Letters from Scotland
By Jonathon Farrell
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So it has been a while since the last letter, but that is okay - all of that week was spent on work. Finished it all on Thursday, and finally found time to leave my room.
After that, it has been all about Christmas stuff. On Friday we watched movies - "Muppet Christmas Carol," I believe it was - and then everyone else still had to do class work.
On Saturday we had a farewell dinner for one of the Americans who was here with us, Dodge. He's from Iowa, and he planned to be here for the full year but halfway through, he found out that everything he is doing does not count. So he has wasted the entire semester here, and had to go home. So that was tragic. We took him out for a pizza dinner, and everyone gave him a fond farewell.
Sunday, we attended another Advent service at St. Salvator's chapel, the university one. It was very nice, but I must say it was not as Christmasy as I wanted it to be.
We spent the rest of the day watching outrageous British comedy programs and then we went to the university Christmas service. It was really nice, very elaborate. We went through the Christmas story and sang several key songs, and it was very "traditional" - I could tell the university had been doing ones like that for quite some time.
But there was something wrong with it all - the Scottish are not good at Christmas songs! Many of them were done to the wrong tune - for example, "Angels from the Realms of Glory" was sung to the tune of "Angels we have Heard on High." Ones that they did manage to do to the right tune were done at the wrong tempo. So that was a shame, but overall it was a really nice time.
I spent Monday Christmas shopping, and I actually had to work on that all week. It took a lot to find Scottish things for everyone - however, I can't go any further because I am assuming several people who are getting things are reading this!
Over the week there were several Christmas parties, a few more carol services (none of which did the important songs properly!) and a lot of people doing Christmas shopping.
One of the highlights of the week was a farewell dinner for a unique character to John Burnet Hall, known as Fabulous Charlie. He is a dramatic arts major from Atlanta, who is the single most flamboyant person I have ever seen (which is funny, because his roommate is an ex-tank commander from the Finnish army).
He has starred in a few plays while he has been here, all of which had him cross-dressing, and he always wanders the halls across from my room - as he lives opposite me - and sings opera as he does his morning routine.
But he has to go back to his school in Georgia for the second semester. So we all went out to a wonderful restaurant near the sea, with a view out over the bay, and in total there were about 24 people who made it. It was a really nice time.
For a public link to my photo album of what has gone on this week click here - take a look!
I could write more and more about this week, as it has been just wonderful, but for now, I have a plane to catch! See you in 25 hours, Canada!
Awesome Christmas tie
Christmas at St. Andrews
photos by Jonathon Farrell
Jonathon Farrell, son of Geoff and Sandra Farrell of Huron-Kinloss, is studying at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland this school year, through a student exchange program at Queen's University, Kingston, where he is a third-year student.
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Thursday, December 16, 2010