This week I’ve been a wee bit aimless. Without classes for the first half of the week, I’ve been left to my own devices. Let’s just say I do better with some schedules. But, I’ve done alright with some of my free time. I’ve managed to book two trips for the end of the month and the beginning of April. I planned out my next semester and started to look at how I might ring in my 20th year. In addition to some of my scheming, I did manage to do a ~few~ other things.
FRIDAY, STRATFORD After coming home from class, I did one of my favorite activities. I took an afternoon nap. I was out for a good while. A solid nap if I do say so. When I woke up, I checked my phone and that’s when my heart skipped a beat. My old high school where my sister is a Freshman and where my mother works had been placed on lockdown for more than an hour. Luckily, no one was hurt. Apparently, several people had stormed into the school to get to a student. Most were stopped in the front lobby, but a few ran away prompting the lockdown. Allegedly it was some sort of gang thing, and there weren’t any reports of a weapon.
But, the term “too soon” applies rather nicely to this situation. Only a few weeks after Parkland, this was enough to rattle everyone. It also reminded me of one of the few disadvantages to being 4,000 miles away from the people I love. I couldn’t be there to give them both a nice big hug when they walked back in the door at home. The silver lining to this situation is my sister is a member of the student media program and is already helping to cover the story. Let’s just say next week’s episode of Wildcat News is going to be interesting.
TUESDAY, STRATFORD Well they finally did it. Carolina released next semester’s class schedule at 5 am local time. Did I have a perfect schedule planned out by 9 am this morning? Yes, yes I did. Will I get said schedule? Most definitely not. But one can dream. Thanks to the wonders of technology, I also met with my academic advisor this afternoon. It took a solid 20 minutes to sort out some audio issues on Skype but we made it. I naturally asked about the worst-case scenario involving me not coming home with any useable credits. The good news is my goose is not cooked if that happens. Apparently, my life is on the right track, academically at least.
MONDAY, VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM Today was yet another Monday where the school was shut down due to the strike. So, I decided to set out and see where the day wanted to take me. I ended up first stopping by the Victoria and Albert Museum out near Kensington. Honestly, I was not expecting to be wowed by this museum, but boy was I wrong. The collections were truly impressive. Representing everything about design from the end of Rome to today, the collections threw me back in time. I mean the place has everything from clothing, architecture, furniture, tools, art, sculpture, and rooms and rooms filled with what I can only describe as priceless treasures. I finally figured out how walking past millions of dollars worth of silver and gold feels. And if you’re wondering, it feels pretty good.
After walking around and getting lost in the V and A for a few hours, I wandered around the area. I ended up walking around Royal Albert Hall and the Albert memorial before getting lost in Kensington gardens for another hour. After going these solo adventures a couple of times recently, I’ve discovered I really kind of love them. Being alone with your thoughts while discovering new things has to be one of the most relaxing and restful things I’ve ever done. You get to take things in at your own pace and understand the world through a lens that’s yours and yours alone.
After getting back home I went ahead and did a few more productive things. I booked my first continental trip to Berlin and bought tickets to see my favorite Shakespearean play on the Ides of March. I may not be getting a formal education these days thanks to the strike, but I’m compensating with a little culture.
It’s starting to heat up here. Both literally and figuratively. The days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising. I’m gearing up to grab my passport and jet off to the continent to see some sights. The term is nearing its end (even though half of my classes have been canceled for half of it). Next week promises to be fun with St. Patrick’s at the end. And luckily for me, while the US may be springing forward in time, here in the UK we’ll stay on standard time until the end of the month. Well, I’m off to a library or someplace to at least open a word document and type the title of my next essay. So, I’ll see you next week.