Once again, I must apologize for real life getting in the way of the much more important realm of blogging. I had a major deadline for a project last week, and as such spent most of my waking minutes trying to make my project not suck. (It didn't, but I still felt I could have done better - making my thesis for my portfolio on said project basically write itself.)
Another of the side effects of said project was to immerse me in British culture in a way that 6 months living here couldn't match. Since 88% of my course is made up of either American or Canadian students, and our professors, though British, make allowances for that, and since my life outside the university is primarily restricted to business transactions, several sides of British life have become clear to me only in the last couple weeks.
Such as... what the hell is up with British schools and youth and whatnot? I'm not complaining about the curricula, of which I know very little; nor do I want the damn kids to get off my lawn. I'm just completely flabbergasted by the pastimes of British youth. For background, please remember that although I was a fairly straight-edged kid, I did go to school in Berkeley, where clouds of pot smoke would hang over the park where we gathered for lunch -- the park that was across the street not only from the high school but also the police station and City Hall. So it's not like I think teenagers are angels.
But when I was young, we did not set people on fire in order to wake them up. Nor was it cool to trick someone into drinking your urine. There may have been one knife fight at my school that I remember, but racial slurs shouted in the halls really weren't tolerated, and the authorities were not shy about expelling students who threatened death and dire bodily harm on other students. Or who wrecked school buildings. In the UK, however, these things were apparently a matter of course. But they're less violent than the states, because they carry knives instead of guns. I guess. I... I don't know. Don't look at me, I just live here.
I read The Anglo Files before I got out here, and it's tremendous, and I recommend it to everyone. But I really am waiting for the author to write a sequel covering violence in schools, pantos, the appeal of getting drunk at ten in the morning, why the British complain about having to pay for their prescriptions, and why they can't share the effing sidewalk.