There’s been so much going on these past few weeks, but when I look back on it to try and write it all down, it doesn’t feel like there’s very much to say. Of course I saw some more crumbly buildings, and even a few not-so-crumbly ones.  I went to StAnza, Scotland’s biggest poetry conference (I’m sure there’s a ton of competition for that title) to volunteer, hear some new poetry, and get a look at St. Andrews. It was a nice couple of days, but I can’t image living in a town that cut off (no trains, few buses, not much nearby) without a car.

The conference itself was interesting. My experience with conferences is mostly academic, namely the American Academy of Religion’s annual conference that, the year I attended, did so much to convince me that I didn’t belong in that field any more. However, at StAnza most of the events were readings, along with some workshops, and only a couple a few sessions involving what I would consider “research”, where some newer poets presented information on some long-past poets they felt deserved more recognition. It seemed to me the point of StAnza was mainly to hear the work of as many poets as possible in a single weekend. A bit overwhelming for me, but not at all a bad idea.

One of the best things that’s happened in the past month was a concert I went to a week or so ago. The Bouncing Souls have been a huge part of my life, since I was in high school clear up until the album they released right before I came to Scotland. I have wanted to see them for about a decade, but it’s never worked out until this past week when they showed in Glasgow, so I headed over on my own to finally see them. Let me tell you what, it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. I was right in front of the stage, they played my favorite song (by request, as well, so it was a close call!), and got to hold the hand of the man who soundtracked every major change in my life. The Bouncing Souls are the best at growing up and moving on songs, and I used those songs to get through a lot of stressful transitions. I was so happy to actually see them in real life. It was amazing.

Those are the two biggest things, really. In the morning I have to pack and get ready to spend my spring break in the same house where I spent Christmas. Yes, I’ve been invited back. This time I’m staying nine days, and will hopefully be able to do some real sightseeing, in spite of how cold it’s been the past week. My attitude will be much better this time, as well. This will also be a good opportunity to get some work done on the rather large paper I have due on the other side of the break, since my friend is working on his dissertation, and seeing someone else hard at work can be a good motivator for me to start working as well. It’s going to be a good week.


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