David Myles ’14 – July 26 - Well this is it, I’m done. This is my final blog entry for my summer abroad.. I finished my final exam, and, honestly, I think I did well. But if there is one thing every Wabash man knows when it comes to grades, it is to never count your chickens before they hatch.
Since the first summer session is now over, many students will depart tomorrow, making this Friday night the wildest yet. I doubt though that this weekend has any possibility of topping last weekend. I mentioned in my blog last week that Kyle Bender ’12 would be meeting up with me on Saturday morning. He did, and we spent the day visiting museums, yet only those with free admission mind you. I thought the day would be fun, yet rather uneventful. I have never been happier to be wrong.
We started with the British Museum, which houses the Rosetta Stone and thousands of other artifacts, eventually moving on to the Tate Modern art museum, and then to the National Gallery. About a half hour before the National Gallery was to close though, Kyle and I questioned whether or not we had been in a specific room focusing on Italian Renaissance art. We hadn’t and thus begun to backtrack through the museum. As soon as we turned around, however, we literally bumped into Dr. Bill Cook ’66. As I write these words, I still cannot believe it happened. Dr. Cook said he arrived from Estonia early that morning, and told us that he hadn’t been to London in 11 years. His first visit in 11 years, and he runs into two fellow Wabash men. Yet, for anyone that knows Dr. Cook, a museum with works by Italian Medieval and Renaissance artists is the ideal and commonsensical place to have such an encounter.
After leaving the museum, Kyle, Dr. Cook, and I walked to Victoria train station to meet up with Nate Chapman ’14, who had a layover in London on his way to Paris. Kyle and I had planned to meet him for dinner that night, and the look on Nate’s face when he saw Dr. Cook was with us can only be described as priceless. Actually, I’m sure it was about the same as mine: eyes wide and mouth agape in complete shock and awe. The four of us then ventured to a nearby Indian restaurant, which was amazing to say the least (FYI: London some of the best Indian food in the world. Thank you colonialism!). It probably took 45 minutes for the four of us to be served and finish our meals, yet we talked for around three hours. As we rambled on about campus, classes, and life in general, several groups came and went. None of which, I might add, seemed as enthralled with their company as we were. Before that Saturday, I had barely spoken to either Nate or Kyle, and I only knew of the legend that is Dr. Bill Cook. But that is what Wabash does for a person. It creates unbreakable bonds between seemingly dissimilar people. In other words, a Wabash man always has his brothers.
Sunday was a slow day, followed by a short week of classes and a lot of studying for my final exam. I had to answer two essay questions in two hours, a feat that every Wabash student is trained to accomplish beginning with the first semester of freshman year. I should probably take this time to thank the English department. Because of you guys, this was a piece of cake. Oh, that reminds me. My professor asked to write a blog entry for Polis, the media think-tank at the LSE, on Jenny Kleeman, an investigate reporter and guest lecturer from last week. Check it out at http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/polis/, and scroll down to the July 20th entry. She is an amazing woman, and even if you think my blog is garbage, watch her documentaries from Channel 4’s Unreported World series. You’ll be glad you did.
I mentioned above that tonight is my last night in London. That means a fun and reflective night, yet I am quite excited about my upcoming destinations. Saturday I’ll take a night bus out of London, waking up in Amsterdam Sunday morning where I will spend three days. Next I’ll travel to Paris on the 30th to spend the day, before I hop aboard a night train to Florence. I plan to travel around much of Tuscany, meeting up again with Nate and Dr. Cook, before I head back to Paris on August 6th. There my pledge-brother Nik Jones and I will celebrate the ending of summer, before he flies home on the 8th and I on the 9th. This is my last blog for Wabash, but you can follow me on Twitter @drmyles77. I’ll be tweeting most of the trip so that everyone back home knows I’m alive and not enduring some sort of Taken scenario. Europeans must hate that movie.
Finally, I’d like to end by thanking the Study Abroad Committee and the Rudolph family. Words cannot describe how thankful I am that I was able to abscond to Europe on this adventure, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try. Hopefully one day, I will be able to pass it on and provide a Wabash student with the opportunity of a lifetime. Till the Fall, cheers, and remember, Wabash Always Fights.