catching up on life

Phew, well Amy and I had a nice sleep in day yesterday. We both slept through our alarms until 13:00 or so… but I know that I needed the rest at least. After waking up so late, we decided to stay on the ship awhile since shops would close soon anyway. Amy spent most of this time either feeding her solitaire addiction or reading one of the frivolous books she borrowed from the library. The library closes when we are in port and their system of checking out books is rather sketchy; most of the books done even have anything on them indicating they are part of a library, so she just borrows a book, reads it and returns it the next day- not bad!

I spent most of yesterday afternoon doing a lot of catch-up schoolwork, though I am still really behind. I’m hardly caught up in one class, let alone three. Classes are going well though. Global perspectives, which is attended by everyone on the ship (and taught by a professor from Allegheny College like Amy) is really interesting because there are discussions and debates as we learn about each country in the context of the American Dream versus the European Dream. My Myth, Religion, and Symbols class is also really interesting and taught by an awesome professor. We’ve been talking about all sorts of mythical creatures in Iceland and Norway – elves, changelings, trolls, and the “hidden people”. It's interesting how such beings are still integrated into modern culture. For example, in Iceland, roads are built around boulders under the belief that moving boulders (in which the hidden people live) will disturb and anger the creatures residing there. We also discuss a lot of the early pagan religion (and its intersection with politics) as is relevant to the countries we are visiting. My third class, Myth and Folklore, is the only letdown. The material is really awesome; mostly we just read fairytales from various countries (though somehow the reader for the class is $203, so I’ve been struggling to read it all in the library between classes). The bit that’s not so great is the actual class meetings. Given that we have so few class days, it’s extra important that we cover relevant material in our classes, yet in my folklore class it seems like all we do is regurgitate the readings and learn absolutely nothing new, unless we have an interport lecturer do a presentation (interport lecturers are on the ship for the duration of at-sea time as we approach their home country – a great asset!) Regardless, I still am really excited about all of my classes and also the field practica (writing papers for class based on relevant cultural findings).

Anyhow, after we hung out on the ship we eventually went out for dinner and explored a music store which was really fun. So much of the music that I love is really popular here! It’s funny to see The Postal Service, Interpol, The Avalanches, Snow Patrol, Muse, etc. on the bestsellers rack. In sifting through CDs, I bought one by a band called Amerika called “Stay Okay” (also the name of a hostel chain in Europe). It was really cheap, and I thought it’d be cool to hear Norwegian alternative… and it worked out well, it’s a pretty good CD!


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