It's an interesting experience to witness the change of season through the changing color of leaves.
I've waited to write my first journal after my first tutorial, as they call it here, because I knew that I would certainly have something to say after it. It's been wonderful to finally be around people who actually like Shakespeare, instead of those who are either intimidated by his works or pretending to like him just to look and sound smart. These people have a genuine passion for Shakespeare, poetry, and literature in general. I'm ashamed to say that I'm actually the least passionate among them when it comes to Shakespeare.
We're doing four modules this semester, two of which run two hours fornightly and the other two are weekly one-hour sesisons. There is one other international student doing the same MA, from Saudi Arabia. Apparently, she's having a real difficult time adjusting to the culture here. She is, afterall, Muslim, and all the diverse culture that England has to offer could be extremely intimidating. Other than her, I'm the only person from Taiwan out of the nine of us. Two of my mates are part-time, and they will only attend two modules with us.
My MA mates are extremly nice and friendly. They have been very thoughtful and considerate to both me and the other girl. It may be too early to say, but I like to keeps my hopes up and believe that my time here is going to be well-spent and extremely rewarding.
I have heard of all the terrible things that could happen in university accommodations, but fortunately, I have yet to experience any of those. The girl who lives next to me is from China, but she seems to be sensible and responsible. Most of the people that live on the same floor are girls, with the exception of one boy who is here with either his wife or girlfriend (I do not know because they live in a self-contained flat, and thus they are not sharing the kitchen nor the toilet/bathroom with the rest of us).
The kichen is the best place to socialize with your flatmates, but you really have to get used to talking while you cook. There was once when the kitchen got really crowded, but I absolutely enjoyed it. There is a girl from Mexico, who hasn't learned how to cook, a girl from Vietnam, the States, and one local Brit girl. It's been a pleasure talking to the, and I know it might be a little early in the year to say, but you know I like to keep my hopes up: I think I'm really going to enjoy their company.
Thus, coming back to my impression upon my first tutorial, I must say that I'm already feeling the pressure. In a week, we were given the assignment to read twenty sonnets [due next Tuesday], and three plays [due two weeks from now]. I don't know how I'm going to manage, but I'm going to have to. This is unlike anything that I had ever done before. I enjoy the challenge, yet I'm also feeling extremely nervous about it.
Fortunately, the professor that's in charge of our most important module, obviously the one about Shakespeare, is such a nice person. Our first session actually ran overtime, but that was because we had tea at the end of our serious discussions. The other professor, who is in charge of two other modules, seems to be a little more serious and uptight. However, there shouldn't be a problem because all my MA mates are really supportive. There is one other professor, but I can't tell you much about him, because we've only met him shortly during the English Social yesterday. The topic of the module is certainly very interesting, I can tell you that much!
To sum this first week up, I must admit that I'm feeling a little silly right now. Friends and family would know that I've always prefered English accent, especially Shakespeare adaptations, and I think I'm extremely susceptible to adapting their accent! I've already caught myself speaking in North American accent, but using English intonation, which sounds absurd, trust me! And as for the Chinese, oh my dear lord, have I ever felt so bad about my mother tongue? Whenever I speak to the girl next door, I feel like a complete fool.
So there it is! That sort of sums of my first 'real' week here in Liverpool. Someone might be happy to know that I'm actually doing something other than drinking beer and watching football!
Abercromby Square, next to Sydney Jones Library, which is my favorite place in the world right now.