I know it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, but I hope you’ll accept my excuse, which is one word: finals.
I finally wrapped those up on Tuesday, but since everyone I know still has them my schedule has remained much the same, which is get up around sunrise, enjoy the morning, prepare for/complete finals, maybe see some people, and go to bed. Which is not particularly fun to read or write about, which is why none of us have. You’re welcome.
My Language and Humor final was about as rigorous as the rest of the class was, which is to say not at all. My Anthropology of Art final was a take home essay test we had 12 hours to do, of which I used about four, and got a 9,0 on which Google tells me is an A+ and my European boyfriend tells me is about as well as one can do without cheating. It involved a very interesting consideration of the authenticity of tourist arts, which I am willing to share and/or discuss with anyone interested. Don’t feel bad if you’re not, I’d be surprised if you were.
My final final was in Being Icelandic, which was an oral exam in which we drew one topic each from three out of four bowls and talked for five minutes about said topic. So we had to prepare for like a million things, but we only got tested on three of the things, and the three we were tested on was random which meant I was either going to do super well or super poorly based on what topics I drew. Fortunately, I lucked out and only had to talk about the things I was prepared to talk about, and not 10 minutes prior Ally had accidentally elbowed the bejeezus out of my ear, so I think my prof felt a little sorry for me which can only help my case.
Also for Being Icelandic, I wrote an essay about what we can tell about post-Reformation attitudes toward women in society based on ghost folk stories. The answer? Surprisingly a lot, given how narrow a focus it was. I’ll probably be posting that essay at a later date (read: once it’s been graded) under its original title, “What Do Women, Ghosts, and the Reformation Have in Common? This Essay.” Those of you who read it will probably enjoy it slightly less than my usual posts, unless you only read it because you found it on the internet based on a keyword search in which case you’ll probably enjoy it slightly more than is healthy.
Besides school stuff, I have been feeding birds. There’s a lovely lake between campus and downtown that is home to a smattering of aquatic birds and which looks quite lovely in the moments leading up to the sunrise:
But most of it has frozen over by now, which means there is one single area with a very highly concentrated bird population. So my new hobby is bringing snacks over to the geese, swans, ducks, and pigeons that live there and make a few bird friends.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had a swan stroll right on up to you, but it’s kind of terrifying because they are huge. The geese are much smaller and dumber, and for that reason they are my favorites. But if you toss bread at the swans, they sometimes catch it, and the ducks are quite entertaining as well. It’s just hard not to love these goofy birds who float, quack, and eat bread. Especially since I’ve learned that bread has no nutritional value for birds, which makes me feel better about my human passion for junk food. It extends to all corners of the animal kingdom, apparently.
I also ate a lot of toast and drank a lot of coffee, because my dorm room is a black hole for productivity which meant I had to go abroad to do most of my schoolwork. That is how I learned that jam, butter, and cheese on toast is somehow the most delicious food in the world. How? I don’t know. Does it sound gross? A little. Is it? Hell to the eff no.
It’s possible, dare I say even likely, that you’re aware that Iceland’s northern latitudes mean that it gets very little sun this time of year. Perhaps you’re wondering what that’s like. I’ll answer that: weird, but not as weird as you’d think. I do hold it largely accountable for my sleep schedule, which reflects that of the average university student but is radically different from my usual old lady sleep schedule. Instead of being in bed from 9 PM to 9 AM like I used to be, I go to bed at 1:30 AM and get up around sunrise. Which here means like, 10:45. Then a few hours later you’re on the bus and drive by an elementary school wondering what those kids are doing at school so late in pitch dark, but then you check the time and it’s only 4:30. Which still seemed kind of late to me but it’s Iceland and you never know what they’re doing.
So that’s it, that’s finals. Not much else to say. The next two weeks I’ll spend enjoying Christmas in Iceland and the little time left with my friends and boyfriend before they all ABANDON ME and go home. Then I’ll be flying to Kiel in order to celebrate Christmas and New Years with my German family, which I am beyond excited for. So be assured that interesting content will return to this blog.