Day 6: In Which, Finally, The First Day of School Happens

and naturally, I was late. Problems rolling swiftly out of bed plague me as they ever did.

How nostalgic to be in a classroom though, sitting in uncomfortable chairs, being told new things I didn’t know. The first class is a week long intro to Iceland Environment and Society, which appears to be part human history class and part how-has-the-natural-resources-shaped-the-Society. And of course, the looming specter of climate change. The professor mentioned briefly that Iceland was experiencing both land rise and sea level rise, which baffled me until I realized that with the glaciers melting and the water running off, that mass is no longer pressing the rock down, so the whole island is experiencing tiny amounts of isostatic rebound. oh no. (by the by the same thing is happening on the Continental US; the glaciers retreating from the last ice age means that land that was under ice (the northern bits) is still rising, and since it’s all one big plate, northern North America rising is shoving Florida down into the ocean. so Florida has compounding sea level rise problems; the ocean is coming up and the land is coming down. They’re so screwed.)

Got out of class relatively early and so I went poking around town. I found the perfectly adorable town library which had a tiny section of books in English, a thing I honestly didn’t expect from them, never mind that there were a lot of Terry Pratchetts. It was kinda strange to be in a library surrounded by books I didn’t know how to read; the last time that happened to me, I didn’t know how to read any language. The building used to be the old hospital, and there was a little exhibit on the landing of the stairs up to the second floor and sometimes I am very grateful to be living with modern medicine.

I also found a tiny stand of trees/park thing. It’s not real woods, and there’s only hardy conifers, but I can sit under actual tall trees and I’m so glad. I missed trees, the last time I was here.

a view south, over the fjord to the mainland. The library is behind me.
It’s stupidly pretty here

One of the things I forgot to mention yesterday, but as we getting the walking tour, our tour person pointed at a sign that looked, to me, like any other and said, “By the way, that’s a danger falling snow sign. Don’t stand under that in the winter”. Of all the signs not to translate! Or not have a silly pictogram! After my wandering around today, the more I appreciate the US’s insistence on silly pictograms on all their signs. Even if it’s largely incomprehensible, at least it tells you something.

I have done my first homework assignment (poke around some population data for a small town, graph it, do some research and make some guesses as to why the population goes up and down as it does), and I should not be having as much fun as I am.

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