Hello lovely people and happy Labor Day! Yes, it stresses me out to no end to begin to spell words without a ‘U’ and hear people say aluminium incorrectly, but alas I am in the USA and if this is soaking up the American culture, then I’m a sponge! If you don’t know what Labor Day is, it’s (from what I’ve heard) an American bank holiday to thank the workers… to be honest, I don’t really know, but it’s an extra day off and I can get on top of that! It’s giving me the perfect time to catch up on what I’ve done on the first week of studying at NAU!
So, the first week of term is called syllabus week, and it allows all the students to finally find out what the module content will include, whether they need to buy books etc… It’s been quite fun actually! Annoyingly, I didn’t realise that I needed to sign up to an extra module in order for it to equate correctly at my English uni, but this is all sorted now! Anyway, the four classes that I’d initially signed up to were all super interesting and I can’t wait to learn lots this semester!
I’m doing classes on Existentialism, which has already had us discussing the ‘consciousness in-being’ and ‘for-being’ through Sartre, the issues of gender representation in the present day America, an introduction to what social psychology actually encapsulates and a great discussion of how popular culture infiltrates itself into the present day. The workload here may be ‘easier’ per se in terms of content, but there is definitely more! You can’t get away without reading for class here…
Anyway, enough about classes; I know I’m here on a study visa but I’m also here to explore the beautiful country that I can call home for a year of my life! It’s fair to say that I’ve been exploring a LOT this weekend and my back is lovely and burned to tell the tale! On Friday, I ventured into Downtown Flagstaff with my British pals to check out the Art Walk. Every first Friday of the month, the Flagstaff nightlife transforms into a hustling-bustling scene that replicates Disney Main Street. We had a delightful dinner in Charley’s (yes, I sang Charlie’s Place…) and then walked around!
During the evening, we happened to bump into a Black Lives Matter protest march. There were hats wanting ‘Justice for Trayvon Martin’ and extremely close altercations between the police and the public; it was a small glance towards the institutional fractions that are so commonly reported in the public media that quite frankly, for a young English woman was quite scary! Alas, I had my little look and carried on, knowing the night was still young!
One of the gals who I’ve come over from Warwick with had her 21st birthday on Friday, so had a little gathering to celebrate. As you can see, I clearly look stupidly tired, but I have caught the sun in Arizona and am now a lovely glowing brown*, having an absolute ball with some wonderful new pals.
*My back is a delightful hue of crimson!
I left this quite early for me, as myself and my pals all knew that we had to get up early the next morning as we were off to visit the GRAND CANYON! This is honestly something I’ve wanted to do all my life, and to have the Canyon a mere 90 mins on my doorstep is insane. Although I didn’t cry, I genuinely felt so ‘at ease’ with everything around me, and it made me realise just how fortunate I am to be studying in the US, being able to explore and live the dream I’ve dreamed for so long.
The photos I have of the Grand Canyon honestly do not give justice to how inspiring the area is. To think that the Grand Canyon is a natural part of our world makes the mind boggle. It’s quite possibly one of, if not THE most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen. It looks like a film set, it doesn’t even feel real. I also purchased a postcard of the Grand Canyon, which featured the WPA drawing of the Canyon from the New Deal! My history nerd inside of me fangirled at the opportunity to own an image of a historical event that inspired my love for the history of this country.
I made sure I took some time to reflect on my past 2 weeks in the States, and how many more weeks I have left! Two weeks ago, I took a flight in which I knew nobody on. Now, I can honestly say I’ve made some new, incredible friends and I can’t wait to see where this country of dreams takes us.
You’d think that the Grand Canyon would be enough for one weekend; but no! Labor Day celebrations were to be had, so my pals and I all went along to the Coconino County Fair! The only representations I’d had of a fair was from Honey Boo Boo where there were eating contests and they all jumped into swamps. Whilst the gluttony of eating choices was readily available, this was the only similarity!
It’s ‘fair’ to say that I had all the fun of the fair. I got some henna done on my right hand, I saw some cute animals, I tried my first ever corn dog (not that great, was extremely sickly, 3/10) and boogied on down to the live music, in which I’ve now been told I dance like a MOM.
This whole first week has been nothing short off perfection! This next week sees all the clubs/societies back in action! I can’t wait to check out sororities, go to see some SPORTS #welovesports and do even more studying in some funky topics to try and help my little dissertation idea in my head! I’ll leave you with a song which was playing in the restaurant in Friday making me feel like I was in an American dream.