What I should be doing right now: reading for my three classes tomorrow.
What I am doing right now: listening to a compilation of 50’s rock n’ roll that I recently found on my iTunes and writing this post.
I spent most of the past two days trying to write an essay for my Scottish Literature class, so I figure it’s alright if I take a break from studying for a bit. Okay, fine, you got me. I might have started this break about three hours ago. But whatever, I’ll get the reading done eventually. I don’t know what it is about Glasgow, but I’ve been having trouble writing essays here. I can’t tell if it’s the way the classes are structured, the fact that I have too much free time, or if I’m just getting dumber. I’m usually pretty good at writing essays, but man the last two I’ve had to write did not come easy. I had to struggle for every sentence. I really hope I can get my brain to kick back into gear soon, though, since there are only three weeks of class left and I’ve got two 4000 word essays to write. Yikes. If only writing essays was as simple as writing blog posts…
I tried to write this essay earlier this week, but it really just wasn’t working out. So when I found out my one Friday class was canceled, I decided to forget about the essay for a bit and take a short trip up to Loch Lomond. Colleen and I caught a morning train up to Balloch, a small town on the banks of the loch. It was intermittently rainy and sunny on the ride up to the loch, and we were hoping that the sun would win out by the time we arrived in Balloch. Boy were we ever wrong.
When we got to Balloch the sun disappeared, and it started pouring. Generally, the Scottish skies are content to annoy the earth with a relentless drizzle, but they also have an irrational tendency to team up with the wind to drench unsuspecting tourists. Such was my experience on Friday. We tried to wander around Balloch a bit, but the horizontal rain forced us inside. We had lunch at a little inn and tried to wait out the rain. Just as we were finishing, the rain miraculously stopped. Eager to make the most of the pause in the storm, we headed out to walk to the loch.
The first path we found was blocked by a huge puddle. I thought I would be clever and walk around it but soon discovered that, sometimes, what looks like a shallow puddle is actually three inches of squelchy mud. I’d long ago given up on trying to keep my Sperry’s clean, but that didn’t make the fact that a third of my shoe was covered in freezing mud any more pleasant. There was no getting around the puddle. Our path was blocked. We decided to cross the bridge and look for another path the loch.
We soon found a suitably-un-puddle-blocked path and proceeded towards the loch. It started to drizzle again at this point, but we pressed on. We came to see Loch Lomond and damned if we weren’t going to see it. We got almost all the way to the loch before our path was blocked by an even bigger puddle. Actually, I’m not sure you could even call it a puddle since it appeared to be connected to the river. I’m not sure if they’ve had an unusual amount of rain or what but it did look like the river/loch was overflowing.
At any rate, we had reached the end of our path. And just to top things off, it started to rain again. We quickly snapped some pictures and headed back into town. After trying in vain to find something else to do in Balloch (the main tourist shopping strip was located down the first path with the puddle), we hopped back on the train to Glasgow, soaked to the bone and happy to be out of the rain.
The trip wasn’t totally unsuccessful. It got me out of Glasgow and my mind off my essay. And Loch Lomond was beautiful, in a very wet sort of way. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in Scotland, it’s that you can’t let rain prevent you from doing things. Because you’ll never go anywhere if you do.
Anyway, I should probably go get that reading done. I’m going to Dublin with some new friends this weekend, so I should probably try to get as much work done as I can before I leave. I’m skipping three classes on Thursday and one class on Friday in order to go. I hate skipping class, it makes me feel behind, but I figure that seeing Ireland is more important than going to class. Right? I mean, that’s why I’m here, to explore parts of the world I’ve never seen. And it’s Ireland! Land of my people! Can’t let a silly little thing like class get in my way…
Until next time…