Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Homework, Socialized Medicine, and Baptists
Yesterday I attended my first class – Social Theory. It is held inside the old King's College building, consecrated in 1509. The surrounding buildings make up “Old Aberdeen,” the medieval town that grew up around the college. Think cobblestone streets, narrow alleys with secret doors and garden gates. It’s absolutely charming (until you trip over the cobblestones, which I do frequently).
I have come to the conclusion that I will be “fass’in meself” (fussing) this year over all the work that is involved in my degree. It seems that the good folks at UNT never realized that I got by 2 degrees without much effort. In fact, if it weren’t for the one difficult political science class I had my last semester, I would not have been prepared for the kind of reading I must do now. Each page of theory takes about 15 minutes to process, notate, and reflect upon. Then, according to my professor, I’m supposed to read it a second time. She put the fear of god in us about the depths to which we are supposed to go with our homework. I should be reading right now, but instead I am blogging about how I feel about the reading. Does that count?
A lovely English woman named Jan sits next to me in class. After raising a family, she decided to go to university. After completing a Bachelor’s degree, she decided to pursue a Masters . . . just for fun. She is doing this for free, courtesy of the generous financial aid available to UK citizens, particularly senior citizens. She gave me a tour of the Social Science building and helped me find my next class. We agreed to trade notes and meet early before class each week to discuss our reading. Joining us will be an extremely handsome Italian who also sits beside me. I think that’s worth going in early!
I have also registered with a medical office. Socialized medicine, here I come! The National Health Service had me fill out 2 double-sided forms, which is about 4 less than every doctor’s office I have ever visited where I was commanded to list every insurance plan I’d ever had in triplicate. One of the questions asked me to tick the box next to the number of units of alcohol I drink each week. The choices were 0, 7, 14, 21, 28 or more. Clearly, these people enjoy their “water of life,” as they call whiskey. I haven’t had a single dram since I got here. It’s about time!
Just as I finished writing this, the general fire alarm went off in the entire building. I went down to the car park to stand with other bewildered students where a nice local bloke struck up a conversation with me. I thought he was just being friendly but then I found myself being proselytized upon. I only escaped the Bible-belt 5 days ago and the Baptists have already found me. Now I’m really fass’d!