We had snow in St Andrews today. It made me happy.
We couldn't decide if Handy was a guy or a girl.
This past weekend in St Andrews was the Christmassy weekend. We had the Christmas Dinner and Cabaret in Hall and there was also the Christmas Ball. A weekend that had much fun and excitement contained within its thin walls. I say thin walls because I had an essay due at 12 noon on Monday that I pulled an all-nighter for on Thursday and ran on caffeine for three days, which is a lot since I rarely ever have coffee now-a-days, it makes me so hyper and I cannot get a restful sleep with it. It did however help me to spurn out words for my paper without falling asleep.
But, back to the Christmassy stuff. The Christmas Dinner was lovely. It was a formal sit down dinner in our usual dining room which was decorated for the purpose. There were three Christmas trees and a nativity scene around the room. There were tablecloths on the tables and christmassy napkins and a cracker in front of each person's plate. We also had a high table that night. A high table is a tradition where students get invited to sit at the wardens' table for dinner and get served by the wardens. Also when they enter, everyone has to stand up and wait for them to process in and take their seats before sitting down. high table occurs about a couple times each semester. The Christmas Dinner high table was extra special since it was, well, Christmas Dinner. For regular high tables, people get selected randomly, but for the Christmas one, they were specially nominated as people who had done the most for Hall over the semester. One of my academic brothers was on high table.
Then it was time to get ready for the Ball. I joined three other Wardlaw girls for this process and got my hair done by another one. We took prom style pictures just before we left as well. An actual Ball, and my! was it amazing. I wore my emerald green ball gown to it. It took place on a farm about a five minute drive away from St Andrews, and they had buses taking us back and forth as well. The place is called Kinkell farm and the dance took place in this huge barn which was spectacularly decorated. there was mistletoe at every doorway holly around the pillars and upside down Christmas trees hanging from the ceiling. We got free gingerbread and a glass of champagne when we arrived. We spent the rest of the night dancing to the songs of the different bands that played. Lots of people lots of music lots of fun and dancing! My feet felt like they were on fire at the end of the night, but it was all so worth it. (I miss the shoe I lost in Edinburgh)
The weather has been very Scottish this past week. We've had frost, ice, and (now that its warmed up a bit) a good amount of rain, all with large portions of wind and cloud cover. Also, my assignments, papers and lab reports are piling up since it's getting towards the end of the semester. Add all this together and I fluctuate between feeling lethargic and stressed and one only makes the other worse.
Then it was time to buckle down and do some work, which as mentioned before, I have been utterly unsuccessful at. I have tried nonetheless and have kept trying since.
This weekend held the most weird and interesting of St Andrews traditions. I have briefly mentioned academic families to you all. Raisin Weekend is a celebration of these families. The tradition goes as such: third and fourth year students 'adopt' Freshers and Study Abroad students (JSAs and JYAs), to be their 'children'. Their job is basically to help their children get acquainted with university life.
We exited the quad, had our mum take pictures of us and then made our way back to hall. I had to be careful to not dirty my room with foam while I was getting out of my foam covered clothing. That took some skill. I managed, and realised I was quite quite tired. So after lunch I took a nice long nap.
And that, was Raisin Weekend--the craziest of St Andrews traditions.
More pictures here.
I'm away from the US, but somehow I don't think I can ever truly be away. The US is everywhere in the world, on TV and in the newspapers. Sadly, when you're actually in the US the existence of this outside world is barely noticed or acknowledged.
EDIT: The UK papers a day later.
I know this entry is a bit delayed, but I was too tired on Sunday and busy on Monday and well.... anyway, Halloween...
I feel like I've been posting less and less lately. I suppose that's because things are getting to the point where they aren't that new and exciting anymore. On one hand that's a good thing, as it means I've settled in and adjusted to life over here, on the other hand I don't feel as inspired to write about things anymore.
This week has been an interesting one. I'll start off from last weekend.
The girl in the white is my academic mum, and weirdly enough, she's a few months younger than me.
Freshers Week at St Andrews was very interesting. The hall I'm staying in is called University Hall and it happens to be the hall that has the most number of social events and the freshers week hall schedule left no doubt about that. And at most events, especially the evening ones, drinks flow more freely than water (our hall is the only one with free drinks bars), so it has most definitely been interesting. We've had an event every afternoon and every evening. The evening once are usually just large parties, with music, dancing, and drinks. The afternoon events were mostly smaller scale getting to know people things. We had ice-breaker games one afternoon, tea parties (albeit with drinks) on another, crazy golf on the putting green, a photo scavenger hunt and a few others.
All the events except the last two were held in the Old Wing Common Room. The pub crawl was a boys vs. girls event and of course was held in various pubs around town. The girls were all dressed in pink and the boys had to wear ties. We screamed and chanted at the boys when we saw them on our way and they did the same to us. Apparently this got us warnings from the local police for being too noisy and we had to quiet down in the end. It was a lot of fun walking down the streets in a large group of girls all dressed in pink shouting and chanting and having fun.
The Bop was fun as well. It's basically a clubbing event in the Student Union. Our hall went in a large group dressed in black and gold (hall colours) with black and gold stripes painted on our cheeks. We dominated the place with our sheer numbers and random chanting/singing of the Uni Hall song. I got back at 2:30 that night and went to bed close to 4 am. To make up for that I went to bed before 10 pm the following nights.
Apart from all the fun, we also had to advise and matriculate (ie meet with our advisers about classes we're taking so we can be signed into them and officially register at the university). I was expecting this process to be a bit long and tedious, but it was smooth, went without a hitch and was over pretty quickly.
Right now, I believe I've caught the "freshers flu". My throat is absolutely dying and I've been coughing all day. I don't know why I am this sick, I didn't even party all that much. I am sipping a hot cup of tea as I write this, so I hope I get better soon.