Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Who am I?

I will add more about my wild Canadian lifestyle tomorrow after the illumination ceremony...which I seem to have a habit of pronouncing 'elimination' ceremony which is inaccurate. Although after multiple sleep deprived nights I wouldn't say no to a few casual eliminations here and there.

But anyway...we got an email the other day requesting us to do a student profile for the Exeter Study Abroad website, but as I have severe problems with sincerity and being a serious adult I thought I would fill it out here instead. This is also an easy way out of doing a proper blog post for another day. I should stop setting myself challenges.

Question 1 - add a picture of yourself.

If you hadn't guessed it. I'm the fellow on the left cowering from the terrifying fish man. God I hate fish. Although I do want a fish next term. A nice one. Not an eaty one. One with fun colours. Anyway..I digress.

Student Profile:

 Katharine Stewart

 English with a Study in North America

Type of study abroad: (i.e. Erasmus/Exchange/summer school)
Exchange (oo font changed itself...exciting)

Name of Institution and country:
 University of Carleton (yeah I hadn't heard of it either) - Canada. 

Current year of study: (i.e. 3rd year)

·        Why did you choose your particular programme at the University of Exeter?

 I chose this programme because I realised that I was lazy and I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I did know how to read books. I also know how to pretend to be profound when it matters most, and I know fun words like hamartia and onomatopoeia. Also I got rejected from Warwick and Edinburgh, but swings and roundabouts.
·         What do you enjoy the most about your programme?
     At Exeter I enjoyed that I only had 3 hours a week of class. In Carleton I enjoy that I have 12 hours of class but I enjoy them more. Except for French..that was an error in judgement. Sacre bleu. Also I get to read Holes and still pretend that I am a reputable English student.

·        Why did you choose to study abroad, and what made you choose that particular location?

 I chose to study abroad because I could, and because England can get a little dreary. I didn't choose the location...it chose me. Well that's not strictly true. I was happy to go  here, but it doesn't work so well for dramatic effect. I also was interested in going here because I saw that in the winter festival that there are slides made out of snow and then I remembered I was immature so I started the process of getting my Canadian Visa
·        What are you enjoying most about studying abroad?

 Chipmunks. Next?
·        What skills have you gained from your experience (personal and professional) on your time abroad?

 How to play the Big Dalmouti card game. How to get a 1st in an essay (hint - go to a Uni with slightly lower standards with those of your university back home). How to live in this beautiful  country - 
Step 1 - Lose the gun
Step 2 - Buy a canoe
Step 3 - Live multi-culturally
Step 4 - You're in! There is no more.
·        Have you overcome any challenges during your time abroad?

Dry Frosh Week.
·        Do you feel that studying abroad will help your employment prospects?

If I'm being employed as a recluse perhaps. Or maybe as a British nanny (apparently) - Mary Poppins hasn't got shit on me.
·        Do you have any advice or tips to share with future students considering studying abroad?

Bring money. Lots of money. Don't expect to be riding Polar Bears everyday..just every other day.

·        Would you recommend the study abroad experience?

I wouldn't kick it out of bed. 

Well I better start rehearsing..

The lights are on but nobody is home.

Within the next 24 hours words will appear on this blog...even if it means having to type them myself.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Party Don't Start Until I Walk In.

First of all I hope you all enjoyed the badger, and if you haven't seen the badger I wholly encourage you to scroll down as badgers are never ending fun. I would also like to excuse myself for not having posted what I suppose you could call a 'proper' blog post for some time. I have been fairly busy coating myself in maple syrup and riding Polar Bears for my Ice Fishing dates with the local tribesmen, but I'm in Canada so you probably already knew that. Life here has been perfect as of late actually, I can't find a fault with a single thing and every day I wake up I feel like I'm in a Disney film and birds sing to me and dress me and my loveable pet beaver, Hans. So yeah. That is all I have to say. Thanks for reading :)

I jest. I jest. I haven't given up my British cynicism yet. My cynicism that will inevitably leave me sad and lonely in my final years of life as I look at these smug, complacent pandas and cry myself to sleep with my kittens and white wine. I bet these pandas have never sat a mid-term. Today was my first mid-term ever. I had expected something miraculous, extraordinary, magical..or at least some kind of parade..but alas no. The only bonus was I was one of the later people to class today so I got to move to a less irritating classroom - I use the term late loosely. People here seem to think that if they don't arrive at least 15 minutes beforehand that the world might be implode, or they might have to sit in a different seat or something. I can't blame them though really, the pre-class atmos is pretty radical. As the classroom issue, the plastic chairs which swing to and fro throughout the class at first were a source of great joy, but now they are just a pain in the arse. It is slightly irritating when taking notes in class as you gradually get further away from the desk as your chair swings itself out if you make the slightest moment, and as a breathing, living being I tend to make movements fairly regularly. 

The mid-term itself was a little bit lacklustre. I aced all questions on Holes naturally, because if I didn't I would have had to withdraw from society and eat trainers until the day that I died. The rest of the questions I wasn't that interested in. I thought I was studying English to read story books and pretty poems, not to actually 'learn' anything. I didn't know what the punishment for petty theft in 18th century London was, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. I did, however, lose about two hours sleep last night which brought me an insane amount of joy. The floor had been pretty quiet for the weekend..it was all a cunning ruse though to create a false sense of security and to send me into a depressed fury with only hours to go before my exam...or possibly people had just happened to plan a social event last night which had no relation to me whatsoever...but I find that pretty damn hard to believe. Luckily I appeased myself by playing the nyan cat game until I could feel my brain bleed and my eyes started to melt into a haze of spring onions and shame. 

If you don't know the nyan cat game:

Use it wisely my friend...use it wisely.

I'm trying to think about what has been going down around these parts as of late, but I'm struggling. I get the feeling I have a lot of work to do, but I also have a greater feeling of denial. There was one day where I ate many of these sour sweets in a row and it made my tongue hurt a bit, so I stopped eating them...and yes I do expect to be nominated for most fascinating blog of the year. 

We had Drama in a place today called 'The Architecture Pit'. In my head this was going to be some kind of crater in the ground where we would be put in metal-plated armour and made to fight bears with spears and our gladiator pride. It turned out that it was just an area with a few ladders, benches and seating area. It was nice, but you know...lacking in bears. The architecture students were in a fury that we were in their territory and glared down at us from the stairwells and planned to crush us all through the power of..architecture, but then they realised they were Canadian and just toodled off in a passive aggressive fashion. The drama class is quite snazzy...if you like throwing bouncy balls and playing eye contact games and acting like an eight year old WHICH I DO! We have been given final scenes to perform. I've been given the part of Juliet for mine..but you could have probably guessed that. I am the definition of sentimental, romantic and beautiful. The only thing that annoys me is that in the scene Juliet is also whiny, irritating and impatient and that is SO not me it hurts. 

Anyway, I can't think of anything else at the moment. Actually that isn't true. I just thought about about what it would be like if I had a kitten. It would be good. The end of term draws near and I will get to experience Canadian 'Finals' which will be an experience and a half...I might get a pinata to get the party started. On the plus side I'm going to Toronto in December with my sister who has planned an impromptu visits. I think impromptu visits are a very good thing...hint hint hint. And if you don't like me enough to spend 500 pounds of your hard earned cash to come to Canada and sleep on my floor while a moan about the cold weather and the inconsistencies in Ralph Waldo Emerson's philosophical essays (see I have learned things!)...well then I don't think we should be friends any more. 

Actually, there is a visit tomorrow. Nancy is coming down from Kansas tomorrow which should be nice and change the Grenville dynamic a bit. From the way people talk here I don't think that many of the guys have met a 'real life lesbian couple', but I just thought I should make it clear to them that YES! It will be just one big massive Grenville orgy, so there is no need to wear that creepy smile of imagination any longer. Welcome to Canada, Nancy. Welcome to Canada...This one's for you and for all those who have been changed by the Eurovision Song Contest in some way or another.


I am aware that I haven't done a proper blog post in a while.
I am also aware that I haven't posted a picture of a badger in an even longer while.

See you on the other side of my mid-term, when I will apologise for using terms like mid-term which sound hideously wrong coming out of my sceptical British mouth. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Sometimes I am walking to class or looking out the window
And I suddenly realise that I am in Canada
I see that other people are Canadian and I am not
I understand that life in England is going on without me,
Even though I am in Canada and England is not.
Then I worry to myself that I am getting dangerously
Close to attaining a soul or a conscience
So I buy a bag of crisps and throw bricks at passers by.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This is where all the trouble started.

Friday night - when adjectives lead to atrocities. 

The minister's cat is an apologetic cat.
The minister's cat is a blind cat.
The minister's cat is a clumsy cat.
The minister's cat is a drowsy cat.
The minster's cat is an emotional cat.
The minister's cat is a foolish cat.
The minister's cat is a gloomy cat.
The minister's cat is a hideous cat.
The minister's cat is an irrational cat.
The minister's cat is a juvenile cat.
The minister's cat is a kind-hearted cat.
The minister's cat is a lowly cat.
The minister's cat is a moronic cat.
The minister's cat is a nonsensical cat.
The minister's cat is an obscene cat.
The minister's cat is a pensive cat.
The minister's cat is quarrelsome cat.
The minister's cat is a regretful cat.
The minister's cat is a silly cat.
The minister's cat is a troublesome cat.
The minister's cat is a useless cat.
The minister's cat is a violent cat.
The minister's cat is a worrisome cat.
The minister's cat is a xenophobic cat. (The cat is. I'm not.)
The minister's cat is a yucky cat.
The minster's cat is a zonked cat.

Thank God I'm not that cat.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Probably only I care about this...

but I just felt like expressing happiness at the fact flights have been booked and in 99 days Charles will be making like a banana and coming to Canada. Sunday sundae will be everyday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yeah. I know that you wanna be Canadian, please.


I'm getting infrequent with this blog thing. It is probably a sign that I should quit altogether when I feel my thoughts are too boring to write down even fairly occasionally. This isn't to say I'm not enjoying Canada, but apparently it is slowly draining all the creativity out of me. Or maybe it is simply because I spend so much time being sarcastic and abrasive to my fellow man that I don't have enough scathing wit left over to type onto the internet. Furthermore when typing this I accidentally closed the window for my blog which is probably a sign from God that it wasn't meant to be. Well God. If I learned anything in class today it is that mankind spends too much time blaming other people instead of getting down to work. I understand that to call writing on my blog work is a bit farfetched, if anything it is procrastination but the point is still valid. And you know what class I learned that bit of wisdom in? Children's Literature. Studying Holes. I don't think it would be an understatement to say that every time I read Holes I feel my soul develop and grow. The joy is tangible, and the sorrow burned my heart like rattlesnake-venom nail polish when I had finished the final page. I am considering talking to the education board in Exeter (not sure if this exists, but I'll form it if I have to) and insist that Holes becomes mandatory for all Exeter students. I think I'm also reading Harry Potter next term...will remind me of Exeter..and cider...and pizza..and pub quiz..and...and that is about all I can remember about 1st year.

But why try to remember last year anyway when I could talk about the past week or so in Canadia. It has been both a good and bad week. My ambivalent nature stretches as far as the eye can see, which right now is to the corner of the duvet as I wearily hit keys at random and try to remember what has been going on in my life. I could have done without the academic side of life to be frank. I had a presentation in Drama which went..average, but you know..at least it went. I had a French test which was...boff. And I got an essay back to redraft and found out that I've been misusing modifiers like a bitch. I think this is supposed to distress me and make me feel I need to modify my modifiers or go home, but I choose to ignore it. I think if someone can paraphrase a Macbeth speech using the words "pussy ass bitches" that a few misused modifiers can be allowed to slip through the English net. In my most recent Children's Lit class I did have to come out of the cultural closet and acknowledge my Britishness after a long time biting my tongue. I had one of my first experiences of people going into shock in hearing my accent. Yes. I do know the Queen and I was in the front row for the royal wedding. I have been spotted for my accent before. When I was tie-dying a girl told me because I was British I was her new best friend - I never saw her again. I don't mind being picked out as an exchange student. It just feels awkward answering the same questions. They always ask where I'm from and this sends me into a panic as I'm not sure where I am from exactly. They are only being polite so they don't want to hear me fumble for a proper answer - "Erm erm well I'm kinda from England, in Sheffield...in the North...but I don't live there...most of the time. I live in Luxembourg. Sometimes, but I go to university in Exeter. Sometimes. And now I am in Canada for a year." By the time this sentence is done they have usually got half way through setting up a make-shift noose so I usually just plump for "Sheffield." It's an old'un but a good'un. I also feel awkward when they ask me if I like Canada. I mean I do like it, but how would they react if I said 'no. Your country sucks and I'd rather die than have to be here for longer than 8 months." I tend to just say "Yeah. It is really pretty. Very different but pretty." I do have more thoughts than that on Canada, but I think these people want small talk, not a monologue.

A highlight of this week (unless you are a Toronto Maple Leafs fan) was the hockey game. I have to say I felt a little more than cool rolling up to the stadium with a Canada hat and senator tattoos dotted about my person. I think the people on the bus liked my attire also because they couldn't help but to stare. They looked at me, and then at each other and giggled as if to say "I want you.", but I had to simply give them a slight bow of my maple hat and turn away while trying to swallow the pain of the fact that we would never be together. The game itself was an emotional thrill ride. The Senators romped (ha) to victory of course. I may never see another game, just so that they keep an 100% win rate in my eyes. There weren't too many proper on the rink tussles, but on the bus the gloves came off and the poorly formulated arguments came out.

Toronto Fan - The Sens suck. Toronto is way better.
Sens Fan - Yeah, well if Ottawa is bad it is only because our men went to war while the Toronto men stayed home.

Sens Fan - I'll support Toronto when they visit sick children in Ottawa hospitals.
Toronto Fan - Your team may visit sick kids, but we've got loads more sick kids in Toronto.

I'm not sure it is scientifically proven yet that having sick children enhances the hockey skills of a particular city, so hopefully Ottawa city council will hold off on poisoning School lunches for the time being. Although, if it does turn out to be so then the Senators will always come first in my eyes and in my heart.

The rest of the weekend was pretty pleasant (my go-to word for Canada). Played some pool down the Fox and Feather (making myself sound all local and like I know what I'm talking about here). Also drank some long island ice tea and dreamt of Amber Rooms. They were still satisfying though. I watched a film with Frog Boy for a while, until he 'went to the bathroom' for half an hour and I was destined to watch alone...even though he had fought tooth and nail to gain control of the television and had been close to having his head smashed through the TV in the process - but karma worked her magic eventually... Nothing much happened that night..just sitting and chatting and an unnecessary glass of apple vodka, but once again..pleasant times were had. Well..it was pleasant probably unless you decided to wrestle your bigger and stronger roomate while in an intoxicated state. Doing this will probably result in a broken ankle. I hate feet and the best of times, but the foot I saw on Frog Boy's leg made my stomach turn a little, but it wasn't his fault (kinda).

I think that is pretty much all that I can remember that has happened around these parts. Oh. I did take a trip down to the Canal with some guys from the floor at 3am. That was an experience. I watched the stars and wrote my name in the frost on the picnic table while they engaged in general Canal activities and played cowboy music (I wish this was a joke). I think my cool points went through the roof. It was a reasonably educational trip, however. I learned that I have both a lesbian crush and Jess and the boy with the Frog and that 'inevitably' we are going to end up having a drunken threesome. Start up the video cameras and lose your inhibitions - it has been foretold. Lies.