This week has been a flurry of first classes, tourism, and visiting clubs. Enjoy.
In terms of classes, I’m taking three, two honours level and one first-year (naturally, as I am a second year): Indian Politics, Second Temple Judaism, and Early Modern Scottish History. They are all broadly historical, dealing with the period from 1945-2014 CE, 515 BCE – 200CE and 1513-1707 CE respectively; but all also deal with social, cultural, economic and religious issues of the various time periods and cultures in question. I’ve had lectures for all three this week, and tutorials start next week. I’m feeling pretty good, there’s a nice range of subjects I’ve never taken before and it looks like it’ll all be interesting. Here’s a photo of the building Second Temple Judaism is in.
Tourism has been truncated a decent amount because of awkwardly timed classes (3pm lectures every day of the week – who thought of this?) and the many little tasks seem to keep coming up now that I’m living out of home. But I have still had time to wander around the city a few times, with little visits to the historic Royal Mile and cosmopolitan Princes Street, to cross the George IV bridge and marvel at the shopfronts somehow perched on the third floor, below which there are several floors of flats underneath the (thus apparently entirely pointless) bridge. Here’s some shots to show you what I mean. It’s weird.
My major touristy thing this week was visiting the Scottish National Museum, which is enormous – there’s about 6 floors of exhibits and it took me all morning just to get through the half-floor that deals with prehistoric and Roman Scotland, which I enjoyed immensely; it’s very much worth visiting. Here’s a picture of the favourite genre of things I saw there – an intaglio, a tiny tiny carving that would be mounted on a ring, usually depicting a Roman god or mythical figure. This one is about 2cm wide.
This week I’ve also started swing-dancing lessons (learning the jitterbug/lindy hop; fun but I wasn’t very good), joined the Model United Nations society (take on the persona of a country each week and debate a resolution, then periodically travel to do weekend or week-long assemblies debating lots of resolutions, both set now or in the past), auditioned for a musical (Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado), and had a slightly nerdy but very enjoyable trivia night with the Amnesty International Society. I’ve also begun to put out feelers to various international student societies that run day trips around Scotland and northern England, including a large number of places that are definitely on my list to visit: Skye, Glencoe, Glasgow, Lindisfarne, Durham…
So in summary, I think I’ve got a good number of interesting social circles to move in, a good amount of interesting subjects to study, and a large amount of interesting historical and cultural landmarks still to visit. My future months in Edinburgh are looking pretty bright. Except if you look at the sky. That’s grey. But otherwise!