Is it too early to call it a week? I believe not. Today (Sunday) does not seem to be particularly eventful, so I might as well sit down and relay to you what happened in the last seven days.
This week went extraordinarily well. It was bound to, with the kickstart of a thorough clean-up and pack-up of my room, and the early submission of my TTWA essay plan. (I’m joking, these two things are not related to my success in life at all). On Monday we had an online ‘town hall’ meeting for all the students in the School of Geography, apparently. I couldn’t wait for that meeting – I needed to find out what teaching next semester was projected to look like… and I liked what I found out. Well, sort of. Teaching next semester is supposed to be the same as this semester, which means online (let’s forget that the word ‘hybrid’ even existed). This is bad news in that I really hoped things would be back to normal and I could continue my University Student’s Lifestyle (which means entire days out of home and late evenings in the library). I can’t do that now. But it was good news in the context of me having decided to go home for the next couple of months; honestly, an undefined amount of time as of now. It could be until January (if things go awry), it could be until March even, if fate throws at me some extraordinary subletters. So overall, that ‘town hall’ meeting made my mood good.
On Tuesday I decided that I’d been wilting in my horrendous flat for too long, and it was time to stretch my bones and breathe fresh air for once. So I went on a long walk along the Canal, having grabbed a flat white from Costa beforehand. That was the best decision I could’ve made; my coffee even came with a cute little latte art flower. And the Christmas cups are back. Now that’s a herald of change.
The walk was so good that I returned well after 11am, and my not having read emails properly (I’ve been getting SO MANY in the last couple of weeks) resulted in me missing half the class on that day. Who could’ve predicted that the lectured would be delivered live? It was by a lecturer I didn’t know, I think she was a new staff member because she kept being nice and said ‘I’m looking forward to meeting you all’ in the email. What a lovely Scottish lady. But I still missed half of the live class.
Oh well, it was just Ruskin and Stones of Venice. I hadn’t prepared for that class at all, so I may have just saved myself half the embarrassment.
Wednesday was the dissertation conference. It was long, but really great. The live contact with staff and students simultaneously was very much needed at this point in the semester (perhaps it even came too late?). It seems like my presentation (which I recorded on Thursday afternoon) was well received, although I’m not sure about the comment to think about how I could include audience reception of the pack in my analysis. They’re always telling us not to do too much; why am I now being told what seems to be the opposite?
Thursday – a zoom chat with my PT about my plan to go home. He said it’s fine. In the afternoon, a walk with my friend. Sunshine, air, and autumn Edinburgh was also needed!
Friday, I had a lot on. A TTWA Q&A session with the best lecturer in the department, which ended up being just me asking questions for 90% of the session and two other people asking one question each. That’s because no one else volunteered any questions. Well, I didn’t complain; it was very insightful and explored some very interesting topics that lay outside of what we are normally taught in class.
Afterwards we had a not-so-much helpful tutorial on essays, which could’ve just as well been aimed at first year undergraduates. Straight after I went to Roots, and then got back home for my 3pm chat with a lecturer from the methods course. I needed to discuss something about my report feedback, about interviewing and recognising emotions. It was helpful, but I still need to sit down properly for that assignment. Things have naturally been a bit distracting this week, but at least I temporarily moved to a much better room, one that’s much more comfortable and less depressing than my old room (which I paradoxically so loved in third year; though this might be because I only spent nights in there…).
This is how the weekdays went; and since the weekend had little to do with online learning, I won’t mention it here. I’ll just say that I tried to get as much fresh-air Edinburgh time as I can before my departure. Don’t worry though – my reporting on the online (‘hybrid’) learning experience will continue no matter where I am, continental Europe or otherwise.