Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How lucky I am to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye to!

Endless gratitude -  my thanks go out to Constable Richard Watson who spends countless hours orchestrating many of our activities and then takes time away from work to be our personal guide in London.  Without his influence, we would not get to experience all facets of the English justice system.  He's a great friend to the CSC Justice Studies London study abroad program. 

But more than helping teach students about the English justice system, over the last 18 years, he has taught us all how to be gracious, generous, friendly, self-sacrificing, sincere and enthusiastic (as well as the importance of professional networks) - all while maintaining a sense of humor.  These are some of life's greatest lessons!

"Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I'll miss you until we meet again."

Thanks...Home and Away

My first thank you goes out to George Watson for believing so passionately in the benefits of study abroad to lay amazing groundwork for so many future students!! (I am not going to actively solicit your donation, but for anyone who might be wondering what they can do to ensure that future students can benefit from the study broad experience that George Watson supported so strongly, please consider a donation to Team George through the CSC Foundation).  I've seen it first hand - these scholarship dollars change lives!

I would also like to thank my CSC colleagues who now handle so many of the predeparture details: Heather and Danielle in the Start Office who handle advising and financial aid issues, Evelyn in the Business Office who manages all of the student London accounts, and Angie in Market Development who keep all the paperwork (and me) organized and makes sure all the bills are paid.  Thanks to the Justice Studies department (Jeri, Elsa, Jamie, Mike, and Lisette)  who support the study abroad program in so many ways.  To Dean Jim Margetts and VPAA Charles Snare who found ways to overcome obstacles and provided much necessary scholarship support for students.

The Students

This year was particularly enjoyable!  Travelling with a smaller group definitely has it's advantages, but more than that, the personality of the individual students, as well as the group dynamics, helped immensely!  The students were always punctual; they were attentive, inquisitive, and excited; they were a joy to spend two weeks with - and, overall, the London weather was wonderful!

Sol (ISA Student Services Coordinator) spent many days with us and was organized, punctual, professional, and fun to be around. 

Sarah - Blue Badge Guide Extraordinaire!  We love our days with Sarah - she makes everything interesting!  I really want to take a trip to London and just hang out with her.

Another successful program in the books, and plans are already underway for the 39th Justice Studies London program.  

A Musical Adventure

I love musicals!  I had the opportunity to see three musicals while in London this year:

The Book of Mormon

I won't tell you how hard I laughed for fear of offending some.

The Lion King

All the Justice Studies students and I attended, starting with a pre-theatre meal.  A lovely evening - thanks Bryson for being so adament about seeing this musical!

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

As a rock and roll teenager of the 80s, King's work pre-dates me a bit, but the timeless hits of the musical made it enjoyable none-the-less.

Castle Life

What better way to end a day of exploring than a visit to a medieval castle developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068 - Warwick Castle.

"Can one desire too much of a good thing?" - William Shakespeare in AsYou Like It

Anyone who has ever been to Hobson's Patisserie in Stratford-upon-Avon would certainly answer affirmatively to Shakespeare's question.  It is, hands down, my favorite place to eat in England - I'm just thankful that there is only one of these shops and it is not a tube ride away from the hotel!!!

We also took time to contemplate Shakespeare's life and the incredible body of poems and plays he is responsible for.

                       Shakspeare's birth place.

           Shakespeare's grave in the Holy Trinity Church.

"What We Learn Becomes a Part of Who We Are"

Our last trip outside the city was filled with Ah Ha Moments thanks to our lovely guide Sarah.

Oxford University - made us contemplate the process of education and how the same end result can be accomplished in many ways.  We examined the Oxford Tutorial Method by touring Brasenose ColÅ‚ege's quad, the dining hall and the chapel.

We also visited a portion of the Bodleian Library where master's students stand before the professors to present their master's thesis - how intimidating would that be?!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Cabelas of London

The only store I've ever seen in London that refers to guns:

Clearly, I had ventured quite a ways from the Royal National Hotel at this point - as you can see by the restaurants in the Mayfair area.  No worries, I didn't stop to eat as I thought it might be more important to make a car payment this month!