New Kid In Town [The Eagles]

Sunday, October 11, 2009

[11 September 2009 - 18 September 2009]

Hungarian of the Days: "My name is _____. I am American."

Én ________ vagyok. Én Amerikai vagyok.

[En ______ vad-yok. En am-er-e-ki vad-yok.]

Being able to introduce yourself is important, I think. And being able to tell people a little about yourself is good too. I actually had to say this on the street one day on my walk to school to explain to someone why I didn't know that much Hungarian, and why I could not give them directions. Woo! Useful! This language is really pretty when spoken by the native speakers. Someday, hopefully with all the Hungarian classes I will be taking, I will at least be able to understand some of what is going on around me (both spoken and written).


11 September

Today we had our “Welcome to CEU” afternoon. It was neat because in the afternoon there was free food and drinks and all sorts of things to sign up for (in that elusive free time we’re going to have). So se wandered around and signed up for a few clubs here and there that sounded interesting (salsa club, which may be as close as I get to ballroom while I’m here - which makes me really sad). Then in the evening we went to a party held by the school at a club called “Merlin.” It was a neat place and they gave us free champagne upon our arrival there. We danced to bad remixes of awesome 80’s & 90’s hits which was just perfect. Met some friends and met some new people. Basically we just hung out and relaxed in preparation for the start of the school year where relaxing will become obsolete.

12 September

In an attempt to get some rest I slept in today. I met up with Alex and Laura and we went to the grocery store in preparation for a picnic in the park. We bought stuff for sandwiches, some fruit, and some sweets. We found a nice picnic table in the main park behind Hero’s Square and just sat and enjoyed the beautiful afternoon. It was great - some old me and their grandson came and sat at the table next to us and soon there was a huge group of old men playing chess at the tables surrounding us. I won’t lie - I was intimidated. I fancy myself a decent chess player, but I play more for fun rather than sport. These guys would have eaten me alive served up on the chessboard.

13 September

Today I was boring. I went to the library in an attempt to prepare for my planning meeting with my advisors. I checked out a few books which I have since returned because they’re not going to be much help to me. Oh well. And I officially registered for the classes I’ll be taking this semester. All 9 of them. If you don’t hear from me that often, it’s because I’m going to be a slave to CEU.

14 September - 17 September

Didn’t do much of anything exciting these days. Spent a lot of time at school attending various opening functions (medieval department, specialization in religious studies reception) and mini-lectures. The only big deal of this week was Tuesday’s meeting with my advisors. They seem okay that my thesis topic isn’t that set yet, which is nice. It was starting to worry me, but they’re more interested in me researching and settling into a topic. Two years is a while to be doing one thing so I need to make sure I like what I’m doing. They seem really nice too, getting along with an advisor is a key part of the whole writing a thesis thing. Along with the intimidation of sitting with three esteemed professors of my field, my main advisor handed me the ready-to-be-publish manuscript for a book a colleague of his has written. I am to read it to give me a sense of some of the work being done around the field I’m interested in (medieval medicine, as a broad sweeping topic). It’s so intimidating to have a folder with hundreds of pages of someone else’s work in my bag. It’s now sitting on my shelf, looming over me, begging me to read it. I need to do that soon.

The tile work outside the cathedral.

Me outside the cathedral.

My dormitory.

18 September

Today was the official opening ceremony for CEU. This meant we got to go to one of the pretty buildings in Budapest and sit and listen to speeches by the new rector, a graduate of CEU, a current student, and some other people. They were pretty boring, they all need to learn how to write speeches people want to listen to instead of tooting their own horns for fifteen minutes a piece. After that was over we went to a reception hall in another building to eat some free food, drink some free wine, and listen to a Jewish music group which was excellent. There are a few videos up on my flickr site (link to the right) that you should go watch, they were amazing. The girl’s voice was beautiful and the songs were beautiful (even though I didn’t understand a word of them). I’m really excited that next week starts school. I know it’s going to be really really rough, but I’m excited to finally be doing something productive.

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