Sunday, October 21, 2012

I just got back from spending a few hours at the Trinity University library studying, and am planning to spend a few more hours tonight continuing my reading and organizing my thoughts and ideas for my essays, but in my break time seems to be the perfect time to make a blog post. I've been in university and at my job for about three weeks now, and it feels really good to be developing some sort of routine. I thrive on having some sort of schedule and structure to my days, and the two months or so prior to October were very lacking in that, first when I was living at home and preparing for the move, and then after I got here, before everything kicked into action. Now I'm working three days a week, going to Swansea on Wednesdays for class, and spending time in the evenings and on the weekends studying. Work is still going really well. I've been there long enough that some of our regulars have already gotten to know me and we get to chat whenever they come in.

The Ageing Studies program is very self-directed, which is what I expected based on it being a Master's program and on previous knowledge of how the UK education system at the university level seems to work. Even at the undergraduate level you're expected to do much of your own research and basically a few large assignments instead of all sorts of smaller ones or busywork. I do like it much better so far. I've always said I would do better being in just one or two classes at a time so that I could devote more time and focus to them, and so far I haven't been wrong. I'm in two classes right now, and our essays aren't due until January, so we have all this time to be keeping up with our own reading to supplement lectures and be preparing for the essays. I'm also really excited at the prospect of doing a dissertation and have had loads of ideas, though I think I've finally come up with one that I'd be the most passionate about and interested in. It's dementia-related, and hopefully would involve both qualitative interviews and quantitative data, if I could find participants. Our dissertation proposals aren't due until March though, so that's not my main focus at the moment.

This has been a really lovely weekend, starting on Thursday night when we went out for Amber's birthday and met some of her lovely friends. On Friday Josh, Amber, her boyfriend Greg and I went to Dolacouthi Gold Mines, about an hour away, which is the only known Roman gold mine in the UK. Apparently around 100-200BC the Romans invaded the UK, something I never knew, so I was fascinated by all the history I learned at the mine. We also got to go to Amber's house and meet a LAMB that she and her mum have raised and will soon be grown enough to go off and live with a flock! I think my excitement about getting to meet the lamb in person was more entertaining to everyone else than the lamb itself.

Last weekend Josh's dad ran the Cardiff Half Marathon and we went to watch him. As anyone who knows me well knows, running has never been my thing. I "ran" the mile in gym in fourth grade in 13 minutes, making me by far the last to finish. But for some reason watching the half-marathon got me really pumped up and inspired to try my hand (or feet) at running as a way of staying in shape. I haven't been working out since I got here due to not really having access to a gym, but running would be a really easy thing to do that doesn't require any fancy equipment or memberships. And Amber, a friend I met through Josh, has been wanting someone to run with, so starting next week we're going to try a program called Couch to 5k that eases you into running, and maybe we'll be ready to run an actual event by springtime :) Wish me luck!

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