17 July 2007

Writing and Uni

10 k down, another 50 to go. The words are coming out fast enough, but not much has happened. I'm still writing that little battle at Xanten where the Batavians decide to flood the surrounding lands to annoy the Romans. It's not a very big battle (Tacitus only needs about a page to describe it) but with all the preparations it's taken me the greater part of 10 k. And it's not finished yet, mwahahaha. I'm having fun writing this. Geravan gets to lead a cavalry charge against Romans who are stuck in a swamp.

You might get a real snippet soon. But you might also get another totally random Monty Python-inspired snippet. I just realised yesterday that Civilis could've brought the siege of Castra Vetera to an end much quicker if he had built a large wooden rabbit...

And now something a little more serious. I've got one year left of high school, and then... I dunno. Well, I'll be going to Uni obviously, but I don't know what and I don't know where. I'd like to do something language and/or history-related, but I've also thought about medicine or something to do with sustainable development. The only thing I know for sure at the moment is that I don't want to study law or economics, and that I don't want to work at the meat & deli for the rest of my life. A whole lamb was brought in a couple of days ago. Well, not completely whole. It was headless and had been skinned and gutted, but apart from that it was whole. It's hanging from a peg somewhere, dripping blood. Ugh.

But that's beside the point. I've had a look around on various Uni websites and got a few brochures but I think they've made me even more confused. I know that I don't want to study in Norway, because decent chocolate is way too expensive and there's a serious lack of 2000-year-old crumbling stone walls.
I'll probably go to the Netherlands. It's got Roman ruins, people know who the Batavians are, chocolate is ridiculously cheap there, it's got good bookstores, I speak the language (though I think I need to brush up on my grammar & spelling), and I can go and visit grandma and have a decent dinner there whenever I'm sick of instant noodles.
The cons? School fees! What the bloody hell is the point with school fees anyway? Shouldn't all forms of education be free so that the brightest students go to Uni instead of the richest ones?
Okay, so Dutch Uni fees aren't that bad - "only" 1600 € or so a year. I still think it's a lot (in Norway it's free like it should be) but it's not too bad compared to the UK. The Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic course at Cambridge looks rather interesting but it costs more than 3000 £ a year, if you are from the UK or the EU (which I guess I am, being from the Netherlands and all) and even more if you're not. I guess there are scholarships you could apply for but I'm not sure which scholarships I can get, seeing as I have two nationalities. A standard Norwegian scholarship is bigger than a Dutch one, but on the other hand you have to pay back half of the Norwegian one once you're finished with Uni. Or something. I haven't quite figured it out yet. I'll do that once I know what I'll study.

But, like I said, I might very well move to the Netherlands next year. I've found three Uni courses which particularly interest me:

Vergelijkende Indo-Europese taalwetenschap, Leiden: Indo-European languages. Sounds quite fun. Pros? I'll have an advantage because I know Norwegian and a little Old Norse. Languages rock, and if I choose this I'll be learning, let's see, Greek, Sanskrit, Gothic and Hittite, plus I can choose from another eighty or so languages that they have courses in. Yaay.
Cons? Maybe a bit too language-orientated. I'd like a bit of history too. There probably won't be any ancient crumbling stone walls to study. Unless they have inscriptions. Plus I dunno what the chances of getting a job are...

Oudheidkunde, Amsterdam: Ancient studies. Plenty of pros: It's ancient history, archaeology and languages all in one. Plus there's quite a bit of focus on the Batavians... I can learn Latin from scratch, and if I combine Latin with ancient studies I could become a Latin teacher, and apparently that means I'm pretty much guaranteed a job.
Also, according to my brochure, Jona Lendering studied this, and I love his website livius.org
Any cons? It's only got ancient history, nothing about the Middle Ages. So, no Vikings. No Anglo-Saxon. No Old Norse. And, well, it's in Amsterdam, lol. I don't really like Amsterdam. Utrecht is much nicer ;)

Keltische talen en cultuur, Utrecht: Celtic languages & culture. I'll learn Old Irish and Welsh, and I'll learn about Celtic mythology, which I love (especially Cuchulainn).
Pros? It's got history, languages and mythology. It's in Utrecht (aka Traiectum) where I was born, so I know the city and where the bookstores are. And the student corporation has sword fighting courses, lol.
Cons? No Batavians, and not many Romans either, except Caesar in Gaul. And I don't know what sort of job I can expect to get if I study this.

Wow... a post without pics. Can't have that, can we? Let's see what I have in My Pictures...

Ah. The Temple of Apollo, Rhodes. I was there two years ago.
It's old, it's crumbling, and it's made of stone. It was also bloody hot that day (and every other day during that holiday)

Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, Uni. Like I said, I am not sure yet what I want to do. It might be one of those three I just described, or something else somewhere else (just not Norway). Either way I should get a move on. Because I'm a foreign student I have to hand in my application much earlier and I still have to get all my report cards translated.

Sheesh. This thing went off and posted itself. Well, I was almost finished anyway. I just have to add that I can't wait till Harry Potter 7 comes out on Saturday. I spoke to my cousin today - she works at the bookstore - and she says they already got a box full. Locked up somewhere, obviously. And we're off to see Order of the Phoenix in Trondheim tomorrow. Of course we'll be visiting a bookstore or two (or four) first. And payday isn't until the end of the month.

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