*stress-fess begins and other haps*

For how many contact hours I have this semester I should really be writing more.

Things around Edinburgh have been in that weird stage of ‘IamextremelystressedbutalsostrangelycalmshouldIbeworriedaboutthis?’

If you know the feeling you know, and if you don’t oh, my sweet summer child.

Apologies for not writing as much, but in reality, I don’t think you’d find my general bouncing and bopping interesting.  However!  I was convinced otherwise by a few devote readers of my illustrious list of mild inconveniences to detail more about the mundane facts of my existence.

Since you’ve last heard from me:

I went to the Cairngorms with the EUMC.  We stayed a cute lil bunkhouse because Scottish winter is very cold and there isn’t enough sunlight to justify camping.  I went running without any knee braces and suffered no ill side effects.  I’ve been rehabbing my knees religiously because I don’t want to have to wear braces anymore.  I also walked to see some prehistoric standing stones.

View this post on Instagram

wow i love old standing stones.

A post shared by 🌻kenndol (@baeowulf_) on

I started a 120 hour online TEFL course.  This will let me teach english as a foreign language.  Just more options, I guess.

I submitted my second essay for Early Medieval Sexualities.

I went to see The Favourite and Mary, Queen of Scots. I don’t know why 2019 has become the year of historical female power dramas but I’m living for it!  The films aren’t totally historically accurate, but honestly, sometimes historical purists need to calm down and enjoy themselves ffs.

The EUMC had our Burn’s Ceilidh.  Burn’s Night is a Scottish holiday to celebrate the poet Robert Burns.  Each year the lads and lassies of the EUMC write crass poems about each other to be read aloud at the ceilidh.  My poem was about how I find skeletal remains more interesting than living people, and I mean, I could be offended… but, it’s true?

I woke up the next morning with sore arms and bruises from being 1) swung around during ‘strip the willow’ and 2) purposely throwing myself and my dance partners at other people for funnies (Sorry Alven, Erling, and Ben).  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: ceilidhs are a contact sport set to fiddles and drums. And. I. Love. It.

I’m still plugging away at my dissertation and the last of my coursework.  At the moment, I have three essays, a presentation, and my dissertation.

BUT! Everything is done by 8 April.

It’ll be a stress-fess for the next two months – but it has to get done, so it’ll get done.

All the work has to get done because my loving parents booked a holiday on 9 April. I was told this was booked in the same vein as when my dad sent me my Christmas present right before exams.  Physically, the gift was an Xbox, but, you see, this was only a metaphor for the actual gift: a lesson in self-control and discipline…

But! I will be free from uni soon.  Then I can spend my days working on my novel, and finally, have some peace.

 

 

 

this is early bc im skipping town

This post is *technically* about a day early but since I’m getting the heck outta Dodge right after my exam, I decided to write it tonight.

And that’s second year.  Tomorrow, I have my last exam, Roman World, at 2.30 pm (to 4.30pm).  I’m a little nervous for it as always, but I am currently channeling the planet Saturn which astronomically exudes confidence.  I’ve read through my notes and my textbook, so I’m feeling pretty good.  I also figure after four+ years of Latin, a trip to Italy, and having a published novel which draws on aspects of Roman/Greek society if I don’t know Claudius from Caligula by now…    

Right after my exam, I won’t have much time to celebrate.  I’m running right back to my flat to grab my bags.  I’m leaving for one of my favourite places in all of Scotland – the Bothy.  I’m officially become the Bothy Secretary for the EUMC and I cannot be more excited.  This trip is going up to work on the kitchen and finish up the main refurbishment works so that the Bothy can be ‘officially reopened.’

Anyway, I am so glad that exam season is over.  It’s been more tiring than stressful and honestly, more annoying than anything else.  Classes finished back in the beginning of April, so it’s been about a month of waiting for my exam.  I’m the type of person would would rather write 2-3 long essays in a class over the semester than wait for an exam.  So, I’ve read a lot, walked around a lot, and drank a metric fuck ton of coffee.  Yay!

But, two down and one to go.  My archaeology exam was last Monday and it was pouring outside.  Medieval Europe was last Thursday and after I took the exam I went to the NMS for a book talk with Diana Gabaldon (the author of Outlander).  She talked about writing and then signed my copy of Outlander.  It was pretty cool.  Today, I went for the massage/facial my mom booked me for my birthday and I have emerged a new woman with fewer knots and much less dead skin.  Thanks mom!  I’ve also been trucking away on my *space archaeology* manuscript, it’s nearly at 30,000 words atm. WOWZAH!

But anyway… tomorrow I finish up with my second year of university.  This, September (assuming all goes well and I didn’t fuck everything up on my exams) I’ll be starting my third year!  GASP!  Time to start working on a dissertation and having my marks count toward my final degree.  Honours years is going to be a transition, but I’m really excited for it.  This year has honestly been amazing.  First semester I got to take an osteology class and this semester I got to use those skills on the excavation in Chester.  I can’t wait for this summer to use them again at Bamburgh and in Italy.  This semester I took a course in Medieval History which I enjoyed so much.  It really makes a difference when you finally get to take courses in things that you have a genuine interest in.

It’s been a crazy two years.  If you had told 2015 Kennedy that 2017 Kennedy would be having a kick-ass time in Scotland she would have probably been a bit skeptical.  Sometimes 2017 Kennedy still can’t believe that she made it here either.  Walking around Edinburgh still catches me off guard sometimes as I catch sight of new things.  You’d be surprised how many old things tend to blend into the city unnoticed.  Just the other week, I wandered into the Old Calton burial ground and ran into David Hume’s tomb – who knew.

But, enough with academics already.  I am so ready to finally relax this summer and turn my brain off, enjoy the weather, and drink some well earned alcohol.  Treat yo’self.

Well, that’s second year.  It’s been grand.  After my exam I’m headed to the Bothy for a few days and then back to Edinburgh and then out for the Road Trip for week and then back to Edinburgh and then out to Northumberland and then back to Edinburgh and out to Italy and then back to London and then to America… you get the idea.

dear crosby, (your room still smells like french fries).

Congrats Crobmonster.  You’re officially done with high school, well, minus the actual graduation day… But, tbh no one really cares about the physical day of graduation.  It always rains and all you do is walk across the stage to get an empty diploma case (jokes on you, your real diploma hasn’t been printed yet!)

Alright.  I figured I would take this chance to write you a nice ‘lil blogpost.

I hope you enjoyed your last day in high school, but I do hope that you aren’t in the mindset that this has been/must be the best four years of your life.  Because tbh it’s not.  It won’t be.  You’ll probably miss your friends, your teachers, and that gross but sweetly nostalgic smell of old hummus that haunts the hallways of LHS *shudder.* Keep in touch with as many or as few as you want, but, now, clean the mold out of your locker and leave. (But, not before thanking your teachers.  Dammit Crob, go back inside right now and thank those wonderful humans.)  But yeah, don’t stick around.  Get out and go.  Don’t dwell in the past, especially when it comes to high school.  No one is going to care at all in a year.  You’ve past the high school milestone in your life, but this isn’t like on a road trip when you get out of your car and and take a gazillion photos with the ‘Welcome to Colorado’ sign.  You’re going seventy-five and have no time to stop, because Cr(ur feet smell)osby, I know, mom and dad know, your teachers and friends know that you’re headed to something cooler than just the ‘Welcome to Colorado’ sign.

I know you’ve had a pretty rough time these last four years.  (I hope that at least for the first two I was able to help a bit?) But, truthies Crobula? I know you’re really scared of growing up and leaving and you think that by graduating that you’ll have to start acting all adult and shit.  Lol nope.  In fact, the people who act really adult right out of high school are probably the most insecure and worried about their future.  They’ll tell you that ‘being mature is the best thing since sliced bread’ as they sip their disgusting cold brew coffee.  The real secret, Bobsby?  Maturity is circumstantial.  Meaning you’ll learn when it is appropriate to at 2 am shout ‘Down it Fresher’ to yourself as your drink an entire bottle of Malibu while covered in 200 googley eyes versus when you need to assure the director of the bank that all your paperwork is in order and that you have the right forms of ID and signatures to be made a signatory on a bank account.  See, Crib, completely circumstantial.

Alright enough about high school (*whispers* because no one cares).  Now onto University.  I’ll give you a bigger pep talk this August but for now…

I know you’re worried about making friends.  I mean aren’t we all?  But, trust me on this one.  There will be plenty of theatre loving weirdos for you to hang out with.  It’s a weird thing: once you get to a place that specialises in something people who like that thing… *hides behind my hand and whispers* they are everywhere.  I think it’s a government conspiracy.  And for that first week of classes?  Everyone is going to be scrambling to make friends.  Sometimes the people you meet in week one are going to be your best friends, other times they are going to be the ones to introduce you to your best friends.  Either way.  Chillax, Bing.

Have fun this summer.  Hang out with your friends and enjoy having dad do your laundry.  Don’t think of it as your last, it’s just the prologue of the sequel that ended up being better than the first sorta like The Empire Strikes Back.  High school is over for you.  But, I bet you that you’re going to be sad for like 0.00000000003 seconds because I know how excited you are to start at Cornell this fall.  Congrats Bob.

Now thank your teachers and leave.

– ur older, wiser, and infinitely cooler sister

p.s enjoy the playlist. i only put i musical song it on because i can’t stand musicals.

p.p.s ur room still smells like fries.

death monday is dead.

Today is the last Death Monday of second year.  Damn.

Hey, Uni?  Maybe slow down, please?

This morning I had an Archaeology lecture over Forensics and DNA which was really interesting.  It ran a little over and cut into my already limited lunch time… but eh, the lecture was cool so I didn’t mind.

For lunch, I grabbed a bowl of soup and went to eat in the Debating Hall in Teviot, it’s in the quieter part of the student union and I really like it because it looks like an old medieval Great Hall.  You know the type with the high wooden ceilings, mezzanine, and dark wood everything?  Yeah?  Yeah.

After lunch, I went to my last Medieval tutorial for the year.  It was over the Later Crusades after the fall of the Crusader states (circa 1291).  After, I had a Roman Empire lecture over the 3rd century AD and then I went to my last Archaeology lab for the semester.  The lab was over using data sets to create charts and stuff on the computer.

The weather has been stellar again and so yesterday I spent most of the day outside.  I went for a run in the meadows, meet up with some friends, and did some yoga.  My friends have commented that I have transcended my title of ‘Trash Child’ (I constantly trip over things, fall into bins or the gutter, and live in the Meadows in my hammock which one more than one occasion has been set up next to a bin.  I also lay on the floor for prolonged periods of time and whine.).  According to Ellie, I have become ‘Earth Child’ after my outdoor yoga sesh in the mud.  Truthfully, I still feel more like a ‘Trash Child’ but eh, I’ll take ’em where I can get ’em.

On wider notes, the Avengers have started filming again here in Edinburgh!  They’ve blocked off of much of the Royal Mile and yesterday night they blew up a truck in front of St. Giles!  I’ve walked by the set a few times and they have repainted a jewelry shop into a kebab shop and have massive rain buckets pouring water all over the street.  They only film late at night, so, no I haven’t seen any of the actors (and probably won’t). Although I could swear I saw one of the directors driving around Edinburgh last weekend!

This week is going to be spent finishing up my last two essays.  I’m nearly done with my Roman Empire essay and still have to write my archaeology report.  This weekend officially starts my Easter break and I will be heading south to excavate a Medieval graveyard and get a much needed two week break! More on that next week!!

My twentieth birthday is in 25 days so that’s terrifying.  I always thought that by the time I was twenty I would be a semi-functioning adult… but alas.

 

here comes the sun…

Welcome to Week 10.  One essay (over the Roman army) and write up report (over the domestication of the goat in the Near East circa 10,500 BP) left to go.

Last week was hellish.  I’m not going to sugar coat it.  I was super busy and the weather was pretty shit.  I missed my cat terribly, realised I would only be happy again if I had a cat, and contemplated what it would take to let my landlord allow me to get a cat.  Then I had a massive introvert crash.  Fun!

The highlight of last week was meeting with the supervisor for the Osteology masters program on Thursday morning.  I had emailed her asking about the course and we arranged to meet early on Thursday to discuss what I would need to do over the next two years.  The program sounds really fun and definitely something I could see myself doing… especially if I want to continue with osteology as US regulations are pretty strict on what analysis you can do with human remains.  She said that I was on the right track and to continue to take as many osteology classes I can and continue to seek out volunteer spots like I am doing at the NMS.

This weekend, however set a nice tone for the last two weeks of term.  The sun was out and the temperatures were creeping up toward 20C!  On Saturday morning I joined in at the Anti-Fascist march here in Edinburgh.  Long story short, an alt-right party had planned an ‘unofficial’ White Pride day in Edinburgh on Saturday and so a counter protest had been formed to make a clear statement that this city is one of love and tolerance.  Get ta fuck Nazis.  I also got to walk by the Avengers set down on Cockburn Street so that was pretty cool as well.

Afterward, I left to go work on my essay and presentation because, as everyone knows, the best way to combat the alt-right is through education and acknowledgement of fact!  Later that afternoon, after slugging coffee after coffee, I met up Ellie, Sophie, and Urte and hung around outside all afternoon.  I really hope the weather stays as nice as it’s been for a while.  I’ve been wearing my Birkenstocks on a daily basis if that gives you any indication about how nice and sunny it’s been!

On Sunday, the weather was nice again. I had work to do, so I took the books I needed and set up my hammock along Middle Meadow Walk.  I read about Roman forts in Britain, gave a mock presentation, and drank a few G&Ts.  Sunday was also Mother’s Day here in the UK so I tagged my mom in a nice meme on Facebook.

Today, I had an archaeology lecture over animal domestication, a medieval history tutorial over Joan of Arc, no Roman lecture because of a scheduling error (I went and got coffee instead), and lastly my archaeology seminar where I presented my findings about goats!  I could finally use my farm child knowledge of growing up with goats for the power of good!  The presentation went really well, and I’m always keen to talk about osteology.  Since one of the osteology classes isn’t being offered next year (professor on research leave) I am really considering taking the course on the analysis of animal remains.

Just this week and next and then the semester is done! But, before I head to Chester next Sunday for a two week excavation, I need to finish my last essay and report.  It’s going to be hard to focus with the weather being this amazing…

Scot(t)land Soundtrack 26

Happy Birthday Dad!

Sorry I wished you Happy Birthday yesterday because I am negligent human.

For those unaware (aka most of you), my dad’s a pretty cool dude.  My mom worked full time when I was growing up, so my dad was the one who basically raised me.  He’s the one who taught me how to read and how to, most importantly, play Age of Empires.  He also introduced me to how totally awesome history can be.  How?  Well, instead of normal books you would think to read to a small child who can’t even tie their shoes yet, my dad read me whatever he was reading at the moment… which was usually some gigantic book about some niche topic during the American Civil War.

Dad’s keen on understanding the ‘realities’ of history.  It’s never enough to just read something in a book.  To really get into the mindset of what life was like in the past, Dad always says you have to experience it.  When I became interested in Medieval History, he taught me how to use a longbow, crossbow, and a few different types of swords.  Like I said, cool dude… if a bit mental.

I wish I was kidding.  But no.  There are photos in a few albums back home of my dad reading a Medieval History textbook to me when I am barely two months old and of me aged twelve fiddling with a longbow in the frontyard.  You could make the argument that my chosen path of study was more nurture than nature.

Dad also taught me the value of service and loyalty.  I guess a thirty-six year military career would instil certain values in a person.  Even now, I really try to live up to the standards my dad set.  It’s a challenge, but I think I’m doing okay.

Anyway.  Happy Birthday Dad you’re really old now!! Remember to drink your prune juice!

Week 8 + Scotland Soundtrack 26

Busy week ahead… as always.

Yesterday I had my Medieval History tutorial over the English Revolt of 1381, Lecture about Roman Frontiers, and my Archaeology Lab over using GPS to create site plans.  This morning I had a lecture over Popular Religion in the 14/15c.  Funky fresh times talking about converted Pagan rituals!

Last Friday was a long night.  I volunteered at the NMS for the Museum Late.  The NMS hosts night time events which correspond to the current special exhibit.  They serve drinks, have live music, and performances that go along with the theme.  The exhibit right now is ‘Monkey Business’ about different type of monkeys and apes.  I’ve been through it a few times with my museum membership and it’s really cool.  (Although I am looking forward to the next exhibit about Bonny Prince Charlies and the Jacobites!!) But anyway, I was staffing the arts and crafts station for the evening.  It was actually quite fun, I was stationed in the Grand Gallery so I was able to listen to the live music and watch the acrobats!

Saturday and Sunday I was absolutely exhausted. I took the rest of the weekend to relax, work on readings, and read books for actual enjoyment.  I’m currently re-reading Pride and Prejudice.

I have three assignments left to complete for the semester so things are starting to finally settle down a bit.  However, I still have my big essay for Roman History so that’s still looming.  Ugh.

Some cooler news, I’ve got a meeting lined up next week to discuss a Masters in Human Osteoarchaeology so that’s exciting.  I know it might seem early, but I started looking at Universities when I was a sophomore in High School, so about this time four years ago…. ouch.  Got to love those extensive five year plans!

The rest of the week looks decent ahead and I’m going to really try to get out somewhere this weekend.  Haven’t decided where yet, but may just take a train north and see where I end up.

Scotland Soundtrack XXV

Hello everyone!  All my coursework for Medieval Europe is submitted.  My essay is turned in!  I’m happy with it.  I wish I had 1,000 more words to delve into more stuff because I really do enjoy the topic but oh well.

Now I can enjoy the rest of the semester… sort of.  Coming up, I have two more Practical assignments (working with Abode Illustrator and using GIS to create digital maps of sites) and one presentation/short report about the ‘Domestication of the Goat’ for Archaeology.  For Roman World, I have one essay.  I’ve decided to do the question about Roman Military camps and what that tells us about the organization of the Roman Army. YAY! The semester is closing down, but I can’t get unfocused.

Yesterday was my Grandma’s birthday so Happy Birthday again Grandma!

Also yesterday, since my archaeology lab for the week was canceled and I didn’t have NMS volunteering, I had the afternoon off.  Incredible!  To relax after submitting my essay, I went for a run because the weather was #stellar and then in the evening I went to hot yoga.  I’ve been attending yoga classes for a while now, they’re really been helping with my anatomically incorrect knees.  However, this was my first time attending a hot yoga class so I was a little nervous about it to be honest… but it was actually really nice.  I was disgustingly sweaty, probably should have brought a bigger towel, but it was a good flashback to a Kansas spring day, albeit being close to 20 degrees cooler.  The class was set at 89F (32c) and Kansas summers can get up to 110F (43C).

Today, I’m working on some tutorial work for Roman World and planning out the rest of my semester (we only have four weeks left… WHAT!?). In case you’re interested, here’s a whirlwind tour:

Term finishes on April 7, and then I’m off to Chester for the first of three excavations this summer.  I get back to Edinburgh just before my 20th birthday.  Exam dates came out yesterday.  I have exams on May 15, 18, and 23.  Exam revision is going to consume my life for the following weeks, but once those are done it’s off on the Mountaineering Roadtrip to wherever the weather is nice.  The Dinner Meet this year is on Iona (You know the 6c monastery established by St. Columba… later home to Oswald, the King of Bamburgh Castle!).  After the dinner meet, it’s a mad dash back to Edinburgh to get packed for five weeks at Bamburgh.  Then a week back in Edinburgh to get packed for both my excavation in Italy and my trip back to the Dis-United States of America.  Back in America, the family and I are going on vacation and I can finally relax.  It’s going to be a busy summer, but I can’t say that I’m not doing the things I love.

Reminder! March is International Women’s Month so don’t forget to be/thank/appreciate/acknowledge the amazing ladies in your life!

Scotland Soundtrack XXIV

It’s another weekend in Edinburgh.

I’m nearly done with my essay for Medieval Europe about National Identities in the Hundred Years War.  This morning I got up early to go to yoga class at 9 am. I slept in until 3.30 pm yesterday (introvert crash), didn’t leave the flat, watched Pride and Prejudice (again), and had porridge for dinner… so I figured I should be productive today.  Here’s a playlist that hopefully inspires productivity and also Ed Sheeran’s new album came out yesterday and I honestly forgot what I was listening to before.

Today wise, I need to mail an old pair of glasses away to get the lens reglazed with my prescription.  They’re an old pair I nicked from my mom while I am was home over Christmas because I liked the frames.

I’ll probably (read: definitely) stop for coffee today.  Hopes are to get my essay done today and submit it by tomorrow because I do not trust technology.

Oh! And March is International Women’s Month so don’t forget to be/thank/appreciate/acknowledge the amazing ladies in your life (Love you Momby! <3).

Scotland Soundtrack 16

I spent the day in watching Luke Cage on Netflix because thank God the WIFI has returned. It took a lot of frustrated screaming (mostly on my part) and threatening to destroy the router with a hammer (also on my part) but it’s fixed and working.

I’ve also been researching postgraduate studies.  I found one in Human Osteoarchaeology which looks awesome but also one in Medieval History… questions on whether I could combine them?  I really just want to be a medieval osteoarchaeologist.  I watched a documentary about the excavation of Richard III and got super inspired.

I also made this snazzy playlist (see above).

Since my last post, I’ve finished week 2 of classes, read a bunch of articles about osteology, gone for some fantastic runs around the city (YAY!), and got caught in a downpour (Nay).  Last night, I went to the infamous GBH party aka the EUMC flat party.  The theme was ‘board games’ so I dressed up as Black Widow, covered myself in 200 googly eyes and went as ‘I Spy’ – a bored game.  Unfortunately no photos survive (read: I spent too much time attaching adhesive googly eyes to myself to remember to take photos).

On Monday, I’ll have my first Archaeology lab which I’m super excited for.  We get to look at Stone Age tools! YAYAY.  Next week, I’ve got my first tutorial/lab for Osteology.  The rest of the week looks really great, I’ve got to get cracking on my first essay.  It’s for my Modern Scottish History class, a source crit due on October 17 but I’ve got another one due for Osteology a week later so I don’t want to get jammed up.  This upcoming weekend I’m going down to the Lakes District to go camping and take a trad climbing safety course.  Another reason I need to get my stuff sorted for my assignments.

It’s also October so only one month until Christmas season!!!!!111!!!  I’ve already included some Christmas jams in the playlist for extra psyche.

Enjoy.  Best wishes.