Monday, September 3, 2012

Now I can begin.

What is Art? Please tell me.
The 52lb box that I parted with 11 days ago has finally arrived. This means it is real, I'm staying and I'm now prepared. I've got the Barbour jacket and the Wellies, I'm ready to rock. Not to mention, I started class today. I had my first class of graduate school then I went out for a pint to celebrate I went to the library to read! I feel like I'm going to need glasses after this; so much reading with such small print cannot be great for the eyes. I have class Monday-Thursday with a three hour class a day. Trust me, it is more than it seems.. Readings for each class each week take a few hours, not to mention papers and presentations.. Plus, I need to start thinking of a Thesis Topic (what does that mean?) and figure out where I would like to intern this coming summer. All this being said, I'm so loving it. Yes some days will be hard and I will be so sick of work but I have a choice to either love it and give it my all or hate it and be miserable. I think I'll choose the former.

Let's back up... I haven't had internet for a few days so I'll update on the first week here in South Ken. I've got a great hall full of cool people, all from various backgrounds! A few girls who I've loved getting to know and a couple guys who don't mind me tagging along to watch football (both American and British). One of which has a great blog! Check it out here. He is in the International Relations program (and a guy, duh) so he will have a bit of a different perspective than mine! The other people I've met come from all over the world.. Egypt, Dominican Republic, Russia, France, Bulgaria! It is such a great program to be in with so many people from different backgrounds because we really benefit from the international perspectives we all hold.

First dinner I "made"
(God bless Microwaves)
The first few days I just worked on setting up my room, finding the main building for class, taking wonderful and much needed afternoon naps.. you know, the usual 'start of the semester' stuff. We had Orientation for the Master's students on Friday. There are two Master's programs here at Richmond University, International Relations and Art History. Both programs have about 12 people in them and it is nice to be in such a small class when studying something I don't have loads of experience in! After Orientation, we had a boat party. Funny thing was we assumed it was just Graduate students on a boat casually floating down the River Thames.. oh man, we could not have been more off. The boat was filled with undergraduates, some of who had just gotten to London to start their first year of college. Anyone remember their first few nights of college? Yeah, neither will these kiddos! What started out to be a calm boat ride looking at the sights of London turned into what seemed eerily similar to Prom as depicted by a John Hughes film, just add in 50 Cent and Ke$ha. After being on the boat from 7-11pm, I think everyone was a bit antsy and dancing ensued.. I'll leave you with that visual. Now, I'm not pleading innocence.. us Grad students had a grand ol' time too! It was a great night that ended at the "wrong O'Neills" (don't ask) but I'm so glad we had all had a great first night together. Saturday I went to the infamous American Sport Cafe to watch Notre Dame play Navy (go Irish!) and to have chicken fingers and curly fries. Yesterday consisted of an afternoon at the pub around the corner watching Liverpool vs Arsenal. Tough loss for Liverpool but just happy Chelsea is still on top! For now, at least.. 
Cheers to the Queen!
On a side note, anyone remember the post I did on Hebrews 12? How I have used it since the spring as a source of comfort and guidance? How it has shown up in random places for the past year?? Yeah, I didn't think so.. Well, here it is. Long story short, Carly and I were 30 minutes late for church on Sunday (I read the time wrong, I swear) so as we walked in the breathtaking cathedral we heard maybe the last five minutes of the sermon. What I did hear, however, was a British pastor preaching on "my" Hebrews 12 verse. He spoke of 'running the race' and trusting God. It was epic that this verse has quite literally followed me all the way to London. From Easter service at Centenary Methodist, to the banner at the Nashville half-marathon, to my first church service in London.. I'm a deep believer in fate and 'everything happens for a reason' and I can't express how crazy it was to hear this verse as the sermon topic at my new church in England. God is good, y'all.

Cheers y'all, Lis

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