Friday nights spent trying to figure out matlab and no more dust! I actually failed my module on dust, but the wonderful exchange coordinator said that I must appeal. So I did and I now have a pass and I am simply beyond relieved. It’s good to know that all of those hours weren’t for nothing.
I’ve also gone from having the worst Astro module to the best. I am thoroughly loving my stellar course, the prof is beyond brilliant and actually engages with the class and talks about the coolest stuff, like the density of the sun is less than water, so if the sun could fit in an ocean it would float! This is possibly my favourite course in all of university, apart from maybe great ideas.
Socially, I’ve been hanging out with couchsurfers more than ever, on a weekly basis pretty much. Sledging is so much fun, it’s great to feel like a child again, it’s also been pointed out to me that I’ve been calling it the wrong name my entire life, but I don’t care. Sledging sounds way better.
I went with the space society to a place called Fingal in the middle of nowhere, expecting an observatory like the one in St Andrews. It turned out to be just a telescope out in the open with a little shack with a heater to huddle in for warmth. The telescope was exceptional however, never have I seen such detail; Jupiter’s rings are stunning, but Orion’s Nebula was captivating, I could see clouds and filaments of… the word that must not be mentioned. It was sublime.
Also went to my first rock gig in something like 6 years. It was slightly disconcerting because I was in the front row and there was room for me to dance, there was also no mosh pit. Canadians really are too nice for their own good, they don’t know what they’re missing. I expect to go to a gig a get squished and sweaty and trampled and covered in bruises. That was my only disappointment. Also suddenly felt desperate to be in a rock band and scream my lungs out and dance around on stage.
I also got to partake in a poetry workshop which was the most creative thing I’ve done in months. And the poetry just poured out. Now all I want to do is sing, write poetry and draw naked people.
As a Bobby Jones scholar I also got to dine with the other St Andrews students with some very important people. Such as the President of Western, at least that’s who I think it was… We also got invited to dinner at one of their homes, they house was unbelievable. People under 60 aren’t allowed to exist on the premises for more than a few hours, there’s a golf course and tons of artwork to be impressed about. It also turned out that they know my aunt. Small world.
Another life changing experience is that I’ve become a babysitter. I’m learning how to look after a one and a two year old simultaneously and I’ve learnt that children like to cry. A lot. And there’s usually nothing I can do about it. It is utterly exhausting, I don’t know how anyone can do it full time.
Important thing I’ve learnt about Canadians: when you ask them their nationality they don’t say that they’re Canadian! They’ll say they’re Scottish or Serbian… despite the fact that they’ve never even been to their country of nationality. So what makes Canada Canada if no Canadians actually live there?
I also want to apologise to everyone who ever asks me what my summer plans are, you should stop asking me because you’re making me feel guilty. I’m doing my best to figure out a way to take you all in my backpack. Promise.
But seriously, anyone can do it, what’s stopping you? Stop making excuses and do what you want.