Friday, February 20, 2009

Schrier, out!

Today is the first Friday in a very long time that I've had nothing due. Not even a short assignment. It's a very strange sense of freedom, and I've celebrated in the most lazy of ways by sleeping in, sitting in my pajamas all morning, and slowly consuming a pot of coffee. I normally have a rule that on days I don't have class, I still have to be "up and dressed" by 9am. But it's been a grueling second term so far, and so I'm allowing myself a pass today.

In another episode of The Continuing Expansion of Genevieve's Cultural Knowledge, I'm attending my first ever Fassenacht party this evening, which seems to be kind of like German Mardi Gras. I was told I had to wear a costume.

On a far more serious note, I hadn't realized until coming to Scotland just how big the whole Catholic/Protestant divide is. There are times here when it feels like it's this mythical thing that people allude to, and other times it actually feels like the 1960s in the south. Because the religious split is the main form of prejudice in Scotland. People might say, "Scots don't like the Asian immigrants!" but that's really quite small. What it is in Scotland is that Protestants don't like Catholics and Catholics don't like Protestants, and everyone talks about it. It is a big deal here to be Catholic. To the point where I am slightly uncomfortable thinking about walking home from Mass on Wednesday evening with ashes on my forehead. I'm probably completely blowing it all out of proportion. However, after last week's Old Firm match, Rangers fans are being accused by the SPL of singing sectarian chants towards Celtic, with a possible fine or points-docking for the club, it's in my mind again just how big a deal it is. It's just mindboggling that there is so much outward bigotry. In the States, we cover it all up under veils of political correctness! Racism and prejudice behind closed doors only!

On a far less serious note, I've found I can stream TV from the States and watch American Idol LIVE, which means that A) I will not be subject to evil spoilers on the internet, and B) I am very, very tired the next day. But it is oh so worth it.


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