The End of Exams

It’s about time I’ve written again–sorry to keep you all waiting. This post is for two purposes: 1) to generally update you about my life and 2) to lend certainty that I am, indeed, taking classes here (I’ve heard through the grapevine that several of you have wondered whether I am doing school at all…:))

When I got back from London, my dear church friends, the Smyths, picked me up from the airport and had me over for dinner. It was lovely to see them again, and they were the perfect ones to ease my transition back to Derry.

On Sunday, I enjoyed catching up with friends at Cornerstone, including my lovely friend Fiona from Magee. She is a nursing student, but is on placement at Antrim Hospital near Belfast for the next semester. She was in Derry for exams, and we enjoyed brunch at Primrose after the service.

me & fiona

The following Monday, I began studying for exams (four essays) and working on another non-exam essay. It was an interesting week, in a great way. In other words, I loved how the time slowed when I was truly applying and disciplining myself. I also really enjoyed the breadth of topics into which I delved. Ask me about the integrity of Piaget’s cognitive development theory, the theories and stages of sleep, accumulation of powers and tyranny, the dopamine theory of schizophrenia or theories of language acquisition and I’m your gal. So there…hopefully that convinces you that I have been studying this semester 😉

On Tuesday, Diana and I reconnected. It was just lovely to see her again. We patronized “The Sooty Olive” for coffee before heading to church for a prayer meeting. You might be wondering about our choice of restaurant. I assure you that it is NOT where “olive the dirty fun” takes place. It’s a class establishment with lovely food and drink. It’s actually named after the “sooty olive”–which, in the the restaurant’s own words, “derives from the famous Irish lough fly that has been used for generations to catch wild Trout.”

sooty olive 2

sooty olive capuccino

The prayer meeting was also wonderful. My fellow church members have such hearts for God. We prayed over each other in small groups and enjoyed fellowship after.

On Friday, my exam went remarkably smoothly and my essay was successfully turned in. 3 out of 5 essays completed! Then, in the midst of making plans for the next week, I got an email from my boss asking for a 1200 word essay on a marketing research topic for our company blog. Alas. I can’t complain, as I’m paid well for my work. But goodness, when it rains it pours (or should I say, when it snows, it really comes down…there, you can anticipate what’s coming later in this post).

Sunday was a nice break from all the writing. Diana, Dori, Wendy, Edel and I went to Nando’s for lunch after church. Nando’s is known for their spicy chicken, seasoned with peri-peri sauce. If you know me well, you’ll know I doused my salad with extra hot sauce.

The spice girls...we're not chicken when it comes to hot stuff.

The spice girls…we’re not chicken when it comes to hot stuff.

Diana and I then enjoyed an afternoon together, ending with a nice cuppa and chat in her flat.

The next day, I had the 4th and 5th essays of my exam period. They were great. After relaxing a bit, I banged out a bit of the 6th and final essay, and then enjoyed a tellie serial called “Broadchurch” with Margaret. It is a complex crime drama and different from anything I’ve ever seen before. We agreed that you can’t sit back and relax during the show. You have to focus pretty intently to figure out the connections between characters.

Well, Tuesday morning rolled around and we had quite the blanket of snow on the ground. It wasn’t too bad getting into to town. There, Rachel Smyth and I enjoyed an afternoon’s outing together. Getting back home was a different story. The bus came late and then took 45 minutes to go a quarter mile. I knew I’d be much better off walking, so I hopped off the bus and walked the 3.5 miles home in the snow. It was fine until the last stretch when the snow was blowing in my eyes. It was invigorating if nothing more 🙂

photo 4  photo 1

photo 3 photo 2

Diana and I were planning to go to the cinema in the evening to watch “The Theory of Everything” – the new movie about Stephen Hawking. I was really excited to see it, but the snow precluded our going.

photo 5

Unfortunately, it’s just gotten worse this morning. Most of the schools are closed and public transportation is limited. This would be fine, except….Lauren is leaving DC today to come visit me. Humph….the snow has impeccable timing.

2 thoughts on “The End of Exams

  1. I praise God with you that you have completed your first semester well!

    Did you know that there are Nandos in Northern Virginia? Just yesterday Lauren was talking about thsir peri-peri sauce. It is from South Africa. Truly a small world!


  2. Dear Sarah~

    Good to hear all the info about school and work (?)! I had wondered where school fit in and now I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know you were working (telecommuting?) as well! What’s that all about? And your classes all sound like Psych classes — is that true?

    Zack is in the college “waiting” game himself now. Grove City is on his list but I think he’s a bit more focused on William and Mary. I go back and forth on the Christian v. Secular college thing. Praying!

    How fun that Lauren is coming to visit! Hope you have a fabulous time.

    Love, Mrs. Rieman


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