One. I’m usually operating in a 70% fear, 30% confidence ratio when it comes to graduate school. I was not anticipating how research and theory-based everything was going to be, rather than practical. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the why part of that. When you have a room full of students with dance, theater, studio art and music backgrounds and then you ask them policy questions regarding various epistemological and ontological methodologies…(insert deer in the headlights look). I get it. We need to be able to think critically, but I’m over here all like, “Yo! Where are my paints?” Oh, a 52 is a passing grade (yes, that would be a D) and apparently we’re all to be quite pleased with ourselves if we get that mark because it means we met the requirements of the assignment. The chance of obtaining a level of distinction is slim…(insert deer in the headlights look). One of my classmates took a tally of how many times our lecturer used the word “fail” during our induction…45!! Our lecturer is getting his PhD at the moment and the restructuring of our course is a part of that. So basically, we are all guinea pigs. Ok, I need to stop or I’ll start hyperventilating. Send me good vibes, people. Whew.
Two. I saw a powerful photography exhibit in Summerhall last weekend. The photographer is 22-year-old Mahmoud “Ezz” al Zanoon, a man from Palestine that captures life in Gaza. Next to each photo he had displayed an entry from his journal, narrating the context of the photo. I thought this was a beautiful addition, as it only made the photo and the story behind it come to life more for me as a viewer. At the end of the exhibit there were two giant cards taped up on the wall where you could write a note to the children who were featured in most of the photos. Reading the things people wrote made me cry. As I left, I felt so uncomfortable. There was this paradox in the fact that those pictures brought the issue closer and at the same time painfully highlighted for me how removed I am. This is happening. RIGHT NOW. In my world. I can’t even begin to grasp what life for those who are in Gaza…or Syria, Iraq, Israel, etc. I don’t know that talking about it does anything other than make you feel less ignorant. But like what most people wrote on the cards…we are here. We’re watching, hoping, praying…with bursting hearts.
Three. My holiday season is booked!
Thanksgiving: a weekend in London with my friend Jacci, who is there for graduate school as well. Pellicans uniting across the globe! But for real, it will be lovely to have a little bit of home with me. I’m excited for THIS and THIS and obviously THIS.
Christmas: a week experiencing a proper Joyeux Noel with my friend Melissande and her family. Visit a few cities. Soak up every moment I get to spend with my French soulmate.
New Years: back in Edinburgh for the Hogmanay festivities.
Four. For your next dance party: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdzI-191xhU
Five. My flatmate Jess had a birthday this week, so I was making brownies in the kitchen and my other flatmate Arnie (from Taiwan) had never baked anything before. She got REALLY excited about helping me bake and once we got those brownies in the oven, she crouched in front of the oven to watch the dough rise. Are you kidding me with that?! So cute. Fast forward a day. We’re having Jess’ birthday party which required pulling out some S Club 7 and Spice Girls tunes. Arnie had NEVER heard of the Spice Girls. WHAT?! The next night, she came up to me and said, “Taylor. Today I google Spice Girls and I listen to all 9 songs! Yeah. SO good” and then she proceeded to do a version of the “Stop” music video dance. So, Arnie is basically my favorite person.
Six. If you are someone who wants to keep up with international news, but you find it daunting…sign up for theSkimm. They do all the reading for you, break it down into easy to read editorials (which are written with wit that will make you LOL on occasion) and deliver it daily to your inbox. It’s great.
I will be snuggling up with the library.