Wales, John Barrowman, drunken nights, and Shadowhunters!

I haven’t written about my time in Wales for a while! I’ve wanted to write something about it in here for a few months but haven’t had the motivation to write it. Now with four months of time to work on my portfolio and nothing else to do, I think I will talk about Wales. Since the last time I talked about Wales in a blog post was back in 2015, I should include such events as fracturing my ankle, joining an accappella group and being drunkenly driven around in a shopping cart. Oh and some of the educational stuff too, like teaching my own class and the whole portfolio process.

Okay, where to begin??? I fractured my foot AND I DON’T REMEMBER HOW!

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It was at this event that one of my friends was having for her society. You know how it is. You start off saying you’re only going to have a few drinks and then somehow they turn into five… or was that six? Either way, the night ended where my foot hurt and I then waking up to the pain thinking, “Man, that wasn’t a dream!” So I stumbled into a taxi and went to the A&E (the ER for those American friends who don’t know what that is)… with a hangover. Boy do I regret not just falling asleep and going to the emergency room when my hangover wore off. Four hours of waiting, by myself (cause my sleep deprived and hungover self completely just had one thing on her mind which was to go to the ER . Totally forgetting to tell any of her flatmates or friends where she was going) in the A&E while massively hungover is not something I thought I’d ever have to do.

When I was finally seen and looked at, it turned out that part of my ankle was fractured. No, I did not look at it. Got a little squeamish about seeing what the insides of my body look like. So in the end I had to be in a cast for a total of six weeks. The first week I was in a white cast (plaster as they say over here) and then they changed it for this purple one. Oh yeah, it was my right foot by the way.

There was plenty of things I couldn’t do for a while, like going out with friends to clubs and even just walking to class. Taking taxis was the only way I could get around, since Cardiff is made for walking. Seriously, I have to walk around 20 minutes to get to the City Center. I’m sure my thighs are thanking me though. My bank account got really low and I kept having to ask for more money each week. Taxis are super expensive. Well, a lot of things are here and especially since I have to convert to American dollars it’s taxing.

Also, the elevator wasn’t working for a while and I lived on the first floor (that’s the second floor to Americans by the way.) So getting up and down the stairs was a pain. Which is why I mostly got delivery when it came to groceries and food.

So besides that, I had some other great memories so far.

I joined an ACCAPELLA group! 

As most of you guys know, I love singing. Whether that is musical theatre or just singing in the shower. Performing is something I like doing, even if I get really nervous doing it. So with some encouragement from my course mate Mared (really, all she said was that there were auditions at such and such time and I just did it…no real convincing on her part) I auditioned. Got in and was really happy I did.

Because I literally hurt myself the day I auditioned, I was in crutches for most of our rehearsal time. I literally got noticed because of that silly purple cast. But hey, I rocked it better than some people. Just kidding. (or am I? ;)) I think that without the cast, I still probably would have been the loudest newcomer there. I’m just awesome like that.

Everyone in InterChorus were amazing to me and I wouldn’t change a thing. Regardless of my cast, I pushed myself to do well. I even got a small solo in the S Club medley. Seriously, I was very pleased with that.

You know how sometimes when you join a group that’s already been established and the inside jokes can make you feel alienated from the rest of the group, even though you try to fit in as best you can? Well these people made it okay to be a newcomer and still feel like I fit in. You guys were fab! (I just really like that word!)

I feel like a whole different person

I don’t think I’ve made it a secret that I suffer from depression. Personally we shouldn’t put it in a corner, never to be noticed. If we can get people to be aware of it, then maybe we can start changing each other’s lives. I never had great social skills. I can come off a bit stand offish and maybe sort of immature. It bugged me so much that I seriously contemplated just not following my dreams and just get an apartment, get a job at McDonalds and never accomplish anything in life.

But that isn’t going to happen. I may have trouble achieving my goals, but I know I’m a few steps closer to what I want. Just by getting my Masters degree I’m showing that I am dedicated to this thing that I love. Life of a Creative Writing major is a bumpy road, but it’s the life I choose.

I used to like doing nothing and just lazing around in my room. But I’ve gotten more motivated and need to find something to fill my time that doesn’t include spending a fortune or destroying my body.

Seriously though, I’ve grown socially and I’m proud to say that I’m not as embarrassed to go out with anyone.

Since I mentioned it earlier, yes, I once got drunk and got carried in a trolley to my place. Not that big of a story, but everyone in the building was looking at me. A story to tell my grandkids.

Writing that portfolio, cause that’s what I’m here for right??

I started writing part of my portfolio last semester. This whole year, we’ve had workshops on Mondays and I started turning in the story last semester. It was this weird supernatural story about this girl whose parents die in a fire and something really creepy is lurking in the corner. It was untitled at first, but I ended up calling it “Cataclysmic.” Some of it is written on this blog.

Then when I came back from break, I read from a blog post I wrote about my grandma at this open mic. My advisor suggested I write more on the subject of my grandma, so I started writing the memoir, which I posted here too. It was a hard process, but I got through it.

Meeting John Barrowman aka Captain Jack Harkness!!!

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I just want to mention that I met him at Waterstones in Cardiff. I bought his book “Conjuror” which he wrote with his sister Carole. When I was waiting in line I saw him walk in the back door and he was saying how a school in Scotland banned his book. And when I finally got to see him, he was so amazing! When he handed me the book he played keep away with it. I love him so much!!!

I also met Cassandra Clare (again)!!!

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Seriously, I went to Birmingham (which was a two and a half bus ride from Cardiff but super worth it) and waited in line for five hours. I met some great people in line and I feel bad but I did kind of brag that I was from California and met a lot of celebrities and stuff. Sorry, I’ve never been really able to do that before. But when I finally got to see Cassandra Clare, I only got to tell her how much she rocks and she even asked me my favourite character. I said Julian cause he’s awesome and hey, people call me Julian anyways. I had plenty of time to kill before my bus back home, but since it was Sunday, everything was closing early. And it didn’t really seem like there was much else to see in that city so I got an earlier bus.

I went to two balls (you know, like dances)

They were so fun! They were literally back to back. The first one was the Accappella ball at the Student’s Union and then there was the ComSci (Computer Science) ball at the Marriot. For the Accappella ball, I was actually in the society. We performed a medley of Grease and did a lot of dancing. I love Grease and at that point I was a bit drunk and singing was so funny! We had a lot of fun though.

The second ball was fun… although I was still hungover from the night before so I was a bit out of it during the dinner. There was a photo booth so that was fun. I have three photos from that. At the end of the ball we went to this pub and then we went to this club. I don’t know if it’s cause I was a bit tired, but I didn’t enjoy the club as much as I should have. Maybe I’m getting a bit old???

I really despise essays… and teaching.

For this semester, I had to teach an undergraduate class. I have never wanted to be a teacher and sometimes presenting in class is very nerve racking for me. I taught a class on genre fiction, focusing on fantasy. I did enjoy that though, since I really love fantasy. Getting to talk about the subject I love was fun, and the class really enjoyed it. Could have put more lecture in my class, but that’s fine.

The essay for the teaching part was stressful. Luckily for me, that’s it for this month’s due dates. I just have a big portfolio due in September. So I have more time to mess around than most of my friends. It almost seems too good to be true. I’m glad that I’m done with it and I hope that I pass.

So overall, how is your time in Wales?

I’m doing great and I’m definitely going to miss this place. I feel grateful every day that I’m here and I have my parents to thank for this. Without their help I wouldn’t be here. Whatever the future holds, I will not regret what I did here.

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