Being an English major in London comes with so many perks.
I’m currently enrolled in two courses, London in Literature and Shakespeare, and already have taken field trips to supplement the readings.
In the literature course, we just finished reading Oliver Twist and visited the Charles Dickens museum, which, incidentally, was his actual home. In a few weeks, we’re visiting the Sherlock Holmes museum and the Imperial War Museum.
The amazing part of my Shakespeare course is that we actually get to see live plays. A few weeks ago, we saw Henry IV Part II performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the beautiful Barbican Theatre and just last week saw a very modern performance of Romeo and Juliet at the New Diorama Theatre.
I was so impressed with the adaptation of Romeo and Juliet because the group breathed beautiful new life into a play that millions of students dread reading each year. It was almost like seeing it for the first time.
Here, our class time is called a “seminar”and they last for three hours. They are very heavily discussion based. There are only 7 people in both of my courses, which really helps breed good discussion. I’m finding that it is much easier to participate here than at UWSP for reasons I can only make guesses at, but am enjoying it all the same.
The work environment is also different. Where I work, there are no cubicles, just rows of tables and computers. Every hour at least two people make themselves tea and one will ask if anyone else wants some.
I was asked last week if I wanted coffee and finally felt like part of the group. What took me aback the most was how freely they used language. European mouths flow with expletives to an extent that I’ve never seen back home. Yes, people swear at work, but they really go all the way here.
One of my colleagues said that I must not be a Northerner as I always wear my coat indoors, but I don’t think they understand how much we know about the cold. I can’t complain about the weather here though, as I am not knee deep in snow. The rain is more than welcome.