The Last Hurrah!

Already as I left my building at just about 4 I found a cute little Charles spaniel to pet and he was just so cute and friendly! Today was Tate Modern day since I hadn’t been yet. I made sure to choose a day that it would be open longer so I could maximize my time there.

In the Loeb Gallery, there was a section dedicated to Berns and Hilla Becher who worked together, photographing various structures, always while it was overcast and all were printed as black and white. It was quite interesting to look at the different structures that they photographed and to see how they used the weather to create their ideal images. Out of all of the museums in London this was by far my favorite. I loved the modern pieces, much more so than the renaissance of the National Gallery which I went to probably a good six times!

There were so many pieces that I really enjoyed, too many in fact to name right now since it’s about 1am; I’ll be finishing this blog post tomorrow while I’m at the airport on my way home. Yup, it still hasn’t sunk in yet, I leave tomorrow to go back to the states and I’m so excited to see everyone and my dogs especially!! Until then!

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Bounce: Why I Don’t Ping Pong

The highlight of my day was going to Bounce for the one of three available farewell dinners. Originally there had been about 18 people on the list for today but then turns out only four of us showed up. It was really quite nice we had a small table and all got to talk to each other and enjoyed some good company! 

I had some minor dilemmas choosing what food to order; did I go with the goat cheese pizza or did I go with the one with mushrooms.. In the end I got the white pizza and we ordered a goat cheese and caramelized onion started bread to share. It worked out rather nicely doing that! Got a little bit of everything that way! 

Dessert was a lemon cheesecake with  lovely plate presentation!! There was a salted caramel brownie option and I do love salted caramel but I had to go with lemon. I was feeling the cheesecake this evening and I’m glad I did, it hit the spot.  After dessert we had a ping pong table for an hour. 

Now let me preface this section with saying I’m not one for hand eye coordination but apparently when I focus enough and don’t flinch it’s not too bad. I managed to only hit myself with the paddle once, when I was trying to fan myself with it, causal. I also only almost hit someone in the face once too! That’s a big deal for me, I have terrible aim if I even hit my target to begin with! Overall we had a really good time and definitely enjoyed ourselves! Until tomorrow!  

T-Minus 3 Days 

My day was centered around writing my papers, unpacking, repackaged and cleaning up my spaces. Not the most exciting of days but it wasn’t too bad. I submitted both of my papers, figured out my luggage situation for going home and finished one of my remaining four books. 

Tomorrow I’ve got two classes with no more assignments since I’ve submitted them all and then I’m free to explore whatever else of London I so choose. I will be going to the Tate on Friday since I’ve saved that day for it–I really am quite excited to finally see it!! Well seeing as that’s really all that’s happened today I’ll end with pictures of my food because that’s how I do things. Until tomorrow! Looking forward to the Thursday “farewell dinner”.

Debate Day

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The big activity of the day was my class debate, our debate topic was “The advent of the digital age has revolutionized popular culture for the better”. My group was tasked to be against this statement. At first we were pretty annoyed at getting the side we did, but then our professor gave us a few helpful hints and ideas of where to start; thus opening the can of worms that was our brainstorming session.

A few of our points that we threw on our google doc included but weren’t limited to;

    • Change your picture for Paris 
    • Warped Sense of reality
    • Bullying & disinhibition
    • TV  & issues relating to CSI, medical shows and more
    • Music and popular sharing websites
    • terrorism and their use of popular medias
    • and more!

The con side’s points were the following and many more;

  • media has allowed for a shareable society so that images can be easily disseminated.
  • More people can get their music out and record labels can see them online — digital age helps the little people get their music art
  • and other good  points as well

Turns out that my side won the debate which I was surprised at. Although we did have a lot of really good points and everyone talked (which was a requirement for the debate, the other one I can remember was to bring in one of the readings for the class discussion which we also did). Overall the debate was really fun and enjoyable, not like the last debate I took part in while here. It may have to do with the people I had on my team and the fact that we had a group chat going on during the debate to try and keep organized and bring up points as we went along. Today was pretty fun and I really felt that I gained a lot from the debate even if both sides were interrupting one another and talking over the other team, it was still fun and enjoyable. Until tomorrow!

 

Presentation: Check

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Today was my big Family Outreach group presentation for my psych class and it seemed to go really well! We had a really good solid powerpoint with a lot of meat on its bones. Had about 13 slides which took us about 30 minutes to get through, just what we were aiming for–so that worked out well. My portion of the presentation was to look at the guidelines and ethical considerations as well as potential issues that might have arisen.

I consulted the Barnardo’s Policy document which was chock full of strategies for outreach, tons of helpful portions when it came to how to get the right target audeiences, what to do after the first encounter, how to get it right, etc. It was more broad than what we needed specifically but it was good to go through it and pull out the pertinent information which was my job. We also made a poster for the day, and by we I mean Kenzie found a cute little template and made it for us.

Our day was “Five a Day Monday” or some variation on that and our focus was nutrition for Hackney, Southwark, and Tower Hamlet three food deserts in London which low scores on health according to the research Kenzie found. We chose to host our mock even at the large park in Tower Hamlet I believe it was since it was more central to the three together than it would have been at either end I suppose. One of the events I was particularly excited to have on our list was the Family Five a Day 5K. During the run there would have been booths set up with various fruit and veg stations, where families could grab one of their five a day at a fruit and a veg place and then one where the kids could paint their very own reusable produce bags! It was pretty fun to be able to plan a mock even/ make a poster for it. Well I’ve got some papers to write and a debate tomorrow. Until then!

The Last Sunday

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Today marks six days until I leave London and all its splendor. It’s been such a blast having been here for 4.5 months, it doesn’t seem real that I’ll be leaving to go home briefly in less than a week! Just four months ago I was wandering around london not quite getting lost but not entirely knowing where I was going on the tube and now I’ll be leaving to go home to BART and all it’s ahem.. interestingly-quirky passengers. My last five days will hopefully be packed with sightseeing and museums. I’ve got the Tate Modern, more of the Tate Britain if possible, and potentially the Science museum again, if I’ve got time I’d also love to go back to the Museum of London too! So much to see, so little time!

I admit I didn’t see the changing of the gaurd, either of them, and I’m ok with that. It was never something high on my priority list to be quite honest. I would have rather, and did in fact spend hours at museums. I’ve realized being here that I love looking at paintings, I never really had that opportunity back home with so many of them being free here I just couldn’t pass it up!

My day was spent working on my papers, I’ve got one about 85% finished, the other I’ve got to write my ouline, hunker down and write it. Then I also worked on my group project due tomorrow. We’re presenting a family outreach day where we’ve created a program targeting clients who live in food deserts and who may not get enough exercise. Some of the activities that we would have were this real would include but not be limited to:

  1. Family Cooking Classes
  2. Food Pyramid Building (or plate as it is now I believe?)
  3. Interval Training tips and demonstrations
  4. Bounce House for the kids
  5. Fruit& Veg smoothies
  6. A mini farmers market
  7. local football club bootcamp and more!

That’s not the whole list but you get the gist. We just need to finish our power point, create the word document with the day as a ‘flyer’ and find some videos for the presentation and viola. Until then!

Harry Potter Round 2

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I was both happy and bummed when the BBC Studio tour was cancled, bummed because I was genuinely interested in seeing it, but happy because they offered the Harry Potter Studio tour in its liu whic of course couldn’t say no to. Needless to say at this point but today was that day. Prior to going again though I worked on my essays. Sent a draft to one professor, got my topic ok’d by the other. I’ve got a solid idea of what I’m doing for the both of them. One is half done, the other I’ve got most all of my references for, and I ended up changing the topic from race to britishness. Something a little more interesting at the moment, before I had a lot of ideas relating to race but they were mostly relating to the US context which wouldn’t quite do for this.

We were to meet Hanna at the Euston Station Prett by 4:30 today for getting to the studio tour and I left a little early around 4 so that I could walk there and still have time to pick up some lunch. As per usual I brought my book along, I bring it everywehre I go that includes taking public trasnportation, if I’m not doing something constructie like working on my papers I may as well be reading and enjoying myself.

The train ride to the Wotford Junciton was rather pleasant, I read my book as planned, same for the bus ride to the studio actually. This time instead of taking pictures of every thing I just enojyed being there and really let it all soak in. Unfortunately there wasn’t a surprise waiting for us as we left the great hall, apparently it only happens for dark arts themed times and special occasions. I got my picture of the Malfoy table as well as a few I missed before. There was also the Black Family tapestry that we were able to look at. This time I did the flying experience, it was alright, I’m not one to enjoy seeing msyself being filmed so it was maybe perhaps a little bit awkward.

After that section we made our way to the cafe where I got a hot dog and an ice cream for dinner, the ice cream was awesome as usual. Then since it wasn’t raining out we got to walk through the Hogwarts Bridge! I was super pumped about that since I couldn’t go through it last time! I also got some daytime shots of the Knight Bus and 4 Privet Lane also. Overall today was pretty fun and I really enjoyed the tour even for the second time! Until tomorrow!

Happy Friday the 13th!

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Today started out on the wrong foot, I wore the shoes I’d been stashing away for months now waiting for better weather. Ended up getting bloody blisters and being late to class. Luckily class was rather interesting we had a guest lecturer since our professor had prior obligations. The guest lecturer was rather interesting and very educated we were rather pleased with how he led class. At the end of class we watched a rather interesting documentary about Finland and its school system. We also discussed the US and UK in comparison looking at how the schooling systems are different. Finland seems to take the cake though rating higher than both on the PISA although when China and another country joined the PISA Finland fell to third interestingly enough.


After class I went upstairs to the study area to write my essay for psych, it was better than going to my room where I would just sit there and do nothing productive. I read some of my longer articles and had a nice chat with Hanna as well as a cup of tea, I do enjoy my tea time especially here in London. It’s much more prominent than it is back home. After printing off a groupon and finishing a few articles I headed off to make an appointment. I got a groupon for the Nail Candy place and figured I should probably make my appointment before I forgot and ran out of time.


 It was a pleasant day out so I walked to the place after making a pit stop at my room to change shoes and into something more suitable for walking (I’d worn a dress today so I figured shorts would be more comfortable). I also happened upon people handing out yogurt so I got some and was surprised when they handed me two. I ate the peach one for a midday snack and saved the blueberry one for Devon since I didn’t need both of them.After setting up my nail appointment I made my way over to the Tate Britain. I got there an hour before closing and still had time for a fair amount. Some notable paintings that I really enjoyed included;

  1. John Everett Millais’ Ophelia
  2. John William Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shalott
  3. JMW Turner’s Caligula’s Palace and Bridge 
  4. Thomas Gainsborough’s Giovanna Baccelli
  5. Samuel Scott’s Admiral Anson’s Action Off Cape Finisterre

The building itself was rather interesting as well, the iconic staircase was quite fun to see in person!  I was also able to go into the Conceptual Art gallery even with only 30 minutes left until closing! I was pretty lucky that the person let me in I wasn’t expecting that when I asked. Some notable pieces I saw included but weren’t limited to;

  1. A Sand pile,
  2. Turf circle by Richard Long Born,
  3. Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges) of which the patrons to the museum were invited to take an orange off of the top of the pile so I did end up taking one. I later gave it away to a woman sitting on the sidewalk who was asking for money but did accept the orange instead.
  4. Secret Painting  with “The content of this painting is invisible; the character and dimension of the content are to be kept permanently secret, K on only to the artist.” written next to it, by Mel Ramsden
  5.  Art as an act of retraction; an artist eating his own words Keith Arnatt,
  6. Self Burial Keith again: oddly enough, the images were broadcast on German television on screen for 2.5 seconds each 9 images total from not buried at all to completely gone.
  7. Conrad Atkinson’s Northern Ireland; a quote from this being “I lay awake all night. I lay in horror, afraid and sobbing. I heard cries of fear and shouts all around me. I thought of my friends out of the next street. Would any of them be killed? Would they be burned out?” 11 year old girl Belfast another quote being “Northern Ireland has a problem for every solution” Anon. This was probably the most interesting art piece to me considering its focus on the conflict in Northern Ireland. It depicted both sides of the conflict which I also found really interesting; civilians, paramilitary, and British soldiers.


After the Conceptual Art gallery I headed out debating between going to the Tate Modern or going back to work more on my paper. Hunger won out and I went back to my room to make dinner and continue my productivity by working more on my paper. I had another egg& grilled cheese sandwich (my favorite), with a carrot and a dark chocolate digestive for a mid cooking snack. I also stopped at the grocery store and picked up some more cereal and a few other items prior to cooking. Thus after eating, working on my paper, reading and talking to my boyfriend I ended my day. Until tomorrow! I’ve got a lot to look forward to, going to the Harry Potter studio tour again, I can’t wait!

V& A Children’s Museum

On the way back from class today I saw a nice blue Lambo-like Beamer. It was sleek, and gorgeous. Today was presentation day again, we had three groups present on race seeing as it was this week’s theme. One group talked about race in the UK, another about race in James Bond films and the third talked about race in Harry Potter (and spun that off to include speciesism with the house elves, goblins and centaurs etc). They were all pretty interesting presentations but the Harry Potter one resonated the most with me, gotta love that franchise!

The field trip today for my psych class was to the Children’s V&A right next to Bethnal Green on the central line. The museum itself wasn’t as large as I was expecting nor did it have what I thought it would have. For some reason I was expecting it to be like the Science Museum which it definitely wasn’t. It had minimal interactive portions but rather it showcases its massive collection behind glass cases. I was expecting hugely interactive exhibits and more aimed at children rather than being text heavy. There was a large portion on the exportation of children from Britain to its commonwealths. Along with that there was also a small portion on the orphan trains of the United States which I thought a little odd. The rest of the museum namely the ground floor was objects of all sorts behind glass. Everything from children’s clothes to toys, doll houses in particular, and a variety of old as well as newish toys at that.

One entertainment piece I found interesting was the Punch & Judy set. It even had its uh interesting “black face” doll in the corner behind Punch and Judy. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that one. The man hit the woman with the stick and they bickered and that was entertainment, not only that but their sex jokes and “token ‘black’ person” was also offensively involved too.


Once we left the museum I made my way over to Beigel Bake for one last bagel before I left. I’ve got to prioritize the rest of my time, namely going to the Tate Modern. I got their Hot Salt Beef with mustard and pickles on a bagel; amazing as always! The last time I’d gotten one before was while my grandmother was here and it was just as excellent now as it was then!

On my two mile walk back I passed some mounted policemen, I really enjoy seeing them since I don’t ever see that sort of thing back where I’m from in the states. I also saw a building that I took a picture of on my first excursion to Beigel Bake which didn’t survive since my phone died, so I remedied that. I again passed the Banksy Art of the helicopters and more of the same street art that is in Shoreditch it was rather lovely walking. The weather was quite pleasant if just a tad warm for my liking. Overall today was a really good day. I worked on my essays, got a nap in, read some of my book and played league all after getting back. Pretty productive day! Until tomorrow! I’m looking forwards to our guest lecturer for my psych class.


Lazy Wednesday

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Today is the only day I get to sleep in as much as I want and I usually take advantage of it. Today I slept in until 12pm after going to bed around 1am or so, it was quite nice. The fire alarm didn’t even go off today to wake me up at 11 or 10:57 as it usually does, nor was there construction noise, quite the morning! After waking up I made myself some food and read my book for a while, you know, relaxing things. I didn’t really have any plans today except for working on my two final essays.

I did just that, choosing a topic for each of my essays and for the one I made an outline and got it looked over by the professor. I chose to write on Piaget and how his theory contributed to our understanding of child development, in relation to the stages; also including pros and cons for his theory. I added a little comparing and contrasting portion to tie it all together–that itself was another essay topic as a whole so I just took a small piece of that one to tie into mine. After doing that I read more, so far I’m enjoying The Alloy of Law it’s not the same as the Mistborn which I wasn’t anticipating it would be yet I still wanted the old books back.

After that my day was just lazing about, playing League, and looking up sources. The other topic I’m choosing to write on will be race. I’ve yet to formulate how I want to articulate it though so I’ve got some work cut out for myself there. Until tomorrow! Looking forward to a field trip to the V&A Children’s Museum.