Finally settling in the first two weeks!
So I have officially been in London for two weeks at this point and I’m doing just fine actually! I’m getting the hang of public transportation and getting used to the idea of being a minority with my American accent. When I arrived at my housing residence I took a power nap and woke up to meet my two roommates, Cat and Michaela. I’m living in a flat (basically a house with a bunch of stairs) at Pembridge Gardens in the Notting Hill neighborhood (yes, like the movie with Julia Roberts, AND Stella McCartney lives two doors down!) in London with about 30 other people. The weekend I got here was a combination of meeting my new housemates, orientation and fighting major jet lag. Luckily, a funny play in the West End was fit into the schedule as well.
That Monday we started classes and I had my first British Art and Architecture class, which was a bit rough as I was still fighting jet lag.
I had the next two days off in a row because I was supposed to be working at my internship those days, but there was a problem with my visa so I couldn’t start for another week. So, instead that Tuesday I accomplished a life goal of visiting the Tower of London, where the historical nerd in me finally got to see all the places that I’ve grown up reading about. I saw the spot where Anne Boleyn had been beheaded, visited the grave of Lady Jane Grey, and got to see the room where the two princes of the tower were both kept prisoner and eventually murdered by their uncle, King Richard III. The Tower of London is just oozing with history, I could keep going on and on about all of the things that I learned. I am definitely planning on going on another visit to the Tower. Seeing the Crown Jewels was also a wonderful experience. That same day the tourist in me also saw the Tower Bridge, the London Eye, as well as Big Ben. I also rode a bus home without getting lost! Then on Wednesday, I spent a couple of hours walking. My flat is about a five minute walk from Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. The parks were so big I was only able to conquer about half of it with all of the walking that I did. But, in that time I was able to get a good view of Kensington Palace and saw the statue of Peter Pan.
Thursday, I had my first Shakespeare in London class, which I think will go quite well because the teacher kept going off on tangents on random things. Friday, I had my Community and Culture Class, where we basically had an intro to the course and talked about our own identities in a city of millions.
That first weekend I went to Amsterdam with my housemate Meg, which I’ll talk about in the next post.
The next week was getting into the routine of classes and work. My internship placement is at Collingham Family and Child Centre, which is a mental health facility for children between the ages of 6-13. My supervisor gave me a button to wear at all times that I needed to press in case any of the children attacked me, which really intimidated me, but in the two days I’ve worked there so far nothing that crazy has happened at all. All of the children seem great and I’m excited to get the hang of it! I’m still learning the routines of the children as well as their names. I’ve already found a boy in the facility who is more than willing to discuss Harry Potter facts with me, so I think I will be more than okay at my internship placement. A really important thing that I want to learn during the weeks at my internship is how to recognize the characteristics of the disorders that they have. This week for British Art and Architecture we went on a walking tour to see the work of architect Indigo Jones and for Shakespeare in London we discussed Romeo and Juliet (bleh), but next week we will be discussing Hamlet (yay!). In class though we did watch a young Alan Rickman play Tybalt, which was quite coincidental. I did look for possible tributes and memorials around the city for the British actor that I would have gone to, but I couldn’t find any. :/
I believe the plan for tonight, and most of the nights this weekend honestly, is simply to go out. London nightlife is great folks. I also think I joined a baseball/softball team where we play against other teams around England, the first practice tomorrow so wish me luck! And I think another thing on the agenda for this weekend is to go to Lumiere London, a huge light festival around London for the next few days. Next weekend is a trip to Brussels! :O