Friday, September 4, 2009

Getting Assimilated

What a week! It really flew by, and I feel like I’ve been in Bath a lot longer than just five days. I’ve met a ton of great people and seen the most beautiful sights in Bath. And the weather has been fairly nice! Today was the nicest by far – all sun and just a little wind. Most of the time, though, it is sunny for an hour, then cloudy for an hour, then sunny again. We’ll go into a restaurant and come out later only to find that it had rained and we had no idea. Everyone here just takes it in stride. Tuesday, it rained all day, but Bathonians are just strolling along, not even bothering with umbrellas or raincoats.

Wednesday, we had our first set of Diagnostic Papers, which were just 1000 word essays about each of our classes, basically for our tutors to know what we already know about that subject. They weren’t that bad – I think we all psyched ourselves out for nothing. I also collected all my course books and got the syllabi for my classes. They all look really interesting, except I’m a little nervous for my Georgian Politics and Society Tutorial. It is a lot of presenting and defending positions, something I do not like to do at all. But, I know at the end of the semester, it will be extremely rewarding. My tutor is Professor Leslie Mitchell, a preeminent scholar in Georgian history at Oxford. That doesn’t help my nerves at all! Wednesday night we decided to go out and try to assimilate into the British culture. So, we went to a pub. The Bell was a really low key, relaxed place with a pretty back garden and a really quaint atmosphere. We, as awkward Americans, had no idea what to order, so the bartender gave us all these delicious cider drinks. We didn’t stay out very late, as we were still terribly jet-lagged, but it was a fun experience none the less.

Thursday I met with one of the ASE Staff, Su, to discuss my job as a Nelson House Assistant. Basically, twice a week I have to water the plants, do the dishes and clean up the library. Very easy, and I get paid, so I think a good deal over all. Thursday afternoon, we received a guided tour of Bath Abbey. I have to pass it everyday on my way to classes, and it is absolutely gorgeous.The inside was just as beautiful. Kind of creepy though, as there are nearly four thousand people buried beneath its floors! All over the wall are memorials to those who are buried there, and the most recent one is from 1803, so they are all extremely old.Last night, we went out again to a pub called The Hunstman, where we met up with some other ASE students and made some new British friends. There was Tall Sam, Short Sam, Will, and Mike – all of who had met ASE students the night before. They said they found us Americans very amusing. We definitely found them funny too! Especially when they tried to dance at this club we went to next, called The Mole. They weren’t the most graceful of people.

Today we went up to the RSPCA to sign up for volunteer dog walking. The center is located right next to the University of Bath, about a ten minute bus ride away. The Uni is huge! It has over 100,000 students, very few of whom have come back yet, since their school doesn’t start until October. When they get here, Bath will be a completely different place! Uni Bath is a very good engineering school, and is also extremely well known for its sports. Bath was actually the #2 spot chosen for the England World Cup Team in 2018 to train because of all their great facilities. Bath Rugby is also one of the best in the country. We are planning on going to a match next weekend sometime.

Tonight we are having a formal reception to officially meet our tutors. It is being held at the Victoria Art Gallery. Tomorrow we have a market tour of the city, so we know where we can get good produce and other food from local farmers. Sunday, we have a day trip planned to Stonehenge, Salisbury, and Lacock. I’ll definitely keep you all updated!

Here are some pictures from the last few days!

Bath Rugby Grounds

Avon River and Pulteney Bridge

Pulteney Bridge

My friends Audrey and Sam at The Huntsman

Inside of Bath Abbey

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kelsey:

    Your blogs are just awesome. We identify with so many of the places that you have visited like the Cotswalds, Copenhagen, etc., where Laura and I have travelled - we loved those places.

    Keep enjoying yourself, but do not forget to get some sleep!