On days like these…

“On days like these, when skies are blue and fields are green, I look around and think about what might have been. Then I hear sweet music float around my head…”

At this point, it would not be out of place for an orange Lamborghini Muira to drive past me, and also a few tunnels and the Mafia to pop up in San Diego. It pretty much sums up the week really in a nutshell. Nothing much has happened, and I’ve spent most of it looking at the blue sky, listening to pretty chilled out jazzy music.

About this time last year, I had just come back to Edinburgh and it was freezing! There was an abundance of snow, and the heating had packed up in our flat, which we were over the moon about of course. The first few nights were quite fun, but ‘cor blimey they were bitterly, bitterly cold. A day in the sleeping bag and thermals huddled around the fridge to warm up was de rigour. Of course, you could also go outside to warm up. What was for sure though, spend as little time in your bedroom as possible! As much as I like to joke about it now, in all truth it was actually really quite a good laugh, and I think in a way it brought us all closer together in the flat. Forevermore the story of winter 2010 will bring a smile to my face. Back the story though, it was around that point I made my mind up for certain to come to California. I looked at the weather section of The Guardian, and it said it was 20°c in LA. “I say!” I said. “That is the place for me, no more hoping around in a sleeping bag? Sounds marvellous!”

So, you are probably wondering what the weather is like now? Of course, it is still winter (this isn’t Australia) but it is warm. More than warm enough! Besides the week of biblical rain in December (in which I had to wear a mackintosh), I still have yet to wear a coat in my time here. The temperature is always steady between 17-23°c and it is very comfortable. The locals will palm you off with excuses that it is freezing, and they will wear hats, scarves and winter ski jackets. I’ve come to the conclusion however that this is just because they are told my Macy’s every year that it is winter so they have to have a winter wardrobe, and so help them they will make sure they wear their winter wardrobe whatever the weather! To cut a long story short though, if you like warm weather and sunshine, southern California and San Diego is the place to be.

The first week of winter quarter is now done and dusted, and it is immediately evident that this is going to be a bit different to last quarter. My timetable is different, and rubbish, for starters. On Mondays I have class from 2pm-5pm, on Tuesdays and Thursdays is it 8-9:30am and then 3:30-5pm, on Wednesdays from 2-4pm and finally on Friday I have class from 2-3pm. That is it. I’m a morning person, so I dislike having a largely pip-emma timetable. Then there are the lecturers. Last quarter, I had the pleasure of being able to easily understand everyone, professors and TA’s alike. Now, I actually find it rather amusing, but my lecturers are the ‘Compare the Meerkat’ Meerkat, Mrs Meerkat, and surface agent X2O from Stingray (or anyone impersonating a crazy German scientist going “zis is verrrry daaaane-zourus”). Quite a Ruski and European invasion!

My courses this quarter are ‘MAE 130C Mechanics III: Vibrations’, ‘MAE 131B Solid Mechanics II’ and ‘MAE 113 Fundamentals of Propulsion’ (Oh yeah baby, that is rocket science!). So far, they don’t seem too difficult, although I fear they might not be as well organised as they were last quarter, in regards to the website and TA sessions. I shall hold back from drawing a final conclusion, as there have not been any TA sessions yet, and if it anything like last quarter these should be a great help. The homework is also pretty easy this week. In fact, it is so easy that I’m struggling with it a bit as I’m convinced I’m making it more complicated than it really is. I do wish they had all handed it out at the usual time and not on Friday (a problem with Week: 1) as now I can’t ask about anything till Monday.

This quarter I have bought my books online instead of at the UCSD bookstore, and have saved about $200 in the process. Actually let’s see… I’ve just worked it out and it actually $292 that I saved. That is quite a lot! I just hope the two that haven’t arrived yet don’t take too much longer; they should be here next week. It would be nice if that is before next Friday so I can have them for next weekend.

I have very little else to add at this moment. Life remains very quiet, although I’m sure that will change very soon when the workload begins to pick up. Besides lunch with Halee last Thursday, and showing off my new cowboy stuff to anyone and everyone, life has been slow. Here’s to a more exciting week to come, one that won’t rely on my home recorded DVD’s of Top Gear to pass the evenings away.

Categories: San Diego, USA

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