Saturday, 17 September 2011

So, Hannah, what did you do today?

We all have those days where we feel a bit blah (not bad, not good, just blah) and we just need to curl up and be lazy. Today was that day, and it was lovely. Thankfully, the nature of the dining hall here means that I am forced to shower, dress and engage in human interaction every day if I wish to eat proper food, so I wasn't completely shut away all day.
So this week has been pretty good. I survived my first full week of classes, just about. I get a bit confused because I have the same timetable on tuesdays and thursdays, so I keep having to remind myself what day it is. It's also weird having a class so soon after the previous one. In Exeter, I'd have a to wait week or maybe even two before the next lecture or seminar came around. Here, it's constant. I have consumed much coffee (including my first ever Tim Horton's), learned that every single depiction that I've ever seen of a Native North American person is in someway offensive, sat reading in the quad, met new people (one of whom I'm pretty sure thinks my name is Megan), won the heart of my self-confessed anglophile Shakespeare professor just by saying words, turned up to class in my Exeter hoody to find that Jess was wearing an identical one, actually did all of my reading (to the extent where I took Joyce to dinner with me), and even engaged in educational discussion about James Joyce. No, really. Joyce has been less painful that I'd thought, and while I'd initially been dreading it, it could turn out to be one of my favourite classes. Except for the part where the class is 3 hours long. I will never grow to love that. Now, I'm aware that I'm only three chapters into A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, undoubtedly one of his easier books, and that as soon as I get to Ulysses, with it's 254 pages of footnotes, my mind is probably going to explode. But so far, aside from the 25-page hellfire sermon through which I had to drag myself, I'm quite enjoying it. Let's hope this optimism lasts. :)
Not only have there been good academic developments this week, but I've also had a wonderfully musical week. I went to my first choir rehearsal on Wednesday, which was wonderful :) The people were lovely, the conductor is a sweetheart, and the music is really pretty and all stuff I've never sung before :D While it was wonderful, I have to say that I've never felt as British as I did in a room full of people saying "New York" in Canadian accents, while I joined the chorus with a very conspicuous "New Yawwk". It reminded me of singing hymns in my Granny's church in Northern Ireland, which made me giggle. :) I also joined an orchestra this week. With the help of a very enthusiastic Ben, who went on a mass googling spree one night in August even though he's not in Ottawa, I found an amateur orchestra called the Divertimento Orchestra, and I think it's pretty safe to say that I've found the best amateur orchestra in Ottawa. The players are amazing, the conductor is great, the rehearsal was efficient, the repertoire is good (Sibelius 1 and Faure Requiem <3) the music already sounds good and it's only their second rehearsal and to top it all off, the people are LOVELY. Absolutely lovely. And they've got quite a few Brits, which is nice :) I can't remember the last time I was so enthused by an orchestral rehearsal. There was such a sense of community, but there was also such a good work ethic and sense of discipline during the rehearsal. Gordon, the conductor, knows what he wants and says what he wants and gets on with it, but he's still friendly and relaxed. If he says we're going to run something, we run it, even if things go wrong. I know that I'd be happy just being in an orchestra, but to be in an orchestra like this just makes me so ridiculously happy. It was just a wonderful atmosphere to be a part of, and I've got a feeling those rehearsals are going to be a highlight of each week, not least for the fact that it means I actually get to play my violin. :D This paragraph has rambled on a bit, and I apologise, but the music geek in me has been really happy this week, just in case you hadn't already noticed. :)
Other events of note this week include the aforementioned trip to Ikea. It was wild. Along with the most amazingly fluffy dog in the world, I bought some suitably colourful bedding, a corkscrew, ice cube moulds, some more pretty pictures to put on my wall and an artificial flower. Nothing frivelous at all... At least I didn't buy the wooden train set, which was very tempting. I also bought something amazing, but I can't disclose what it is because I'm keeping it to give to my amazingly wonderful sister for her birthday. Speaking of my amazingly wonderful sister, I got an amazingly wonderful card from her yesterday, which I collected from my personal mailbox (I have a special key and everything) and it made me smile lots and lots and lots and I miss her lots and lots and lots <3 I also got some books in the post. That was less smile-inducing.
I think I've rambled on quite enough for one night, so I'll shush now. I'm going to go exploring downtown tomorrow, so I'm sure I'll have lots of stories and pictures and excitment to share with you soon. :)

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