This is such a huge part of who I am, and that's why I'm sharing. There's no huge significance to this post, other than the fact that it changed my life personally. But I thought some people might like to see a little of what I did and what it was like. I have so many pictures, and I've only chosen a few!
I went to London in the Spring semester of 2006. There was around 20 of us, and only 3 were guys. This made for an interesting semester, but it ended up being great. For the first and third months, we lived in a bed and breakfast called St. Margaret's, which was owned and operated by the Marazzi family. It has been torn down, sadly, since I was there, but the Marazzi's own another hotel, the Celtic. I hope to visit it when I go again!
In the second month, we lived with homestay families. Brooke and I lived with a wonderful, wonderful family: Tom, Teresa, and Jake. It was so much fun, and we laughed so much when we were with them. They lived in north London, about 45 minutes outside the main part of the city, so we would commute every morning for class on the Tube, the underground subway-like system. Thankfully, we were almost the furthest out of town, so we got seats every morning. But as we got closer and closer in to the city, it was so crammed and crowded. I actually really enjoyed commuting. I got to listen to music, sometimes read, occasionally do last-minute assignments.
We had classes at King's College in London, in their classrooms. Our classes were Theatre, London History and Culture, History of Science, Art History, and English Literature. History of Science was the only class taught by an American professor---Dr. Parks, who was our chaperone. Let's just say he was pushing 75 or 80 and wasn't the most interesting or fun teacher/chaperone, but he was endearing in his own way!
Dr. Donald Rumbelow and his lifelong girlfriend Molly were our teachers for London History and Culture. Dr. Rumbelow is also the world's expert on Jack the Ripper, so we got a very interesting tour when that lesson came about. He took us to every site imaginable in London, and told us things that were truly fascinating. I loved it, even though it was a walking class, and it became exhausting after awhile!
Art History was one of those classes that you wanted desperately to enjoy, but it was always after lunch, and Susan, our professor, dimmed the lights and used slides for an hour and a half. It was torture to stay awake! But a lot of times we got to go to the museums after class and see what we had just studied in person. That was always so wonderful. And she was the epitome of a classy, elegant, British woman. She was just impeccable.
Theatre was with Ian. He is one of the leading London theatre critics, and we loved his class. He was hilarious and irreverent, but we just loved it. We went to musicals only occasionally. Usually he would take us to plays that were just opening, or he suspected would be big hits....and he was always right! I was able to witness to Ian, because I chose to write about spiritual correlations to the musical Les Miserables for my term paper. It was very evangelical, and he wrote on my paper: "A++! You made me go and open my Bible. I believe you can shout Psalm 100 at full volume." I hope I planted a seed :o)
My favorite class was English Literature with Sarah. I loved this class the most because she was the most passionate teacher I had ever seen concerning literature and reading. I just responded to her and loved learning under her. It was challenging, to be sure, but very rewarding.
We took our Spring Break trip to Wales and Scotland. It was beautiful!! We also took day trips to Cambridge, Stonehenge, Bath (so amazing!) and other places. Brooke and I went by ourselves one day to Oxford and found ourselves in the middle of an extreme animal-rights rally/protest. Only us.
There's so much that I could say about that semester, and maybe I'll write more about it periodically. I think this post is more for myself than anyone else. London was one of those experiences that no one thinks to ask me about, but it is such a huge part of who I am. One of my biggest goals is to take Kurt and my parents. They need to see one of the best places in the entire world!! Your heart probably won't feel like it's about to burst when you see these pictures (like mine does) but just allow me to reminisce :o)
Paul, our spring break bus driver. Oscar, St. Margaret's reception desk.
Brighton Pier with Patrick. Brighton Pier with the girls.
Teresa's rock star theme 40th b-day! White cliffs of Dover with Patrick and Nate.
Jake and I on the Tube to Camden. Cambridge!
Gwen Stefani night at Homestay. Punting the river at Cambridge.
Rock star birthday :o) Brooke and I with the Royal (wax) Family.
My crush in wax. With Brooke in Oxford.
The banquet hall at Oxford---the Harry Potter movie was modeled after this room! Teresa and I on Gwen Stefani night.
At a pub (during the day) at Greenwich. Dr. Rumbelow and I on the Prime Meridian.
Me and my friends Diana and William. The whole group :o)
Me at Stonehenge. Me with Simon, our guide at Shakespeare's Globe