I have about 3 hours of ‘live’ online classes per week now, which encourage slow living – slow studying, slow working, (slow internet) and slow reflections over anything I do. Really. Sitting at home with gloomy weather outside favours contemplation, and going down the auto-reflection and self-doubt valley. Might as well make the most of it and turn it into a blog post.
It is also a great opportunity to document the last year of my undergraduate study in Edinburgh, and put some nice pictures in here. At one point in the future I will look back at them and reminisce the good old cloudy days in Scotland’s capital. I’m feeling sentimental about it already; but I shan’t, because I need to focus on my assessments. Nevertheless, here’s how my first week of online learning went. (Treat it as some sort of auto-ethnography).
On Monday, I had an in-person PT meeting. It felt like the first real Edinburgh moment in months. My PT is one of the best people I know, and I’m so grateful for him. After the meeting I treated myself to a hazelnut flat white from North Bridge Pret and sat in Hunter Square for a bit.
At 1pm I met Robin and we went over to Gilmore Place, a very nice row house near the Canal, to pick up £50 worth of books that I bought from a recent architecture graduate. One of the best deals I’ve made at uni. I’ll inevitably sell a large chunk of these books, but for now they’ll serve me well.
On Tuesday I had my first lectures of the semester. They started at 10am, so before class I popped into Pret and got some coffee. Both sessions were just introductions to the courses, but they were informative enough. Then I managed to describe my dissertation topic in 11 emojis. At 7pm I took part in an online quiz night organised by my friends, it was good fun.
On Wednesday I only had class at 2pm, so around 11am I went to the Zero Waste Hub to pick up some groceries. I also bought a great book for £1, it’s about photography criticism (the basics, for students, accessible enough for me). The workshop was good, although I did not (and still don’t) want to take this class, but I couldn’t swap because the other one has a waiting list (so unfair, long story, but I was originally supposed to go on the better one). I don’t remember what I did for the rest of the day; I hope I studied.
On Thursday I have no recollection what I did; I’m assuming I did research, and that kind of stuff. I know in the evening I attended a webinar on the history of architectural photography, which was alright, though I didn’t learn an overwhelming amount from it. I also remember that during that webinar we had to exit the building because of a fire alarm, allegedly it was someone’s incense that set it off. Another proof why incense is evil and shouldn’t be used.
On Friday, I watched the pre-recorded lecture for architectural history, being all sad that it wasn’t a real lecture in Elliott Room in Minto House. I was also sad I couldn’t sit with a Costa cup in the A&A Library and reading hardback books, getting knowledge off of actual PAPER. In the evening I watched a webinar with Filip Springer and afterwards, a talk by a PhD student about her sociology research on AirBnB in Edinburgh. I also chatted for a bit with my AoL partner, we were brainstorming (with difficulty) ideas for our group project.
On Saturday, I picked up my fuel (coffee, that is) from the Pret in Princes Street, alongside with a delicious, warm, buttery pain au raisins (putting money in Pret so they can put hot coffee in my belly) and set off on what turned out to be a good 4-hour walk. I veered off the main path and ended up going all the way to Inverleith Park and the Scottish Modern Art Museums (didn’t go inside, obviously). I came across a free book library in the street and borrowed “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. It got me hooked from the first sentence I read.
I spent the rest of the weekend mostly at home. I made some content.
And today, well, I planned to get up early in the morning and write this all down, but I’m writing it down at 8pm, just before I come around to interviewing my friend for one of my courses. I took the photo of the Castle, that you can see below. The weather was consistently cloudy and depressing, although we had highlights of sun and some drizzle around 4pm, when I left for Pret. Also: I started the day with first, a hot, milky Scottish blend tea, and then an iced caramel latte from the Castle Street Pret. Then I stood in Princes Street and watched people walk by, and then I sat outside Sheraton Hotel and thought about depressing things and life and sad things and looked at the nice autumnal trees. I listened to my Daily Mix from Spotify, which was just spot on, perfect for today. Spotify? More like SProphetify.
Stay tuned for week 2 of online learning as a fourth year student in Edinburgh.