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When You Sing “Rain, Rain, Go Away,” the Rain Goes to Scotland

So, week four. Things are moving quickly. It’s weird to think that my home institution just got back to school on the 19th. They’ve only had one week of classes, so far. Of course, they’ve probably already had more class hours than me (I only have three classes a week, if you haven’t read the last entry. At least I think it was the last entry. I can’t be bothered to check, and let’s be honest, can you be bothered, either?)

Meanwhile, my family back home is living under twenty inches of snow. Which might not be so Twilight Zone-ish if I weren’t talking about Richmond, Virginia. Yes, Richmond, Virginia is currently settled nice and cozy beneath over two feet of snow. I realize this has very little to do with Scotland, or with my being in Scotland, or with the various Scotland-oriented things I’m doing, but still. I cannot in good conscience neglect passing on information that can only indicate a coming apocalypse.

And apparently the same storm that brought Richmond its snow is crossing the Atlantic right now. It’s going to put the UK under about six inches…of rain. So it’s nice to know that some things never change.

In case you were not aware, it rains in Scotland. Quite a bit. Nothing torrential, usually. Just clouds spitting at you as you walk to class. There was one period without rain. Still cold, but a bit of sun and blue skies and all. That period lasted about thirty-six hours. Then it rained again. And in case you were wondering, yes, it is currently raining as I write this.

Ever sing the song, “Rain, rain, go away” as a kid? Ever wonder where it “goes away” to?

I caught my first Scottish cold, early last week. It’s like a normal cold, except Scottish, so your skin turns an odd shade of plaid, and whenever you sneeze, it sounds like bagpipes.

Some of that might not be true.

In other, less bleak news (although I actually like the rain, and the cold meant I got to sleep in a bit), I’m starting to get a handle on the “school” part of this whole study abroad thing. From what I gather, the secondary reading list is basically like a pool of suggested resources for essays and exams. They don’t seem to be as critical for routine class sessions. There’s a weekly “core” reading that we’ll almost certainly discuss in class, but it’s not huge. Enough to fill up the time to an extent, but not huge. So I’m feeling more confident on that front. Now I just have to figure out some way to get myself out of bed to do the work. But, eh, I’ll figure that out tomorrow.

Now it’s time for the first and (probably) last installment of How on Earth Do You Pronounce That? Scotland Edition.

Try to pronounce the following word:

Ceilidh.

You failed. How do I know? Because it’s pronounced “kaylee,” and no thinking person would look at that word and think that’s how it’s pronounced.

In any event, it’s a traditional Scottish dance party of sorts. A bunch of people get together wearing kilts, which I did not have, and perform a bunch of traditional Scottish dances, which I did not know. Fortunately, nobody else seemed to have much of an idea what they were doing, either. It was a blast. At one point, during the chaotic mess of a maneuver known as the “grand chain,” I suddenly found myself partnered with a slightly tipsy guy who, to my knowledge, had not been taking part in the dance to that point. Exchanging shrugs, we performed the next spin together, and I somehow ended up in the women’s line. That was about par for the course. Like I said, it was a blast.

I’m hungry, now, and don’t have a witty way to conclude this entry. So I’m going to dinner. Bye.

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