Saturday, October 8, 2011

A List of Things I Love About St. Andrews

1. My classes. I am taking 20th Century British and Irish Drama and 20th Century American Drama. I love them both. I have the same professor for both classes and he is brilliant. I'll be honest and say I know embarrassingly little about European drama so this class is the perfect crash course. There's lots of reading and ridiculously long essays but it is totally worth it. I know much more about American drama but there are still a couple of dramatists on the reading list I haven't read yet. It was comforting to hear my professor go on about how great it is that Americans are taking this class because it will give us so much insight. The other nice thing about my classes is that we have to write play reviews for them. We can write up to three per class. He said I only had to write two per class though considering six plays is a lot. I like that this is forcing me to go out and see some European theater (or theatre). He said we could see anything we fancied so I've decided I'm going to see whatever is playing in the Globe Theater.
2. Flatball. When Knox asked me how I would beat the culture shock and immerse myself in the culture of my study abroad experience I basically wrote "I will join the frisbee team at St. Andrews and they will be my friends." This was met with some skeptical questions but when I got here I joined the frisbee team and they have become my friends. I have this theory that wherever you are in the world the people to find are the frisbee players. They tend to be the chill, welcoming kind of people. This theory was proven right in the case of St. Andrews. Frisbee here is much more intense than at Knox. I have frisbee practice almost everyday. On Tuesdays I even wake up for a 7:15am practice. And I love it. If anyone from Knox is reading this, be ready to learn new drills. Woohoo!
3. The town. I have already said that St. Andrews is basically the size of Galesburg. But I will say that it is probably cleaner and much safer. The town is so little and cute and full of history. The building for my classes is on the Scores which is right across the street from the old castle and the sea. I always get a lovely view on my way to classes. I also get to dodge around the tourists/golfers taking in the local history. It's pretty obvious that St. Andrews has played into the whole "Home of Golf" touristy thing. There are tons of little gift shops and everything is overpriced. But, it means that it is an entertaining walk to school everyday. Or Uni, as they call it here (that's short for university).
4. Cooking for myself. I have to admit, I was a little worried about being off board for the first time abroad. I've never had to shop for myself or plan meals or budget time to cook. It has turned out to be wonderful. Making my meal is the perfect study break and I get to control my diet, which means no awkward "I'm a vegetarian" incidents. Also, the food in the cafeterias at St. Andrews is pretty bad. It makes me appreciate the amount of choices Knox gives us. Also, things here really don't have a huge amount of flavor, this means I've gotten really good at using spices. I also make some great Mac n' Cheese (although I miss American Mac n' Cheese, the stuff here just isn't the same).
5. My housing. Yes, I live about a mile away from everything else but as long as I plan ahead this isn't much of a problem. I have a single, and it's pretty large. I have my own double bed (that's bigger than my bed in my apartment!) and my own ensuite bathroom. That means toilet, sink and shower, all to myself. The downside is that I also have to clean all of these things, but still, talk about privacy. The kitchen is great as well. The flat came equipped with pots and pans and we all have plenty of space to store our food. The hub (stove top) is a little temperamental, but if you talk to it nicely your food turns out just fine. I feel like I should post pictures of where I live or something but honestly, decorating was not on the top of the architect's list when creating David Russell Apartments. It's functional and spacious, not pretty.
There are more than five things that I love about St. Andrews, but this is already a pretty long post. Also, I still have to post everything from my trip to Edinburgh. I'll get on that. I'll leave you with a picture of me with a wall. Please, don't judge my hair. It is very windy here so I have taken to working some big hair.

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