The Scamp and the Writing Challenge: Week 22

Sunshine! There is actual sunshine. I’ve seen the sun every day this week. I wore shorts on Tuesday. I brought only a light jacket with me today. I might actually get to see summer. My legs might actually get a tan.

This has been a long week of avoiding work as much as possible. I’m in the middle of interview transcription, and I hate it. I hate listening to my own voice, and it will take me about 6 hours to transcribe a 1 hour interview (okay, a lot longer than 6 hours because I am slow, I get bored, and often can only work ten minutes at a time before I get frustrated).  I am trying to keep things with the PhD progressing, and for the moment, things are a bit slow, but still moving. I’ve got a meeting set up for the end of the month to officially grant me PhD status, so now the draft of the paper I am writing needs to really be completed, and I have to write up everything that I have done for the last year, and hope that the committee feels that it has been enough to demonstrate that I am capable of completing two more years of study. In 17 days I will celebrate one year of living in Scotland, and in a little less than two months, I will have officially completed my first year of study.

I’m not sure where the time has gone.

The challenge for this week is to write about the place I currently call home.

If only I hadn’t sat down to write this with only 20 minutes before a meeting on what it is like to be an international student at Edinburgh Napier. I could write pages and pages and pages about Edinburgh, and what it means to live here. I’ve said it many times, both when I lived here three years ago, when I went back to California for a bit, and now that I am here: Edinburgh is the first place I have ever felt at home. For someone who spend a lot of time with words, I’m not really sure there are words that really cover how much I love it here. Moving here has been the most selfish thing I have ever done, and it is a choice that I would make over and over again. This city saved my life.

I think one of my favourite things about living here is the people that I get to meet. This is such an international city. I’m constantly surrounded by accents….and not just Scottish ones. It seems like this city is a magnet for people from all over the world. Everyone sounds different, and I love meeting people who have been living here for many years and have started to develop a hybrid Scottish/home accent. I hope that I live here long enough for that to happen to me. Even in the last year I notice that I have picked up vocabulary and phrases that are only said here.

4 years ago I got off a plane with my mom for a four day adventure that would determine the rest of my life. I applied and said yes for a position at the University of Edinburgh (but waited until I got to Scotland to tell my mom that I accepted), and scheduled a campus tour. I knew when I stepped off the plane that I was going to move here and love it. We went to the zoo, navigated the bus system, and realized that it would be very easy (and very safe for me to live here on my own. I spent the next four months preparing for the move (and starting this blog). Once I was here I made friends, learned how to walk everywhere and anywhere, and explored every inch of this city.

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PRC and I had a lot of good times here, and I wrote the best piece of academic work I have produced to date from the education that I got here. Anyone who has been a long time reader knows that returning to California was the hardest thing I have ever done, and that my transition back to American living did not go well at all. A lot of times the only thing that kept me going was the thought that I was getting the EdD with the soul intention of coming back here to live and work.

This time around I’m living in a great flat near the water, I’m dating a nice guy (although cultural communication brings its own fun challenges) and have made some lovely new friends to go along with the ones I have loved so dearly for the last four years. Many of the people that stay in contact with regularly are the ones that I have met here and have moved to other parts of the world.

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This is my front yard as it were. I catch the bus from here, and it drops me off at night right in front of my building. While there are some days that I miss driving, I can walk or take the bus to everything that I need or want. I’m already planning some trips that will take me around Europe, and even on my worst days here, it is still happening in Scotland. I’m hoping that in 6 years when my student visa runs out I will be able to get a work visa, or at least apply to become a permanent resident. I’m not leaving unless the government forces me to.

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