Tuesday, April 29, 2014

There's no place like home!

I am in Edinburgh! And I am going to be in Edinburgh for a solid ten days! This really is unbearably exciting...haven't actually been around much. Here's to a few quiet-ish days (read: frantically catching up on everything I didn't do whilst writing essays and frolicking in the Alps) and some catch-up time with friends.
Next major thing: Visitors from the U-S-of-A arrive next Tuesday morning at 8:30am in the Edi airport! One solid week of work in Open Access and prep for all the summer events like DESiGN before their arrival.
Let's do this, Edinburgh.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


ČDefinitely a good trip - completely gorgeous even when there isn't snow absolutely everywhere!
And I did manage to get up a major mountain, which meant a good few snow frolics. 
McKinsey training on consulting was interesting, and there was a fun bunch of students from all over there. Definitely enjoyed!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Free Elephant Piñata?

You may remember that I hosted a "white elephant" gift exchange with the LLM crew at Christmas - everyone brings a wrapped gift, you go around in the circle, people can open a new gift or steal one already taken. Mass hilarity ensues. 
Virtually none of the Europeans had heard of or played this game before. And I have created a band of monsters. They're obsessed. 
So, to celebrate the end of essays...elephanting we went. We did a "free" elephant - people couldn't buy new things to bring, it had to be stuff from their house. 
Prizes for the night included smoked fish, a monkey onesie, a golf club, and...a piñata. 
So we did what any rational group of people would. We stuffed the piñata and played it with a golf club. 
Whack-a-Truffle, anyone?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Essays Submitted!

Welcome to the summer, folks.
I have just pressed "Submit" on my analysis of the Whaling Case for International Environmental Law. That, with the completion of a discussion of human rights and climate change and a consideration of the generations framework of international human rights, means FREEDOM!

(Okay, not really. Just different work. lol.)

But it can now officially be classified as "summer", with the only remaining academic work that little thing known as a "dissertation" or something like that. ;)

Friday, April 18, 2014

CEMC Holy Week

It's time to celebrate Holy Week Scottish Methodist style!
Last night, there was a meditative service of cello music to provide some reflection for Maundy Thursday. I am now on my way to sing "Wondrous Cross" with the choir for our Good Friday service, an arrangement of choir chants, anthems, and congregational hymns that tell the story of the crucifixion. 
Sunday, I'll be in Nicolson Square at 5:45am for a proper sunrise service - followed by a breakfast at the church. (I am hoping there will be lots of hot cross buns.) We'll also have our regular 11am service, at which I have been promised the "Hallelujah Chorus". 
Scottish Methodist style apparently means musical. I'm okay with this!

Happy Passover, Good Friday, Easter, weekend, and/or whatever else you happen to be celebrating!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

And it's essay time!

After a very successful trip to London, it's game time for essay writing. 

But it was quite a delightful interval. I got to:
-Have a fabulous steak dinner with Garrett Sunday evening, followed by gelato (tiramisu gelato may be one of the best things ever invented);
-Catch the last of the London Marathon celebrations, though I didn't make it in time to see the running;
-Meet with the Marshall Commissioners to discuss scholarship administration and Scholars' experiences;
-Have Thai lunch with Michael and Basia at what I consider to be the best Thai in Britain;
-See an amazing choral and orchestral concert with Alex's playing the violin;
-Eat Chipotle (which doesn't really exist in the UK outside of London) with Kerry while catching up on a favourite television show;
-Enjoy a day of relaxed productivity (or lack thereof) with Kerry and Zach around London cafés. 

And now, it's to King's Cross I go for the last train back to Edinburgh. Real life enters the scene yet again. 

Let's write about the legality of whaling!! And human rights generations. And climate change human rights. (Seriously, people. Get excited. They're pretty fun topics, actually, especially since I got the insider look at the Whaling Case. I'm actually quite excited to write them. It's just a matter of starting. lol.)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

To London we go!

I'm prancing about with palm branches at church this morning, and then sprinting for the rail station and a train to London. 
Tomorrow is the annual Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission's meeting at which they invite the Class Secretaries for an hour or two to discuss any issues for current Scholars. 
This is my first visit to London post-deciding on PhD for next year...the first time I'll be there knowing it's becoming my home in five months!! We'll see if that changes the tone of the city for me. ;)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ceilidh Time!!!!

The Marshall trip to Scotland was a grand time. I have four folks staying in my flat tonight and one staying over to Friday.
We visited government ministers, the Commonwealth Game crew, independence campaigners, and several museums. By far the most picturesque moment of the crew, though, was our céilidh. A céilidh is a Gaelic social gathering, generally focused on music and dancing. It's the Scottish version of square dancing, one might say - lots of group dances, local bands with folk instruments, and partner changes.
We had quite the rollicking time!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Karaoke, here we come!

The trains transporting loads of Marshalls pull into Waverly Station at 3:19 and 3:58. And so it begins. 
After a glorious communion service finishing with a grandiose Wesley hymn (always the best way to finish a service, except for "The 
Hallelujah Chorus"), I am spending this afternoon baking cookies. Gluten free banana bread already awaits our three celiacs. 
And tonight, dinner at The Elephant House followed by an evening of American crooning at Frankenstein's Pub. 
Be afraid. Be very afraid. Here there be monsters. (Do I have enough mixed references now?)

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Americans are Coming!!

Each year, the Marshall Commission takes the Marshall Scholars to visit one of the 3 UK devolved governments (Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland). This year, it's Scotland's turn...which means that all of the Scholars are, for once, coming to my turf instead of my going to London!!
Edinburgh and Glasgow are going to be invaded by 50+ American postgraduate students. May heaven have mercy on the Royal Mile. ;)
In all reality, though, I'm very excited to show off my digs to the other Marshalls. During official activities, we have a hotel, but several of them will be staying before and after the formal trip and crashing at Rebecca's Rooms of Requirement. I'll also have a few Scholars who have recently completed their tenure and are thus not current Scholars hosted in the hotels, but are joining us for activities.
Sunday night, I've booked groups at my favourite restaurants and then we are all going to Frankenstein's for karaoke, joined by all my European LLM mates in order to break up the "MURICA" feel of the evening. Monday night we have a tour of the Holyrood Palace but are then free, so I'll take them up Arthur's Seat depending on the weather and then everyone will come to my flat to hang out.
This could get interesting, folks. More America than I've seen in quite a long time. ;)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The International Court of Justice

So...today was a cool day.

The Judgment on the Case wasn't quite what I was expecting, but one that is quite fun to write my essay around! JARPA II has been ordered shut down by the Court if Japan is to comply with obligations under the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling. Essentially, their scientific methodologies aren't transparent and statistically sound enough to justify the whales they are killing. If they had a better sync between scientific write-up and policy decisions, they'd basically be golden by my understanding.

A few initial, rambling thoughts via "Ramblings with Rebecca": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCZKsv3IEGw&list=PLSFK9Eic29gp-4dn9CihKPp0WRpAT-LxQ&index=129.