Wednesday, January 26, 2005

New Marquette Study Abroad Students - Dinner and a Pub

New Marquette Study Abroad Students - Dinner and a Pub

New Marquette People - William Wallace Pub - Colleen Slattery, Bob
Peterson, Katie Postal, Lisa

New Marquette Study Abroad Students - Dinner and a Pub

New Marquette Study Abroad Students - Dinner and a Pub

New Marquette People - William Wallace Pub - Colleen Slattery, Bob
Peterson, Katie Postal, Lisa

New Marquette Study Abroad Students - Dinner and a Pub

New Marquette Study Abroad Students - Dinner and a Pub

New Marquette People - William Wallace Pub - Colleen Slattery, Bob
Peterson, Katie Postal, Lisa

New Marquette Study Abroad Students - Dinner and a Pub

New Marquette Study Abroad Students - Dinner and a Pub

New Marquette People - William Wallace Pub - Colleen Slattery, Bob
Peterson, Katie Postal, Lisa

New Marquette Study Abroad Students - Dinner and a Pub

New Marquette Study Abroad Students - Dinner and a Pub

New Marquette People - William Wallace Pub - Colleen Slattery, Bob
Peterson, Katie Postal, Lisa

New Marquette Study Abroad Students - Dinner and a Pub

New Marquette Study Abroad Students - Dinner and a Pub

New Marquette People - William Wallace Pub - Colleen Slattery, Bob
Peterson, Katie Postal, Lisa

Post Exams

This week I have found out the grades on more of my exams. I passed my fluids exam with a 56% which is pretty decent considering a 40% was passing and 2/3 of first year civil and mechanical engineers did not pass all of their exams. The whole configuration and processing of this number into our final grade is a bit crazy with many many percentages involved so I will spare you the details and just let you know I have passed.

Going back I guess 2 weeks now almost afteer my exams finished on Tuesday I relaxed and probably baked some things. I have made pita bread twice now with the second time having it come out much better. Its really quite simple. Water, flour, yeast and a really really hot oven to almost sear it and create the posket in the middle. Wednesday, I gave a tour to some of the new exchange students. These were primarily from UW Madison well at least the ones I had in my small group. I walked around the school site at Northhampton square showing them most of the highlights such as they were. I actually had a tour sheet i was supposed to follow but I skipped some things that I didn't think were so important or those that were not necessary. That went well and only took an hour. Oh I just remembered the other thing I did. I finished the book Heather got for me for Christmas. It was very good. I spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday finishing it. The crazy thing was I had just barely started it over the weekend on the flight home and a bit when I couldn't study anymore. It was excellent. I would really like to read some of his others. Its too bad I bet the library wouldn't have them. Although I will have to try. I was at a Borders here the other day and in the travel section Bill Bryson the author had his books on an endcap. And they even had different covers and such. So I also looked into travelling and prepared to travel.

The thing was though that I couldn't just like travel on Thursday because I found out when I gave the tour that Dr. Hosseini was coming. He is our international advisor dude. So I stuck around for the wine and cheese party that was happening Thursday night then went to dinner paid for by Marquette and Dr. Hosseini. We had some excellent Thai food. I have some pics of that evening here on the blog. After the very nice dinner we went to a pub for a drink. (Even more drink having had some wine both with dinner and the wine and cheese party). I had a nice pint and then headed back with the other Marquette Students. I proceeded to book my hostel and bus reservations. Had I known what Dr. Hosseini's exact plans were or even of his coming I would have saved some money on the bus reservation. It still wasn't very bad whcih was a good thing. I could have almost got them for £2.50 return (round trip in case you are a US person). I paid much more than that. But that deal would have had to been booked at least a week in advance. I also talked to Heather a bit this night online. Packed and went to bed because my bus for Cardiff, Wales was leaving early in the morning.

The next update will be about Wales. I promise I am working on getting there. Take care.

- Neal

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I'm getting There

Today I was reading some stuff about google searches and blogs and links and I relaised I never really link anything from here although I could. I guess I just use it as a way to tell about my days.

So going back to where I left off. Well I packed after coming back from the pub and then went to bed. i also was getting ready for heading home to the States because when I returned I would be leaving in just a few hours. Well I was ready to leave and was waiting for Pedro in the lobby. He was running a bit late and we were uncertain if we would make the walk up to the bus stop and the ride to the coach station in time so he offered to pay for a taxi. This was a very nice gesture and we did take advantage of it and got there in plenty of time which was good because it took us a little while to try and figure out where ecxactly the coach stop was. Victoria is quite a large coach station. So we got on the bus and I eventually fell asleep and then we arrived at the airport. Checked in, got a bit of food (I had a muffin) and then boarded our plane. In which we both slept some more. We got to Budapest where it was cold and cloudy. Exchanged money and then figured out how to take a mini bus to our hostel. So we spent a few days there. Most of you have already seen the pictures and if I ever get them up somewhere they will most likely be self explaining and also since I can't really recall everything we did thats all your left with. I do remember it being cold, fun time with some good food. After being there for a few days we went to Berlin which is just as interesting and only slightly warmer. Seeing the remains of the wall and learning of the division and the museum on the last day we certainly some of the highlights. Now I can't wait to get back to the continent and see some more but I now have a Friday class which I really couldn't get out of and so I don't get to have the really long weekends. I am regretting a bit not having gotten out more, but I enjoyed my time here in the city on the weekends.

So going back to that place called Berlin, yeah I was there for a few days and then I left (reminds me of the mad Scientist Harry Carry Saturday Night Love Thing). I got back and then left rather shortly afterwards with just a few hours of sleep to fly home to the States. I did a bunch of things in the States but the first day was quite nice. Dinner and seeing the family. The lost luggage thing was also exciting and interesting which reminds me I still haven't figure out where those 2 missing books are. This is not a very good thing. I will have to continue looking this weekend. I think I will stay in town this weekend. I'm heaidng to the cinema tonite and then going out for a drink with my parade mates tomorrow afternoon/evening. The two guys, the Regas twins that is, are heading to France on Saturday for a very very nice banquet and festivities. They are part of this non millitary millitary thing. Like some kind of Cadet programme but they dont joing the millitary. I was very confused and still am. But for a really cheap price they get an 8 course meal and to go to France.

I get sidetracked so easily it seems and I'll I'm doing is sitting here in front of a computer, typing. I don't understand this at all, oh well. So after Christmas in the States which was excellent. Uncle Cliff did a really good job. The following week I saw all of the relatives on that side again. This was very exciting and fun. I saw Grammy and Grandpa with Heather at Aunt Susan and Uncle Derek's House. I later saw Uncle Derek and Aunt Susan that week. And Uncle Cliff was inbetween those days. We went for some outdoor walking which was very fun and interesting the "conservative and liberal parks" was what we did. It had been some time since I just spent sometime with them outside of a function, party, etc. Along with this I also worked at DC some which reminds me that I shall have to give you my hours. Darn I can't remember if it was 5 or 8 I shall have to let you know mum and maybe dad might remember how longg I was there considering we were both there on a few occassions.

And on the weekend I went with Uncle Derek, Aunt Susan, Grace, and Jack to the zoo. I definitely saw Grace more that week than any other family member. And she was just as much fun and cute as usual. Playing with play dough might have been one the highlights. I love the toys that I used to have and now the playdough has all sorts of cool things that u can do.

One of the best things of the time I was back was the snow a few days before I left. Somehow now I still almost expect it to get colder or snow even though at the same time I know that neither of those things is very likely. Lately I have been walking in my new silver jacket, fleece, long sleev t and short sleeve t. so its pretty nice. I also havent turned the heat on in my room more than just a few times. Sometimes I do it just for fun I guess. The day I was supposed to leave I went cross country skiing with Dad. It was an exciting adventure of not being terribly sure where exactly we were and we made it back with only a bit of time before I was to leave. In a way that was good, it kept my mind off of things, but at the same time I wouldn't have minded being able to get a few more things accomplished before I left. At the time I could remember what those things were, but now I can't.

So I waited in a long queue once I got to O'Hare. It took me a while just now to think of the name. I was like its ORD but what does that mean. I am so used to hearing of Heathrow, London City, Luton, Stansted, and Gatwick. I got on the plane after going through more security than I ever have in my life. Before I got to the counter I had to scan the luggage I was going to check. Then bring it to the TSA. After that I went through the usual crazy metal detector and had my bag scanned and every thing. Then right by the gate my carry on was kind of poked through and I was rewanded and might have even been patted down although I can't really recall. Lets all say that it was interesting being with the Indian people. They didn't always keep their seats in teh upright position during take off and it took forever for everyone to get seated and stay seated. I was trying to figure out originally why they began boarding like an hour and a quarter before, but it was because it was hard for everyon to get seated and stay there. I was next to a Brit and her husband who I think is an American. They were in town to visit relatives. The plane was very simple with no inseat back TV and what seemed to be like less leg room. The upper classes also didnt have as much space or fancy layout as they do on Virgin or British Airways but the price was much cheaper so overall it was a good thing. After the long flight I wandered through Heathrow to take the Tube, but the Tube is closed right now and will be until September or something ridiculous as they add new track for a new terminal at Heathrow. So I took the rail replacement bus service which was a Coach bus that took us to a tube station. This was quite nice and I ended up saving a bit of money in doing this. I did the whole transfer thing and finally arrived at Barbican and then walked to my room to find that the cleaning lady seems to like to leave a light on for some reason. I unpacked some and rather quickly began studying after I think I took a nap. I studied that weekend and then had exams Monday and Tuesday. Mondays were hard and I only got back one exam so far and I passed it and it was a hard one so I hope I did the same with the other.

So now you know that I took exams and am back and all. Later I might write about the rest of the week and my subsequent trip to Wales.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Wow A Bit Of it All

I am not sure where exactly to begin but beings that I left off long before Christmas I think I should try to recap some of what I did in the past.

Well right before I left for Budapest and Berlin I went to a party at the pub for 2 friends of mine from Syracuse University which was fun. Didn't want to drink too much cause I was flying in liek 6 hours or less. I talked there with a City Uni alum who plays on the volleyball team with some of the Syracuse People. He is from France but works here in London. It was very interesting discussing US and French politics. I got a whole new perception on the situation regarding religious symbols in the school. He was explaining that the French have been trying to keep religion and the state very seperate. He also described what he saw as the problem with wearing the Hijjab(sp?) at times. He described the full gown for woman and how sometimes it covers everything and one can barely make eye contact. I dont think though that is a big enough reason to ban them. But it still was interesting hearing it from a French person instead of second hand. I also tried to set him straight on the US. And the election. I described what I thought was the reason for the failure of the election and I just general talkedwith him which was really good. Well more to come about the trip I guess later. I have spent the evening talking with friends and out at the cinema.