Here in Lancaster


I’ve finally gotten settled in at Lancaster University. It took longer than expected due to some extreme jet lag and a sinus infection. Last week I went to the mandatory orientation stuff and then I slept during all of my free time. I think I was sleeping like 16+ hours a day. It was a bit bizarre. Over the weekend my flatmates moved in (they’re all third year students so they didn’t have to be here during Freshers Week) and I forced myself to be conscious and some what sociable. My flatmates are quite nice and try to include me which I love because they’re all friends already and I’d hate to be the odd one out or to be inviting myself to tag along to things. We did a pub quiz on Sunday and I worked on my Audrey in Unst. They were all impressed with my knitting skillz. Apparently they had never seen finer gauged hand knits before.

The school is quite a bit different than what I’m used to. For one thing, University of Puget Sound has 3,000 + students and Lancaster University has 17,000 + students. The campus and my lectures are both much larger than what I’m used to. The other big difference is organization. Everything here is slightly unorganized. Buildings and things aren’t adequately labeled, the websites are full of dead links or out of date, my Exchange Student/Study Abroad Orientation overlapped with the Freshers orientation that would have been useful to exchange students (things like a campus tour and events to help make friends), but we had nothing to do on the days in which the orientation was only for regular students, and the campus sort of reminds me of the Weasley’s house in Harry Potter. It might have been nice looking and organized when it was first built, but then they jammed additions in every little space possible so now it’s quite mad looking and confusing. They also do class registration by hand on paper instead of online. That was a really confusing process made worse by the fact that we couldn’t get online to figure out our schedules in advance. They didn’t tell us that we wouldn’t have log in info to get internet access until after we registered for courses. Last week really sucked, if you didn’t catch on to that.

I knew that it was just new-school suckiness and it would pass and it did. My first couple days of class have been good. I’m taking Victorian Lit, British Romanticism, and Lit and Film. Those all seem like they’re going to be amazing. I’m also taking Intro to Creative Writing. I’m a bit iffy on that one but I’m going to stick it out. The funny thing about my classes is that I have the same Professor for two of them and she worked at Berkeley for years. It’s a bit silly that I came to England to study and I get a Prof that used to teach at Cal. It’s a small world.

I quite like Lancaster itself. I’ve been walking around and checking out the shops when I’ve got free time. The weather is a bit different from what I was expecting. It reminds me more of Bay Area weather than it does Puget Sound weather. Everyone keeps saying things like “This weather must be different from what you’re used to in California!” and I’m sitting there thinking that if it were less windy, the weather would be identical to the weather in SF. I know that will change soon, though. It doesn’t usually sleet in the Bay Area. =P

In conclusion, I’m enjoying myself here now and will hopefully have a post with some knitting progress for you soon! My blogging might be erratic while I’m here, but I’m hoping to fall into some sort of rhythm that will include knitting and blogging time.






8 responses to “Here in Lancaster”

  1. I was a little surprised when you said that it was different and you started at a university with 3000 students. That would be like culture shock for me! Both my undergrad and grad universities have student populations of somewhere around 25,000.

    Also, just the other day, a cousin of my husband’s was saying how his friend was in SF and someone else said “he’s probably bragging about the great weather.” I said that it wasn’t ever really that warm there and everyone was shocked. What? Why? It’s California! As a native Californian I’m still sometimes surprised about how often that I have to explain that it’s a pretty big state with varying climates.

    1. People have a weird idea of California because LA and Coastal SoCal get a lot of screen time. Everyone seems to assume that the whole state is like that.

  2. I was actually considering going back to school in England – and this was one of the schools I was looking into! I would love to know insider info on the school – keep postin’!

  3. Hey, you were standing just outside my flat when you took this! The town hall, which was behind you as you took this shot is the building to the right of my flat!

    w00t! Welcome to our little town. Try to get to know the shops SLOWLY, because there aren’t many of them :oP Hope to be able to see you soon. I shall keep an eye out for you ;o)

    PS – Lancaster Uni campus is rubbish, very 197s stark concrete, but the town is lovely. G to Williamson Park and try the cheese on toast, and make sure you get a tour of the Castle/prison.

    1. I am taking the shop investigation slowly. Right now I’m just trying to get a feel for where things are. I haven’t really ventured in to anywhere other than Waterstones and Sainsburys. I’ll keep an eye out for you as well!

  4. And I was just gonna ask if you’d arranged to meet Mimi for a cuppa yet 🙂

  5. Good luck! I hope your new surroundings are inviting. It sounds like you’ll be taking some really interesting classes.

  6. My daughter is at Manchester Uni and that seems to be about the same for being disorganised. She is in her third year there and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better so you are not alone. I am glad that you are getting a little used to it there. Your classes seem great.

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