24 August 2013

Packers and a postgrad

I'm within two weeks until departure (13 days!) and firmly in the get-it-in-before-I-go phase. Hanging out with various people, stopping into particular restaurants, taking certain trips, and--going to a Packer game! Preseason, but still. It's Lambeau! It wasn't something I planned, but I haven't been to a game in a couple of years and the tickets were complements of my grandparents -- and club seats! Can't really turn that down. The only downside being that a can of beer costs almost $10. ;) At least it's damn good beer.


I was raised twenty minutes from Green Bay, so it's really no contest when it comes to where my football loyalty lies. Every season there's usually a game or two that I have the option of going to see, but it's been a while. So I'm happy to get a game in before I left, even if we lost big time. :(


Can't go wrong with that view... brand new stadium addition and all.

Anyway. It's not like me to go on about football, so... I won't. The Predator is about all you need to know. ;)


As for the next couple of weeks, and what comes next: wow. Are big changes afoot or what? It's finally starting to sink in that I'll be moving abroad for a year at the very least, with no clear idea of what comes after that. But this next year will undoubtedly reveal a lot about where I'm headed, and get me on that journey. I don't particularly have one place I aspire to end up, or one thing I must do... I view my career and schooling as a series of little islands I get to hop to -- kind of like life. Here and there, for this and that. Whatever makes me happy is about where the ball stops! ;)

I've started receiving notifications of meetings and welcome events to the Edinburgh College of Art (or ECA). The week before classes begin is known as "Freshers Week" in UK parlance, but in the States is what I've always known as "freshman orientation," ie. chock full of activities, picnics, outings and getting-to-know-you events. But in my case, and other postgrads (another US-UK difference: I'm a postgraduate student, not a graduate student) mostly an opportunity to meet up for various ECA events and to prepare as much as possible for the upcoming year.

My official program title is the MSc History of Art, Theory and Display. I've chosen a few classes that I'm interested in taking, so my schedule tentatively looks like this:

Semester One:
Research Theories and Methods
Scottish Medieval and Renaissance Architecture

Semester Two:
The Cultures and Politics of Display
Rome Across Time and Space: Visual Culture and Cultural Exchanges c. 300-1300

Summer term:
Plenty of dissertation-ing

Something that I had to consider when choosing this program was whether I wanted to pursue a taught masters or a research masters. The distinction doesn't exist in quite the same way in American universities, but a taught masters degree functions similarly to an undergraduate degree where one attends classes and is assessed by group projects and a dissertation. A masters by research is one that is more independent and sets one up on a clear path to the PhD--usually with a more specific focus and independent academic approach.

Since I'm not quite sure that a PhD is the path I'd like to pursue immediately, I wanted to take a somewhat general course to get not only an opportunity for research, but vocational experience as well, through the internship opportunity. I'm not sure I'm cut out to be a straight-up academic/scholar, so the value of that vocational aspect can't be overrated. I look forward to seeing what kind of opportunities this year presents!

Days to Edinburgh move-in: 14

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