This entry will continue my first week of classes at The University of Albany and what I got up to in between them (spoilers it involves going to the mall a lot). Tuesday the 30th of August was my first politics class that focuses on ‘Campaigns and Election’ in the USA, a very topical class right now. This class seemed really good and in one of the weeks we actually analyse the result of the 2016 Presidential Election, my only complaint about this class is that there are a lot of group presentations (I hate public speaking) and the lecturer does appear to be a little grumpy at times.
The second class I had that day was another history class, relating to the ‘History of the American City since 1860’. I loved this class as the professor and content of the class is amazing, it reminded me of why I wanted to study America and everything about it all those years ago at Ysgol Y Preseli in my year 9 History class. After finishing class better than I felt yesterday I headed off with the other to the 2nd soccer match of the season (a bit later than it started, resulting in us missing the one and only goal of the game, oops!) There was also a hypnotist show (Eric Mina) happening on campus at around half way through the match, and in my opinion that seems way more interesting so myself, Hugo, Oda and Caitlin decided to ditch the game and head to the show instead.
The show was hilarious and was great because he didn’t pick anyone out, they picked themselves. He made them do all sorts of weird things including: playing at an imaginary orchestra, judging a talent show with specific personalities (i.e. one of them was the mean judge, the lovable judge etc), making them believe they were cats/dogs, making them believe that he (the hypnotist) was naked/completely blue and making them believe that they were contestants on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ (If my mum was there, she’d refute it and say it was ‘Strictly Come Dancing’), each with their own charities they were raising money for (my favorite charity that one of them came up with was: Coconuts for Crackheads). But the most memorable part of the show was when the hypnotist made them believe that the audience, but specifically their friends looked really attractive. When he asked one girl what she though about the audience, she mentioned one of her male friends and said “If I didn’t already have a boyfriend I’d do it”, which provoked a crazy response from the audience and I’m sure that also created a LOT of issues for that girl after the show!
Wednesday the 31st was a less interesting day as I only had the Public History class in the morning to go to. In the afternoon I had to go to the Virginia Woolf class and tell the lecturer that I couldn’t take it the class. She was really nice about the whole thing and said she was sad to see me go, which made me feel even worse and annoyed that the class had to be changed in the first place! After that was taken care of, I headed to the ISSS office to sort out more paperwork (such fun! (sarcasm)).
September the 1st was a much more interesting and fuller day than the previous one. I still had to sort out what my 4th class was going to be, but in the end I decided to try out a poetry class about American modernism from 1900-1950. At the time I wasn’t sure whether I’d like the class as the professor seemed a bit snobby and I still kinda feel like the class might be somewhat of a challenge for me. Following a rather stressful and anxious morning and afternoon, there was a free student bowling night organised at the mall, perfect to release some stress and take some worries of my mind.
Only myself, Caitlin and Oda were able to go as Hugo and Marko had to go to their buildings mandatory safety meeting (mine was on the 31st, it was exactly what it sounds like), and Christina was without internet connection at her apartment so we still hadn’t hear from her. The 3 of us were put in an isle with 5 other people when we got there, so we went and got our bowling shoes (after I forgot what size I was) and preceded to our isle only to find that we were with Etsu and Rikako! They were there with 2 other friends, and the final person with us was a guy called Devon.
I hadn’t done any bowling since I was probably around 8 years old, so I wasn’t really expecting much from myself. It’s safe to say that I sucked, out of all 5 rounds that we did (we couldn’t do 10 as there was a time limit on us) I think I only manged to get around 11 points, I without a doubt came last, it was shocking. After that embarrassment was done Oda and Caitlin decided to do some shopping and I did a lot of sitting and waiting (I’m sorry, but I’m not the best shopper in the world). I also had my fist experience of Mountain Dew at the mall’s food court, it’s just another lemonade really.
That night I decided that I’d watch Gavin and Stacy again after previously deciding that I wanted to watch it on Wednesday after missing home a bit, in addition to Parks and Recreation, two great comedy shows that I strongly recommend, from two of my favorite countries (yes I’m very bias) .
Just because I enjoy these programmes so much, I’ll put in two of my favorite scenes from each (there are many favorites but these two stick out to me)
(Doris was the best, R.I.P)
(This was the scene that made me want to start watching Parks and Recreation, Excuse the Spanish subtitles :L )
On September the 2nd I only had one class early in the day so I had quite a lot of free time that day. So with this time I thought it would be a good idea to try and have a look at some of the books I needed to buy. Turns out there were loads that I needed to buy, and they all were rather expensive! I only ended up buying 2 books because I was so put off by the whole thing.
At lunchtime Oda and Hugo wanted to go to Whole Foods, so I decided to tag along because I’d heard a lot about it before (for the wrong reasons really, no offence if you shop there), I guess it’s like a very health conscious expensive supermarket (like Marks and Spencers but not really). Whole Foods itself was right next to another mall called Colonie Mall, so we went there first. I’d say that this mall was probably a bit nicer than Crossgates Mall (the nearest on to where I live). When we were there, the first store we went to was Sears: a massive home improvement store on the scale of Walmart, comparatively it’s maybe a superior version of B&Q.
The rest of the mall was really cool, a big open section of it was just dedicated to Pokemon GO, it was crazy! They had a really cool bookstore with loads of books from every genre imaginable, and it even had a little display section with loads of ‘Pop Vinyl’ figures, from Disney to The Walking Dead (It may not sound interesting to many of you but I though it was really cool). It also had a music store that we stopped at as Hugo wanted to look at guitars, as he tried some out we just wondered around and I learnt that Oda cannot play the drums (sorry Oda, you were entertaining though 😀 )
After our fun at the mall was over, we went to Whole Foods to see what it was actually like. I can confirm that the products they had there were all healthier than usual, and much more expensive. I did the typical thing when you’re at a store that only sells mainly healthy things, I bought the unhealthy things (pizza, lemonade and cookies). When we got back, I went to my apartment and watched The Great British Bake Off (writing this just makes me sad after the very recent news about it 😦 )
Once I got my weekly dose of Bake Off, it was time to head over to Oda, Etsu and Miriam’s (their other roommate, who’s now joined our ever growing group) place for some Indian food, as every Friday we’ve planned to have food together. It was really good, and eating food as a group is always nice (As I know too well from Spaghetti [insert day of the week] at Swansea, I miss that so much here!). I look forward to Friday now more than I already did!
I’ll end things here for now, as I think I’ll save my trip to a previously visited place for next time. I hope you enjoyed hearing about my first ever hypnotist show, my references to some of my favorite TV shows, and most of all, my trip to 2 different malls in one week!