The sun is setting in Bath

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Papers have been submitted. And I’ve done everything I could have imagined here. I couldn’t have planned a better trip! This was surreal and I cannot wait to go home and share the experiences with my family and other UMW students. This program is so well-developed. Really phenomenal. It was worth all the hard work in planning this trip, and missing family/friends/work, to experience a new country.

I am definitely coming back to Bath again. It is my favorite city in England, of all I’ve visited. It is so stunningly rustic and pure. And I feel like it’s a home now. I know the names of bakery owners, I can walk through the town easily and offer directions to tourists. I have my favorite places to stop for lunch and my favorite benches to sit on and listen to musical performers. I am going to miss Bath so much.

It is a bittersweet departure.

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ALL DONE! :D

MY PAPERS ARE DONE!!!! HURRAY!!!!

My Jane Austen paper was the most challenging. I chose to write about impropriety in Jane Austen’s novels. In order to determine what was improper about characters such as Elizabeth Bennett and Emma Woodhouse, I referenced a book called “What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Wrote.”

Some of the rules of manners were very specific. For instance, a woman could not walk with another man who was not courting her. She could also not call upon a gentleman by herself.

And did you know women in Jane Austen’s time would had to change their clothes incessantly throughout the day? There is morning dress, walking dress, day dress, evening dress, fancy dress… I feel like they must have spent half of the day changing clothes!

I ultimately focused on Elizabeth for this paper, because she is such a spitfire with a great deal of preconceptions. I hope my professor appreciates it!

My Utopian/Dystopian paper was a lot easier to flow through. Perhaps because I got into the rhythm of writing with my previous paper. I decided to write about George Orwell’s 1984 and its ties to the poem his wife wrote 15 years before, End of the century, 1984. The poem is beautiful, if you haven’t had a chance to read it.

In my paper, I dissect the poem and tie it to themes and characters in the novel. Arguably, the novel is a tribute to his wife’s work. The poem works as an epilogue or summary of 1984. It is tragic how she passed during a routine operation right after they adopted a boy named Richard.

I accidentally went over the word limit. 2900 words instead of 2500, but my Professor said it’s okay! And I quoted the whole poem in it, which is about 300 words, so I didn’t exceed the limit by much…

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Let’s take a bath!

This last week in Bath came far too quickly.

My final papers are going slowly, but I will trek through them! I was able to get a small group together to go visit the Roman Baths yesterday, which the city is named after.

I thought I would just be seeing the famous baths. I ended up seeing a lot of the ruins of additional spa-like elements of the Baths, as well as a skeleton. It is startling to see what were once gorgeous retreats in their last remaining pieces. The Baths were more of a museum than I expected. I will include photos below to give you an idea of what it was like. It was really moving.

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Happy Independence Day from England!

You might assume, inaccurately, that being in England on July 4th might prevent me from celebrating our nation’s independence.

Yet in fact, I was very much the Patriot!

A group of six of us traveled about three miles out of town (because walking is very good for you) and attended a picnic at the American Museum. It turned out to be a Barbeque, with the English-equivalents of hot dogs, burgers and pork, which were much higher quality than what was likely to be found across the pond today.

This picnic was on the side of a hill with a break-taking view. Children were running around carrying long American-flags behind them. The day was cloudy but a gorgeous 73-degrees with a distinct breeze. We took this opportunity to make a photo-op of our patriotism.

In addition to the picnic, they had a live 50s cover-band playing music in one of the buildings! My friend Lisa and I danced for hours to the Twist, Jailhouse Rock and all those goodies! It was a blast! 😀

No fireworks, sadly, but that’s not something you would expect in England. I hope everyone else enjoyed their Fourth of July!

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Why yes, I did go to Oxford!…

…. Although, I was only there for one day.

Today was our class trip to Oxford! I am EXHAUSTED. The bus ride was three hours. We left at a beautiful 7:30AM. Upon arrival, we were allowed to travel wherever we desired. Four of us took a tour of a gorgeous library and the Radcliffe camera. Afterward, we wandered about town, visited the Alice in Wonderland shop, and grabbed a bite to eat at a bakery owned by a very kind Pakistani woman.

After our walkabout, we got to take part in a very interesting English tradition: punting.

Punting is the process of standing on the edge of a long-boat and pushing the boat through a canal with an eight-foot long metal pole. It is not an easy process, but I eventually got into the hang of it.

punting (1)

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And thankfully, nobody fell in!

Needless to say, I am ready for bed now that our bus trip is over. I loved Oxford and really want to come back in the future!

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Week 4- Scholastics and Settling

I am home, where the internet is alive and unhindered. I have a few posts left for you to complete my journey.

Hello readers-

This week, we are reading the final selection from Jane Austen, called Persuasion. My teacher seems more than slightly irked by the fact that, as a whole, my class did not take to Emma and its titular “heroine.” Compared to the strong, however flawed, lead of Pride and Prejudice, and the naive, however progressing Catherine Moreland from Northanger Abbey, I don’t know how we were to view Emma as on the same level. She believes herself above others, meddles and doesn’t actually contribute to the “plot” of the book at all.

But I digress. I am looking forward to studying Persuasion, in hopes of ending the course on a good note. Others in my class who have already read this book say it is their favorite, so I am optimistic.

And in Utopia/Dystopia, we have been studying a novel which needs no introduction: Brave New World. I read this book in high school, and enjoyed re-reading it for the course, and remembering the parts I immensely enjoyed and those I found disturbing. This might be one of the most depressing books I’ve read, only because in the beginning, I have hope for the character of John. I forgot how whiny Bernard was until about a third of the way through.

Sadly, this class never evolved out of a lecture, so my classmates and I share our opinions outside of the classroom. I seem to enjoy this novel more than most, although I can’t quite place my finger on why yet. Perhaps because it seems ingenious without catering to a heavily science-fiction based structure. I am not a fan of science fiction. Mostly, because I feel that character development is sacrificed for world-building. My psychology major insists that I empathize with characters.

Outside of class, I have really settled down here. After class, I often stop by Sainsbury’s, the local market, to grab dinner. I may spend part of the evening doing homework before heading out with one of numerous people to grab a drink, walk around the canal, or visit other houses. I feel so at home here. It is very easy to. The rustic beauty is addicting. I’m not sure how I’ll be able to leave.

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Cornwall Photos!

So, apparently my Cornwall photos didn’t post last week. I apologize, here they are! 

We got to hike across a steep cliff in Cornwall, and it was breathtaking in every sense of the word.

Click on any picture to see in full view!

 

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A Dream I Dreamed

Hey hey!

So, I bet you want to hear what happened in England AFTER Madeline and I ventured off on our own.

WELL, after grabbing a quick lunch, we went to the Queen’s Theatre and saw Les Miserables. I had never seen Les Mis in any form, so to be exposed to it in such a grand form was absolutely breathtaking. The singers were incredible, the stage setup was gorgeous, and all of this, for me, more than made up for the incredibly predictable/depressing plot. Some pictures for you to get jealous!

Madeline, who I appear in a picture with above, was a huge fan of the woman who played Epinine, so we got to pass her a note after the show declaring love for her!

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, where did we go next? 221B Baker Street, of course!!!

My Sherlock love soared this day. I was so glad I had the opportunity to go here! It was on a surprisingly normal street. People walked passed as though they didn’t realize this was where BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH stood! Silly people, don’t appreciate what they get to experience every day.

From there, we went and grabbed fish and chips (yummm!) before the trip back to Bath. It was a fantastic weekend! I can’t wait to see what Oxford brings this Wednesday.

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London Pictures

The gallery I promised! 🙂

 

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And it goes by the name of London

Hello readers!

I apologize for the delay in posting. Internet has been extremely scattered this past week in my house. 9 people sharing the WiFi has been yucky as we scramble to finish papers. Fortunately, I have pre-written posts, so be prepared to get spammed!

First, I must tell you about my trip in London last weekend.

This was a study trip, which meant that it coincided with our seminar course. Mine is Utopia/Dystopia in Anglo-American Literature.

The first place we stopped on our London trip was the British Film Institute, which is a large building with countless computer stations (equipped with comfy couches), where people may go and access an archive of older British film. Each student got to choose what they watched, related to a George Orwell playlist, as our current discussion was related to Nineteen-Eighty Four. I watched a documentary on his life at the time he wrote that novel, as well as clips from various film adaptions, as well as a review by Anthony Burgess, the author of A Clockwork Orange, of Nineteen Eighty-Four. All of it was really interesting, and I decided then I wanted to write my final paper on Orwell, in some capacity.

After BFI, we grabbed a quick lunch before heading to the Houses of Parliament. It was a bit of a walk, but the view was SPECTACULAR and I promise I will post a gallery of photos next. The Houses of Parliament are actually two houses- the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons is where nominated representatives of the people meet and discuss legislation. It is decorated in brass and green carpet. The House of Lords is where people appointed for their status and contribution to politics, as well as the Queen, meet to discuss legislation. It is decorated in PURE GOLD and red carpet. The Houses are separated by a long hallway which one poor bloke has to cross if he wants to communicate with another house.

After Parliament, we were exhausted for the day. We stayed the night at a hostel in London.

The next morning, a Saturday, we took a long walk around an area in London guided by a man named Rex. Rex was an Orwell-enthusiast and proceeded to show us places he lived, slept, dined at, drank in, and ultimately, the sanitarium Orwell died in. It was my favorite part of the trip. I felt a beautiful connection to Orwell by being able to trace the last period of his life. I also learned, via Rex, that Orwell’s first wife Eileen wrote a poem early in her life entitled, “End of the Century, 1984.” I looked up the poem on my phone and found many similarities with Orwell’s novel. I decided that I would write my final paper on a comparison between the two works.

After Rex’s tour, my friend Madeline and I broke away from the group and began a new adventure- being a tourist! I will detail this adventure in my next post!

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