My life as I know it is nearly finished. By the time you will be reading this, mom and dad will have descended upon my territory and claimed it as their own playground for the next three weeks. I don’t begrudge them, since they’re letting me join in their fun. But it does mean that my life in Scotland, as I’ve known it for the last 3.5 years, is over.
In some ways that makes me happy; in some ways it makes me sad.
Since I’ll probably be posting photos of the crazy adventures I plan to take mom and pops on, I figured I’d do a final post about these final weeks of normalcy. Though, even these last few weeks can’t truly be classified as ‘normal’, since I’ve been filling it with all kinds bucket-list and end-of-season events.
- My PhD colleagues and I had our final seminar session. This semester we’ve been studying in-depth Paul’s letter to the Philippians (this was great not least because I’m teaching Philippians in the fall!). Normally the seminar is held at St Mary’s College, but the final session was held in celebration at Professor Wright’s house. We studied the text and then finished with a great meal and lots of laughs. I will miss this element of the PhD life.
Notice my minority status.
- I also completed my work as the University of St Andrews Study Skills Tutor. For the last three years I have tutored literally hundreds (an average of 10 students per week) of undergraduate and postgraduate students on how to write essays, manage their time, read effectively, etc. This job has been one of the highlights of my time here in St Andrews. Last week the department had a going away party for myself and another colleague, which finished with twelve of us at a restaurant.
- Judith and I have been ticking boxes on the bucket list, and over the last two weeks we ticked two pretty big boxes: Falkland Palace and The St Rule Club. Falkland village and Palace have been on the list for some time, but it took my impending departure to make them finally happen (per usual). The Palace, once lived in by Mary Queen of Scots, was a treasure of history and very interesting to walk around in. No photos were allowed, unfortunately.
That same day, though, there was a local castle/estate open to the public for the annual display of their Montana Clematis exhibition. And Judith loves gardens, so we cruised up the coastline to it. The exhibition (and gardens in general) did not disappoint. The garden wall was covered yard after yard after yard with flowers.
And the Blue Bells were absolutely stunning.
- Judith and I have also often talked about having lunch at her club: The St Rule Club. At its inception it was the female-only version of the Royal and Ancient golf club, which was male-only up until last year, and it remains that way. To give a sense of the type of club it is, I was not allowed to wear tennis shoes or jeans inside, and, once inside, we had a drink at the window before being seated at our table.
You can look for them when you watch the British Open on TV this July. They’ll be standing in their Clubhouse waving at the film crews across the 18th Green of the Old Course: the most famous green in the entire world. You can see the stands, screens, and tents erected for the Open. The ladies have quite the view!
In just one day from now mom and dad will be here. I’m looking forward to playing tour guide and to having my own break from St Andrews as we travel about the countryside. If the sun shines some and the rain isn’t constant, I expect it will be a great trip. Photos to come!