Saturday, February 23, 2013

Halfway!

Since I am at the halfway point I thought I'd give you all a wee update! Not actually been up to anything incredibly exciting, hence the lack of updates, but I have some big plans in the works!


Believe it or not I am halfway through my semester here at Guelph! Only 8 weeks of textbooks left before I can say I complete my Canadian training. I am already finding snow as boring as concrete and I have developed an addiction to Timmy's but don't worry my accent hasn't changed, I don't think.

This week has been reading week and most people went off to do something exciting around Canada as they are actually leaving once term ends. I am staying here until the beginning of June so I didn't need to cram anything in. To be honest my main reasons for staying here was a lack of money and laryngitis. I had the joy of visiting the doctor here, I was going about my conjunctivits but because I coughed in the queue a woman thrust a face mask upon me and covered me in sanitising gel. After all that my insurance didn't cover my eye drops. Bye bye $40!

Buses stil run, even on snowdays!

The week before reading week was one of my busiest weeks of the whole semester. We'll start with the three midterms. I started with my anthropology midterm which was a nice warm up as it is a first year class and was essentially 100 multiple choice questions and I ended up getting 95 of them right. The next day was my Principles of Disease midterm which is  my favourite class here so I wasn't too worried as it was again multiple choice and 96% later told me I really should not have gone down the ecology route of biology... This was further enhanced by the exam for Conservation Biology which is one of the three modules I HAVE to take here to correspond to those back in Dundee. Lets just say I haven't got the results for that one yet and after one nights revision I don't really want them back... After I was done with the midterms I had to work on a hand-in for my Community Ecology class, which is again a compulsory class and is also horrible. It was essentially all statistical problems and is probably the worst piece of work I have ever handed in but by this point I was so drained. The Canadians don't pity you with time off to do work! However, to finish off my horrendous week I had to lead a tutorial with my lovely group in Evolutionary Ecology (compulsory but not that bad because we don't have exams) and I was relieved to be the resident "mussel expert", thanks Dad!

Snow up to my knees!
In comparison to most people's my reading week has been very quiet but I've got some work done as well as sorted out my plans to the coming months. I think I needed the week to just sleep but unfortunately I have slipped back into my night owl ways, it's strange talking to you guys when it's 7am at home and doesn't help me with going to bed! Our reading week actually started with a Canadian snow day! Everyone I've met here has said that they've maybe had one over 4 years so I wasn't expecting one at all! Thanks to snow storm Nemo we had so much snow that I was wading through it(save the small jokes please!).

Yup, they are on skis on campus.
The Cannon
So, onto the exciting stuff! Reading week has given me time to plan some exciting trips and experiences: To end off this month I am getting curling lessons along with some of my other International pals, who knows maybe I'll be the new Rhona Martin. March is my last full month in Guelph so I want to see and do as much as my deadlines and revision will allow me! For example in the first week of March I am going to tick of several Canadian traditions. The first is one that is specific to the University of Guelph, at the centre of campus there is a disused cannon and almost every night students will paint it overnight and often produce some impressive designs! Anyway on the 6th March the international students are arming them selves with paintbrushes and potentially glitter to see what we can come up with!  That weekend is also proving to be quite exciting. On Friday 8th I'll be heading to watch my first ice hockey match which will be between local team Guelph Storm and the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds, Saturday 9th is the College Royal Ball which is my first formal event ever (I'm not classing BSES Annual ball because I was nowhere NEAR classy!) and we are all going as an international posse and the next morning my hangover will be treated by a trip to a maple syrup factory/plantation place at Westfield historical village that is on KIRKWALL ROAD (Apparently there is an Orkney Road nearby too! I see a photo opportunity here!) and will hopefully include many tasting opportunities! The next weekend I am hoping everyone will be in Irish spirits to celebrate St. Paddys day but I am still not 100% sure what the events in Guelph are like. Either way I have bought a "Kiss Me, I'm 1/8 Irish" T-shirt!
My OCD travel planning

After that the deadlines build up all over again before they let us off for a weekend before exams. However after exams is when the real fun will begin. I was up last night booking flights and trains and I now have a vague idea of where I am going after studying. The fun starts on the evening after my last exam when I am going to head through to Toronto and see Fleetwood Mac live at the Air Canada Centre! I think that's a pretty good celebration of exams being over! I'll spend a few days in Toronto going up the CN tower as well as getting interviewed at the US embassy for my visa for a later part of the trip. I'll go back to Guelph to join in on the farewell parties and probably cry my eyes out in the process before heading onto a 5 hour flight to Vancouver on the 23rd April. I'll be left to explore British Columbia and Alberta over 3-4 weeks so it will be quite a whistlestop tour but I'll hopefully tick off Vancouver Island, Banff, Lake Moraine and Jasper. On May 15th I'll fly back east to Ottawa and explore the capital before turning French in Quebec! I'll have 2 weeks in Quebec mainly exploring Quebec city and Montreal as well as eating my body weight in poutine and trying out my French. Around the 29th May, as long as I get my visa (it's complicated...), I will head down to that concrete jungle of New York City and stay with my cousin Esti as well as have an amazing 21st birthday! When I get to June I have 6 days to get to Toronto and I will probably spend this time with my lovely family before I head back to the UK and see your delightful faces!

So, if you've been wondering what I've been up to there you go. I told you it wouldn't be very exciting , but as you can see the coming weeks are going to offer much more exciting things!


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