As my time in Ghent is winding down to only a few days this song by The ever immortal Beatles is playing on repeat in my mind.
So, to my friends back in The States, you have made it through exams, lucky you!
I still have the impending doom of my exams to look forward to after Christmas break. In concept, yeah, great idea, but I’m seriously worrying that while I’m home that I will not dedicate nearly enough time to studying for my exams.
Basically, I am freaking out because of the exam process here. It’s completely different. My exams will all be at least 3 hours if not more. They consist of either all writing or an oral exam with the professor. Both can be over any little detail mentioned anywhere in the course, so there’s really no “lucking” into an answer like on multiple choice exams that we are used to back home.
Another fun thing is that most of my final exams are at least 75% of my final grade. The other part is maybe one or two projects that were done for the course. So, it was really fun the first half of the semester because I never had anything due, but now, it’s…nauseating.
I’m especially scared for two of my exams because I lack the correct background for the course. One course goes fairly in depth into the engineering of of food processing. I have zero engineering background and I have only taken one math course in college. Bummer.
The other class that I’m really worried about it Food Colloids. Don’t even get me started on trying to explain this course to you. Just know it’s really difficult chemistry about stability of colloidal products (and many other confusing topics). Colloids are like Ice cream, butter, etc. It’s a very interesting course, but way over my head most of the time.
Additionally, I will have a Food Microbiology & Analysis exam that in theory might not be that difficult…if you know every detail of the course.
Next week I am taking one of my final exams early, but I don’t expect this exam to be that hard at all. Tropical animal production-it’s an extremely interesting course.
As well, I have a food microbiology lab exam to look forward to, which is what I am currently procrastinating for. It will be 3 hours. Yuck.
The moral of this post is that I will never ever complain about an exam back home again. Okay, maybe that’s a lie, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually been worried in my life about simply PASSING a course.
Okay, done whining. I know that I am so blessed to have been able to study at such an amazing institution and receive such wonderful scholarships to do so. I really don’t want to leave. I think I have almost learned more here in an entire semester, than my previous years of school combined. It’s been challenging, but worth it.
So, if you’re looking for a wonderful abroad experience with a challenging school environment, you should choose UGent! I’m glad I did. Plus, you have unlimited chocolates, fries, waffles, & beer all over the city.
And now all I have to do is make it through my two exams next week and one more paper, then I will be in Wichita for Christmas! Wish me luck.
A bientôt mes amis!
See you soon.
So, the newest news, I’m returning home for Christmas! Although the idea of spending Christmas is Europe sounds incredibly charming, the gloom of potentially being alone for the holidays is too much to worry about on top of exams and projects.
Anyway, here’s a list of what I’m looking forward to when I arrive back home.
1. Seeing my long lost family and friends.
2. Typical high school friend holiday get together.
3. CHIPOTLE. I plan on eating there at least twice. Burritos. Nom. Here’s how I like my order prepared. First, burrito bowl. Next, brown rice. Meat: no, I get the Veggie (Guacamole). Then, mild salsa and EXTRA corn salsa, this must always be stressed. Optional side: chips and more Guacamole. So looking forward to this.
4. The Donut Whole. I’m getting half a dozen donuts guys. This will include high school friends as well, of course, it’s tradish.
5. The Hobbit and Les Mis at The Warren Theatre.
6. Nelly- My VW Beetle. She’s so cute with her sunflowers and turquiose dream catcher on the rearview window. I will being country driving with the windows down and music jamming.
7. Bonefish Grill. Starting with BANG BANG shrimp (the only seafood dish that I will eat). Followed by Lily’s chicken.
8: Marshall family Christmas lights. Seriously, one of my favorite things about Christmas in Wichita. Sitting in the car with my best friend, Kelsi, watching the amazing light show set to Christmas songs.
9. While we are speaking of Kelsi; Crazy Mike drive-bys followed with Taco Bueno or maybe back to The Marshall lights.
10. Von Maur. My favorite department store, where I drool over Free People clothes that I can’t afford.
11. Candlelight Christmas service. Short & sweet.
12. Oh my gosh, how did I not mention this until now!? Snuggling with my puppies, Mac & Emmett.
13. Mom’s homemade Margaritas with chips and guacamole. Who care’s if it’s not summer, margs are great anytime.
14. TBS 24 hour presentation of A Christmas Story Christmas day. “You’ll shoot your eye out kid.”
15. My mom’s absurd collection of glass Christmas trees. I’ve tried to count before. I think last year I found 80-something all around the house, more are in boxes in the basement.
16. My queen sized bed, down comforter, and ceiling fan=perfect night’s sleep.
17. Target. I think I could spend hours here.
18. My own washer, dryer, and kitchen. I will never take these for granted again. Side note: Any future study abroaders- If you’re town has IKEA, buy one of their 20cent blue shopping bags. They are GREAT for transporting laundry to the laundromat.
19. Erin Barnes and the baby Ford, who will hopefully be in the world before I arrive home. Erin, since you will have just had a baby-don’t worry I’ll bring the Jason’s Deli to you.
Okay done with what I’m excited for about being home.
Here’s what I’ll miss about Ghent.
1. My friends, but they won’t be here anyway!
2. Being in EUROPE. Ah, I love it here, so much.
3. My bike. In case you didn’t know I have a bike that I take to class and all around town, including back from a night in the city. So European.
4. The Porterhouse.
5. How active I feel. I walk and ride my bike everywhere. I’m way too lazy when I have my car.
6. Zara and H&M. Living in a town with these two stores is seriously dangerous, especially when I have the excuse of needing more winter sweaters, it’s just so cold here!
7. City life.
8. ESN events. Last night I went ice skating through ESN. There’s always a fun event to attend.
9. Belgian beer, fries, chocolate, and waffles. All things delicious.
10. The possibility of holiday time snow. It’s been 60s in Kansas, I have a feeling that a white Christmas won’t be happening this year, but it certainly is a possibility in Ghent.
11. How gorgeous Ghent is. The river, historic building, the castle in the middle of the city. It’s wonderful.
Okay, there’s more that I will miss about Ghent of course, but I’m losing my train of thought and it’s getting late.
This is so me, everyday of my life. Night owl problems. #21 especially.
What I’ll be missing out on this thanksgiving while on my semester abroad.
I am a failure of a blogger! I can’t ever find inspiration for a post. Sorry, dudes and dudettes. I will try to redeem myself during my last two months…although I just got deja vu, I’ve definitely said this statement before. BUT really this time… I will try to be better at updating you lovely Americans about my life here in the wonderful land of Europe.
Things about about to get real cray-cray here and not in a good way. So UGent does this silly thing were there are zero assignments due for the first two months of classes. Right about now is when all the tedious group projects/lab reports/presentations are due. Then followed by one rigorous exam before the final exams in January. Basically you have to cram a bunch of information into you head at the end of the year, but until then it’s all fun and games! Okay more like being really, really tired all week long from 6 hours of courses, but the weekends are all fun and games.
On the weekends I have become a seasoned traveler of Belgium (& surrounding areas). Since I haven’t been blogging much/you are way too overwhelmed by all my facebook photos-My destinations have included Bruges (three times, chea!), Antwerp (2 times), Amsterdam, Brussels, Oostende, Paris, and this weekend The Ardennes and Dinant.
The Ardennes was a crazy roller coaster. It all began with a party on Friday that included lots of free beer, only in Belgium, right? There was a girls vs boys singing/dancing/etc competition, in which sadly the girls were not the winners.
The party lasted well into the night, *cough* 7am *cough* on Friday evening (Saturday morning). There will be no further details included, sorry folks. What happens in The Ardennes, stays in the Ardennes. We all woke up happy as clams around, let’s say noon, ready to hike through countryside. It was the perfect way be refreshed after the long, epic night before. Midway through the walk we were given Belgian waffles by the generous ESN team, it was truly a wonderful surprise. The only downside is that the path we traveled was…a bit muddy…to say the least. My boots were ruined, but no matter, it was a price worth paying.
After the hike we headed back to our castle for a board games and other fun things like that. I learned a lot of new rules for Uno from my newly formed friends. These include:
1) 0’s mean you can switch cards with whomever you chose.
2) 7’s hand pile and the last person to put their hand down has to draw cards.
3) If you have the same color and number you can throw your cards in.
4) And others things that I have already forgotten.
These all made for a really fun game and it was interesting to hear how everyone else played the game.
Also, I learned a new exciting game called werewolf. Side note: It was similar to the Murderer game that we used to play in the blackbox at Collegiate all those years ago. Only it was a way more intricate in story and characters. Characters include:werewolves, towns people, hunter, witch, oracle, cupid, and seer. A very fun game indeed, go ahead and look it up if you’ve never heard of it…or better yet… here’s a link.
After dinner it was time for the final party of the trip. Everyone dressed up in extravagant/silly costumes for this one. Then there was a crowning of the King & Queen of Ardennes based on the best costume. I chose to simply wear a shirt with cute little monkeys that said, “going bananas”.
Of course, free beer was included at the party as well.
I tried to go to bed, “early” this night a bit before 4am although the night continued until 7am again for most other attendees.
The next morning we cleaned house and headed off on the bus to Dinant. There we visited the charming Citadel and feasted on Chinese food. We arrived back in Ghent late Sunday with many memories of the eventful weekend.
So ends my telling of the trip to the Ardennes.
Two weekends ago I went to Paris with my parents. It was a lovely, lovely time. Unfortunately it was not similar to a MK&A movie. I don’t think it ever is, but I always have that small hope that it will turn into this.
My favorite part of Paris was going to Montmartre. The charming village on a hill with Sacré-Cœur being the main focal point. The area is filled with artists ranging from those who did comedic self-portraits to lush landscape scenes. Of course, there was also the classic paintings of the Eiffel Tower or The Moulin Rouge.
I finally made it to The Moulin Rouge on this trip to Paris. Sadly I did not run into the lovers, Satine and Christian. Only in my dreams do they live! There was however, a homeless man, parked in front of the club’s sign (look for him in my facebook photos).
We undoubtedly had visit the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. Hint to locations like this: buy your tickets online at least a week in advance and you can avoid the long lines. Or get there before they first open. We tried to go in the afternoon to the Eiffel Tower on a whim and the line was nauseatingly long. It was decided that we would go back before opening on another day. This worked out much better and we were in line for tickets and the lift for less than an hour.
Another tip: Always have your student card or another form of ID with your birth date. Lots of museums and other tourist destinations offer a reduced price for students! If they don’t, rude.
The Louvre is the same deal. Buy tickets early or go first thing in the morning. The Louvre also has extended hours on Fridays and Wednesdays. It is closed on Tuesdays. So make sure you checkout the website before heading there (or any other attraction).
We were lucky because we went early afternoon on Friday after spending time in Montmartre. It started raining after waiting about 30 minutes in line, so we were rushed inside much more quickly. Plus, it was Friday so we had lots more time to wander around!
And trust me: you will feel like a zombie after a couple hours in the Louvre, like MK&A, but hopefully the pictures don’t start flying all around you. If so, someone might have slipped something in your drink!
Also don’t expect to see even a whole wing of the Louvre in a few hours, it’s impossible. Especially don’t think that it’s possible to see the whole thing in one day. It used to be a palace for crying out loud, it’s huge!
This concludes my brief retelling of The Ardennes and Paris. If you would like to stalk my time in Paris, just go to my Facebook, there’s plenty of photographic proof to the eventful weekend. As for The Ardennes, that’s only for those of us privileged enough to attend to know about.
Sending friends and family everlasting love from Belgium.
A bientôt mes amis.