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Something about Haggis

It’s ten minutes to midnight, the day before I leave. I’m apparently awake enough to write this.

I supposed to be expecting something, aren’t I? I guess I forgot about that. Well, now’s as good a time as any, I suppose.

Haggis. I expect haggis. And kilts. I hereby expect those, too. Beyond that, well, I’m kinda blanking. I know this is supposed to be some giant, life-changing thing, and the last thing I want to do is sound cynical about it. I really am excited. I just don’t really know what I’m excited about, as it were. Not that haggis and kilts aren’t fascinating, but hell if I know what I’m going to see besides that.

I’m definitely excited, though. And so is my family. My little sister and her friends spent a good hour cutting out pictures and decorations for me to put on the bulletin board in my dorm. (They got really into it. I’m going to add a picture of it if I can ever figure out how this post editor thing works. If not, it’ll be in the next post). And the family as a whole went out to a really nice dinner, just because I’m leaving soon. It was great. Steak is tasty. We’ll have to see how haggis compares.

Come to think of it, maybe they’re a bit too excited that I’m going…

Well, in any event, I got everything packed. By which I mean mom got everything packed, while I stood by and watched.

Apparently I have a lot of sweaters.

And now for a random change of pace: I realize I don’t know quite what to expect from the Scottish academic system. I mean, I get the idea that it’s more self-taught than the US system, but how self-taught are we talking? Are they just giving us a reading list and telling us to come back at the end of the semester with a paper? Because that’s basically a semester-long vacation in Scotland with a bit of reading and a paper to write. I can do that.

(To be honest, I do expect it to be more rigorous than that, but I’d much rather blind myself with ignorance and fantasy until I arrive and can no longer leave. Until I’m physically trapped in Scotland, there’s still technically a chance that I could back out of this whole thing by, say, running screaming into the night never to return, or perhaps by committing a minor felony in order to get myself locked in a US jail cell until such time as no one wants to ship me off to Scotland anymore. So it’s fairly important that I intentionally underestimate Edinburgh’s academic rigor; it’s the only thing keeping me out of prison.)

Edinburgh has a fencing team. That might seem fairly random, but it’s quite exciting. I, for one, am of the opinion that there should generally be more fencing in everyday life. In fact, it has taken some self-restraint not to go back up to the paragraphs I’ve already written and insert little instances of fencing just to drive home the point that I think there should be more of it everywhere.

I suppose I should have prefaced that; I like fencing.

In all seriousness, though, it’s one of my few really concrete expectations. Hamilton (my home college) has a fencing club, and it’s good, but it’s entirely student run. That means no paid coaches, and Zach–who runs it–just about has to kill himself trying to fit in the practice sessions around his own schoolwork.

Freshmen, if you’re reading this–and you damn well better be–be nice to Zach. He’s running two of your clubs, now.

And for future reference, yes, my blogs are going to be exactly this rambly. Unless I’m really pleased with an essay I’ve written, in which case I might just post it in full. Is it obvious that the power’s going to my head?

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One Response to “Something about Haggis”

  1. Charlotte Says:

    I stumbled on your post while I was researching my (hopefully) future trip to Edinburgh. Best of luck in Scotland! I hope that you were able to keep underestimating the rigor of your upcoming academics and didn’t actually end up in a US jail cell. Love your writing style, by the way.

    (Also, fencing is excellent. I unfortunately don’t fence myself, but I thoroughly agree that there should be much more of it incorporated into every aspect of life.)

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