I am just catching up with the end of the semester now, about two weeks after it officially ended! The month of May just FLEW by, and every single class decided to take up every little second of my life.
BUT, it proved fruitful when I just checked my grades yesterday. Got some badass grades! Much better than expected. I was worried about Investigative Reporting and French 202, but I managed to succeed. Woot!
Late last Wednesday night (the 26th), I got back from SCOTLAND. Sick, right? I went with GLS 316 Fermentation Science a.k.a. learn how to make whiskey and beer and then consume it to make sure it has the right consistency.
It was a quarter class, started right after spring break and met once a week for 2.5 hours. My professors, Dr. Schneider and Dr. Raymond (not related to me), were the best teachers. We had a lot of fun in the class, but tenfold the amount on the trip.
We left the 17th at night. At first we were nervous about flying because of the ash delays that closed Heathrow airport in London 12 hours before our flight was supposed to go off. Luckily we managed to get out of JFK and in London without a hitch. Then, we flew to Glasgow where we would spend the next two days.
We got to tour around the city and see the sights, but we also got to visit a brewery – West brewery – and do some taste testing. I’m not a huge fan of beer, but I found two out of the four that we tried that were pretty good.
Then, we went to Oban, which is right on the west coast and about three hours by train from Glasgow. It was GORGEOUS there. Foggy shores, green rolling hills, historic fishing village buildings, and Scottish people with their awesome accents.
In Oban we got to visit a distillery, which was pretty cool. The Scotch Whisky is pretty good. Pretty flavorful, especially if you know what to taste for. Then, we went to the Isle of Mull where we visited the Tobermory distillery. That was a lot of fun. A lot of traveling too, but still cool.
The drinking age in the U.K. is 18 Needless to say, all of us had our full share of imbibing alcoholic liquids. What was pretty exciting was that they sold liquor in the grocery stores, unlike in the States. They also sold pre-mixed mixed drinks. You could buy a can of Jack and Coke, or you could buy a Margarita (just add the salt and ice). Delicioso!
Our group got along really well. We had a blast. I recommend anyone who wants to study abroad but either can’t afford it or doesn’t have the time in her/his schedule to take a quarter class. You learn a lot, you get to take a vacation that’s filled with learning and fun, and it’s a fraction of the cost of studying abroad.
I’d like to do it again next spring. There might be this comparative media class that goes to Paris. That would be bomb. Anyway, my personal computer is broken, so I have to wait to put up pix! Stay tuned!