Sunday, October 10, 2010

Getting My Life Sorted

I'm entering week 3 at Kent, which means that my life has started to fall into somewhat of a routine...This is comforting but a bit sad as well--the novelty is starting to wear off. Not completely, obviously, I don't know that it ever will, but I find myself walking to class like it's nothing before stopping to fully consider that I'M IN ENGLAND. And almost everyone I know is doing the same thing (or will be in about 5 hours) in the states. I think the obvious cure for this is to go on various mini holidays. Otherwise, Canterbury is treating me well. I love being here.

University is funny. I'm only in class twice a week for 4 hour blocks, which is almost underwhelming. Almost. There's plenty of reading that I have to do for my classes, and I have a presentation coming up in week 4. I also probably have to start thinking about a couple of midterm papers. My other two classes seem pretty good. The professor for psychoanalysis is like a character out of a movie--she's scattered and she always has her hair messily clipped and she mumbles. She's a good lecturer, and I enjoy the discussion section. Clinical psychology seems alright--I've only had one session of it because the first one was cancelled. The lectures pretty much run the same way as they do at IU, but we have no home work (or at least none to turn in) and we won't have any quizzes or tests. All exams will be in the summer term next May. Scary.

I've applied to work in 2 psychology labs and it looks like I definitely got in to one(!)--it's on cognition and emotion, and my boring teacher from that class is the one who runs it. I'm hoping he's better when he's not doing public speaking. The other is called "The Good in Us" and it's based on social psychology but it's basically a website that picks up stories world wide of the good things people are doing for each other even though they are in conflicting groups. If I get in to that one as well I'm going to have to choose between the two, but if it comes to that I definitely need to know more about each lab. I'm just excited to have heard back so quickly--both labs emailed back the day I sent my applications!

I'm having an interesting time with the people. There are 3 types of Brits that I've encountered when I'm at the pubs: the ones who think it's awesome that I'm American, the ones who don't really notice, and the ones who have a very obvious low opinion of Americans. And the funny thing is when I point out the last kind, they frequently deny it. I spoke with two guys last night who were trying to take the piss at me and after one finished I said "you clearly have a high opinion of yourself" (he totally did, on top of trashing the states) and he said "no no, not at all actually, honestly you deserve to be talking to better people, you're clearly an intelligent girl, you're attractive, and you've got a nice rack." Glad my boobs could make up for his disdain for the US. Guess that's British charm for you. I've had pleasant conversations about America with other people where we were simply discussing, but I'm still shocked at how surprised some people get when it turns out I'm not under the impression that Europe is still operating in an 1800s fashion. I knew the states didn't have the best reputation in Europe (to say the least), but I'm only just now getting a real sense of the degree of that. Although to be fair, I've heard stories from some of these people about other Americans that they've met that are truly embarrassing. Alessandro told me some girl once asked him if there were roads in Italy! (His reply? He said he gave her a confused look, then pointed to a road and went "oh you mean--oh, no, not really." Haha I love him). On the other hand like I said I've also met plenty of people who are really sweet, inquire about where I'm from and what I'm doing here, and move on to a new topic. At the end of the day, I like chatting with all sorts, and I'm happy to prove that not everyone in the states is a bumbling idiot.

Everything is expensive, I feel so naive now that I'm here. People go out way more than they do in the states, for starters, but all the numbers on the price tags are the same, so it really is just a higher cost of living. I knew it would but but it's still different when you're actually here. The fact that the clothing here is amazing doesn't help. TopShop had a student 20% off event that was wonderful and simultaneously cruel. I'm meant to use my savings for travel and instead I've bought a completely awesome and comfy dolman jumper, a funky top, and some heeled oxfords. Bad Caitlyn. To aid this I have applied for 2 jobs, but nothing seems very promising yet and I'm still looking. Wish me luck!

I've got plenty to focus on now, at any rate. Reading, upcoming psych lab, jobs....and I've got plenty to look forward to, as well. My mom has picked the dates she's coming! And I am working on a killer wardrobe. It's finally beginning to feel like I live here. Weird.

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