Nate Chapman ’14 – I find it astonishing how fast time flies. With three of my four weeks of study at Sussex complete, it seems difficult to imagine leaving this place after such a short visit. The painful realization that I won’t get to visit every place I intended has slowly begun to set in. But before I get into my plans for my final week in the UK, let me recap last week.
Our group booked a flight to Dublin for this past weekend, anticipating a new immersion among a different culture than what we had experienced thus far at Sussex. I had even gotten in contact with Dr. Brewer about possible destinations within Dublin that we might enjoy visiting. However, to our dismay, because of a very minor mistake on our part along with the incompetence of Ryanair, we did not get to board our flight and chose not pay the ridiculous fee to get on the next one. That’s making a very long story quite short, but we decided to vent our frustrations by hopping on a train to Victoria and exploring London for the day.
We visited St. Paul’s Cathedral first and then made our way over to the British Museum, which was a wonderful experience. We saw the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles, and many other artifacts. I was extremely disappointed that the Vindolanda Tablets section was closed off, as it would have been interesting to see them since I wrote a paper on three of them for Dr. Hartnett during my Spring semester freshman year. I also recognized a lot of the greek statues thanks to Dr. Kubiak’s Classical Mythology course, which I highly recommend. It also impressed my friends! After the museum, we made our way over to Abbey Road. We wanted to go to more museums, but everything closes really early here, so we did not get the chance.
On Wednesday I journeyed to London yet again on a field trip to the Churchill war rooms in the Imperial War Museum with my class. The museum was fascinating and rich with information. A lot of the rooms have been kept up to represent exactly how they looked in pictures during and after the war. As a student who has not studied WWII in great depth, seeing it from the British viewpoint interested me greatly. I also gained a much better perspective on just how important Churchill remains in British history, and with good reason.
As for my final week, tomorrow I will embark on a journey to Canterbury and Dover at 6 am. Sunday I plan to visit more museums in London, as well as Chelsea’s soccer stadium. I will visit Dorchester on Wednesday, and I’d like to make an attempt to see the Phantom of the Opera sometime in between. Also, I’m hoping to meet up with ’12 graduate Kyle Bender in London at some point, though I don’t know if I will have time. Class makes traveling somewhat difficult, and with my final paper due Thursday, I suppose I will have to devote some time to that as well. Hopefully I will get to do most, if not everything I intend to over my final week.