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Archive for November, 2005

So, one of the perks of volunteering at Oxfam is first dibs on all the secondhand clothes that come in.  I have been looking for another coat that I can wear, but so far hadn’t found anything in my price range.  Grace, my store manager, pointed out a really nice coat that hadn’t made it to the floor yet, and offered to sell it to me for a fiver (it does have a couple of bare spots, but they are barely noticeable).  So, today I bought a coat for five quid – it doesn’t get much better than that.

Afterwards I went to the 99p store with the intention of just buying a strand or two of Christmas lights to put in my room, and I came upon a Christmas tree while I was looking around.  So, in addition to the lights I bought it and some ornaments.  For just a few quid I managed to make my room quite festive!

And, I think I may have worked out the title for one of my term papers (but that is subject to change after I meet with my professor on Monday).   It is going to be about how modernity can result in both new opportunities and new restrictions for women, in terms of labor and being part of the ‘global economy.’  Hopefully it will turn out to be interesting!

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Founder’s Feast

I just got back last night from spending the weekend in Oxford with Thad.  The highlight was definitely being able to attend Founder’s Feast on Friday!  The evening definitely lived up to my expectations (based on what Thad had told me) as far as food and drink was concerned.  Thad mentions a lot of the details on his blog.

I took my digital camera but experienced some problems with it.  However, if you click on the links that Thad posted you’ll see us in several of the photos.  I hadn’t really had an excuse to dress up in a while, so it was fun!

Now, it’s back to work hard core though.  I have two 5,000 word term papers, that in all honesty are not due until January 16th at noon, but I am already starting to feel the time crunch.  I don’t want to have to worry about them too much while I’m visiting people in the US, and so I’m going to try my best to get them done in the next few weeks before I leave.  Wish me luck!

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It really is a bit strange to be away from home for Thanksgiving for the first time, especially in a country where it’s not a holiday!  I had a presentation early this morning, which actually went pretty well.  It was definitely a bit of an out-of-the-ordinary presentation, filled with loads of images, and lovely dressed-up presenters (and yours truly as a Stepford-wife-ish housewife)  The presentation was about family, gender, and social change, which is something I’m really interested in.  I’m actually thinking of trying to take a class on gender and development next term, which I would love.  Anyway, the presentation was a hit, as from what the class said at least somewhat entertaining 🙂

Instead of having a traditional Thanksgiving, several of the American students who live in the flat next door hosted a wine and cheese event, which was wonderful!  There was no heavy-duty cooking involved, which I wouldn’t have had time for anyway today with all the running around I did.  It was a great evening, and lots of people turned out – a great way to spend Thanksgiving.  And I got to talk to my family on the phone today, which was wonderful.  I can’t believe that I’ll be home in less than a month!

Now, it’s officially time to get into full gear as far as Christmas is concerned (and, as far as term papers are concerned as well!) I think this is a record though – I am basically done with my Christmas shopping!  I don’t think I’ve ever done that much planning ahead as far as Christmas presents are concerned.

Now, time to hit the hay.  Tomorrow I am heading to Oxford to go to Founder’s Feast with Thad, which should be a lot of fun!

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Bush

This is pretty funny.  (click on the link to watch the video)
I still have not come to terms with the fact that this man is the current president of the US!  Ugh…..

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I do have to say that ADST social outings are a lot of fun, especially after sitting through a lecture/seminar from 2:00-6:00 on Fridays! We started the evening at the Indian Buffet on Ship Street (where we consumed at least 5 bottles of wine, if I remember correctly!) and then headed to the Mash Tun, which is turning into one of our usual haunts. Later at Casablanca’s we got a little dancing in, and Sam insisted he have a photo of him with five women on the dance floor.

Today I went back to the fair trade market at a nearby church (it comes through once a month) and picked up a few things, including some great Old Sussex cheese and an organic loaf of bread. I also tried some mulled apple cider, which was amazing, and I couldn’t resist sampling the homemade ice cream either. I only wish the Friends Meeting market happened more than once a month!

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Harry Potter!

Went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire last night – it was great! All of the kids have definitely grown up a lot since the last movie, and there were a lot of cool special effects. Dumbledore threw me off a little, because I watched the Sorcerer’s Stone again last weekend with Thad, and was almost expecting to see Richard Harris acting that role (but of course it was Michael Gambon). I always find it entertaining to watch a movie like that in a huge, packed theater, because the dynamic of the crowd can definitely alter the viewing experience. For example, in the first glimpse that you get of the older, slightly more muscular Harry and Ron, a large majority of the females in the theater whistled! It is definitely a movie you have to see in the theater. I have only read the first book in the series, and watching The Goblet of Fire kinda makes me want to go read the other books (or at least catch up before the Order of the Phoenix comes out!)

The weather here in Brighton has changed suddenly, and it’s freezing (literally!) Yesterday was the first day there was frost on the ground, and the first day I had to wear my heavy winter coat. I’ve been trying to resist wearing it because I know that I will probably have to wear it a LOT to get through the winter. Anyway, for the next month or so I will be commiting a horrible fashion faux pas – wearing brown shoes with a black coat. Until I go home and get my trusty, clunky black shoes I’ll be wearing my brown shoes for a while (I definitely can’t deal with wearing my black boots with heels every day for the next month!) The solution would be to either buy black shoes or a brown coat, but why do that now when I can buy things that are SO much less expensive when I’m back in the US for Christmas?

Anyway, time to finish reading before my seminar this afternoon. And afterwards, an ADST karaoke trip may be in the works…….

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Today one of my tutors was particularly entertaining during lecture, mostly because he spent a significant amount of time bashing Anthony Giddens and making critical references to Tony Blair.  He said at one point, “taking his argument apart is like stealing sweets from children,” (regarding Giddens) which was followed by a round of laughter from the class.  And yes, I did write that down in my notes from class today!  I have yet to read anything by Giddens (need to get on that) and so I’ve yet to form my own conclusions about his arguments.  Academics can be so funny sometimes, especially when they disagree with each other. 

Since going back to school I have been party to and participated in a number of great discussions that, while very interesting and academically stimulating, don’t really lead anywhere.  Trying to comprehend all the complexities surrounding issues in anthropology often leaves my head spinning, and it is entirely impossible to come to any overarching conclusion or epiphany.  What we spend a lot of time doing is deconstructing theories and ideologies, focusing on critiques of previous works, and attempting to be as self-critical as possible, and aware of the social conditions in which we are making assertions/assumptions.  I am starting to try to think of term paper topics, and everything we have discussed is so interrelated that I’m not sure where to begin.  I am interested in investigating gender, but I have no idea whether I want to focus on it as it relates to modernization, migration, development policy…  there are so many options.  I love that we have a lot of freedom to decide what we write about, but I will feel better once I meet with professors and get feedback from them about topic ideas.  And I especially want to have as much as possible done before heading to the US for Christmas!

And, on a completely different note, I would like to publicly thank Thad for picking up my printer in Oxford (yay for Freecycle) and lugging it all the way to Brighton this past weekend.  It is funny how something so simple can make life SO much less complicated!  My next project is to look for a free bike 🙂 

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