Today classes began for spring semester. After arriving at a beautifully snow-cloaked campus, I settled down for my first class slightly apprehensive of what it may hold.
My class for the day was one that turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Titled “Powerful texts,” I was expecting a literature course. However, it turns out that it’s a writing-oriented course designed to help us, as students, mold our writing toward becoming a “powerful text.” This was further clarified by the professor to mean to “write with soul, morality, and potential to influence humanity.” No big deal. This is good, though, as one of my goals in coming to England was to write more, I’d say between my class, my blog, and my journal, I’m going to get plenty of practice.
One interesting thing about the schools here: for all the formalities we assume the British keep (high tea and honored traditions and sophisticated accents–at least from those who speak “the Queen’s English”), they are really informal people. I noticed it first at church, where everyone calls everyone else by their first name. Even small children addressed adults by their first names, and at first I thought it may just be a peculiarity of the church people here, but then I noticed it at school. My professor walked in and introduced herself as Jess, and told us of Nigel, who would be co-teaching with her next week. This same phenomena happened in my other class as well, and the rest of the students around did not seem phased in the slightest. When I was talking to the abroad advisors later that afternoon (who also go by first names), they informed me that teachers normally do go by their first name. While it seems slightly odd to me, I am interested to see what it does to the dynamic of the class.
So an interesting first day, but a good one, and I am looking forward to the rest of my classes now just to see what they hold.