Monday, September 1, 2014

Coins and Things

While today was technically the first day of school for us, my professor wasn't available until tomorrow to meet. During D's meeting with his professor, I read a magazine and a book in the humanities student lounge which is quite large and takes up a whole bottom floor of a building, with some microwaves for preparing food and lots of seating and couches. I do miss the casual reading on couches that I did in college.

D's professor has helped us out a lot even before arriving, and he gave him lots of new information on working, timelines, conferences, and expectations for PhD students. We both chose desks in the postgraduate room to call our own - they even have little bookshelves! An academic must have books, and I was unfortunately not able to bring very many of mine since they weight so much. On the horizon is a trip to the used bookstores around here.

We stopped in to see the head of the department and chat. He likes the books I will be writing on for my paper - Frank Herbert's science fiction series Dune - and he remembers the details from them quite well. It was the first academic discussion I'd had on them for a long time, and oh so sweet. I need to re-read them as well as most of the other classics in the genre since I never took a class on them (but would have if I could have). Science fiction and fantasy are only beginning to gain recognition by the community as legitimate genres of literature, and as such classes and research on them remain relatively sparse.

Our homestay host's cat is gradually warming up to us. I took a picture of the different coin and dollar denominations. Apparently they got rid of the 1 and 2 cent coins by 1990 and the 5 cent coin in 2006 because of inflation. Good for me, as I don't have to learn as many new coins! I still don't like the lack of $1 bills though, as the dollar coins are heavy.

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