December 2011 Archives

Dublin

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Merry Christmas everyone!
Well I made it through my first semester abroad, and when I say made I mean loved it! This past weekend I made my first trip outside of England and went to Dublin, Ireland. It was such an amazing trip, I already want to go back. There was live music everywhere, every night and so much to see in an amazing city. Forrest, Denise, and I visited the Guinness Storehouse (so much fun, and you get to pour your own pint!) the Dublin Castle, found Molly Malone, accidentally found St. Stephen's Green, and all sorts of other shenanigans in between. Our hostel was right on the River Liffey, which might be one of the most beautiful rivers I've ever seen. There are four or five footbridges that go across it, and they're each architecturally different. One was very intricate and "lacey", another was more spartan; they each had something special. I absolutely loved the atmosphere of Ireland; the people are funny and fun-loving, and Dublin was surprisingly easy to navigate for such a big city. We spent our last night in a pub where there was a live band followed by a riverdance performance. Possibly the best night of my life. I love bluegrass music and bluegrass has its roots in Ireland, so I was in heaven all weekend being surrounded by amazing Irish music. Today we're headed to Twycross, England to spend Christmas with our flatmate. I'm so grateful to Gabriel and his family for opening their home to us. That's all I have to say today, except Merry Christmas!!

Measure for Measure

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First of all, I need to express my excitement that tomorrow is my last day of the semester:
WAHOO!!!
Now that is out of the way and I can talk about more important things. Last night I went to Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's hometown, to see a production of Measure for Measure by the Royal Shakespeare Company! I'm not sure if I can pack any more cool things into one sentence. I was a little wary at first, to be honest. It was the last play we read in Paul's Shakespeare class this semester, and it's a little weird. Measure for Measure is one of Shakespeare's tragic comedies, which basically means he takes really dark, disturbing subject matter and somehow makes it funny. The whole play revolves around the fate of Claudio, who is arrested and sentenced to death in the first scene for getting his fiance pregnant. They way they interpreted the show was really interesting; it had kind of a futuristic, border-line S&M feel to it. The set was also really cool. Instead of curtains they had long black ropes hanging from the top of the set that remained there the whole play. Overall I really enjoyed it, the comedic characters were perfect and made a three hour play much more bearable. The only thing that really confused me was the curtain call. The entire cast came out and started doing a really strange sort of tango with each other. Not at all what I was expecting. But no matter what, it was definitely an experience I'll never forget, and one of the coolest things I've seen here. That's all for now, time to study for my Spanish exam :)

A Different Kind of Christmas

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Hello everyone!
Well to start, our performances of Alice in Wonderland were awesome last weekend!! Friday night started out a little rough, but a big thank you to Roisin, Gabriel, Coach, Cassandra, Michael, and all the other people from SIE who came to support us!
As we get closer and closer to Christmas, I can't help but think that this may be the strangest Christmas I've ever had. First of all, the grass is still green here. And I've been informed it always will be. If we get any snow here it will probably cause the whole country to come to a standstill, so maybe I won't be wishing for a white Christmas. Roisin, Cassandra and I decorated our kitchen for Christmas last week (procrastination at it's finest). We had a secret santa exchange at our SIE Christmas party on Thursday, which was also super fun. Our wonderful Denise put together a slideshow where everyone submitted pictures from our shenanigans first semester.
I'm so happy with how this first semester has gone; I feel like we've all really integrated ourselves into this university and met a lot of great people. I'll be missing my family this Christmas, but just a few days ago I booked tickets to go home for two weeks in January! It'll be fun to see my family and play in the snow :)
Being here for a few months has been a big eye-opener for me, in many ways. It's been amazing to live and go to school with people who grew up just a little bit differently than I did. I've learned so much; like the word "proper" being used as a word of emphasis for example. It's also inspired me to explore and travel my own country when I get back. There's so many places in the States that I haven't been, and I have a new found curiosity for my own country and culture as well as others.
As far as my Christmas break plans, I've pretty much got every week planned.
Next weekend I'll be in Dublin, Ireland...I can't even describe how excited I am for that.
Then I'll be back in Worcester for a couple days before Cassandra, Michael and I go to Twycross, England to spend Christmas with Gabriel. I'm so thankful for him and his family opening their home to us for the holiday.
Then the 28th we'll be going to Roisin's near Oxford and be there for New Year's.
Then January 9th I'm headed home!
That's all for now! Merry Christmas to all!!

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