Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In Search of a Pot of Gold!

Christmas has come and passed and luckily for me I did not have to spend the day alone thanks to the hospitality of my professor and his family! A fellow student and I went to his house and had a delicious meal of duck and pheasant, followed by traditional Christmas pudding and Christmas cookies. It was definitely different from the usual Thanksgiving-esque meal we have in the Davis household but was still delicious nonetheless! It was also nice to converse with my professors two children and their friend, all of which are around my age.

Now that the holiday is over, it is time to move on to New Years celebrations! I just finished packing my bag for a trip to Dublin I am taking tomorrow night with a few of my American friends to ring in the new year. I am SO excited I cannot put it into words. The only downside of this trip is, in order to save about 150 quid, I chose to take a 15 hour train ride there and back, and, because all of us will be coming to Dublin from different places, I will be taking the train alone. I am not too down about this though, as I am planning on spending my time listening to music and writing in my Beatles notebook I bought especially for this trip (very cliche, I know). We do not have finalized plans for this trip yet, other than paying a visit to the statue of Molly Malone (or "the tart with the cart" as my grandpa says) and to the Guinness factory, of course! We are planning to go with the flow and see where our adventures take us.

Talk to you all in 2012; HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Have A Holly, Jolly Christmas!

WOW I cannot believe it has almost been a month since my last post! I guess you never really realize how busy you are until the time passes!

At Constable Country

So much has happened this past month! My program took a field trip to Constable Country to see the areas Constable painted in his artwork. It was very interesting to see, as many of the locations Constable painted looked exactly the same today. I also got injured playing rugby, which I shouldn't be surprised about considering I am constantly getting injured, so I could not play for our last two games. We did win our first game, however, against Leicester! Even though I wasn't playing, I could still feel the same joy and excitement on the sidelines as the players on the field.

The team at our meal!
To top off winning our first match, the rugby team all went out for a Christmas meal together. Though it was pricey, all the food was delicious! We went to a restaurant called The Library in town and had a three course meal, which we picked from a preset menu. I know you must be DYING to to know what I ate so I will tell you; for a starter I had goat cheese and red pepper bruschetta, for my main I had turkey with stuffing and roast potatoes and other vegetables provided, and for dessert I had creme brulee (along with a taste of everyone else's, of course!) Though at first I was disappointed with how small the portions were considering I paid almost 30 pounds for my meal, the portions proved to be the perfect size as I was completely stuffed before I even reached dessert!

At our holiday party
In addition to the rugby Christmas meal, my professor and his wife hosted a holiday meal for everyone in our program as well. Just like on Thanksgiving, the food was absolutely delicious. Everyone also brought a gift and we had a mini gift exchange. Everyone drew a number. The person who drew number one picked any gift they wanted and opened it for everyone to see. After that, in numerical order, each person picked a gift. However, before they picked a gift, they could choose to "steal" someone else who had already opened their present's gift, causing them to have to either choose a new gift or steal a gift as well. It was a very interesting, yet fun game. Not many people stole gifts because we are all just so kind and moral 0:). I ended up getting a bunch of Hershey Kisses and a pack of hot chocolate. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. We ended the night by watching the cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, one of my personal favorites (though I do greatly enjoy the Jim Carrey version). I also went on another Christmas meal with all of the people in my building. We went to a carvery, which essentially was a buffet of food that is provided in a traditional English roast. Though it was not all you can eat, we all managed to pile so much food on our plate the first time we went up we were stuffed anyways. After this, we had a Secret Santa gift exchange. The person who got me gave me a rugby ball, so thoughtful!

Other than these three delicious meals, I have been very busy with writing my final essays for my classes and only just handed my last essay in this morning! It was a very stressful time as all my deadlines were very close. But I still managed to complete everything to the best of my ability so I can now only hope for the best!

Also, the majority of my American friends who were studying abroad for just this past semester went home: some for the holidays, some for good. It was really sad saying goodbye to all of them, as I developed close friendships with people I knew prior to this trip, with people I had vaguely met before this trip, and with people I had never seen before in my life. Next semester definitely won't be the same without them, especially because I lost three of my teammates. I know when I return as a senior, though, we will also still be close friends as I plan on keeping contact with everyone while I am in England next semester.

On another note, currently I am sitting in my room watching Never Been Kissed as I chose to stay in my flat at UEA over winter break to do some traveling and to save my parents money on a roundtrip flight ticket. So far it has been a bit lonely, though I have been keeping busy with looking for and applying to summer internships and was busy earlier in the week completing my final essay, which I happened to write about rugby. Luckily a few girls on the team were here for part of the week so I went over to their house to watch movies and help cook my first ever pasta bake. At first it seemed like our efforts were going to result in a failure, but the pasta bake turned out to be delicious! It was nice leaving my room and having real life human interaction instead of digital via Skype and Facebook. I am also going to have some more human interaction tonight as there are other people who remained on campus for the winter break as well. UEA created some activities for us to get involved in as well as a Facebook group for all of us. Tonight a member is having a few people over to hang out and I plan on getting involved just so I can get out of my stuffy, small room in the Village for a bit.

Though you may think my winter break has a grim outlook, I can assure you it does not. I am spending Christmas Day at my professor's house with his family. Another student from Dickinson who stayed for the year is going as well and my professor also has two kids around our age. It will be nice to be around another family, despite the fact that it is not my own, for the holidays. Plus I am guaranteed to be provided a delicious meal by my professor's wife; she has yet to disappoint so far!

I have also made a couple travel plans for this break, though I am hoping to go on more trip. I am going to Dublin, Ireland for New Years with two of my American friends, Emily and Julie, who have not gone home yet and am going to visit my English friend I met at Camp Vega in Salzburg, Austria as she is studying there for the year. I am greatly looking forward to both trips and am sure that New Years in Dublin will be a blast!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A "British" Thanksgiving and Some More Education

My friend Kate and me with my food children. Yes, multiple children.
This past Thursday was THANKSGIVING!!!!!! and while at first I was not sure if having a Thanksgiving celebration in England would be the same as having one at home, I was pleasantly surprised. My professor and his wife cooked us a DELICIOUS Thanksgiving feast, not meal, FEAST, supplemented with items each member of the class brought. Let's just say I had a few food babies in my stomach before we had even moved on to dessert, and I'm not ashamed of it.

Other than that nothing new or especially interesting has occurred, but I did have an interesting conversation with a British student today about their experience at university. It is quite different than from an experience at an American university; here, all students are required to choose their course upon entering, therefore not being able to enter as "Undecided" like at many schools in the States, and they have to pay in order to switch courses. They also have to pay to switch classes they are enrolled in if they want to change them. However, unlike with majors, students do not have specific "requirements" they have to complete in order to get their degree: they just simply have to take some classes in their course. The grading system over here is a lot different and harder as well. Everything is out of 100%, but receiving the highest mark (equivalent to an "A" in America) is a 70% or above, and getting a mark that high is almost unheard of according to many students and my professors. Grading of papers, at least at UEA, is anonymous and these grades are the only ones factored into your final grade, meaning teachers do not use participation and attendance, for example, as factors towards calculating your final grade. Also, at least in the two classes I am taking, students only have two essays per class, so if they bomb one they are pretty much screwed, whereas in the States students will normally have four or five papers to write so if they do poorly on one, they have a fair amount of leeway in making sure they can still receive a final mark. Teachers also normally take participation and attendance into account with their grading as well. This puts a lot of pressure on us abroad students, who are not used to having such a hard grading scale and such few items to be graded. Oh well, you just keep calm and carry on!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ely, Wicken Fen, and A Bit of Schoolwork

View from the Cathedral
Last Saturday, my Dickinson class took a field trip to Ely and Wicken Fen. We were reading the novel Waterland which takes place in that general area, so we went to visit it to see the location up close and personal. In Ely, our class split into two groups and each got to tour a different Cathedral. Each group climbed all the way to the top of the Cathedral and got to look into the distance and see Wicken Fen from afar. After visiting Ely, we went onward to Wicken Fen, only to find it was exactly as the novel described, except a little more dry. Wicken Fen was full of marshlands and had a tiny stream going through it. It was muddy and the only animals seen were two bulls, some chickens, and an ugly duckling that was in the process of turning into a swan. It was really awesome seeing the location the book was talking about, as it allowed me to have a more clear and accurate image of the area the author was describing.

Aside from this field trip, I recently handed in my first two assignments for my UEA classes. It was the most horrifying experience I have ever encountered, as in each class, unlike Dickinson, we only have two assignments for the entire semester, meaning that if I did poorly on one assignment, there would be no way for me to succeed at my normal level. SO MUCH PRESSURE! Almost too much. It was also scary as my professors reiterated to us that it is very rare for any student to receive marks in the top tier of the grading system here. At Dickinson, because we have so many assignments, doing poorly on one does not necessarily mean one will do poorly in the class. Dickinson professors also grade on attendance and participation which could potentially help boost one's grade, whereas the professors at UEA do not. Another interesting aspect about the UEA grading system is that all papers are submitted anonymously, only have one's student number as their identifier, and are submitted to an information desk in the building of the class. This is good in the sense that the professor won't have any bias when grading.
My class at Wicken Fen

On a lighter note, in two days I will be celebrating Turkey Day here at my professor's house! I am SUPER excited. Everyone in the class is bringing either a dish or drink to share and my professor's wife will be cooking for us as well. It will surely be delicious and I am mentally preparing to be full for days!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Copencatz and an English Roast

Last weekend I went to Copenhagen with a few of my friends from Dickinson to go to an event called Sensation White and it was a blast!! We called ourselves the Copencatz (we love cats and obviously had to have a "z" instead of an "s" so our name has more flavor) and stayed in a hostel called CPH Downtown that was right near the main street in the center of town, Stroget Street. We met up with one of our friends from Dickinson that is studying there and she took as around Copenhagen and showed us the few sights there are, such as the home of the Queen. She also took us to a delicious cupcake place called Agnes Cupcakes. I got a red velvet cupcake and chocolate coconut cupcake during my time in Copenhagen and they were just divine. The next day we all met up with my friend from home who is also studying in Copenhagen for breakfast and had the most phenomenal eggs I have ever eaten in my life at a restaurant, though I forget the name of the place! That night we went to Sensation White, which is like a music festival for techno music. A few DJs were there including Martin Solveig, the DJ for the new hit song, "Hello" featuring Dragonette. It was such a surreal experience, not only because it was so fun but because all four of us travelers ran into people we either personally knew or people that knew some of our friends. For example, we were in the bathroom and starting talking to two other American girls. It turned out that one of them happened to live ten minutes from me in my hometown and be one of my good friend from home's college roommate! It just goes to show how small the world really is. The next day was our last day in Copenhagen, so all of us and our Dickinson friend who is studying there and her boyfriend who was visiting her went to take a tour of the Carlsberg Brewery. It was a really cool place and it was interesting to see the history of the beer, how it is made and how much work is needed to make it, and how it has changed over time. Though I had the time of my life in Copenhagen, I was happy to go back to UEA.
My friend Mary's roommate that I met at Sensation!

The twins and I with our feast! Delicious.
This past weekend was another great weekend as well and today was the icing on the cake! One of the girls on the rugby team (my friend Rhiannon Chandler-Day who is also running for Miss. Norfolk... VOTE FOR HER!!! TEXT: MUN23 to 81118, votes are only one pound and you can vote as many times as you want!!) had a few of us over for a traditional English Roast, which is similar to a meal we would eat at Christmas or Thanksgiving, and to watch a rugby match between her team, the Saints, and the Wasps. It was absolutely delicious! We had chicken, pork, Yorkshire puddings, gravy, stuffing, roasted potatoes and parsnips, and some broccoli and carrots. It was a great change from my usual meal of peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese, or pasta, so I obviously I had to go for seconds. But don't worry, the meal gets better! For dessert we had apple strudel covered in creamy custard. Lets just say I was full for a VERY long time after that!

I am really enjoying myself while abroad and am definitely finding time to work hard as well as have some good responsible fun while I'm at it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The R is for Rugby and the U is for Unite!...

The rugby team!
Hello all! I have been so busy recently I have not had time to write a blog post!! As you can probably guess from the title of this post I will indeed be updating you about rugby, amongst other things. I am still having a blast playing for the team, all of the girls are really great! I have played in a few games so far and it is so nerve racking! I am still trying to get the confidence and aggression to actually full on tackle someone, but I am slowly getting there. I recently started grabbing at people and ripping the ball out of their hands, which is a big improvement for me! We have not won a game yet, but that is because the team lost seven experienced players and was moved up in to a harder league this year. Most of the girls on the team are new, so even though we have not been winning we have been putting up a good fight! The twins on the Dickinson program that are here play rugby as well and started tackling people in the last game. It was EPIC, if I do say so myself. We built up a lot of aggression because the girls we played would grab our necks and choke us to try and "tackle" us and unfortunately did not have the best sportsmanship. But what can you do.. other than tackle them harder?

In addition to rugby, I am involved in the American Studies society and the school newspaper, Concrete. I have not yet been able to write for the paper because the meetings in which they give out assignments have been during my classes so far and, because of my schedule, I have not had time to research and write the remaining articles. I plan on talking to someone in the exec board to see if it is possible to write about things from an American perspective, hopefully giving me more leeway in my writing. The American Studies society has had a social, which was fun, but other than there have not been any meetings yet.

Some friends and I at the Canaries game!
Last week a few of my friends and I went to a football game for Norwich's team, the Canaries, where they faced Aston Villa. It was a reserve game so it was relatively empty, but for three pounds we managed to have front row seats right at the midfield line. Of course, us being Americans, we were the loudest ones there, but it was awesome to see all the families come and shout chants during the game. It was similar to how Americans would act at a baseball game. The match ended up in a tie, but it was still very exciting and entertaining to watch.

This week there was a beer festival in Norwich. Of course my friends and I went to check it out, and we were SO glad we did.. it was a very interesting experience! It cost four pounds to enter and then you could either pay eight or 13 pounds and receive tokens for beer and a pint glass. There were a large variety of different beers, ales, and ciders: each one had an interesting name, such as "I Can't Believe It's Not Bitter," along with a number between one and ten on the bitterness scale and symbols to show if the drink was fruity, amongst other things. Attendees could use their tokens to get either a 1/3 pint, 1/2 pint, or full pint of the different drinks, and, if one wanted, they could ask for a taste of the drink before they committed their tokens to a decent amount of it. There were some locals there who have been volunteering there or attending for over ten years! It was in an old church, St. Andrews, and it was filled with mostly older men. Everyone was very nice and was VERY into the tasting.. these Englanders are all about their drinks, let me tell you!! We ended up staying there for a few hours and were able to sell back any tokens we did not use for our money back, a good strategy in my opinion.

The day after attending the festival, my Dickinson professor had a few of us over for dinner and it was PHENOMENAL! His wife cooked us a five course meal: pita and hummus, Greek salad, chicken, bean, and cheese enchiladas with green beans and roasted peppers, five different cheeses and crackers, homemade creme brulee, and coffee and tea. It was all very delicious, and it was nice to have a decent home cooked meal instead of my usual peanut butter and jelly (or jam, as the Brit's call it) sandwich.

Currently, I am sitting at my computer anxiously awaiting for it to be 1 a.m. Why, you ask? Because a few friends and I are going to COPENHAGEN!!!! It should be a lot of fun! We are flying there and are arriving at 9:30 a.m.. We are most likely going to nap for a while and then meet up with a fellow Dickinsonian who is studying in Copenhagen. On Saturday, we plan to shop and meet up with my friend from home who is studying in Copenhagen as well before going to Sensation White, a huge event in Europe where everyone attending wears white and listens to live DJ's. It should be so fun! We will then finish up our trip on Sunday by taking a tour of the Carlsberg Beer Factory before flying home Sunday night. It should prove to be an eventful trip!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rugby, School, and a Vega Reunion

My group at Cromer
I'm finally starting to get adjusted to life in Norwich even though I am always busy! Despite the fact I only have class once a week, I am very busy with the newspaper, rugby, and other activities I am getting involved in. This past week for my Dickinson class we were split up into groups and had to go to different areas outside of Norwich. My group went to Cromer. It reminded me of a touristy beach town, full of arcades, little shops, and restaurants. It was on the coast and no one was really out and about, probably because it just started getting to be chilly here (as opposed to the 80 degree weather we had this past week).  Also this week my friend Chloe's parents came to visit and took a bunch of us out to dinner on Thursday and Friday. We went to Cafe Rouge and the Last Wine Bar and the food was absolutely delicious! I haven't had that many food babies in a looooooong time. On Saturday I went back to London with two other girls to do more research for the papers we have to write for the Dickinson class we took in London and I met up with one of my friends from Camp Vega who is studying in Italy and happened to be in London that weekend! We met up for lunch at an Indian food restaurant on the infamous Brick Lane and went to Camden Market for a bit, amongst doing research for my paper, of course. It was really fun and great to see her again.
Olivia and I on the tube! V for Vega!

Two rugby girls and I at a social
I started playing rugby here and so far I love it! I am not very good as I just started playing it a week ago, but I think I'm getting the hang of it. Being someone who grew up playing soccer (or football as the Brits say) and lacrosse, two sports where you can't even nudge someone without getting in trouble on the field, it is very hard for me to get my head around the fact that I am supposed to tackle people. Luckily, we have two coaches, two boys who play for the boys rugby team, that help us out in practice and give us tips on improvement. So far I have rolled both of my ankles and hurt my knee. Typical. My team captain keeps joking that she'll have to spend time in the A&E (accident and emergency, not the channel) room a lot and keeps saying that if that happens on the bright side unlike in America, being treated there will be free. Mom and Dad don't freak out, I'll do my best to ensure this doesn't happen.

Tomorrow I have an interview for a job on campus! If I get it I will be inputting data into a computer twice a week from the phoneathon students participate in the night before. This is when students call old alumni asking for donations. I really hope I get this job; it would be nice to have a little extra pocket money so I can actually shop and be able to do more activities and go to more events here. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 30, 2011

I Survived

Welp, it's official: I have survived my first week at the University of East Anglia in Norwich!! It has been a very hectic week, but is definitely a lot of fun. I spent the week trying to meet people, befriending my flat mates, and doing logistical things for the school, including changing one of my modules due to class conflicts and registering with the medical centre. I live in a flat with five other people: three boys and two girls. They are all first years: four are 18 and one is 21. Many first year students here are older because they either took a gap year or worked to earn money to pay for school before they came. I met one who is 23! Anyways, my flat mates are all very nice and we all seem to be getting along well so far. Hopefully this will last for the entire year.

Our flat is pretty nice. We live in an area called University Village, which is about a 10 minute walk from campus (yes, the amount of time it takes to walk across the entire Dickinson campus). Each of us has our own room and bathroom, and a cleaning lady comes and cleans our bathroom once a week and takes out our trash every day. We do not have a common room, but do have a decent sized kitchen that we all share. There is no cafeteria, so we all have to buy our own groceries. There is no laundry either, so we have to walk to a laundromat nearby to do laundry. Luckily there is one in our general area. Only first year students (also known as "freshers") and some medical students can live on campus; all second and third year students have to live off campus in Norwich. This is much different than Dickinson, as, for the most part, everyone lives on campus. If one wants to live off campus, they must be a senior and be approved by the school.

I have been to both of my classes and already notice a difference in how they are taught compared to my classes at Dickinson. Instead of waiting for a later date, the professors give you the assignments for prompts the first day with the syllabus. I find this helpful, as I can look for information that will help me with my essays in my readings as I read them instead of having to go back to them later. The teaching is also more abstract and less straight forward. My professors tend to ask a lot more questions, some rhetorical, some not, that really cause the students to think about the material they are teaching, whereas at Dickinson I find the professors tend to lay things out on the table more. I also have less assignments to do for each class over the course of the semester and, despite the fact that I am taking level two and three classes, the essays I am required to do are shorter than essays I had to write when I was a freshman at Dickinson. It is unreal. I was also pleasantly surprised at how small the class sizes are (they are about the same size as Dickinson), especially because this school has thousands of students more than Dickinson. I also like that many classes here have a larger lecture and then split up afterwards into smaller seminar groups to discuss the lecture. I find this makes a better and more comfortable learning environment.

As far as differences in the social aspects, I have already noticed a TON. Of course the British use different words than Americans for some things, like pavement instead of sidewalk and jumper instead of sweater, but they also talk a lot quieter as well. It sounds like they are mumbling. Many times I have to ask people to repeat what they said not because I don't understand, but because I simply can't hear them. There is also a much larger and more accepted drinking culture here. There are two bars on campus as well as a student union that is turned into a club some nights, which also serves drinks. People are allowed to drink outside of the bars in the central part of campus called the Square, similar to Britton Plaza at Dickinson. This was quite a shock to many of us.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bye Bye London, Helloooo Norwich!

The last few days we had in London were very busy, as we were all preparing, giving, and going on tours of certain areas of London for class. My group decided to do post-World War II reconstruction and brought  our fellow classmates to various areas of reconstruction around the city, including the Royal Festival Hall, the financial and law districts, and to the housing complex named Churchill Gardens. It was very interesting to see how much of London was affected by the war and how much did need to be reconstructed. It was unreal.

The last couple nights of London were packed with fun; we saw the production, Top Girls, and went on a dinner cruise with our program. Top Girls was a weird play, and one does not really understand the feminist points that are trying to be portrayed until the end of the play, as the acts do not follow chronological order. It was still enjoyable, though, but was a bit out there with some of the scenes. The dinner cruise was loads of fun! We went through Regent's Park while eating a delicious three course dinner. It was a great way to end our time in London.

While being in London, I noticed a lot of cultural differences between London and cities, such as New York, in the states. London rarely had any trash cans around, and, if they did, it was normally a clear plastic bag. I found out this was because during past wars, people would hide bombs in trash cans, so the city removed them or made them clear as a precaution. Despite the fact there were no trash cans, the city was remarkably clean, unlike New York which is very dirty and has trash cans on every street corner. There are also a lot more smokers in London, at least from what I saw. The architecture of the city is very unique as well, varying from new, modern designs to designs from the Gothic and Victorian era. Though Prince Charles despises the architecture in London, I happened to like this great variation a lot: it gives the city character. Another interesting fact I learned is that many buildings are built with the people in mind. For example, the BBC Broadcasting Centre was not built symmetrical because, if it was symmetrical, it would have blocked light from reaching certain peoples houses. Also, unlike the States, people cannot make changes to their houses as they choose, for if their neighbors do not want them to make this change (even a change as simple as painting their house), they are not allowed to do so. Additionally, everything in London closes surprisingly early for a city. For example, pubs close at 11 or sometimes 12, and clubs are not open too late either. Unlike New York, the city that never sleeps, Londoners definitely get their eight or nine hours.

Yesterday, after a long three hour bus ride, I arrived in Norwich!!! It is very different from London, being very rural and having more modern architecture. I like it a lot. My room is not as small I was expecting and I am anxious to meet my five flat mates! I did not realize the flats are coed, so it will be interesting to see if any boys are placed in my flat. I guess it would kind of be like living in the Jersey Shore, minus all of the pointless arguments and excessive partying (Mom and Dad, you should be proud). The next couple of days are going to be devoted to settling in and orientation, so I will post again after that!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Let the Tours Begin

This week was very busy for the humanities program! We had class a few days this week and our professor gave us a tour of the London Eye and Canary Wharf areas. The Canary Wharf was an awesome area, though I probably thought this because there was a giant shopping mall there. Typical. Thursday night a Dickinson alumni hosted a reception for the science and humanities program at the Royal Auto Club in Pall Mall which was filled, to our surprise, with more wine than food. It was really nice to speak to Dickinson alumni and hang out with all the kids going to Norwich.

Friday we had the day off to prepare for our tours. We were all divided into different groups and have to give tours of different areas in London. My group decided to focus on the reconstruction, physically and mentally, of London post-World War II and found locations near the Tower of London and the financial and law districts to go to on our tour, though it took us about two hours (no big deal) to find a good location for my topic (of course) which focused on the high rise housing that was constructed after the war. We visited Fleet Street when we wandered through the law district which, contrary to belief thanks to Sweeney Todd, had no demon barbers... or so we think. I decided I would want to live in the law district when I'm older. Why, you ask? 1. It is a beautiful area with lots around it and 2. The possibility of me meeting a future rich, attractive, and lawyer husband would greatly increase. Yes, I am shallow. Sorry I'm not sorry :)

Today we went on another groups tour of the Kesnal Green Cemetery. It was really interesting to compare this cemetery to ones in the states: it was a lot more crowded and, instead of simply having a grave stone to signify where a body is buried, most of the buried had large, intricate monuments to signify their burial spot. It seems that people have a different attitude about death over here, as many of them start building their monuments long before they die because they know they are going to die at some point in their life.

After going on that very interesting tour, we went to Portobello Road, which is another market. It was a really cool place, full of vendors and stores selling antiques, nice clothing, and a variety of ethnic food. Too bad the price of a dress is more expensive than a plane ticket! Oh well, saving my money is probably a good thing. We would have stayed longer if it didn't start down-pouring.

It is SO weird that we have less than a week left in London. The next few days will be devoted to tours and then we're off to Norwich!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Museums, Museums, and... More Museums??

To start off this post I wanted to briefly talk about my one day off. A few friends and I had a picnic in Regent's Park and then went shopping (don't worry, Mom, I just went window shopping) and got the most AWESOME frozen yogurt ever at a place called Snog in Convent Garden, a very cute area, and then to the Thames Festival at night. The Festival was so much fun! There were a lot of cute little vendors selling clothing, homemade items, baked goods, and food in general. We obviously took care of that, eating burritos and Nutella and strawberry crepes. DELICIOUS!! The night ended with an awesome fireworks show right over the bridge. It was a very nice day off indeed.

In other news the past two days have been entirely devoted to going to visit different museums, including the Natural History Museum (not to be mistaken as New York's Museum of Natural History), the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Imperial War Museum.

I enjoyed the Natural History Museum a lot more than I thought I would. It was indeed similar to the Museum of Natural History in NYC, but, based on memory, I felt that this museum was a lot more interactive. For example, in the dinosaur exhibit they had robotic dinosaurs that moved around and “roared” at people walking by. There were also computers around the exhibits providing information and allowing people to become more engaged by doing things like making a fossil collection. I thought this was very fun and made the museum more kid-friendly. 

I thought the V&A had an excellent variety of artifacts, with exhibits ranging from collections of silver to jewelry to items used at teatime. I thought the most interesting exhibits were the ones showcasing the jewelry and providing information about what it means to have tea. The jewelry exhibit was interesting because you got to see the evolution of jewelry over the decades, from tiaras to rings to necklaces and bracelets; they even had a Kennedy pin. From my perspective, much of the older jewelry looked more like costume jewelry today, except a lot more extravagant and sparkly. I liked the tea exhibit because it helped me better understand why Colonists were so angry about the Tea Tax the King put upon them before the Revolution. I always thought they were just upset because they simply enjoyed drinking tea, but this exhibit taught me that having tea was a daily practice for the English, especially those in the upper class, so taking this tradition away from them was a huge slap in the face and implied they were of “low” society. The one thing I was upset about in the V&A is that the fashion exhibit, one I really wanted to see, is closed until 2012.

At the Imperial War Museum, I looked at exhibits relating to World War I, II, and the Holocaust specifically. I thought that the World War I and II exhibits were set up very similarly. They each showcased artifacts, had images from the war, and played video clips from the wars. The main difference I noticed was the music that was played in each exhibit. The music that was played in the WWI exhibit was more upbeat and prideful, almost congratulating the work of the soldiers. This went along with the pictures of specific people in the war that were commemorated for all of their successes in the war. There were not many of these images in the other exhibit. The music in the WWII exhibit, however, was quite the opposite. It reminded me of the music played in the final scenes of the film, Inglorious Bastards, when everyone gets murdered: it sounds like opera music that is both holy and depressing at the same time. This music, for me, evoked more emotional feelings than the music in the WWI exhibit. This type of music went along with the images of the murdered people, and the people still alive screaming for help. I think this definitely evoked more feeling than war music, such as the music of Mars from Holst’s Planets, because it provided contrast to those images shown.

The Holocaust exhibit definitely provoked greater emotion out of me than the other two exhibits. I believe this is because it focused in more on the genocide of the Jews and other people Adolf Hitler deemed to be inferior to the white race as opposed to the war as a whole. Seeing images of murdered people and shoes that they used to wear was heartbreaking. It was also weird for me to go this exhibit in general. When I was younger, about 13, I went to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. However, when I went to this museum at that age, no emotion was really evoked out of me. I think that is because I was too young to comprehend the severity and horror of the situation, and therefore did not appreciate the museum or take in anything it was giving me. Now that I am older and am more educated and understanding of the horrors of war, I was able feel the pain and suffering of the Jews more than I was when I was younger. Interestingly enough, I believe the English understand this concept as before entering the exhibit, there is a sign saying it is not suitable for children under the age of 14.

In addition to the museums, we also visited the War Rooms, where Winston Churchill and other important figures worked to strategize about how to stop Hitler. I thought it was very interesting to walk through those rooms and see how people worked and lived under there during the war. Not much feeling was evoked for me during this tour, however. I think this is because I do not understand what it is like to live through a war and, unless another war breaks out directly around me to the point where my life is threatened constantly, I will never understand. I think this also has to do with how conditioned people are to war and violence today, thanks to the help of certain media and how and at what age we are taught about war in school. I think learning about war at such a young age takes away the impression of how terrible it is because, as mentioned above, kids are too young to comprehend and understand it, therefore not thinking much of it other than something they are taught in school.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Last Night at the Proms

Me (wearing Auntie Sue's earrings!!!) and Bruke at the Proms
Last night we went to the BBC Last Night at the Proms in Hyde Park and it was SO much fun! Originally I was expecting it to be an outdoor classical music concert, but it was so much more than that. There were a variety of different artists, from opera singers to old pop boy bands to drum players. I was surprised to see how patriotic this event was, reminding me a lot of 4th of July in America. People were decked out in their country colors, waving flags high up in the sky to the beat and singing along to all of the inspirational songs being sung. Everyone brought their own food and drinks (yes, alcoholic) and set up a picnic for themselves on the lawn. In the back of the lawn, everyone was sitting down and watching but up in the front everyone was up dancing around with each other to the music. As Tony the Tiger would say, it was grrrrrrr-eat!

Today is our first and only day off since arriving in London and I am currently waiting for everyone else to wake up. Not sure what the day has in store for me, but we shall see! I would say I would just go shopping, but I'm trying to save my money for my upcoming travels.

Another side note: THETA GOT IT'S NEW PLEDGE CLASS YESTERDAY!!! Can't wait to meet all of PC '11 <3

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Just A Few Tours

The last few days have been filled with lots of theatre and tours of different areas. We went back to the Globe and watched the Globe Mysteries, which was essentially a collection of excerpts from the Bible. It was an interesting production, but I was not a big fan of it, probably because I am not very religious. Also, as time progressed in the show, they made the costumes more modern. This is what one would expect to happen, except the costumes got WAY too modern for me. For example, when we arrived at Jesus' crucifixion, the people nailing him to the cross were wearing construction worker outfits and when King Harrod was killing babies, his henchmen were dressed as thugs. One aspect of the costuming I did like, however, was that one character who became the Devil, Lucifer, had a tattoo of his name across his chest that was visible on stage. When he played other evil and devilish characters the tattoo was still visible, symbolizing that they were of the devil.

In addition to the Globe Mysteries, we took a tour of the National Theatre and saw a production called The Kitchen, which is about a bunch of people working in the kitchen of a restaurant in Europe. I was not a fan of this production either, though everyone else seemed to enjoy it. It was very different, realist, and did not really seem to have a plot. I felt like I was watching a live reality show which would normally be okay, except I was expecting there to be a more defined plot as that is how traditional theatre is done. Though I was not a fan of the play as a whole, I thought that the directing and the acting was extremely well done.

The night before The Kitchen, we saw a performance of Holst's The Planets at the Proms. I thought this performance was excellent, though I find that I prefer to listen to classical music in the comfort of my room as I was very distracted throughout the piece by watching all of the people play their instruments and therefore could not take as much in as I would have liked. Tonight we are going the the last night of the Proms at Hyde Park. Luckily the weather is a bit nicer today (knock on wood!) so it should prove to be a fun evening!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


The other day my friends and I went into a famous department store called Harrod's, now owned by Princess Diana's deceased boyfriend's father. Let me tell you, this place is HUGE!!! There are many floors filled with designer shoes, clothes, accessories, and many other items in addition to restaurants, a pet salon, and a champagne bar. Though the store was neat and cool to go through, it was also very depressing, as the cheapest items I liked were a minimum of 50 pounds: most were in the hundreds or thousands.

....Christmas presents 2011 anyone?? A girl can dream, right?

Billy Elliot

The other night we all saw Billy Elliot. I knew the show in New York had won many Tony Awards, so I was expecting it to be a good show. Soon after it began, I realized that "good" was not the word to describe it: more like fantastic, phenomenal, or superb. I was blown away. I don't consider myself to be a very emotional person, and this show actually brought tears to my eyes. I became emotionally invested in it and really felt for Billy and the struggles he was going through for his passion: dance. I knew I was becoming personally involved in the show when intermission began, as I was angry I had to sit around and wait 30 minutes for Billy's story to continue to unravel before my eyes. All of the actors and actresses did a great job, and, for a young boy, Billy's dancing was incredible. I thought the show did a very good job intertwining the struggles of the miners and and the struggles of Billy as a dancer and through the numbers they had to visually illustrate this. After meeting Rick Fisher, a Dickinson Alum who won an award for the lighting design of the show, I paid special attention to the lighting effects and saw why he won the award. Fisher did a great job putting the spotlight on the people who the audience should pay the most attention to, while having dimmer lighting on the still important, yet background action going on. I especially liked when he used color to create and evoke feelings and emotions during certain scenes. I highly recommend this show to anyone looking for a fantastic broadway show.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What Goes Around Comes Around

So remember in my last post when I said the weather was getting better? Yeah, I lied. It went back to chilly and rainy today. Tarter sauce.

Anyways I want to start off by saying I did a very good deed today! I went to a sandwich shop right before closing today and they let my friends and I take their leftover fruit because it was going to go to waste if they didn't get rid of it. Obviously, being a poor college student on a budget, I took advantage of this situation and stocked up. On the walk back to the hotel, we saw a homeless man on the street. So, out of the kindness of my heart, I gave him some of the extra fruit I took from the store. I think (and hope) he was happy, even though after I gave it to him he asked if, instead of fruit, I had a hamburger or fries. As you can probably gather, I did not. At least I tried.

In other news, today was another fairly relaxed day. We went to the British Museum which is HUMONGOUS in order to complete an assignment. Later on, a few friends and I took a tour of the BBC Broadcasting Centre, which is the current home to the radio station and soon to be the home of both the radio and television stations. The tour was very interesting! We got to see the building and learn about the history of the building; for example, in World War II a room that is somewhat underground was used for people to sleep in in case there was a bomb threat. We also got to participate in a mock drama radio show, and I was selected to press the buttons on a computer screen that adds in the sounds. Pressing those buttons was exhilarating, let me tell you! Don't worry, my friend captured my happy, child-like expressions on film. After the tour, I decided I definitely want to apply to become an intern at BBC this summer. I think it would be perfect, especially because I personally believe that journalism and hard news are more appreciated here as opposed to the states: there are a lot more major newspapers here that people read and almost everywhere I turn someone is handing out newspapers to people for free. It is quite refreshing. I like knowing what is going on in the world instead of being stuck in the dark and only made aware of soft news, like when Lindsey Lohan checks into rehab for the fourth time or when a celebrity goes through a divorce or dies. Don't get me wrong, I do have a guilty pleasure of catching myself up on this kind of news, but only every once and awhile, not everyday. It also should not be the main source of news I receive, which is normally what happens back in the states.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Days Are Heating Up

Literally. The weather finally warmed up here and it no longer feels like October. It now feels a bit more like early September. Thank goodness. Anyways, I had a very successful last couple of days. Yesterday we paid a visit to Regent's Park, a gorgeous place, almost like a maze, that I would say is both nicer and larger than Central Park. It is like a maze there, kind of like the city of London. Why was I able to make that comparison? Probably because I got lost for a half and hour on a run yesterday and ended up going in a circle, as I kept running in the wrong direction. Whoops. At least I am getting to know other areas of London better now!

Today, we attempted to go to the Sir John Sloane Museum. Unfortunately, they would not let student groups go in today, so we were unable to go inside. Fortunately, that meant we essentially had a free day. WOOHOO! As it was a nice day once again, a bunch of us went to check out the Camden Markets. They were like a bigger, more upscale Canal Street, filled with shops, kiosks, and delicious food. They were awesome! And, yet again, I had a successful shopping trip (don't worry parents, I haven't been spending too much money). I bought a Beatles tank top and FINALLY found a nice, affordable pair of brown combat boots. I've only been searching for them for a few weeks now, no big deal.

Tonight we are having a mixer with the kids who came here through the Dickinson Science Program at a  pub along the Thames River. Here's hoping to a nice night, filled with lots of laughs and fun!

A Chocolate Devil

Okay, don't judge me for this but I had the BEST chocolate cake I have ever had IN MY LIFE the other day. It was so good in fact I felt that it was necessary to devote a blog post solely to the description of this slice of heaven. It was a very moist chocolate cake, filled with chocolate mousse,topped with a sweet chocolate ganache frosting, and embellished with a mini cream puff on the edge. Just typing this description is making my mouth water! Oh my gosh, I'm actually dying for a piece now. Crap.

Now you might wonder why I would refer to such a delicious treat as a devil, but I have very good reasons: 1. the bakery shop where I bought the cake is right around the corner from my hotel, 2. it was very inexpensive, 3. after eating it, I crave it all the time, and 4. it was SO GOOD I ate the entire slice. Yes, by myself. It's fine. However, I am proud of myself as I continue to fight my will and resist buying and enjoying another piece. Trust me, this is not a hard thing to do.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Much Ado

Jess, Ariel, and I outside of the Palace
The last two days have been the best so far on the London trip! Other than the fact that I got to see my friends on the science program, as they arrived two days ago, I went to see the former home of Henry VIII, Hampton Court Palace, and saw my favorite play to date: Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.

The palace was absolutely GORGEOUS!!! It was giant and filled with great detail, from extravagant paintings on the ceilings to carved designs on the wood surrounding the door. What I found very interesting was that the rooms open to the public back in the day were much larger and of better taste than the private rooms. The paintings were larger, the ceilings were higher, and the details were more extravagant. I believe this was done in order to show off wealth and power to the public, and make them become envious of the occupants living in the palace.

Me, Lizzie, Julie, Mae, Oanh-Nhi, and Emily with Joseph Marcell
Yesterday, I went to see Much Ado About Nothing at the replica of the Globe Theatre. Though I read Shakespeare in high school, I had never seen one of his plays on the stage. I was worried I would be lost in his language and not be able to understand what the actors were trying to say. On the contrary, I actually understood pretty much everything and found it to be quite humorous. We were all standing by the stage as opposed to sitting, as most people did in the Shakespearian era, and loved that the actors interacted with the crowd during the performance. It always makes a play more fun and enjoyable when the crowd gets involved. There was also icing on top this cake, as I got to meet two famous actors that were in the play: Joseph Marcell, also known as the butler Geoffrey from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Charles Edwards who played a character in Batman Begins.

Today, we got to meet Rick Fisher, an excellent lighting designer and Dickinson Alum. He was very nice and told us his life story how he went from wanting to be an actor to being a lighting designer. It was very interesting.

We are returning to the Globe in a couple of weeks to see another production, and I am absolutely ecstatic!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Museum and An Abbey

The past couple of days have been very busy, but I keep trudging through! Yesterday we went to Barbican, a residential community, and the Museum of London. The Barbican was a very interesting area: it was filled with commercial looking buildings that actually were residential buildings and, within this community, there were various places for residents to go to, from restaurants to music venues. It reminded me a lot of a college campus, except it was filled with families instead of, as President Durden would say, “young scholars.” After the Barbican we walked next door to the Museum of London. The museum was quite interesting, sharing with those who wander through it London’s history through artifacts, displays, and videos. I learned a lot about London’s origin and about many of the cultural, political, and aesthetic it has gone through over the years.

Today we went to Westminster Abbey, a very famous church in London. Nowadays it’s fame has grown exponentially due to the fact that Prince William and Cate recently wed there as the news so often points out to the world. The church was not what I was expecting. It was filled with shrines and tombs of past Kings and Queens as well as influential people from London’s history, like William Shakespeare. In addition to this, the church had an altar that is used to perform traditional church services at as well as a museum and, wait for it, a kiosk to buy food and coffee!! There was also a gift store that tourists are forced to walk through in order to exit. I was very disappointed with this church as it seemed more like a tourist attraction than a sacred, holy space. One was charged admission in order to enter and it seemed to me that most of the people there only paid to get in to see the photo exhibit of the royal wedding the church had on display. I am very surprised that the two well-known churches I have seen thus far are turning away from their traditional practice of being a holy space for those, instead turning into an opportunity for profit.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Just A Day In The Life

Some friends and I outside St. Paul's
Today was such a long day! We started off by going to a church service at St. Paul's church. The church itself is huge and absolutely GORGEOUS! The architecture is fantastic and there are a lot of differences between the service there and services I have experienced at home. Instead of seating ourselves, an usher brought us to our seats. There were not any pues: instead, there were fold up chairs (complete with seat cushions) for us to sit on. We were given pamphlets that had, in chronological order, all of the songs and prayers that were going to be sung and said during the service, as opposed to using a book that would be provided to us. The pamphlets also gave instructions as to when to sit and stand and when we needed to speak or sing. During the service, I felt very small and insignificant; I believe this is because I was sitting in such a large area and the sounds of the church (the organ and the choir) completely overpowered the sound of the people at the service. It was definitely an interesting experience to have.

Me, Lizzie, Mae, and a speaker
After going to the service, we went to Speaker's Corner by Knotting Hill. In this area, different people come and give speeches, or in some cases preach about religion, to any crowd they attract. All of us were caught off guard when one speaker suggested that women should remain in the kitchen, as it is dangerous for men to be there because all of the sharp objects could potentially harm their private parts. Angered by his sexist remarks, some of us, including myself, began to argue back. Though frustrating, this heated debate provided great entertainment for us and the crowd, especially because we are American. After many rude remarks from the speaker, we finally threw in the white flag and walked away. A different speaker that was in the crowd during the debate started talking to us a few moments later as we complained about the other incompetent speaker. The man we were speaking to then told us how he knew the other man personally and that in reality he was actually a very intelligent intellectual. He then proceeded to say how some people, including the man that angered us, go to Speaker's corner to give speeches about things that will get a reaction from the crowd and that they continue to play into it based on the crowd's response. Therefore, in reality, the speaker we had grown to hate was actually more like an actor and was not sexist... or so we hope.
Me, Lizzie, Mae, Oanh-Nhi, and Kate
outside Buckinham Palace

After we calmed down, we went over to Oxford Circus to blow off any leftover steam through a little retail therapy. Yet again we had a successful trip, though the area was very crowded today due to it being a Sunday. A couple hours later we went over and saw Buckingham Palace. However, we were annoyed after we arrived there to find our future mother in law locked us out of our future home, keeping us away from our future husband, Prince Harry. Rude. So instead we left and went to eat Indian food for dinner... which was PHENOMENAL!!! We topped off this amazing meal with some British candy bars and ice cream. Overall I think it is safe to say this was another great, yet typical day in the life of a Dickinsonian overseas.

Shopping, shopping, and MORE shopping!

Obviously being a girl, I love to shop (I definitely fit into that stereotype!) So when we had some free time the other day, a few other girls and I decided to go shopping for a few items we needed in order to live over here. Of course, as per usual, the few things we needed turned into a few things we wanted as well. Classic. My friend Lizzie, having lived in London before, took us to Oxford Circus, an area similar to the area around Macy's and Harold Square in New York City: it is filled with lots of people and lots of shops!

To begin our shopping extravaganza, we went to a store similar to an upscale CVS called Boots to get a hairdryer and straightener. The prices weren't TOO bad, that is until you convert pounds to dollars. Oh well. We still managed to get what we needed at decent price, even after the conversion. After this, we went to another store that was like the Macy's in New York, called Selfridge's. It was many floors and was filled with designer items. The best part? There was a rather large area devoted to both my and Carrie Bradshaw's weakness: shoes. I ended up getting some Haviana rain boots, something I did indeed need in order to brave the London weather, and admired all of the shoes I wanted but alas could not afford. Typical.

Shortly after this, we were told that, because we are not from the UK, we get taxes back! Excited and surprised by this, all of us waited at customer service to get our taxes back. After waiting awhile, we discovered that, because we were students and living in Britain, we could not get taxes back. Why? Because we get our taxes back at customs and the receipt were getting was only valid for three months after our purchase. Now I know to do most of my shopping right before I leave!

Overall, if the conversion rate was pound for dollar, the prices in London would not be bad at all. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A shirt costing 20 pounds is actually 40 dollars. Hopefully I can stretch my stipend or get a job once I arrive to UEA in order to have some spending money, as I think most of us would rather save our money for travels instead of clothes.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

First Few Days

Welp last night was my first night out on the town in London! To begin this wonderful adventure, our entire group went to a showing of the broadway Fela, a show about the struggles of a Nigerian man named Fela shortly after Nigeria became independent from Britain in the 1980s. Though very comical, this show had strong political messages about the government and turned out to be very depressing in the end when all of the women Fela loved are murdered. After this show, a few of us decided to go out in order to have a "real" London experience. We started out by checking out a couple of pubs, followed by going to a pub/nightclub called Verve. It was definitely an experience! The crowd was a lot older than I was expecting and there were some interesting people around, but overall it was a lot of fun.

After a very fun and interesting night, I awoke this morning expecting another fun-filled day. Today we took a tour down the Thames River to Greenwich, where we checked out the Maritime Museum and the Observatory. I was astounded to find that the museum was free of charge to the public, as in the States going to a museum is very expensive. I think it is great that they do that; it allows people to become more knowledgeable and engaged with their countries history up close and personal.

Tonight is a free night for us, and hopefully we will have some more fun adventures to share!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Finally, the moment I have been waiting for since I was a freshman in high school has come: I have made it to the UK!!!!!!!! I wish I could explain my random lust for coming to Europe, especially England, but I can't. It is just something that I have always wanted to do, and now, 7 years later, I am finally achieving this goal.

I arrived into Heathrow at nine a.m. London time after a long six hour red eye flight from Newark. The flight wasn't too bad, but it was hard to sleep with all of the lights on. Needless to say I have not napped once today and think by tomorrow I will be adjusted nicely. As soon as we got off the plan we all started our London education by getting familiar with our surrounding area via a tour by the one and only Todd Wronski himself.

So, long story short, nothing too exciting, other than arriving in London and finding out that a plethora of attractive men have been hiding in this great city of course, happened today. Before our flight took off we were all preparing to have a fun Thursday night, filled with going out to pubs and hopefully meeting some locals. However, after this extremely long, tiring day combined with the fact that we have a quiz first thing tomorrow on all of our summer reading, which we barely remember because we completed it months ago I might add, we have all decided to act like people from retirement homes (no offense!!!!!) and hit the hay rather early. That's probably a good idea, though. We want a good night's sleep to better prepare ourselves for whatever adventures tomorrow will bring.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's Time

Today is the day.. the FINAL day I am in the United States before I embark on what I will hope to be an extremely EPIC time in the UK for a whole year. Yes, an entire year. It took a lot of time, but I think I am finally prepared; my bags are packed to full capacity, my passport and visa are set, and I have all of the necessary documents I need to show the people working at the airport when I land in London on Thursday morning. Instead of laying outside in the sunshine one last time before I leave as an attempt to fix the horrid tan lines I acquired while working at camp this summer, I spent what seems like endless hours packing and repacking all of my suitcases and carry on bag to fit the requirements that Virgin Airlines has. Who knew that a carry on could not be more than 13 pounds or that a backpack counts as a full on carry on bag too! Despite these minor infractions getting in my way, I am still ecstatic! It seems like everything is going to plan and will work out great (knock on wood), that is if you ignore the minor fact that I'll probably realize I forgot something once I board the plane or that it's possible the airline can lose my luggage, but who's really focusing on that!!! I'm not worried at all!!! (I hope you note the sarcasm in those statements.)

SO tomorrow at approximately 12:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time I will be leaving my house in Newtown and heading to Newark airport in hopes to arrive there a whole four hours before my nine p.m. flight as required by Virgin, with a quick pit stop in Fishkill to have lunch with my grandparents. Why, you ask? Because that's just the kind of person I am :) Well, sometimes.... just kidding!

Okay kids, working at an all girls camp in Maine all summer has made me a granny, (no offense grandparents) and it is time I get ready for bed. And yes I do know it is only 9:33 p.m. on a summer night, but I'm trying to save up my energy for England, GOSH!

Catch you all on the flipside. Or I guess on the other side of the Earth. Well, maybe not that far, but it's still about 3,000 miles north(ish)east from here and five hours ahead.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Prelude

In approximately one month and four days I will be on a plane going to England, where I will be studying abroad for the year. I decided that is was necessary to create a blog to document my escapades that will ensue after I arrive, as I created this blog to share with my friends, family, and random bored strangers to keep them up to date on what I am doing abroad (and hopefully after I return as well). If you're lucky I might even write some posts before I leave if something occurs that I feel is worth sharing to the public. Though I already have a Tumblr, I realized that it is full of random images, songs, and videos I decided I liked one day and that all my posts on it are more article-esque, written on certain topics as opposed to my daily activities. I could very well choose to change the style of my Tumblr, but as many know I am a media addict and decided creating a blog for a different purpose on Blogger was necessary. Don't expect too many posts, or any posts at all most-likely, on this blog until it becomes very close to the time I leave. I am currently working at Camp Vega in Maine and will then return to my home in Connecticut before I "become" a European, and though I am sure some would absolutely LOVE to hear about my long days working with kids, soon to turn into my long days doing homework for school, eating, and sleeping, I think I am going to spare everyone else the agony. So sit back, relax, and stay tuned until blog posts return!