Thursday, January 15, 2004

Sometimes I have to shake my head at everything that has happened since I arrived. I am in Edinburgh. The capitol of a nation far older than the US. I have conversations everyday with people from Dublin, Ulster, Scotland, England, China, Japan, France, and Norway. In one day, I did Old Irish, Latin, and Japanese. There are some days I spend my time speaking in French, bad as it is, more than English. When I take a step back, this has been a very changing experience. The stereotypes of Americans over here is overwhelming. The instant you open your mouth and they realize you are American; people have a reaction. This is not just the case in politics or other contenious issues. This is in daily situations. They treat you differently. This is not always a bad thing. More often they are just curious about where you are from and what it is like living in America. It is surprising who you met as well. When I was in line at Tesco in Oban the checkout girl (this she definitely was) had spent three years in Oklahoma.

Just as overwhelming is the fact that I am here at all. When people often think about going to graduate school, they only think about the US and how competitive it is there. They rarely think outside their own area. I am now in the envious position of living overseas in a relatively safe country (I don't think many terrorists harbor any ill will towards Scotland in particular). There are few real crimes here (I think there were a total of 15 murders in Scotland last year compared to Seattle with 63 for nearly the same population (about 5 million)). The number of violent crimes were in the 15,000 incidents area for last year. Anyway, I am going to a world class university which has changed the course of history both real and intellectual. I pay just about the same amount all told for a postgraduate education as I would in the US and get all of these things. Of course, I also get a cleaning and laundry service. To sum this all up, sometimes I look out the window at the Firth of Fourth over New Town and Princes street garden and marvel at it all.

Anyway, I have a paper due tomorrow at noon so I should get back to work. Many of you who are reading this should get a copy of it soon. I hope you like it. I should find a way of making my yahoo briefcase globally accessible so I can just upload them there and link them here but that is for another time.

posted by Chris  #11:43 PM | 0 comments |