Sitting in Chicago O’Hare waiting to board my next flight back to Edinburgh to begin my last year of my undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh. I say last year of my undergraduate because we all know that I will attempt to prolong my eventual exodus from Academia as long as possible. Gotta keep my student discount at the cinema people! I’m writing from a chair this time instead of sprawled on the floor – so maybe this is the uneventful, lackluster evidence of my passage into adulthood we’ve all been patiently waiting for?
But anyway, this past week was spent in Lawrence showing Gregor, Tuva, and Erling the old stomping grounds. And of course, it had to be the only week out of the entire year that it rained for 5 days straight. I mean, it was good for the soybeans at least? Either way, I hope that the three of them had a great time! I showed them Downtown Lawrence, Clinton Lake, we went to the Grinter Sunflower Farm, and got smothered by corporate love by a Bud-Light rep at the Bull who upon finding out that 2 Norwegians and 1 Scot were outside with a bunch of Lawrence Townies proceeded to give us 8 pitchers of Bud-Light on the house (in addition to the three pitchers we already had). And yes, before you ask, we finished it all because we are not going to leave any soldiers on the field – just who do you think we are?
Other happenings… I got an op-ed published! It’s all about youth in History and today’s political landscape. I wrote it for REEK Perfume, a local perfume company based in Edinburgh run by a mother and daughter who create scents in honor of Historical Women. Their perfumes are ethically sourced, cruelty free, and their ad campaigns aren’t retouched! I’ll link to their website here. I copied the first few paragraphs from the article so you can get a sense of the piece, but please go to their website to read the full thing so they (and I) get the traffic and reading numbers! Constructive feedback and nice comments always warranted as well!
Writer Kennedy Younger Dold looks at the phenomenal success of youth activism in politics today through the lens of history…
All over the land, the kids have finally startin’ to get the upper hand.
They’re out on the streets, they turn on the heat,
And soon they could be completely in command.
Museums and galleries are quiet places. The stern, official portraits of historical figures make it all too easy to forget the vitality of the stories on display. But, those tales demand to be told. They are the stories of the young, the restless and the rebellious. History tells us stories of many young people who achieved notoriety.
In 1777, Sybil Luddington rode twice as far as the more famous midnight ride of Paul Revere to warn of attacking British regulars during the American Revolution. Not only did she ride twice as far, but at 16, she was half his age as well. Joan of Arc was 17 when, leading from the front, she inspired the French army to victory after victory during the Hundred Years War with England. Henry V was 29 at the Battle of Agincourt. Flora MacDonald was 24 when she helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape after the 1745 Jacobite Uprising. Victoria was 18 when she became Queen. Alexander the Great conquered and created an empire at the same age. Mary Shelley, at 20, published Frankenstein. At 23, Nellie Bly was exposing inhumane conditions in American asylums. To pile on even more extraordinary achievement, she traveled around the world in 72 days… just to beat the fictional record set in Jules Verne’s classic Around the World in 80 Days. Flash forward to the 20th century and the rise of the self and culturally aware teenager. In 1977, Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia (age 19) (although fictional) brought hope to a galaxy far, far away. Young people shaped the post-war years: staging protests, fighting for civil rights, and writing pretty incredible music.
Classes this year are going to be pretty awesome and I’m looking forward to them. I played the system and don’t have any exams – so my exam anxiety is over and I’ll actually feel like I’m researching and learning something new versus trying to memorize a bunch of facts that I’ll forget once I flip over the paper. That and my professors will actually be able to read my essays instead of trying to deceiver my left-handed, I took Ancient Greek disaster script.
I have a full year course for my Dissertation on the Architectural Archaeology and Cultural Heritage of the Botanic Cottage the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, a semester in Architectural Archaeology (to help with the dissertation), a full year Archaeological Fieldwork course, and a full year history course on Medieval Sexualities 500-1000 AD. That last course will focus on the post-Roman world, Monastic structures, and early medieval female leaders (and fingers crossed for some warladies thrown in as well.) It was this course or one on Early Medieval Botany but the botany course had a three hour exam so f*** that. I’d rather write longer essays.
I’m still kicking around the Mountaineering Club, and there’s Fresher’s Week to help out with when I get back. I’m quite excited this year as I plan on hiking up to Hardknott when I’m in the Lakes this October. Hardknott is a Roman Fort up on a mountain side in the Langdale Valley. From it’s position it probably served as a defensive outpost for the other fort located in Windermere. It wasn’t occupied for long – probably because it’s up a mountain and it also is very well preserved (again because it’s on a mountain side so limits the visitors.)
But, that’s about all at the moment. I’m sure you’ll hear from me again soon. But until then…. with tolerance and respect. byeeeeeeeee.