A blink of an eye; we’ve reached half-term.
Much has happened since my last non-film-festival related post.
Our kitchen is up and running. Though we never received any official go-ahead, the residence hall cut off our catering option several weeks ago, so we all started using the kitchen facilities. It’s funny how much I was looking forward to having a working kitchen, only to discover the caveat of sharing a kitchen with 13 other people…several of whom have never lived on their own before and seemingly believe in the existence of a kitchen fairy! Cuh-razy!
I now have a bin. Such excite! Much yay.
The construction is still happening. I’m not even kidding. The sheer amount of contractors has diminished from roughly 200 a day to 10-15. Honestly, I’d prefer having the 200 a day back…maybe then this shit would get done. I surely miss sleeping in past 7:30.
Speaking of contractors…my 30-40 kg bookshelf came crashing down a few weeks back. It was held in shoddily by two screws. Had I been sitting under it, I would have wound up in hospital or worse. As it is, all that broke was my coffee maker, which the Hall offered to comp (and ended up getting me a nicer one too.) When I brought it up with the Hall manager, a sheer look of panic engulfed her face. Later that day she asked the contractors about the incomplete construction and they admitted that roughly 30 rooms didn’t have properly supported shelves. I can only hope she addressed it individually, because no public announcement was made about it. I sure do hope that no more shelves fall down and kill anyone…cause that would suck.
The first few weeks of my class left much to be desired. Each week, my lecture is taught by a different instructor. Each class focuses on a different aspect of film analysis, specifically as it relates to Alfred Hitchcock’s body of work. After an hour and a half lecture, we break out into a seminar session (12 people total) and discuss things; the lecture, the readings, our essays/research, etc. (For what it’s worth, I enjoy the seminar sessions MUCH more than the lectures.)
I truly struggled with the readings for the first three weeks, as I simply didn’t care. I hadn’t seen Hitchcock films. I had never cared to. I understand that he was a pioneer and the very first American “auteur” but I had never made the inconsiderable effort to view a single one of his films.
During week three (or was it four?) we had a Magic Lantern show. This introduced the very first version of film-making. An expert brought his magic lantern in and actually gave us a 40 minute performance. The sheer artistry involved was awe-inspiring.
Then, we managed to get into a bit of the behind-the-scenes Hollywood transition that surrounded his very first American film, Rebecca. The politics that were involved behind the move are fascinating to me. I finally sat down and watched Rebecca.
Gasp, shock, horror! I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Luckily, our mid-term paper (2,000 words, unweighted in my grade) is about this particular film and we get to write about whatever subject we so choose. Though I see-saw’d back and forth between a variety of topics, I believe I’ve finally settled on a solitary topic addressing…well…it won’t make sense if you haven’t seen the movie. It’s on YouTube. It’s quite good. Go watch it. 😛 We’ll talk later.
This essay is due on November 14th and as such, we get a Reading Week, in which there is no class. We’re given time, instead, to work on said essay and research.
…I’m not very good at taking advice. Which leads directly into my next topic!
On Friday, I’m leaving the UK and flying to Italy. I’ll be doing the majority of my travel this time around with Cherene, my neighbor. Here’s the itinerary (no criticism at the lack of time or amount shoved into the admittedly limited time we have, kthnx!)
- Day 1: Arrive in Venice at 10am. Wander around, take a tour, view a glassblowing demonstration, get a feel for the city. Meet up with Cherene at 8pm.
- Day 2: St. Marks Basilica, Piazza del San Marco, Doge Palace/Palazza Ducale, Train at 7pm, arrive in Florence at 9pm.
- Day 3: Accademia (David), Il Duomo, Palazza Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo (at sunset)
- Day 4: Pisa, pizza, Train at 3:33pm, arrive in Rome at 5pm, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain
- Day 5: Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, Spanish Steps, Jewish Quarter (for dinner and kosher gelato.)
- Day 6: Colosseum, Necropolis tour, Roman Forum, Flight home at 9:55pm.
I am rather excited about my next adventure and will be sure to take lots of photos, though I’ve been reliably informed that it is going to rain our entire time there…because of course.
My only regret…because of course there is one…is that I was stupid in the initial planning stage. I will be out of Britain during Guy Fawkes day. Be still my heart as a single solitary tear drips slowly down my cheek. I’ve literally waited my whole life (or at least 10 years…can you believe V for Vendetta came out 10 years ago!?!?!) to be in England during Bonfire Night. And then I dun messed it all up. *le sigh* Hey, if Trump wins, then I can always stick it out till next year.
Culture Around London
Since we last spoke, I’ve seen stage shows of Aladdin and Book of Mormon.
I’ve been spending a lot of time meandering aimlessly as well, playing Pokemon Go, truth-be-told. As a result, I’ve seen a good chunk of Soho, West End, and most of the public parks including (but not limited to) Hyde Park, Regents Park, and St. James’ Park. I’ve had a run-in with the Queen (not nearly as exciting as people touted)
and with the theater that will eventually house Hamilton (MUCH more exciting than I expected.)
I’ve journeyed to the American Food Store (go ‘Murica!)
and into a Sukkah in the heart of Covent Gardens.
I even found my way onto the set of Guerillas, a new Idris Elba television show, though I didn’t spot any celebrities.
Finally, I found home…that is, I went to London Comic Con for a day.
As in…I’ve actually done some!
It all started two weeks ago when I went to a vintage clothing sale in search of a winter coat. I found one (it’s cute!) but it smelled like…well…vintage clothing. So I took it to the dry cleaners and asked them to get the stank out. Long story short, I got a cute long wool trenchcoat-y thing that’s missing a belt and paid roughly 30 GBP.
Today, I bought another short coat (it’s kinda cold here!), a pair of “jeans,” a beanie, some Pokemon Go gloves (no finger tips!) and a cute pair of ankle boots from my favorite new clothing store, Primark. It’s essentially the size of a Forever 21 but Walmart costs. All in all, my total was around 60 GBP, so I think I did pretty good. Here’s the second coat!
In order to save a bit, I actually found the public library and checked out a book. Go me. (Despite this fact, I’ve been mainlining fanfiction and Netflix television shows instead. I’ve finished all of Daredevil and Luke Cage now. I should probably read the damn book before I start anything else. And…ya’know…write my essay. That’s important too.)
Last but not least…I would LOVE to receive mail. Be it a letter or a package (which I hear is ridiculously expensive) I would open it with breathless anticipation. Here is my London address:
1 Cartwright Gardens
Coming Up Next…
- Day 1 of Berlin planning.
- A trip to Italy.
- Alison procrastinates in the worst way and slams an essay together before the due date.
- The One Where she attempts to make pumpkin pie in an act of nostalgia and homesickness.
- A potential Lin-Manuel Miranda sighting on November 16th.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in Leicester Square at midnight on November 18th.