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Archive for December, 2008

page22Tomorrow happens to be my birthday and, as always, everyone will be busy celebrating the New Year. That’s the downside of being born on the 31st of December: you can’t invite all your friends on that day. The best part, obviously, is that there’s always a party to go to, and people are a lot more relaxed/hungover at the beginning of the year. That’s why the birthday party with all my friends usually takes place in January, and this year I decided to post the invite on my blog, just to try something different and force them to have a look at this website. This will allow me to avoid repeating myself too much when I see them and, hopefully, make those who aren’t invited very jealous.

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page19Christmas is a busy month, especially for those who, like me, love to prepare for the festivities. It takes time and effort to buy crackers, gather all the gifts, gift wraps, assorted ribbons, cards and stickers, then write a few words to each person. And this year I haven’t even made pudding or baked any biscuits! I admit I might’ve let myself go a little too readily when I saw all those tiny adorable Christmas things available in Britain which took most of my luggage space when I came home. Here it’s not really about sticking gingerbread figures on each of your gifts: Christmas is all about food. Speaking of which, I have to get ready to see my family tonight and eat until about midnight, only to sit at the table again tomorrow with my extended family all afternoon and leave “early” so I can stuff myself yet a little more with my boyfriend’s family. As I said, Christmas is a busy time.

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End of term

page21The beginning of a new term is always full of optimism and self-delusion. You swear to yourself that this time you’ll be organized, focused, and motivated. There’s just no way you’re going to postpone most of your work to the last two weeks, as you used to, and then panic along with all the other students. But then life is life, and a student is a student, so before you realize what has been going on it’s another end of term and you find yourself writing a 3000 words essay in one day and looking for any source that could be referenced at the end of your paper, even if it doesn’t have much to do with your topic, just to make sure you’ll be done on time and catch your plane home. Next term, I swear I’ll start earlier.

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Pipe dream

page204I went to London on a study trip with my class in Native American studies last Wednesday. Given that the British Museum is so close to Covent Garden, and that Saint James Park is on the way back to Charing Cross, I thought I would be able to do some serious shopping after the visit to the museum, and that I would have the opportunity to see the Queen’s exotic birds: in short, have a decent London experience. I told myself that after three hours of daudling about the exposition, we would happily spread throughout the city and meet again in the train at the end of the day, but no! We arrived at the British Museum at 12, and spent endless hour talking to an anthropologist, roaming the library, and examining North American objects. We went out for a quick lunch then, grabbed Starbucks coffees, and went straight back in until we were thrown out at 5.30, then took the train back. Now I’m wondering what’s happening to me. Am I becoming too much of an academic?

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The dolce vita

page18The campus is self-contained; you can find so many things here that many students only go to town about once a week. There are bars and banks, shops and cafés, even a vegetables & fruits market on Wednesdays. You can choose to belong to one or several societies to avoid getting bored too easily. And there are restaurants, one of which I happen to like. Fortunately for me, it’s also the closest to my house, just behind the wood. It’s got large windows and a lovely terrace (not that lovely in December) overlooking a pond surrounded by trees and bushes, which attracts many birds. The water hens that visit the bins of the Dolche Vita regularly seem to find the food tasty, too. One of them tried to persuade me to share my meal one sunny day when I attempted to enjoy a beef pasty on a table outside. I didn’t mind giving up a few crumbs for the cheeky bird, then. But when it comes to humous and pitta bread, I’m very selfish.

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