My experiences so far at the University have been great. I am a little overwhelmed as I believe I am taking on the biggest project of my life but I have 3 years to do it and I have the support of some amazing researchers. So with that, I have the confidence that I need to be successful. When in doubt, you will hear it from me and you can remind me of this post and be the encouraging team that I need to move forward.
I share an office with a woman from Greece named Penny. She is a business owner in Greece and planning on expanding her network here in Scotland. She is a lovely woman and in her final year of her PhD. When she submits and passes with flying colors I wonder who will move into the office next.
Here are two pictures of my office space:
Next week I have a meeting with my supervisor. We will discuss the research project I will be on, in addition to my own, as well as a few section meetings and what not.
I have been auditing a BSL class and it has been great. First, it has been great because I have been picking up the language pretty quickly and second it is awesome to be in the shoes of a student. Being on the other side of learning a sign language after so long of knowing one and even teaching one brings back a sense of compassion for those who are struggling. It also has confirmed my teaching style some because the instructor is using some very similar methods, and I am effectively learning.. YAY!
I was able to use my BSL skills on the streets of Edinburgh yesterday as I met two Deaf men here on Holiday. It was great! I love the Deaf community for always being like "family" no matter where you are in the world.
I am sure some of you saw my "funny" that I posted on facebook, but I can't get over the little differences. Here in the UK we have 2 hole bunches, and 2 ring binders. I was looking for the 3 and 3.. assuming (bad to assume) that it would be the same here. I was wrong, everyone had no idea what I was talking about and we all got a good laugh out of it. I can't wait for more "aha moments."
All is well and it is still bug free. The view is beautiful and the sounds of the city are a nice reminder that I am in fact living in a city, in a new country and should be taking it all in. I have slept well every night and usually awake rested. My most frustrating experiences have been in the kitchen. Mainly, because of the oven. I have no idea how the oven works. I have requested the manual and so we will see if I get it. Maybe I have gotten it to work and it just doesn't get very hot. When I have talked to the other students living here they have told me that they only use the microwave so we are obviously in different stages in our life :)
I tried to make a butternut squash soup. My friend Mel Haynes has an amazing recipe and it is nice to think about girls nights and my friends at home when I make this soup. I have attached the recipe if you would like it. Roasting my squash in the oven didn't work. I know that she says to just microwave it, but I have just always baked it instead. Baked it in plenty of butter and even have seasoned it with some herbs, salt and pepper before roasting. I ended up boiling my squash, making a huge mess and at the end I had soup. It was good, but it was just a long process. I will have my left over soup for lunch.
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I have also made some great breakfasts, love my cheese plates and have enjoyed the apple sausages that I can get here. They actually have fresh apple in them and not just "natural" flavors. With the stove in this place, they are afraid those microwaving students will start a fire. So the stove automatically shuts off after 15 minutes. You can be so concentrated on stirring things up and you don't realize the heat is gone... I wish it would beep or flash at me when it is being all independent so that I could keep the power in my kitchen. Oh well :)
I am excited about my first friend outside of the University within the city. Jacqueline is from MO and went to Ol Miss.. I have a soft spot in my heart for Mississippi because of my good friends back home in the US so of course I will have a liking for this gal :) So being a fellow expat (she because she found herself a lovely Scottish man that I look forward to meeting) we met up. We met through an expat facebook group. We seem to have a lot in common and I look forward to getting to know her and the family. She has the MOST adorable little boy and he is a bit younger than Jillie but it is nice to have a little friend to play with from time to time. During our little coffee chat, we discovered that we actually both have M.EDs in Adult Education.
My friend Kyle, who has been so instrumental in all of my adventures (moving, advisors, business adventures etc) has also introduced me to one of his friends (currently in Paris for 6 months) and then she introduced me to one of her friends. She and I will meet up soon. I look forward to getting to know them and begin to feel more connected to the people living within the city.
The new friends at University are great too. I have not gotten to know them really well, but I look forward to continuing to build those relationships as well.
People in the city:
Speaking of people in the city. It is so odd that they don't acknowledge you, or look at you when you are walking or running. In Nashville, we say "hi" all of the time, we smile, we actually acknowledge your presence. I have noticed in this city that people are very much in their own world. When you do approach them or talk to them, they are some of the kindest and most welcoming people. This is the city of contrast, so I hear and that just must be another contrast. I have made it my mission whenever I am walking to smile and say hi, where I can. I think a little southern hospitality and friendliness doesn't hurt anyone.
I have gone on two great runs in the city and today was my favorite. I woke up to a beautiful morning. And decided to make the best of it and go for a run.
I am now hopping in the shower to get ready for church at 10:30. It is a community church in this amazing looking place. I am glad I know the route and it is not far from my place.
I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. I will update soon on the bus tour from yesterday. I learned so much about the city it needs an entire post of its own.