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settling

March 4, 2011

It has been close to two months since I have been back in this snowy state we call Wisconsin.  It is hard looking at photos from Liverpool seeing that flowers are blooming and spring has arrived for them, at the same time I see snow falling (well, at least it is rain this morning).

School has been just peachy.  We’re already heading into week seven, and the week after next is spring break.  I’m heading to West Virginia with a bunch of great people.  We’ll be working with habitat for humanity.  This will be my first habitat trip and I’m really excited for it.  Part of the excitement is the travel, of course.  Since I’ve been back, I have had the worst travel bug.  Good thing school is keeping my mind occupied, because I’m convinced that I would be going crazy due to the snow and being cooped up inside for most of the day.

My first week of classes in Liverpool really showed me how different the education systems were, but I quickly got used to it.  Now, having six weeks under my belt in the States again, I have rediscovered how different the systems are.  We have a lot more busy work here.  I can’t complain about it because I would rather have busy work and a few papers due rather than two papers due the entire semester for a given class in Liverpool.  Another thing I have realize that I really love about the system here is that we have a lot more discussions in class.  I thrive off of discussion because it is more engaging for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly appreciate things in the other system.  Having free time due to not having busy work, having more time to socialize, and only having lecture a few hours a week, just to name a few.

Speaking of busy work, I should probably get something done.  Midterm week won’t be horrible, because I don’t have many tests.  On the other hand, I have at least three papers to write (which I have a start on all of them), so I better get crackin’.

Holidays: A Time for Family

December 29, 2010

The last week and a half went fast.  Dad and I got to explore a bunch of new places.  We rented a car in Ireland and that was an experience in itself.  So, they don’t get much snow here, but of course, since we were here, they ended up having a pretty nice snow storm.  We ended up returning our car a day early, just because diving on the left side of the road is difficult enough without having to deal with snow on top of it.  The snow wasn’t the problem, the problems were: #1 they don’t have proper plows to get the snow off the road because they normally don’t get enough snow to have to plow and #2 they had a shortage of salt in the country, therefore they had to wait for a barge to come with salt, but storms on the sea delayed that ship load.

We spent Christmas in Liverpool.  It is weird spending Christmas in a hotel, but it was peaceful.  We spent some time walking along the docks and through the city on Christmas day.  I have never seen the city so quiet.  It was great, we got a few great pictures.

We headed back to Dublin and spent some time wondering around the city.  Checked out some awesome museums, and just spend the day exploring even further.

Unfortunately dad flew out this morning.  I’ve never had to drop someone off at the airport before, it isn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be.  Yes, I’ll be seeing him in about a week and a half, but it was still difficult.  We had a great week and a half together, and I was bummed to have to watch him leave.  Mom flew in yesterday, slept the day away, and we’re now getting ready to go back to the city and explore a little.  Her first full day here should be fun!

It has been a blessing that I’ve gotten time to spend with both of them before I make my way back across the pond.

The Sound of Silence

December 16, 2010

I am officially done with lectures for this semester.  Although, I still have two assessments to turn in, but those aren’t due until January 10th and 14th, so I think I’ll be a typical university student and procrastinate with those.  Actually, the essay that is due on the 10th is about 80% done, and hopefully I’ll finish that this afternoon.  The other ‘test’ I have to do I won’t even start until I return home, due to the fact that I won’t get the questions for it until the first week of the new year.

As I look back on this semester, I can’t believe how fast the time really did fly by.  Although I’m convinced I could easily survive another 3 months here, I have to admit that it will be nice to come home.  Maybe part of the reason I can say this is because I’m going to have a great 3 weeks of a ‘transition’ period where I will be traveling in Europe with my parents.

That’s right, I fly to Dublin tomorrow morning.  I’ll be meeting my dad and we’re going to spend a few days driving around Ireland.  We’ll be back in Liverpool for Christmas, and that will give me a chance to show him around this beautiful city I’ve had the great opportunity to spend the last 3 months in.  We’ll be heading back to Dublin where he’ll be heading home, and I’ll get a chance to see mom!  She and I will be heading to Paris for New Years, then to London, and eventually making our way back to Liverpool.  We’ll be flying home together on January 10th.

As I’ve said, this past semester has FLOWN by, and I can’t even imagine how fast the next three weeks with my parents will pass.  I’m excited about this traveling opportunity with them because I’m not quite ready to come home, but I’m definitely ready to start seeing people from home.  It has been harder than I thought, having to say goodbyes to all the great people I’ve met here.  But, at the same time, I know that we’ve grown close and this just gives us a chance to visit each other in our home countries.  I look forward to those travels.  It is true, I always have to have some sort of trip planned.  I’ve realized this while I’ve been here.  Even being here, away from home (well, this has become my home) I’ve been excited planning trips, just to get out and see more of the world.

I’ll always look forward to coming back home (the place where I’ve grown up), but I’ve also realized that home for me is where I am, it isn’t a particular place with a particular set of people.

See you all soon!

Only a few weeks left.

December 1, 2010

It is hard to believe that I only have 17 more days left in the semester.  It feels like the home stretch.  I can see the end in sight, and part of me just wants to be there so I can just pass the good-byes.  This is also the time of the semester where we are busy.  Papers, presentations, even some tests.  This means less time for friends and more time trying to get work done.  Good thing I have a lot of free time, and I can still find ample time for socializing.

I look forward to seeing my parents, of course.  At the same time, I’d be totally okay if I had to be here another 2 months, as long as I would get to spend it with the amazing people I have met.  It is going to be hard leaving everyone.  We have grown together, experienced Liverpool together, and now we need to learn how to say good-bye together.  Well, not yet, but in a few short weeks.

It snowed for the first time a few nights ago.  Every year I get excited about the first snowfall.  I do not know why, but there is some magic about it.  It makes everything look pretty!  Today it has been flurrying all day long, which has been quite peaceful.  Although it is a little chilly, I cannot complain.  I have been paying attention to the weather back in WI, and it looks to be colder there than it has been here.

Last weekend we took a day trip to the Lake District.  We got to hike up a mountain and take in some breathtaking views.  Of course, the hike was chilly  and the mountain was icy, but nevertheless, it was beautiful.  There was snow, which was fun, but also led to a few snow fights, which was also fun, of course.

It was the last day trip that our group took, and it is hard to believe that it was the ‘last’ of something.  Sort of like how this Friday will be our last bring-a-dish.  It does not seem like that long ago we had all of our ‘firsts.’

It is true, time flies when you’re having fun.

York

November 14, 2010

I suppose it is time for another post.  Honestly, nothing new has been happening around here.  School, homework, essays, you know, the lovely life of a uni student.  Actually, it hasn’t been too bad.  It is just that due dates are quickly closing in on me, just like this quick semester is.  Four weeks left.  It is hard to believe.  I have a lot of work to do.

We did take a trip to York yesterday.  It was a lot of walking.  Fortunately it was also a very sunny day.  The city is beautiful.  Old, and beautiful.  I really didn’t take many pictures because I guess I’ve just been more focused on soaking in the sights rather than trying to catch them all on film.  Most of the time a photo can’t do the place justice anyway.  There was a lot of history involved yesterday.  It is hard to imagine things happening in the pre-Roman times.  We went to the Yorkshire Museum and got to see so many things from the Roman times.  It was awesome.  We also headed to the national railway museum where we learned a lot about the railways and advances throughout the years.  It was definitely a history filled day.

Overall, I can’t believe how quickly the time is flying by.  What’s that saying again?  Time flies when you’re having fun.  Apparently, I’m having too much fun.

Time flies when you’re having fun.

November 2, 2010

It has officially been 6 weeks since I’ve arrived in Liverpool.  I can’t believe how fast these weeks have flown by.  I’m having a blast.  Words that I never thought would come out of my mouth did yesterday.  I admitted that I wouldn’t mind staying here for an entire year.  Don’t worry, I still plan on being back in January.  It is going to be hard to leave.  I’ve made friends I’m going to have for the rest of my life.  I’ve had experiences that I will never forget, and that I have learned a lot from.  I’ve learned a lot about myself and these are the experiences that are shaping the person I am.  I absolutely love it here.

I’ve gotten into a routine, therefore there hasn’t been much that has been new and exciting.  Lectures are still going well, and homework deadlines are quickly approaching.

This past weekend was a little busier than weekends usually are.  We had our second bring a dish party on Friday, which of course produced a lot of delicious dishes.  Saturday we had a Halloween party and it was great to see the similarities and differences of how different people celebrate Halloween.  A lot of people had never dressed up for Halloween, so it was also fun to see how excited they were to dress up for the first time.  On Sunday, a few of us went to Sefton Park to the lantern walk.  That was cool.  I have never seen anything like it.  I’ve never seen so many paper lanterns.  A very beautiful Day of the Dead parade.

Other than that, no new news.  I suppose it is time for me to get back to some homework.

Uneventful Week

October 24, 2010

Although it has been an uneventful week, it was still great.  The school week passed rather quickly.  A lot of homework to get done and time to start assessments.  I can’t believe I’m already done with 1/4 of my semester here.  It is ridiculous how quickly weeks pass by as you are having a good time.

I did make a batch of cookies though.  We have our next “bring a dish” dinner this coming Friday, and I’m taking chocolate chip cookies (which were in fact originated in the States).  I had to make a test batch.  They went over well.  I had a heck of a time finding chocolate chips and brown sugar though.

Friday night a few of us decided to go to dinner and then to the Cavern Club after.  So, we found this reasonable restaurant in the city that had different food from all over the world.  When I saw they had some nice, hearty burgers on the menu, I just had to indulge.  It was not a bad burger, but I have to be honest, it was not a Wisconsin burger.  We have all agreed that we will be returning to that restaurant.

We headed to the Cavern Club.  We knew that we had to go at least once because we are in Liverpool.  It was a lot of fun though.  There was a Beatles cover band (of course) and although it was really hot, it was so much fun.  I think next time we go it will be a Saturday because they have open mic every Saturday.  That will be fun.

Saturday was uneventful.  Homework, socializing, we went to a movie.  Today we took a walk in Sefton Park, enjoyed the sunshine, and we will be making fajitas for dinner!  I love the little “family” dinners we have here.

Back to lectures tomorrow!

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