Taking over England (or wherever): Part IV and Photo Blog 5 – The Development Studies Edition

Nothing too interesting to report today as I didn’t have any official program events scheduled.

Michelle and I headed out this morning to the University Societies and Activities Fair for Freshers (or something) that was held at the big event center on the east side of the city centre.

As we approached the event location, we were continually accosted by students and peddlers looking to give us coupons, flyers, goodie bags, and the like (it was kind of like Egypt…but less sunny). On the plus side, I think I managed to score about 17 pizza coupon books and a flyer advertising a dance party/rave where neon paint and glitter would be provided (obviously, I will be there…whether Michelle will go with me or not…I’m down for any event that features neon paint and glitter).

On the not so plus side…there was a huge queue to get into the fair so we ended up bailing.(An aside…I really dislike that the British use ‘queue’ rather than ‘line’…it’s so much harder to spell queue consistently).

It didn’t really feel like our type of scene anyway…as most of the people seemed to be about 13 or so. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

My favorite part was that two guys came out of the arena…quite sweaty and bothered…and talked to the 15-year-old girl in front of us in line. They said it was just a mess in there, was too hot, and they weren’t getting any sign-ups for their croquet club.

Mind you…this was like an hour and a half after the thing started…and their advertisement was a crumpled up piece of notebook paper with the word ‘croquet’ hand-written in black marker. I certainly couldn’t fault their effort.

From there we headed over to my department and gave Michelle the grand tour. Michelle took the obligatory pictures (see below). Also checked out the departmental library and checked out some books for me to read for class (or not). (On that note, I did manage to read almost an entire book written by one of my professors this afternoon/evening…so I’m pretty pleased with myself for that.)

Finally, we had a lunch at what turned out to be a kind of hoity-toity café. It was pretty good, but not exceptional. Otherwise, I’m just gearing up for the beginning of classes and starting to get my study on.

I’m also pretty excited about all the general talks and events that pop up on the notice boards and websites around here. It’s amazing how many high profile people come here to speak.

For example, Lord Winston is coming to my college next week (I didn’t know him…but he’s apparently a doctor…among other things…big into maternal issues…obviously Michelle is super stoked about this one) and authors Chinua Achebe and Tracy Chevallier have events in town later this month.

I guess I should mention my most embarrassing moment from last night at the introduction event. I was rather passively involved in a conversation with several other students that were sitting in my area. I noticed the Chinua Achebe flyer on the board and pointed it out. Nobody really said anything about it…so I panicked and said something insightful like, “he’s a really well-known author.” One of the girls looked at me like I was perhaps the stupidest person on the planet.

Good times.

Facade of the building that faces mine.

My building (aka where I try to scrape by) and me.