Monday 26. September - Sunday 2. October
This was the first real week at the university. Monday is study day
so I stayed home and read. There was a heavy wind blowing and the
big tree outside Karen's windows seemed to come directly into the
room like in the fairytales. It is noisy in here when the wind blows
because the window panes are so thin. But the heat is on and it is
warm and cosy inside.
In the evening it started to rain and I went for a walk really enjoying
the "Danish weather". I met another Danish girl from Ålborg
who has lived here for four years and is doing a Ph.D in English literature.
She gave me some good advice about the program I am in and we ended
up promising each other coffee next time we met. It is amazing so
many nice people you meet all the time. It is although difficult to
establish further contact because everybody is busy and one is too
shy. Earlier this Monday I met Andrea from Toronto outside our classroom
at 19 George Square. She is also very kind and we spoke well. I told
her about the Danish "Kai and Andrea" which she found funny.
Fortunately later this week I learned to take an initiative to get
people together for more social reasons.
Tuesday was the first seminar in Film theory and criticism and I
was exited about the skill level. Seminars are not real teaching but
more discussions and interpretations on a certain theory or aspect
of a film theory. There is a presentation each time connected to the
film we have screened previously and each student is obliged to make
This time because it was the first there was no presentation however.
Thursday was a special day because I should attend my Gaelic course
for the first time. The cause takes place at an old school Broughton
High at Carrington Road in an area called Comely Bank. It is a nice
area with lots of single-family houses (parcelhuskvarterer) and gardens,
almost a little town itself with shops and schools and a nice park
(looks like a smaller version of Bernstorffparken)
Just opposite the Broughton High. There is also something like a castle
or manor house and I will find out what it is.
We are about 14 in the Gaelic class. Limit is 16, so that is fine.
It is ordinary people from around Edinburgh and I am the only foreigner.
There seems to be quite an interest for learning Gaelic. One attendee
of the course told that he understands Gaelic because he is brought
up with the language but he can't speak it. I think everybody is a
little familiar with the language because there are several Gaelic
words in Scottish English. Did you know that Danish words as "klan"
and "slogan" are Gaelic? I didn't but slogan seems quite
Gaelic to me now that I know.
The teacher was very kind, his name is Mark but unfortunately we
will not see him again. He was only stand in for our permanent teacher
Iona who will meet us this Thursday (6/10).
He speaks fluent Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic and work as an interpreter
and translator for The Scottish Parliament where everything is bilingual.
We learned a basic conversation and I exercised with Noreen (it sounds
like that but I am not sure how to spell it). We repeated and repeated
after the teacher. We were friendly and funny interrupted by some
of the course staff; two elderly sturdily built ladies with blond
styled hair and a quick-witted humour who tried to enroll students
who had just arrived and wanted a place in the classes. I guess that
is a difference between Scotland and Denmark. Here everybody is very
straightforward with interruptions, late showing up for enrollment
and so on. A solution is made and everybody is happy. In Denmark I
think it would be more rigid and critical if ones first course evening
was interrupted and "disturbed" by late attendees.
Friday was a day I saw two very good films; Manhattan by Woody Allen
and Rebel without a Cause by Nicolas Ray and starring James Dean (probably
the film which is identical with James Dean) See my reviews
on the website.
Sunday I had nice day with Li Wei at the National
Gallery of Scotland where we saw a Gauguin exhibition.
Museums in Edinburgh are free except for special exhibitions, but
you get concession when you have a student card. There are more galleries
and departments of National Gallery of Scotland.
I'm happy to know Li Wei from China. I am 1½ month older than
her (she is actually born on 26 of December, the same date as my aunt)
and we have a lot in common. She likes to share a good experience
and visit exhibitions, go for walks etc.
There are a lot of kind people around me; especially our small French
film class of eight is very good. There is a good atmosphere and everybody
is paying attention to each other.
What seems to be difficult is to maintain people's attention after
class and like make arrangements for something outside university.
I think it will be better, I think everybody really want to do something
social and this week drinking coffee after screening a French movie
has been suggested.
I'm right at this moment looking forward to that.