As I was copying some cds to my laptop this weekend, I noticed them being listed as ‘Unknown album 10/1’ and thought it very strange until later in the day when it hit me that it was actually October, in fact. Hard to believe it’s been a year since I returned from Northern Ireland. What a year.
Things are getting just a tad more difficult here, although still good. The work is a bit overwhelming at times…especially my Marketing class. That class is a real challenge for me, as it’s content I don’t enjoy, which means making more of an effort, and I’ve always been one to put very little effort into things which don’t do it for me. I’ll have to say that my years at the Association were very beneficial in that all of the concepts I’m being introduced to in my classes I’ve at least done some practical work on or been exposed to. I was able to take part in some many different tasks and projects relating to marketing/branding, product development, public policy, conferencing, etc. And no, I am not waxing nostalgic;) It’s simply good to know when the tutor for Tourism Politics & Policy is speaking on about different methods of tourism policy that it is, to an extent, a bunch of ‘mental masturbation’ (as a very intelligent, professional co-worker once referred to our endless meetings about meetings at work). I do really enjoy most of my classes, though, including the politics & policy module. I’ve turned into one of those annoying mature students that used to drive me nuts on my undergrad degree. Realized this today as I was replying to an email from the professor and gave him a link to an article on Mayor Daley bulldozing Meigs Field in response to his position that pluralism (all organizations having an equal stake in tourism decision making, such as big business, interest groups, government, residents, etc) is the most widely used and positive method of tourism policy making. Thought he might find it interesting…that doesn’t make me too much of a nerd, does it? (P.S. Don’t forget, tutor = professor.)
A classmate got hacked off with a comment I made the other day in our Action Learning module. Our course leader had us review newspaper articles in small groups and summarize for the rest of the group, discussing effectiveness, validity, etc. Well, Shuchao (pronounced shoe-chow) and I chose a bit on New Orleans. The bit we worked on was under the heading ‘America’ in a section on recent events. When I began to discuss the bit, I was asked by the tutor if I thought the title ‘America’ was accurate. I knew where he was going, but said yes, as that is what it is commonly referred to. When I further responded that yes, I would identify myself as American if asked my nationality, he then asked how I would describe Mariella, a fellow classmate from Peru, and I said South America. She wasn’t too happy about that, and thus began a bit of a heated tirade about the arrogance of people from the U.S.A. claiming the title American for themselves. It’s something I’ve never really thought twice on, and made a point of saying that I only identify myself as American if asked my nationality when traveling abroad, as that is the response people expect to hear, not Italian, or Irish, or Welsh.
Ok, on a lighter note, I have a fieldtrip to a place called Saltaire next week, which is in the nearby town of Bradford. http://www.saltaire.yorks.com/
Gotta love a degree that takes you on day trips to places like Scarborough (http://www.views.scarborough.co.uk) and the North York Moors National Park (http://www.nationalparks.gov.uk/nym_core).
Going out on the town tonight with some classmates (much needed)…for drinkies at a local bar, then on to a nightclub that plays…hmmm, go figure, R&B/soul. I’m surprised at the fascination with this over more contemporary mainstream. No complaint, as I like it, but it’s surprising that 60s and 70s music seems to supercede contemporary pop here at the clubs. Went to a very fun bar Saturday night called Mojo’s and while they did play some current stuff, they also went all over the place from the Undertones, Buzzcocks and Blondie (all good) to the Beach Boys, Elvis and Simon & Garfunkel (all yuck), with a little Michael Jackson thrown in for good measure. One just can not get away from the Michael Jackson! On another related note, I swear, the girls here dress like prostitutes! They walk down the street in skirts that look like extra wide belts or trousers that show belly and hipbones, with skimpy tops and heels that they obviously are having trouble walking in, arms tightly wrapped around themselves, shivering. Saw one girl dancing with a street cleaning machine, completely drunk by 11pm. As many clubs here are only open until 1 or 2am, there is an increasing problem in the UK with binge drinking, as people rush to consume as much as possible as quickly as possible, with some clubs offering drink specials in the earlier hours. Fortunately for me, I’ve learned over the past year and a half that living with other people, at least in my case, is great motivation for not coming home drunk. Not that there’s such a thing as a pleasant hangover, but hangovers must be dealt with in solitude. I miss living alone;)
Interesting factoid…the classmate who understands me the least and is always asking me to repeat myself is the only English student.