Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mishmash of thoughts and info

Well, I have now been here a month....and have three blog posts to show for it.  Apologies.

I'm starting week 4 of my master's degree on Monday.  I must say, there is a lot of reading involved and I am not doing nearly enough of it.  Andrew, you're my inspiration and I am not living up to your example.

My International Relations course is in the school of Political Science and International Studies  (POLIS). As such, it has a strong political component in all of its modules.  I'm taking more than a third of what is required this semester.  Courses I'm taking include Contemporary International Security, Theoretical Approaches to International Relations, and Conflict, Complex Emergencies & Global Governance.  And there is a lot of reading.  Did I mention that?  For example, one of the classes has 6 pages of suggested readings (books, articles, podcasts, webinars) per class period.  One of them was nice and only gave us 21 books to read this week.  As is, I have not come close to finishing the readings.  But I have come close enough to give reasonable input in our seminars and discussions.

This is actually a really interesting topic of study.  Our debates are certainly enlightening and I'm really interested in the subject.  I also found it amusing on Tuesday as I was walking from one of my lectures with a classmate and as he turned to the POLIS building for his next class, I said, "Have fun in Terrorism class."  It took me a moment to register what I had just said, but it's true.  The module is about terrorism...not how to do it, but how to prevent it and measures countries are/should be taking.  I couldn't fit that module into my schedule this semester, but I am taking Insurgency next semester.

I'm in week three of dance here on campus and I must say, ballroom in England, at least in the part of England I live in, is nothing like I expected.  It seems that a lot of people in England like dancing and see it as British, but no one really does it (I had a discussion about this on the way to the Huddersfield church dance last night with some friends).  Actually, I've danced with two girls (out of four) who said that I was the first guy they had ever danced with.  Apparently, the shortage of guys here is worse than at BYU and that beginning girls pretty much learn how to dance with and compete with (as partners) other girls.  Yikes.  So, on team, we males are a wanted commodity.  I think I may have found a partner, although she is about a head shorter than me.  We danced together last week and it felt pretty good.  Standard was a bit of a stretch, but she's really good at Latin.  There looks to be about 8 competitions the team is thinking of competing in over the year.  I'm excited, although this is certainly no Utah.  There are no classes, no ballroom (we're in the refectory [cafeteria] for practice), and no team routines.  But, there is a professional who teaches the classes, so that's fun.

I'm also spending a lot of time at institute.  We have lunches there three times a week for a quid and dinner on Thursdays for a pound fifty.  Pancake breakfasts are also every Friday.  I go for lunch on Wednesday and Thursday and stick around for institute at 1:00.  I'm taking Teachings of the Living Prophets, Marriage Prep (or whatever it's officially called), and then Book of Mormon on Thursday evenings before ballroom.  There is quite the institute program here.  :)  And, we do a lot of get togethers.  Annie, for instance, had a games night last week and 17 people showed up.  I brought one game that works for that many people.  It was fun, but crazy (rooms are small here).  I'm excited for the annual Muppet Christmas Carol party this year.  I've already purchased the movie.

Well, I think that's good for now.  I have to get ready for the second Huddersfield dance (they're having a convention this weekend, but I didn't know about it until they were already full, so I'm only going to the dances).  It's a live swing band playing tonight, so that means that the music will (probably) not be ridiculously deafening loud and they might play some music that I can dance to.  They don't play slow, swing, country, latin, pop, or any genre that isn't loud bass techno stuff.  ~Sigh~

But, I need to start travelling soon.  Any suggestions for fun weekend getaways?  That aren't too expensive.  I haven't found a job yet.  :P

1 comment:

  1. Oh, good! I'm glad you posted! I was going to ask you about that today but decided I didn't want to sound like I was nagging you since I know you're swamped with school work. Well, I know NOW before I just imagined that you were. :)

    That's awesome that you're still dancing.

    As for weekend trips, I have a friend in London right now (until March) and if you go to London, there's always Paris... :)