Archive for the ‘May 2010’ Category

Counting down my last days in Edinburgh

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

I am officially leaving Edinburgh in one week. I feel like I just arrived! I know a few people who are already back in the US from their semester abroad. Two of my flatmates moved out already and some are leaving this weekend and the beginning of next week. I am staying until the last possible day along with 4 or 5 of my flatmates. I am glad that there will be people here until the end. After that, I am visiting my flatmate, Sarah, in Ayr for 4 days. Ayr is on the west coast of Scotland. Then I am visiting my other flatmate, Josie, in Newcastle, England for another 4 days. Newcastle is in northern England. Then I am flying from Newcastle to Nice where I meet my family. We will be there for 1 week and then we are traveling to Northern Italy for another week.

I have been spending my last few weeks here just hanging out with my flatmates and other friends. Last weekend the weather was gorgeous! It was in the 70s and I even got sunburn! (I didn’t know that was possible in Scotland). We were in the Meadows a lot that weekend. The Meadows is the park behind the University. We had a BBQ on the Meadows for our flat dinner (all 12 of us!). It was so much fun. I played my first game of touch Rugby. We ended up staying there until around 9:30 pm because it was still light outside! I wish that weather would come back to Scotland. The past few days have been ok, but definitely not warm enough to have a BBQ.

Flat 9 BBQ in the Meadows

My first rugby game

On Tuesday, I went to the Safari Park with Sarah, Steph, Josie, Molly, Luke, and Liz. This is different than a zoo because people can drive through it. I did not know that these existed…I have just seen them on TV and movies. Have you ever seen Jumanji? They drive through a Safari Park in that movie. This park was right outside of Stirling, so we had to take two buses there. It was a great day! We saw lions, rhinos, elephants, mercats, and lemurs! We also went on a boat ride to see the island where the monkeys live and we went paddle boating.

I am finished with my Junior year! (does that really mean I am a Senior?)

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Yesterday I took my last final exam. It has been six weeks since the end of classes and I was just waiting to take my exams. I was ready to take them the week after classes ended. So since there was such a long wait I had to study more because I forgot some of the information I learned in class. I think the final exam process is more stressful here compared to Mary Washington because all of the exams are cumulative (tested on the material for the whole semester) and most exams are usually 50% or more of the final grade. My flatmate, Sarah, has two exams both worth 100% of the grade!! But for 1st and 2nd years, the grade does not count and everyone just has to pass the class. For me, I just have to pass the classes too since I am studying abroad.

 The exams are taken in huge rooms and we have to place our bags and backpacks at one end of the room and only bring a pencil and student card to the desk. (This gives me flashbacks of AP testing in High School.)For my exams I had two hours to complete them. My Archaeology exam was difficult because we have a choice of 6 essays and we have to do only two essays. That was worth 60 percent of the grade. I thought that my Celtic Civilization exam was going to be difficult because there is so much information (and I didn’t really like the class), so I studied extra for this exam. Luckily, it was not too difficult. The amazing thing is where I took this exam. It is called McEwan hall and it was built in 1874…it was so beautiful that I didn’t want to take the test, I just wanted to look around.

My last exam was my Architectural History exam. I was excited to take this because I loved the class. One of the essay questions was the exact same question I had on my Art History exam at Mary Washington! Compare and contrast the Guaranty building and the Seagram building. I was soooo happy when that question showed up on the exam. Another question on the exam was about Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan and I had to discuss why and how they wanted to create a uniquely American style. Since my art classes in Elementary School people have been talking so much about Frank Lloyd Wright (a little too much.) So I was glad to have that quesiton on the exam too.

Now I am done and have three weeks until I move out. Before my exams, I had a lot of free time, but I felt guilty when I was not studying. Now it is officially summer and it feels great! I have a few ideas of what to do the next three weeks. We are going to have a flat dinner (with 12 people) to celebrate the end of the semester. So we will make a big dinner in the flat when everyone is here. They had a big Christmas dinner in the flat before I came here.I am also definitely going to read a lot. I just started “Eat, Pray, Love” and it is really good so far. In June I am going to the south of France and northern Italy for two weeks with my family, so I will be planning things to do on those trips.