The DL on my new scholarly digs.
by Heidi Obermeyer
I’ve been on a blog hiatus for the last few days, and I think it’s time for a bit of a life update, since I haven’t even told you about Bath in general (?!?!) or university life here yet. Let’s start with where I spend most of my time- on top of a hill above the city on the campus of the University of Bath.
In general, things are busy- as people often say their lives are- but truly, I have much more to do in Bath than I did in Berlin. I have 5 classes this semester instead of the 2 days a week I was at the university in Berlin, and each has a once a week lecture plus a seminar a few weeks out of the semester. British university differs greatly from both the American system and the German one, leaving me with only 8 short weeks of class from my arrival here to my departure shortly before Christmas. The semester actually runs until the end of January(ish) but there’s no lectures after the new year and I, as well as the other Americans, will not be returning to Bath for that period.
British Uni is a strange middle ground between the bare-bones German style of studying and the all-inclusive, somewhat indulgent American university system- some amenities you wouldn’t expect are included (housekeeping is coming to clean my room for me next Wednesday) but some tools I’d consider basics aren’t (a comprehensive online course catalog for the entire university, for example). The campus seems (from my perspective) to be way too small for the size of the student body, but massive amounts of new construction are seeking to remedy that problem. I was frustrated over the last few weeks by constantly having to search for somewhere to sit on campus, but this week I was introduced to the postgrad/staff-only lunch area, where empty tables are far easier to find. I’ve been drinking obscene amounts of coffee, and even bought myself a cool reusable mug for all my coffee drinking needs.
Bath has a surprising amount of stuff to do- I certainly can’t say I’m bored! There’s lots of cute shops, picturesque walks, and cozy cafés to be explored, and between wandering around town and trekking up to the uni 4 days a week I’ve been kept busy. It rains kind of a lot, but also clears up quickly, in greater-than-expected contrast to the drawn-out days of overcast drizzle I’ve experienced in Germany.
Thesis writing is creeping up much faster than I expected- I need to find an advisor here in Bath and have a one-page description of what I’m writing about by November 6th. I’m still trying to decide what to do for spring semester, but all signs point to a return to Colorado (unless I get that World Bank internship… unlikely). I’m excited to return to the States- it will be nice to have a real project to work on while I’m at home and a library that I’m familiar with at CU. One of the downsides to the nomadic TAM lifestyle is only having used each university’s resources for one semester- I think I’ll be better off somewhere where I’ve spent more than a few months. I’m on the hunt for an internship or part-time job in the area, so if you’ve got any ideas I’d be happy to hear them 🙂 I am feeling restless in classes now, and am very excited to finish up this whole grad school thing and get on to real life, wherever that may be.
On a more fun note, yesterday was my birthday, and I celebrated by going to dinner and having cake with a few friends. It was lovely! I luckily didn’t have class that day (woohoo!) which was a nice break. We went to Same Same but Different, where I had some delightful slow-roasted pork ribs. I also made a (if I do say so myself) bomb ice cream cake, which I am really looking forward to eating some of later today. Birthdays abroad can be tough, but I had a wonderful time with some new friends and the old TAM kids. Hope you’re having a great Thursday, and I promise my boring blog period will end soon!