Sunday, January 30, 2011

Neon, Greenwich, and Upcoming Trips!

Hey everyone!
Sorry it's been so long. I've been crazy busy, and since I have a paper due on Friday, I'm not likely to post anything more for at least a week. So, here is the quick recap of what I've been doing (aside from schoolwork) for the past week and a half.

So, this term I decided to do more of the Give it a Go events, which are meant for Freshers, but are mostly used by affiliates this term. One of them was to get into Club Neon for an all-student event. Club Neon is a club night at this bar called Heaven. There are tons of UV lights and the employees walk around with neon paint to put on your face. People show up in crazy outfits and dance all night. It's fantastic! And, although you can't get the full awesomeness of my outfit or my face painting, here's a photo of me from Club Neon.

2. Greenwich
Another Give it a Go event was the tour to Greenwich that I went on this morning. It was freezing out and, because the tube where we were meeting was closed, I had to wander for about 15-20 minutes from another tube stop to find the meeting place. However, I wanted to see Greenwich, so I sucked it up and went anyway. It ended up being a really great tour! I got to see the prime meridian, and the former location of Greenwich Palace, which is where Henry VIII liked to stay with his court. I also stood on the field where Anne Boleyn was arrested, back when it was used as a jousting arena. Our tour guide was great, and kept the tour moving since it was so cold, so I think it ended up being a bit shorter than it's normally supposed to be. I had no issues with that. I cannot wait for it be summer. I think I've forgotten what it feels like to be warm outside. Although, I have to add, we could see the sun today! It was out for awhile in Greenwich! I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but here in London we haven't seen the sun for weeks, so seeing it was wonderful lol. And a few pictures from Greenwich!
Standing in the former location of Greenwich Palace

At the prime meridian. I'm in two hemispheres at once!

3. Upcoming Trips
So, another thing I decided to do this term is to travel more. I am well on my way to achieving that goal. First up are my trips during Reading Week. I'll be spending the first half of the week in Prague, visiting Lizzy! (Read her blog at Elizabeth in Prague) Then, for the second half of the week, I'll be in Paris celebrating my 21st birthday with a few friends. In March, the greatest brother in the entire world will be visiting me here in London :) He wants to visit Scotland, so we'll be spending two day in Edinburgh. At some point, I also need to plan trips for the entire month of April that I have off. Yes, their spring break is seriously a month long. So, any opinions on where I should go for that month are totally welcome!

Well, back to paper writing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

How I Nearly Had Class in a Construction Zone

I'm trying to figure out the best way to go through everything that happened this week.  I think I'll just take it day-by-day and explain what happened each day. That'll probably make it easiest. Here we go!

Monday: This was the day of the first NGO Panel. It was a really interesting talk, detailing the different ways to get involved. I definitely need to go talk to the Volunteering Services Unit here at school. And, in the future, I could potentially look into, for volunteering opportunities past graduation. They gave us some advice on getting into the field, such as getting involved early, developing and marketing the skills that make you stand on, and knowing about the sector and the field that you want to get involved in. This was the last day that I felt reasonably well, which I will get into starting with...

Tuesday: So on Tuesday, I woke up with a horrible cough, sore throat, and a headache that wouldn't leave all day long. I had my first Chaucer seminar, in which the professor actually asked questions, which is not fun when your head hurts and you can't think :( I intended to go to a self defense class that night, but I just did not feel well and my headache came back any time I turned my head, so I decided just to stay in and try to get well.

Wednesday: Wednesday, I didn't feel a whole lot better, but I didn't have class, so that's good. As Wednesday is usually my laundry day, I packed up my clothes and headed down, only to find that every single washing machine was broken. Seriously. How does that even happen? Anyway, laundry day failed, so then I went to the talk on "so you want to be a relief worker?" which was kind of awesome and kind of discouraging. The big idea was that being a relief worker is a career and you have to look at it that way, not as something you do while waiting to get to a career, which is fine, but they were very clear about how difficult it is to break into the field and how much experience you need in other jobs before becoming a relief worker. So, that's still on the list of things to do, but I will need to find an actual job first so I can prepare myself for getting in to that field.
I then went to a talk on this service trip going on over spring break. It's going to Romania, and it sounds like they'll be doing some really cool things, but the group leaders seem like they don't really know what they're doing. They've never done this before and they're just hoping that not too many people sign up to go, which is a recipe for disaster in my mind. So, I think I'll be sitting this one out.

Thursday: I was definitely feeling better, thank god, just in time for my busiest day of the week. I had three classes and worked on my paper. There's not a whole lot else to say lol. Oh, I did actually get to the gym, after not going for a few days because of being sick. Stupid illness.

Friday: So, today, I finally got to do laundry, which means I now have clean clothes. Yay! I had one class today, my seminar for London in Literature. The class was supposed to be located in the Rockefeller building, the outside of which is currently under construction. Or, at least I thought it was just the outside. So, I walked in, and all around me are construction workers putting up plaster, dust everywhere, no lights. There was a guy at the front door directing people, who told me to just walk through the construction and then turn left. Pretty much the entire building looked like that. It was actually a little scary and I was very confused and disoriented. Then, we all get there and realize that UCL has double booked the room, so that my class ended up being moved to the faculty lounge of the English department. The class is on future London, so lots of dystopias, and it seems to be turning into a class on natural disasters. Yeah, not sure how that one happened. But it seems like it's going to be fun, so that's good.

Well, that was my week. I am now feeling much better, thankfully, so I can get on with my life. My paper that's due Monday is nearly done. I just need to write a conclusion paragraph and then I have a completed rough draft. Now it's time to start on Chaucer. I know, my life is so exciting, right?

Well, this upcoming week is really light at the moment, so I will update y'all once something interesting happens :)

All my love!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Essays and Westminster

This term I decided to do a few of the "Give it a go" events. I really didn't do a whole lot of them last term because, after that week of orientation, I was really over the whole repeating freshman year thing, so I didn't do a lot of the events that they have set up for freshman and affiliates. This term, though, I am going to take advantage of some of them.

First up was a tour of Old Westminster. We met outside the Westminster tube stop just before 7 pm and spent the next two hours walking around looking at the houses of parliament, Westminster Abbey, etc... It was really interesting and I learned a few new facts. Also, did you know that when Parliament is in session, the building is open to the public for free? You can go in, walk around, and sit in on the debates. Our tour guide was telling us that the best time to go is on a Monday or Tuesday night, when they have late sessions, around 10 pm. Then, there's no line and you can get right in. If you go in the middle of the day any other time, you'll end up waiting for hours to get inside. I will definitely be going there to listen to debates sometime soon!

Next on my list of things to do is a self defense class on Tuesday. Also, next week, the Career Services department here at UCL is hosting panels and talks on working for NGOs, which is really high on my list of possible career tracks, so I'm going to a few of those. I'm also going to an information session about the Volunteering Society's service trip to Romania during the first week of spring break, so hopefully I'll get to take part in that!

On a more school-related topic, my first two essays have been assigned. The first, due a week from Monday, is for Modern English Language and is on the accepted use of non-standard English in spoken communication. I promise, it's actually an interesting topic, even if it doesn't sound like it. My second paper is due February 4 and is on the characterization of male victims of adultery in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. I've gotten back into school mode pretty quickly, so this shouldn't be too bad. We'll see.

Well, that's all I've got for now. Time to eat lunch and get back to work on papers.

All my love,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Back in London, Day 2

Yes, I realize that it's been several weeks since I've update. But I'm back now :)

So, as you all know, I did eventually make it back to Chicago. Total days stranded in London: 5. I am still very upset about the whole situation and am trying not to think about it too much. Another random fact about my traveling, over the past two weeks (since my break was cut short by a week), I was on 4 different flights, for a total of somewhere around 25 or 26 hours traveling. That includes time spent at the airport, in case anyone is confused by my math :)

I had a fantastic break and did manage to make it to New Orleans for New Years, which was fabulous. As of Sunday, I am back in London, and yesterday I had my first class of the term. Now, I have no more classes until Thursday, but I'm not complaining. I had time to go to the gym yesterday for a BoxAerobic class and today for a Core Stability and Abs class. Tomorrow its off to Boxing 4 Fitness. Also, I'm hoping that tomorrow they might actually put up the seminar lists in the English department so that I know what books I'm supposed to buy. As of now, the only thing I know I need to read is the Canterbury Tales, but as I've already read that (granted, in modern English), that really wasn't one of the classes I was concerned about. Oh well. This is just the way things work around here.

There are all new affiliates on my floor and they seem really cool so, although I miss my friends from last term, I'm really excited about the new ones for this term, so that's pretty cool. We're all going out together tomorrow night and this weekend, so there will be updates later. I have also planned my trip to Prague to go visit Lizzy!! Yay!

That's about all I can think of for now. Off to read A Confederacy of Dunces, since I just finished The Year of the Flood yesterday and have absolutely nothing else to do lol.