hangin' with the Ex-Students (2007-10-18 - 10:22 p.m.)

Well that was interesting. Went to an international student event put on by the Ex-Students' Society. I wasn't quite sure what to expect - and in fact, thought it might be recent alumni. Er.... nope. Graduates from 1947, 1939, 1958... all very lovely, though, and keen to do something for the international students. They had a Welsh singer and a harpist there, which was amazing. I didn't catch the name of the type of singing 'cause it was in Welsh, but basically the melody played on the harp is totally different to what is being sung, so the singer "hears the melody with one ear and sings his own". They also brought a traditional harp with three sets of strings, which was very complicated and super-cool. My favorite was the one about Welsh rugby players in Belgium getting drunk on Stella.

Also there was John from my fencing club, who is apparently also an ex-student. John is 84 years old and turns up to fence three times a week, every week. He has a bit of trouble hearing the commands, but is otherwise in excellent fencing shape. He confided to me that he "only took up fencing 13 or 14 years ago, you know, for something to do in retirement."

I got talking to his wife as well, who is from Luxembourg but likes Canadians because she hitchhiked around Europe with one in her youth. MAN you meet some cool people when you hang out with the octogenarian crowd. They have a son who is a documentary photographer and they said I can come over for dinner sometime and see some of his photographs. (He's currently living in Italy, but they live four miles out of Bangor).

Apart from that, went to a bizarre circus/environmentally-themed play on the weekend, which was all in Welsh. The only words I know so far are diolch, which means thank you, and amser, which means time and is coincidentally the name of the student nightclub on campus. Anyway, at one point they switched to French and I perked right up, happy to be listening to something that I can understand at least 60% of!

Today I found out that I'm not making it up: I have somehow ended up with a bizarrely challenging combination of modules and thus have way more work early on than most other masters students. However, I did get the deadline for the 4000-word paper that was due next Thursday extended by a week, so the pressure is somewhat lessened. Which is not to say everyone else isn't working hard - but most other modules don't have quite so much due (or require anyone to learn Matlab!)

backwards ~ onwards

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(2 comments so far)

Missed anything?
moved! - 2008-05-12
Sunday = time to ramble on - 2008-05-11
apparently I'm doing monthly updates these days. Sorry. - 2008-05-04
watershed - 2008-04-06
end of trip - 2008-03-31

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