Week Five in London!

Day One

We went to Hampton Court with the social program. It was awesome. We walked all around the palace, saw the King’s apartment and the Queen’s apartment. We went through a maze and saw the magic garden. It was also sweltering hot.

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Check out this fireplace! It’s been used to cook the King’s food since Hampton Court became a palace. Look at the soot all the way up to the ceiling.

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What an average menu would look like for the King.

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This clock, in Clock Court, is based on the moon.

Day Two

Syd and I attempted to see the Changing of the Gaurd, but the city was so packed and it was so hot, that all we saw were the sweaty backs of heads.

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Can you see how many people were there?

After that failure, we tried to find the vegan market and also failed. The market was closed for Pride, which we ended up in the middle of. We sort of gave up after that. It was so hot that I was sitting in my kitchen (using the WiFi) and sweating. I did homework and watched Netflix for the rest of the day.

Day Three

This was one of the greatest days of the trip. The social program took us to Bath and Stonehenge in an AIR CONDITIONED coach! Sleeping and studying on that coach was such a nice time, I never wanted it to end. I wasn’t sure what to expect at Bath, but the museum was really cool. There was an audioguide that explained all of the artifacts, there were the spring and the bath themselves. I even got to try some of the magical healing water. It was so hot! 40 degrees Celcius…that’s about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Stonehenge was phenomenal. I was expecting it to be underwhelming, so seeing it bigger and grander than I imagined was awesome! If you ever have the chance to go there, I highly recommend it!

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The baths are lined with lead, so all of the water is extremely contaminated. Not only is it too dangerous to ingest, it is also too dangerous to even touch!

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Please, if you are ever able and love history and mysteries, go here!

Day Four

I started the morning booking tickets for the sky garden. My class had a Mrs. Dalloway excursion, where we followed the path Virginia Woolf laid out in the novel. After class, I went to the Barbican Museum to see a Dorothea Lange exhibit and see the famous Migrant Mother. A lot of Lange’s work was phenomenal and some of it was not very good at all. I ended the night by going to trivia night. We didn’t come in dead last, so it was a great time!

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We think this is the area where Mrs. Dalloway lived.

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We stopped at Hatchards, the oldest bookstore in London!

Day Five

I went to class and did some homework before trecking to Camden Market for a little bit and then going to a Georgian restaurant and trying the acharuli khachapuri, recommended by Sydney. Essentially, the meal is a bread boat filled with egg, cheese, and butter. It was incredible!

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If you can eat this, do it. If you can’t find something similar that is allergen friendly.

Day Six

The last excursion for class. We went to Highgate Cemetary and walked around looking at the graves of famous people. After class, I went to the Natural History Museum and the London Museum. I saw the Rosetta Stone, a life-like T-rex, and Queen Cleopatra. I tried bubble tea for the first (and last) time. Then a group of us sought out a place to watch the game (World Cup). Wednesday was the first and last time I really cared about soccer. England lost to Croatia, who I thought played a little bit dirty towards the end.

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The whale!

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The Queen.

Day Seven

After class, I spent four hours in the library writing my papers. Then I went to the gym. Then Caleb, Sydney and I booked tickets to Dover to see the sea, and tickets for Incredibles 2, because it’s FINALLY releasing over here!

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Week Four in London!

Day One

The final class meeting for session one. We had a literary scavenger hunt throughout central London. We ran around like chickens with our heads cut off, luckily, we came in second place!

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From left to right: myself, Tyler, Megan, Ally, and Isabella. We were on a mission to win!

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We found St. Paul’s [Actor’s] Church

After the scavenger hunt, a group of us went with Dr. G to a pop-up exhibition of graphic designs that helped create the Harry Potter cinematic universe, it was really cool to see all of the little details that went into creating the films.

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Right around the corner from this little gallery is an all vegetarian/vegan menu pub. I will 100% be going there!

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This place had Hogwarts letters posted EVERYWHERE.

On the way to campus, we ended up at the National Gallery Museum!

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Monet.

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Van Gogh.

After returning to campus and doing my laundry, a group of us went out to find a pub showing England in the world cup and to celebrate for those who were only staying for the first session. Eventually, we ended up at the Toyshop, which we had gone to for the cocktail night. After the game, there was a live band that played until close.

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The squad.

 

Day Two

I slept in for the first time in what felt like months, then went to the library to work on editing some photography with Jeff. After that, Sydney, Caleb, Jeff and I hunted down Abbey Road and Baker Street.

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If you didn’t know, this is an actual road, that gets used. We were literally dodging buses and cars.

We took the bus back from central London during rush hour, it took forever and I think I fell asleep. The day ended with all of us plus Ally and Carter watching Back to the Future in my kitchen.

Day Three

I took another lazy day. I slept in, finished a movie and watched five episodes of Brooklyn 99. Said goodbye to some good friends. Hung out with some good friends; we fed the birds and narrowly missed being attacked by some swans and geese. Then, Sydney made dinner for all of us. I also finally beat level 47 of Mr. Bean, which I had been stuck on for over a month.

Day Four

Caleb, Sydney and I took Jeff out for a goodbye brunch.

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Check out this delicious vegetarian breakfast burrito.

Afterward, we dodge a crowded bus, walked through a park, found a weird Santa toy and ended up feeding the birds again. There is a duck that will eat out of your hand. Sydney named her Stacy.

Day Five

The first day of class for session two. I’m in a writing class titled Hidden London. We explore the city and works about it and then write about London. This class has a bit more demanding workload than the last one, but it still seems fun. Tyler and I grabbed a table in the library after class to work on final papers from the other class and homework from our new class. I said goodbye to Jeff. Then a group of us went to see Oceans 8. It was okay.

Day Six

Had class and spent some time in the library. Then went on a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour with the social programme. This one was a bit better than the one that I went on in my session one class.

Day Seven

Happy fourth to all of my friends and family across the pond! My class went on an excursion to the White Chapel area of London. If you’re ever in the city and want to look at some awesome street art, check out Brick Lane.

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Save the bees.

We also visited the White Chapel Gallery, which was doing an exhibit on Dead Negatives of the Great Depression, focusing on photographers who shot for the FSA.

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The hole in the photos are from a hole-punch because the photos were deemed unsuitable/unusable for the propaganda.

After class, I tried some charity shops in search of clothes that won’t cook me in this odd heat wave (I packed for chilly, rainy London, not 80s-90s, sunny and droughty). I also went grocery shopping, as I had no food for breakfast. Pray for rain.

‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ Review

And my obsession with Wonder Woman continues!

I have wanted to read this book since the second I discovered it was coming out. And I was not let down.
‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ shows a different Diana and Themyscira than the one that Patty Jenkins showed us in the movie. We see more of this ‘Cult Island,’ as it is called, and we learn more about the Amazon way of life, rules, and regulations. The Amazons and their culture is more developed than in the movie. I really enjoyed seeing Diana in this light, and I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t develop that any further.

In ‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ Diana is innocent. But she is also a kid; seventeen to be exact. She fights being the youngest of her people and being a teenager in modern day New York. That is something that I really enjoyed about the read, Diana was relatable in a way that isn’t really relatable. She doesn’t know how to work a smartphone, has never seen anything plastic, and has never flown in an airplane…but the way she feels about all of these new things is so relatable because we’ve all been there and experienced new things.

The ending was a twist that even I wasn’t expecting, and I’m pretty good at expecting twists. And that’s exactly what brought this book to five stars. The writing was well done, the characters well developed, which I enjoyed. But the twist ending worked. It didn’t seem far-fetched and fit character personalities. The twist ending was a real make it or break it moment; depending on how Leigh Bardugo handled the situation it could have gone off the rails and ruined the entire novel. But it didn’t. It tied it together really well and mended my heart (that had shattered a few pages beforehand).

Over 5/5 stars for a well-written ending that knew it’s characters.

Just a thought on college and life in general…

It’s a very surreal feeling to know that your life is ending. And I mean this in two ways: Recently, the idea that the moment you’re born is the moment you start dying has been on my mind and I don’t know why that is. It could be the fact that a couple weeks ago I walked away from a totaled car that I should have died in (and I trust that I’m still alive because God saved me that night). But that’s another story.

I guess this blog post is somewhat of a letter because I honestly don’t think that I can just talk to anybody about this. There are people that I would talk to, but they’re either recently out of my life or are going through their own problems.

I don’t know.

I make my own calendars. It helps me think, I guess. There is just a satisfying feeling about drawing in the lines and writing down the numbers and month names that makes all of the time passing feel familiar to me; it makes me accepts that I am the oldest I’ve ever been and the youngest I ever will be again at every moment of my life.

Three days ago marks the two month mark until I move into my college dorm. Two months until my life ends. And I’m not talking about my actual life, at least I hope it doesn’t end; I’m talking about my entire life up until now. I don’t think that I really consider birth through three years life. It’s alive, that’s for sure, but to me life and alive don’t connote in the same way. When you’re four though, or whenever you start preschool, memories start to form and the training begins. What training? The training that sets you up for the next thirteen years. Preschool prepares toddlers for elementary school, which prepares kids for middle school, which prepares preteens for high school. But high school doesn’t really do much to prepare teenagers for college. Schedules aren’t the same, the way the classrooms are run, all of the things are different.

I guess that that is what I’m most scared about. The differences. I don’t think that I’m prepared and I would much rather be prepared.

And that’s what I mean about my life ending. My life that I’ve been preparing for and living since I was four years old is over. The schedule isn’t the same, neither is the curriculum.

When I looked at my calendar and when I wrote “MOVE IN!” in all capitals with an explanation point, it felt like I was signing away my soul.

As much as I think that I’m ready for this new door to open up, I know that I’m still standing just out of reach of the doorknob. I can’t decide if that distance, the distance between me and the doorknob, is because of terror or anticipation, possible both.

How can I be so ready, yet so ill-prepared, to end my life? Yes, it’ll be the start to a new one… But, am I ready to meet the new me?