Archive for the ‘life in the uk’ Category

just one year?

August 31, 2009

If a one year master’s degree sounds good to be true, it is. The school year is intensive and you really do work up until the last month of the summer semester.

Most master’s students don’t have time to search for jobs, internships, or other opportunities while working on their dissertations, so a lot of postgraduates spend the first couple of months after graduation just trying to find something to fill their hours.

The one year master’s is still a fantastic option, but just keep mind, it’s a lot longer than it seems.


the clan gathering: a celebration of scottish culture and history

July 25, 2009


If you’re around Edinburgh this weekend, be sure to attend the Clan Gathering, a two-day festival celebrating the culture and history of Scotland. This year’s Gathering features a slew of various events all over city, including a parade, Scottish country dancing, and the World Highland Games.

I am hoping to check out The Gathering after I get some reading done for my dissertation. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the festivities from my kitchen window.

snapshots of edinburgh: route 75

April 26, 2009

Andrew and I just went for a phenomenal bike ride around New Haven and Leith. This was our first time cycling together in Edinburgh and we had a blast exploring the city by bike. The trails by the harbours are especially scenic.


Hurray for cycling!


Western Harbour


Western Harbour

the joyful bewilderment part deux at analogue books

March 24, 2009


If you’re in Edinburgh this weekend, make sure to attend the opening of The Joyful Bewilderment Part Deux at Analogue Books. Here are the details:

7-9pm, Saturday — March 28, 2009

Analogue Books 102 West Bow Edinburgh EH1 2H

Here’s a description of the exhibition by The Joyful Bewilderment:

“The Joyful Bewilderment is an international group exhibition showcasing the outpourings of a group of like minded image-makers. This exhibition can be seen as an expression of these artists compulsion to create. Fundamentally, the artists in the show all share an essential motivation to explore the possibilities of enhancing everyday life by making magic from the mundane.”


“[I]n various ways, the works offer a subconscious social commentary on the uncertainty of the times we are all living in. Specifically, what comes to the fore are common concerns and a positive interest with dipping into the past and championing seemingly long-forgotten notions such as thriftyness and a delight in the ordinary everyday detritus of life in order to counteract the context of a world today brimming with unwanted junk and jumble that has been manufactured for the transitory ‘now’.”

Super excited to check out the show! Thanks for the tip, Common Folk!

[via Mumble and The Joyful Bewilderment]

meadowbank stadium: a treasure of antiques

March 4, 2009

My boyfriend Andrew, my friend Bethany, and I were on London Road on our way to Sainsbury’s when we stumbled upon a sign that said Antiques Fair at Meadowbank Stadium. None of us had ever been to the Stadium, so we decided to check it out. In one of the ground-floor rooms beneath the actual stadium, we found an antique junkie’s paradise: table after table of stained glass, old postcards, funky jewelry, and items you would find stored in you  grandma’s attic. Fortunately, I was able to suppress my urge to buy everything and only purchased about a bag full of goodies for less than £5. I’ll definitely be at the next one.

Here are the details for the next Meadowbank Stadium Antique and Collectors Fair:

Meadowbank Stadium, London Road, Edinburgh, EH7 6AE
Open: 10am – 4.30pm on Sunday, April 5
Admission: £1 (accompanied children free)

To find antiques in other parts of the UK, check out the Antiques-Atlas.


Above are some of the goodies Andrew and I got at the Antiques Fair, all for less than £10.


I got this cool watch for about 50p. It needs a battery, but I’ll probably just wear it as a bracelet.


This postcard was £2. A bit pricey, but the seller said it was postmarked 1902. Not sure if this is actually true, but I’d like to think so.


This is the message that was written on the back.


One of my many nicknames is Panda, so I couldn’t resist buying this double set of cards for a £1.

the edinburgh doc(umentary)scene

February 24, 2009


One of the things I love about being back in uni is having the time to attend free lectures outside of my regular course schedule. On Friday, I attended a Documentary Master class featuring Kazakh filmmaker Sergey Dvortsevoy at the Edinburgh College of Art. The talk was quite fascinating, and if you’re at all interested in documentary, I highly suggest you get involved with the Scottish Documentary Institute, also known as Docscene. This documentary research centre not only organizes talks and lectures by internationally renowned filmmakers, but also, provides funding, training, and equipment for both amateurs and veterans. Docscene is a great resource for anyone interested in documentary.

Be sure to sign up for their mailing list to be the first to know about upcoming events and opportunities!

Photo by Flickr user jennifer buehrer

make your voice heard, submit a course review!

February 21, 2009


Want to share your course experiences? Want to know make sure students know what Edinburgh University courses are really like? Check out the Course Reviewer!

The Course Reviewer is written for and by students. It is a platform for you to assess and share your experiences with other students.

I recently heard about this fantastic online reviewer through the Edinburgh University Association of Students (EUSA) and participated in their site feedback session. This is the first year of the Course Reviewer, so make sure to spread the word and get others to submit reviews.

The Course Reviewer is a great way for you to get and share insider information. Browse and rate other student reviews. Tell students about the workload, interest and teaching quality of a course. Assist students in deciding what courses to take next semester.

It might seem like a tedious chore, but trust me, it doesn’t take that long and someone will surely find the information useful and interesting.

Photo by flickr user jaredchapman.

snapshots of edinburgh: holyrood in white

February 2, 2009

Today was the first snow of the year! Here’s a photo of Holyrood Park from our kitchen window.


This is what the park looked like on a sunny day in September.


I love the snow, but am definitely looking forward to the spring.

thoughts on america

January 21, 2009

Surrounded by Irish, English, and Chilean friends, I watched the inauguration of America’s 44th president on the big screen of the sports bar at Teviot House, the student union building.

Watching the inauguration was like watching a rugby or football match. The room filled with boos as Bush walked onto the stage, then erupted into  cheers and applause as Obama appeared, as if he were a the star forward of the home team. What’s interesting is that for most of the 200 students at the sports bar, this wasn’t their home team. Even though the university has thousands of American students, most of the people at Teviot were non-American.

I find it fascinating that such a large number of non-Americans feel so personally connected to Obama and this new administration. It is doubtful whether as many people watched the inaugurations in 2001 and 2005.

Even though I am thousands of kilometers away from the States, I have never felt more American — and most importantly, proud to be an American. Perhaps, I would have been swept by the same patriotism if I were back at home, but the source would not be the same. Here, my sense of pride stems largely from the knowledge that my peers who hail from all corners of the world are not just satisfied, but elated by the inauguration of our 44th president, a leader whom they believe is capable of implementing positive changes in the world. Like for many Americans, he embodies hope.

While I am skeptical and critical of this symbol, which too often is merely employed as a fashion statement or commodity, it is a powerful representation. I am still proud and hopeful, but I approach this inauguration with a critical awareness of the many challenges that lie ahead.

It remains to be seen whether Obama can translate the symbolic into something substantial, but we must always bear in mind that the beginning of real political change starts with transformations in representation.

here we go!

January 14, 2009

Just kicked off the first week of the second semester. It’s weird, but good being back in school. I haven’t quite switched out of vacation mode, but I’m sure I’ll get into grad school mode in no time.

This semester I’m taking Culture and Criticism II: The Practice of Culture Studies, a core course whose purpose is “to provide students with basic critical skills for understanding contemporary culture across its numerous manifestations and texts.” The course themes sound really interesting, and include: Cultural Conceptions of the Body, Digital Practices in Contemporary Music, Everyday Life and Culture, and Mobility, Spatiality, and Visuality. In addition to this core course, I am also taking Research Methods and Problems in Cultural Studies, which starts next Friday.

I’m also shopping around for an optional course. On Monday, I audited The City and Its Others, a course that “tracks the shifting character of urban theory in its attempt to account for and explain the emergence of these ‘other’ urbanisms in the context of globalization.” Tomorrow, I plan to audit Cinema: Time, Space, and Memory and next week, I plan to sit in The Holocaust and Representation and Culture of Display, a course that “introduces the theory and practice of museology/museum studies.” This last class especially interests me because it involves visits to galleries and museums and seems a lot more practice-based than the other classes.

In addition to school, I am also working. Today I started my temporary position as a Telephone Interviewer at the Careers Service. Basically, my job is to call alumni to see what they are doing. It’s not the most glamorous job, but one can’t be too picky in the UK. Plus, cold calling isn’t so bad if you’re not asking for money or donations. Most of the people I talked to were pretty friendly and receptive to my questions.

Today, I also signed up for the university’s gym. The membership fee for one semester is £60, a bit too steep for my budget, but the facilities are top-notch and I really do want to get in shape. Tomorrow, I plan to hop on a bike and maybe a treadmill. I’m hoping to hit the gym a few times a week this semester.

Overall, it’s been a good first week, but then again it’s only Wednesday…