Off to London!

Hey everyone!

I am not guaranteed to have internet in London, so I am quickly posting here. I was mistaken about Oxford- Oxford will be an entirely separate day-trip next Wednesday. Today and tomorrow are all about George Orwell, the British Film Institute, the Houses of Parliament and Les Miserable! I will be sure to update you when I return. Have a wonderful weekend!

 

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All Things Good

Hi hi!

I just finished another week of classes. This one was very good. I got an A/A- on my Utopia paper! Whoohoo! (My teachers really like grades that are indecisive.) Oh well. Tomorrow, I go to London for the weekend with my class as a part of a course-trip. We will get to visit the British Film Institute, the Houses of Parliament and various other parts of London related to George Orwell, who’s 1984 we just finished reading. And then Madeline (a housemate) and I are making a separate trip to see Les Miserables at Queen’s Theatre! I’ve never seen this production before, so I am incredibly excited!

Tonight, my house is getting together to celebrate a mate’s birthday and watch the US/Germany game. To be honest, I am very sleepy. We leave bright and early (7:30AM) for London tomorrow, so thankfully the match starts at 5 instead of the usual 11PM.

I am sure my lunchtime pasty had to do with my sleepiness. Pasty’s are like pot-pies wrapped in breaded shells. And they are HEAVEN. My lunchtime pasty was filled with chicken, apples and cornish cider. SO. YUMMY. I love Bath so much.

A short update in lieu of a long weekend. Tata for now!

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“Ignorance is Strength.”

What a load of bologna!

Hey readers. I am healing very nicely in the land of gorgeous scenery, although today I lack a voice, so I figured I can occupy my fingers with updates!

The title of this blog is a reference to the book 1984, which I finally got to read, and boy was it depressing! Brilliant, though, the methods of control Big Brother demonstrated against the public to keep them from defying the order. We spent a great deal of class time arguing why the book was dystopian versus anti-utopian. I believe that, as the land of Engsac was never intended to be utopian, it is a dystopia. I really liked the character of Winston and was sad to see him lose his mind.

We are now reading Brave New World, which is equally as riveting/depressing, if not moreso. I read this book in AP Literature class, but rereading it has reminded me of all the fascinating and disturbing elements that pulled me in four years ago. (What do you mean it’s been four years since high school?!)

In my Jane Austen class, we are reading Emma, and it is almost a unanimous consensus that the class dislikes the title character. I personally wouldn’t mind her if she had a plot in her novel. We are addressing some arguments that make me like it a little bit more- mostly stylistic- but I would say, Emma is my least favorite of the novels we read so far, behind Northanger Abbey, and Pride and Prejudice. We have one more left in this class- Persuasion- which I’ve been told is phenomenal, so I will wait to make my final verdict on the best book.

I got my first grade back on a Jane Austen paper, and it’s complicated. This is what was written on my paper: B++/A-

That second plus is intended. I had my teacher translate that this meant my paper was borderline A-, but my next paper’s improvement (or lack thereof) would determine whether this paper warranted a B++ or an A-. Fantastic. Going over her notes, I mostly concluded she wants me to focus more on why Jane Austen employs some literary devices. And to reference more quotes. Lots more quotes.

I get my first Utopia/Distopia paper back today, so I will let you know how that goes! Today is the last day of class for the week, and then we go to Oxford for the weekend! I am incredibly jazzed for that.

More to come, particularly in the way of photos. Bye bye!

 

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Quick (Sick) Update

Hello lovebugs.

Just a quick update for you: I’ve been spending the weekend resting. Stonehenge was beautiful, as was the city of Glastonbury we visited afterward. I will post pictures in the coming week.

For now, my under-the-weather self is working on a paper for my Utopia/Dystopia class comparing Thomas More’s Utopia with William Morris’s News from Nowhere. But it’s a homework day for a lot of people around here, so it’s nice to be in miserable company.

Tomorrow starts the third week of classes. WHY DOES TIME FLY BY ME SOOOOO????

Oh, and in happy fun-time news, my best friend Katherine (who is studying in France at the end of the month) will hopefully be joining me July 10th to go see Martin Freeman perform in Richard III! 😀

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Knightshayes Castle Photos!

 

Click on any of the pictures to make them bigger!

Sadly, we were only in this castle for an hour, so we didn’t have nearly enough time to search the grounds, and no pictures could be taken inside the house. But it was a mansion in every sense of the word. Just stunning!

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Time to Rock Out at Stonehenge!

Hello all!

I apologize for the delay in posting. I’m afraid I’ve come down with a cold, and I’ve been resting in my spare time. However, no kind of ill mood could deter me from todays trip to Stonehenge! I will be sure to take pictures for you all. It is only a day trip, so I will be back to rest soon, and we have the weekend off!

This week was busy with schoolwork. I finished my Jane Austen paper to submit Wednesday, and then lead a presentation on Thursday! The benefit of completing this so early is that I only have one more paper due for the Austen course. My Utopia/Dystopia class is another story. We are currently reading 1984, which is so interesting! I feel I may be the last person my age to read this novel, but I’m glad I’ve finally gotten around to it!

I’ll post pictures when I return! <3

 

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“Unwelcome Visitors” Gallery

Yesterday during a walk of northern Bath during our Jane Austen class, I had a half-hour free to peruse a free art gallery called the Hobourne. They were having a special exhibit called the “Unwelcome Visitors,” with an interesting sign in front of the stairwell.

 

You read right. Fairies! I was immediately intrigued, and what I found up the stairs blew me away.

 

 

This was 3D art as I had never imagined. Intricate placement of art work (mostly pottery and some sculpture) hanging above a second-story drop in the floor, with even MORE intricately-placed bugs hanging through the air or crawling over the pottery. This included flies, disturbingly large spiders and of course- skeletal fairies!, none bigger than a pinky-fingernail. The detail is astounding.

 

 

The amount of work which went into this construction boggled my mind. There were a hundred bugs, almost as many fairies, and of course the more traditional forms of artwork dangling by a thread from the ceiling. When you look down through the opening in the floor, there is an intentionally placed broken vase on the ground, tied to a string.

JUST. SO. AMAZING. SO. THOUGHT-PROVOKING.

I’ve never loved something so strange in my life!

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Jane Austen and an Unattainable Utopia

Hello darlings!

While I have a break before class, I thought I would relate some of my adventures in class this past week and a half. For those of you unaware, I am taking two classes: the first is a tribute to Jane Austen and the second is entitled “Utopia and Distopia in Anglo-American Literature.”

In my Jane Austen class, we are studying four of her novels: Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Persuasion. So far, we have read the first two of these, and I liked Pride and Prejudice much more than I expected to (given all the hype.) The variety of characters and plots kept me intrigued. Northanger was interesting but lacked a substantial plot, and the ending was anti-climactic. Additionally in this class, we are looking at the historical context of Austen’s novel and relating them to her life, and the setting she lived in for five years: Bath, England. Twice now we have taken walks around Bath during class and visited the alluded homes of characters, as well as parks and landmarks significant to the works.

My Utopia and Distopia class has been… complicated. I love the subject, and the books we are reading are wonderfully intricate. So far, we have read three books: “Utopia,” “News from Nowhere” and “Utopianism: A Brief Introduction.” There are many commonalities between these books, including the concept of a “guide” who takes the main character through the Utopic world, the strong presence of socialism and a complete lack of  government/currency/personal freedom. But it is a lecture-based course with little student input, which surprised/disappointed me, because our small group of students are very bright,yet it’s only a five week class, so c’est la vie.

I hope to write another post soon letting you know about my weekend in Cornwall. I feel I’m been so busy completing work and attending events that I’ve been unable to document it all! It’s been wonderful being so busy yet having so much fun… except for the 2000 word paper I need to finish tonight. That’s just kind of annoying. 😛

 

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Why “The Royal Croissant”?

Hello all!

I apologize for being away the last few days. I spent an incredible weekend in Cornwall with no Wifi for updating. Rest assured, I will propperly document the trip soon. But as I only have a few minutes before class, I wanted to take the opportunity to explain the title of my blog.

There is an area of Bath very close to my residence which is home to an elite group of individuals, which includes Johnny Depp, which are notably historic and well-preserved. This area is called the Royal Crescent, as seen below.

royalcrescent

The first food I ate in England was a croissant, therefore the pun was more than appropriate.

That’s all for now! More later, my loves!

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Funny Schtuff Schiara Schaw

 

To make you smile in between reading. 🙂

 

Click on any picture to see in full view!

 

 

 

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