Cambridge and Stuff

Well its been awhile since I’ve posted so maybe I should write one of these things. Today we went to Cambridge and got a tour of a few of the colleges that are there. We saw Queens’ College, King’s College, Trinity College, Clare College, St. Johns College, Downing College, Corpus Christi College, and I think those are all the ones we saw. There are thirty one of them so its hard to keep track.

All of them were very prestigious looking and we learned that the students there are not allowed to have cars or jobs and must live, eat, sleep, and study all on their campus. Each college has around 600-800 students except for Trinity which has 1000 and has like 2.4 billion pounds worth of assets and stuff. Rich colleges.

It was nice to get out of London for a day and walk around a quiet college town. We got to see some farms and fields on the way and it was much quieter than London. We also got to go punting in the river which means we rode in a boat for an hour while a guide pushed us down the river with a long metal pole. It was very relaxing.

This last week has been pretty laid back. It rained a lot so I didn’t get to walk around as much and school has started eating up more of my time. Merp.

Tomorrow its Harry Potter Studio time so be prepared for a million pictures and maybe some tears. Tears of joy and happiness.

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Weekend Trips

The weekend is winding down (even though I don’t have class tomorrow) so here is what I did yesterday and today.

Yesterday we took a boat down the Thames River to Greenwich. On the boat we learned that a waterfront apartment costs about 500,000 to 8 million pounds depending on where it is. Life goals.

We also got to see some of the oldest pubs and buildings on the river and where Oliver Twist was filmed.

Once at Greenwich we walked around the little markets and towns, got food, and made our way to the Royal observatory, which is situated on probably the only hill in London.

I got to touch a 4.5 million year old meteorite. That was pretty cool. We didn’t get to stand on the line for the Prime Meridian, but we are pretty sure we did at some point in our visit even if there wasn’t a mark on the ground saying so.

Today we went to Liverpool street and walked around the markets there. There was so much street food and little shops. It reminded me of the saturday markets in Portland.

I ate a Pad Thai omelet for lunch and bought some tea (cause England). And now I am avoiding doing my homework. Woot!

Kinky Boots or TWO BLOGS ONE DAY

Hey all.

Saw Kinky Boots. Probably my new favorite show of all time. It was so much fun and there was so much energy. Also a lot of Drag Queens. All the Queens.

The lights and songs and set and costumes were all on point. It made me smile inwardly and outwardly. The whole musical just makes you want to sing and dance. Even though I hate dancing.

So yeah, go see Kinky Boots. Like, right now. Or at least buy the soundtrack.

That is all.

Late Blog

So, I meant to blog yesterday and then I fell asleep.

Woops.

So here is what I have done thus far in this first week of school. Had classes, more classes, got homework, saw a play, and then more homework.

The play we saw yesterday evening was called A Song From Far Away. It was 80 minutes long and the only actor was this dude and there was no dialogue. It was a giant monologue. Sounds boring.

But it was actually really poetic and beautiful. The monologues were all in letter format. The premise is that this Gay Dutch man Willem has to go back home to amsterdam because his brother Pauli dies. The letters are ones that he has written to Pauli after he learned of his death. The time isn’t really that specific. We don’t know how far in the future he wrote these letters.

Simon Stephens, the playwright, put a lot of musicality in the play which gave it a more dimensional feel. I really enjoyed it and if anyone gets the chance to read or see it I would recommend doing it.

Tonight I am seeing the musical Kinky Boots which is about Drag Queens and shoes so it should be fun!

I will probably blog again tonight after the show to give a run down of that but we shall see.

Classes

Classes have officially started!

yay?

But no so far they have been really fun. Yesterday I had art history (which we have to draw in so hopefully he is okay with my terrible doodling attempts) and tomorrow we are meeting at the National Gallery to look at some renaissance paintings and learn about linear perspective. Yay for learning new things!

Today was all theater all day. It started bright and early at 10am with Shakespeare. Our professor is a funny little british lady who loves to talk but is really fun to listen to. She is so passionate about Shakespeare that it makes me want to actually read more Shakespeare, and I hate reading Shakespeare (I love watching it but reading it is so boring). So I have to go buy a complete works of William Shakespeare from somewhere but whatever.

After Shakespeare was acting class at the Pineapple Dance Studios, which was impossible to find so I was almost late. We mostly talked about the class and learned some new warmups. We did a vocal warm up where we had to read a poem with the punctuation and figure out where the punctuation would go in the moment and if you messed up then the next person had to do it. It was really fun but also really nerve wracking.

After acting was a class called the Theater Industry inside and out. In this class we learn about the theater industry as a whole and how to approach theater in Britain differently than theater in the states (mostly censorship wise). We also learned about the different theater schools in London and how they are very specialized drama schools where you have to know what you want to do and then you are trained in that specific way. For example, students doing classical theater would rarely mingle with students in musical theater. There are also schools for theater makers, or directors, stage managers, and producers.

Hmm. What if I did grad school in england? Who knows…..

Also I walked on Drury lane and there was no muffin man…

Late Blog

So, missed a couple days blogging cause tired….

But in those last few days we have walked around endlessly and it has been great. We got to do a bus tour around london with a couple BlueBadge tour guides. We started around where the IES building is near Birkbeck college and made our way to the other side of the Thames river. We saw the Globe Theatre, the Shard, the Girken, the embassy’s for Australia and Canada, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, and we ended the tour by going on the Eye of London. Most of these places we just drove by so I have yet to see the insides of them, but they are definitely on my list of things to do.

The Eye was pretty terrifying, but the view of everything was magnificent. You can see nearly every inch of the city and all the history it has to offer. Right on the river was Parliament and a little further in was buckingham palace with its huge gardens. Breathtaking.

After the eye we went to one of the nearby farmer’s markets to eat dinner. There was all sorts of curry, sausages, pastries, and gelatos. I had a pork sausage and then a cookie the size of my face for dessert.

After that lovely meal we hopped back on the tube and came home. But, after an hours rest it was time to go to the pub.

The pub culture here is amazing and its so nice to just sit somewhere with your friends and talk. We went to a place called the Castle and watched a rugby game on the roof. Rugby is not a sport I understand, but it was still fun to experience it. Plus, this place has pub quizes every tuesday night!!!!

Today was more walking, but it was good walking because we got to go to Hampton Courts Palace. This is where King Henry the VIII lived and ruled with his six wives and three children. History is probably my favorite subject so experiencing a place like this where so many great (and not so great people) lived, walked, died, and ruled. We saw the history of Young Henry VIII, before he divorced Katherine of Aragon. They seemed happy with their lives and it was neat to see the human side of Henry before everything horrible happened.

We did the oldest hedge maze in England successfully, walked through the royal gardens, saw the Queen’s apartments and the Kings. Saw the kitchens and the wine cellers…. All these pics are on Facebook BTW.

So, yeah. Sunday is a free day and classes start monday. Woot Woot!

Day 2: Orientation

Talking, and talking, and talking. Thats what happened today. Lots of sitting in a classroom and listening to the IES coordinators and staff talk about themselves and what we are doing this week and what to do in London and how the housing works and how blah blah blah. The best part was that we got to signup for more field trips (including a tour of the Harry Potter Studios!!!!!).

Afterwards we got to get little munchies and drinks courtesy of IES. Mmmm. Cider.

Then, nine of us decided to get lost. So, we hopped on a Tube, got off at Hyde Park and somehow made our way to BUCKINGHAM PALACE. Like, how did we even get there? What is the world? I saw the stoic guards guarding in their funny hats and the memorial sign for Princess Diana. Then we walked through St. James’ Park and saw the birds and swans and ducks and the little lake with the Duck keepers house.

Then we saw the London Eye in the distance and just walked towards it until we came to the Thames River. We turned left to go on the bridge and I heard clock chimes in the background.

Ding.

Ding.

Ding.

I didn’t see it until we were on the footway to cross the river and I turned to take a picture of the river and saw Big Ben in the distance. If we had turned right we would have walked right into it.

So, we went across the river towards the eye and hung out on the waterfront. We went to this little area where a carnival ride was and listened to a french woman sing beautifully near the water.

Then we walked to Waterloo station and took the tube back to Kings Cross.

And that was my adventure for today.

Tomorrow is more of the same.