Settling back in to life in Exeter

Friday I made the journey from Rome to Exeter- a much more difficult task than it sounds! The morning began with me standing in line to check in at the Easyjet counter, which contrary to its name was not easy or fast. Nearly two hours later and with the single bag I was allowed in hand, I set off for my gate.

Much to my chagrin I was in gate H12 at the other end of the airport! Hauling all of my stuff down the corridors of the airport I passed many expensive shops and cute boutiques. Though I had no room to carry more things–or money to buy them–it was nice scenery for the walk. After arriving at the gate I quickly got in line to “board” the plane. Just like the check in fiasco, this was neither easy or fast.

We got onto a bus that took us over to where the plane was sitting and then climbed up the stairs into the plane. The very irate Italian woman next to me could not understand why the bus was going so slow or why it took them so long to open the doors so we could leave the bus and get onto the plane–it made for a very interesting ride over! Once on the plane I was unfortunate lucky enough to have an adorable baby sitting behind me….who kicked my seat the entire way to England. Maybe it is a cultural difference but those parents were letting the child go wild!

Arriving in London I was greeted with a pleasant surprise: for the first time the line for “Other Passports” was shorter than the “UK/EU Passports” line. I felt bad for all of the EU residents but walked through quickly and easily to get my baggage and catch the next train to Victoria Station. In luck (with the train was leaving  ten minutes after I arrived) I boarded with my massive luggage. A cab to Paddington allowed me to view parts of London I’d never seen before; I made notes of all the pretty parks to visit next time I’m there.

Once at Paddington I revised my essays for 45 minutes until my train. British transport is problematic at best and this train ride was no different. About half-way to Exeter the rear engine broke down and we had to stop to detach it. Running on only one engine, the train got into Exeter St. David’s about an hour late but thankfully in one piece. Rather than try to climb the hill and walk the 1.5 miles to my dorm, I caught a taxi and ended my journey in comfort.

Now, two days later I am happy to be back but not so excited about my finals! I’ve spent the morning in the library with friends writing papers and soon it will be time to begin again.

Off to Costa for more paper-writing goodness,

A

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Birthdays and Visas

Hey All!

So sorry that it has been so long since my last post! I have been unpacking, starting my summer class and starting my summer job. I love keeping busy over the summer but it is a little weird to have so little free time. Trying to plan for this year abroad has taken a backseat to more pressing matters for the time being.

Yesterday was my twentieth birthday! Though it’s hard to grasp that I’m no longer a teenager, I am happy to be entering a new period in my life. Entering a new decade of my life just as I am headed abroad seems oddly perfect!

I’m currently enrolled in Basic Marketing Concepts for WKUs three week May term. During junior year of high school, Mrs. Smith did a unit in AP English Language on marketing and I became really interested in how much it affects consumer behavior. The class has a lot of reading because the whole semester’s worth of material is included in the 3 weeks. Luckily, the class will be over by the first week in June and I can devote more time to other things!

On the study abroad front I got my acceptance letter to the University of Exeter! Even though the acceptance is more of a formality than anything, getting the email was a nice reminder that all of this is actually happening! The letter included brief instructions for applying to get a visa—very confusing instructions! I hope that there are more detailed directions coming soon from the Center for Global Engagement because I’m not sure that I’ll get it right following the original ones.

The visa process is the last step–other than reserving housing–in finalizing all of the plans for the fall and it is really starting to seem real! I suppose that I won’t really believe I’m going until I’m there!

Ta for now–reading to do for marketing,

A

Prospies!

Today I spent nearly an hour doing my duty for Kenyon LINKS. LINKS is a program where a current student (in this case me) calls recently admitted students (prospective students=prospies) to help them make their decision about where to go to college in the fall. I’m supposed to answer questions, tell them about things currently happening at Kenyon and basically be a sounding board. Of course all of this would work better if they would only PICK UP THE PHONE!

I emailed all of my prospies on Monday, just after I picked up their names at admissions. I, trying to be conscientious, didn’t call any of them until Wednesday to give them some time to respond. Nope. Nada.

I guess that I just remember the process as something that I would have loved a little guidance on (or, as it might be see, babying through). The college admissions cycle is so stressful: between the college visits, narrowing down choices, writing application essays and actually getting things in on time by the time you got the acceptance letters you’re already too overwhelmed to make a clear headed decision! I don’t wish for a moment that I was going through THAT process all over again!

On top of all of the LINKS stuff I’ve gone and distracted myself again with a book. Last week it was What would Google Do?, this week it’s This Book Is Overdue!. I think I sense a trend, books with punctuation at the end of the titles! Both books were absolutely excellent–even though Google was a bit dry at times. The only problem is that I have too much to do to be spending my time doing pleasure reading. (P.S. all of the books that I’m currently reading I keep on a list on my linkedin, go look! http://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandrampatterson)

This Book Is Overdue! is about the field of library science and, maybe it is just because I want to be a librarian, it is riveting. The author explores different facets of librarianship–from having to use a card catalogue when the new digital system is not working, to using the computer program Second Life and becoming librarians in a virtual world. The breadth of the knowledge these women–for the most part–hold the key to is striking. I just love information so much that I can’t imagine it ever being destroyed or lost. I suppose that I’ve found my calling!

Well, I ought to sign off because homework is calling my name. I have a rough draft of my final paper for History of the Reformation that is due next week, along with a final draft of my book review on College Girls. Between the two of them I doubt I’ll be leaving the library this weekend except to work the Housing Lottery.

Ta for now.

–A