Imperialisms

19 Jan

The class schedule here is impressive. So much so, that I feel like I’m getting away with something. Any moment now a uniformed lawman is going to pop his head in the classroom and announce the scam is over, back to one hour classes three times a week and homework sets that induce aneurysms. My neighbor Christina on Summit Dr. referred to it as more of a party schedule. Pending investigation of said schedule, I’ll get into some details…

Class times are in 3-hour blocks. So 4 days a week I go to campus for a three-hour period to attend lecture. During this lecture, there is one or two breaks to stretch/grab some water or coffee. The classes consist of 24 lectures, which amounts to 2 per week. The term ends March 28, when the school goes into break for a month. Did I mention the classes have no mid-term exams? No homework? Essentially, I am responsible for the lecture material each week and that is all until the final exam, on which the course grade rests upon entirely. Fine by me. My exam schedule consists of one exam at the end of April and the remaining three at the end of May. Allotting a week to prep for each exam period, that’s only about 4-5 weeks where I will actually be studying or doing anything productive. The British might not have a handle on dentistry or home construction, but they know how to administer a technical education.

The courses I’m taking are much more practical compared to the states.
The materials classes taught at Imperial focus on broad, more practical applications. I am taking nuclear materials, metals processing, engineering alloys, and ceramics and glasses. Guess what each one covers? Granted this is the beginning of the term, but the different learning style is something I look forward to (for the time being).

Upon arriving I didn’t have a place to live and went to work searching for flats on gumtree.com and whatever Google produced. After seeing about 6-10 flats ranging from £320-560 per month, I went with the cheapest. Settling on the cheapest place came with certain advantages, for instance it’s above a pub. It’s also a fifteen minute bus ride or 10 minute tube ride from campus. The name of the pub is the Seven Stars . The area tends toward “bit dodgy” at times, but there are great fresh fruit, vegetable, fish and meat markets right down the street. Wander around on street view south and you’ll see all the great markets.

The pub has gone through a recent management change and I’ll be working one to two nights a week as a bartender, essentially working off my rent. I helped get the pub ready for opening, giving Craig (the manager) a hand with some electrical problems and cleaning, and the lines for the keg are clean as a whistle. I’d even go so far as to say the best pint of Guinness I’ve ever had is the one from these fresh lines. Pictures to follow in short order.

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