Friday, September 23, 2011

Oh, hai!

Dad reminded me 'politely' that I need to update my blog, so I thought I would oblige. Much has happened since I last wrote, including two weeks of class, several mishaps with the bank, fire hazards, and various post-related surprises.

To begin this whole thing, I suppose I should tell you a bit about the thing that is taking the majority of my time - school. My program is from 10-5 Tuesday through Thursday, with an hour (sometimes) break for lunch. I have to admit that I do get restless and want to put my head down on the desk, but I have to refrain because I'm pretty sure that's frowned on by postgraduate profs. We address our profs by their first name, on request, and so far all of them are extremely helpful and very clear with instructions. I have a marketing class, an editorial and content creation class, a publishing dynamics class, and a class specifically for the giant project I will be doing for the next two semesters. The project is to make a publishing 'dummy', which is essentially 16 pages of a book, ebook, children's book, whatever. I've got an idea in mind for a twist on Grimm's fairy tales that I've told to a few people and enlisted the help of 3 artists and my creativity facilitator, Misty. She and I have this great relationship where we can look at each other's stuff/outfits/whatever and tell the other what we need to do to improve in a loving and easily acceptable way. By the end of it all, I will have created a physical product, from formatting to design to editing. We don't have to write it or anything, but I'm an overachiever who doesn't want to deal with copyright issues.

In other news at school, we had a presentation yesterday about the workforce, and our presenter managed to simultaneously adjust our focus on possible careers and scare the shit out of us. Apparently the publishing workforce is aging, shrinking down their hiring, and keeping all their current employees. BUT the main area that needs hiring is marketing, sales and distribution, and technological stuff. I'm somewhat relieved to hear that because marketing is quickly becoming a subject on par with economics for me. I have a natural aptitude for it because I tend to gloss over the technical names for things and focus on the actual theory itself. Economics and marketing have a tendency to try to confuse you with terminology. Get past that, and you're golden.

Moving on to mishaps with the bank, let me just tell you...banks in any country suck. I opened an account so I can pay rent and use a debit card that won't be looked at funny for the next year. Everything was hunky dory until I tried to deposit my financial aid in said account, only to be told I can't do anything because I needed proof I lived here. I get that. It makes sense. Luckily I had received a letter from the Stirling Council about council tax (another absurd way for the gov'ment to make money here), so they told me it would be fixed by the following Wednesday. I continued on my merry way, and was granted Wednesday afternon off from classes in a fortunate twist of fate. I tried to deposit the very large check again...and failed. No, the lady said, we need your visa information again. Bring that in and we'll fix everything.

Let me just pause here to tell you about my morning of panic. I woke up and had the genius idea to set my passport down by my jewelry so I would remember to grab it for the bank before I left. I grabbed my handy dandy lockbox and keyed in the right numbers...and no passport. So, okay, no passport there, but it's probably just in my purse or computer bag. Skip on over and search said bags....and no passport. Okay, let's not panic just yet. I probably put it somewhere dumb and told myself to move it later, then didn't. Look on the table, up on a shelf, inside my luggage...and no passport. Calm time has passed, freak out time has commenced. What followed was a lovely interlude of me alternating between reassuring myself that I took it out of my bag, it couldn't have fallen out, it's here in the apartment and calling myself all kinds of irresponsible and stupid for not knowing EXACTLY where such important documents are, you irritating, ditsy little fool. Things got ugly. A couple minutes of standing in the middle of the room and retracing my footsteps for the last week and a half passed, and I had a sudden thought. Once, I lost my debit card for an hour and then found it in the book I had shoved in my purse. I flipped through all of my books, found my passport, and immediately burst into tears. Not a good way to start your day, but at least I'm not as stupid as I thought. Maybe. Jury's still out ton that one.

Back to the bank - I brought in my newly found passport today, and it will now take until Monday, most definitely by Tuesday to have everything worked out where I can deposit and access the big check I have. Luckily, I don't need to go anywhere, so I'll just spend this weekend getting all organized for class and cleaning my apartment. Which currently houses a sparking microwave. A rather horrifying moment for a girl living by herself for the first time, not entirely sure where the fire extinguisher is. Thankfully, my landlady is on top of things, and I will conference with her husband tonight on the issue. She thinks it may have been the fact that she cleaned the microwave with a metal scourer before I got there. I'm inclined to agree, but we'll wait and see.

So, you're all caught up on my shenanigans and tomfoolery. Both words which, surprisingly, are accepted by my automatic spell-checker. Talk about a varied dictionary. I may actually spend some time, previously promised, walking around Bridge of Allan and taking pictures. In my defense, I've been pretty busy and it has rained nearly every day. But I think waiting for sunshine in Scotland right now is comparable to waiting for rain in Texas this summer. Equally useless and frustrating.

Leaving you with a fun fact. The meaning of the thistle, official emblem for Scotland is "No One Provokes me with Impunity". Appropriate, yes?

Until next time,

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