Saturday, July 30, 2011

Back in the states - Saturday 7/30

Well, the final craziness of the London Study Abroad trip is now beginning to pass. Wednesday was a blur of last minute issues, packing (how did I manage to get an additional 20 pounds of stuff while I was there?) and figuring out what to do with my last evening in London. I finally opted for a quiet evening of reading. That turned out to be a good choice. I had to get up at 4:30 on Thursday morning, so I turned in fairly early - once I finally sat on my suitcase to get it closed. Yes, I really had to do that!
Thursday was a travel marathon. As I mentioned, I woke up at 4:30. That's when I planned to wake up, but I actually woke up at about 3:45. I left the dorm room to walk the four blocks to the other dorm (where the bus was going to pick everyone up) for the ride to the airport. The bus left the dorm at about 5:40 and arrived at Heathrow about 6:30. I was a little surprised at how quickly we were able to get there. The check in process was also amzingly smooth and relatively short. I was beginning tr get a little suspicious at the way things were working out so smoothly!

The first leg of our flight home took us from London to Dallas/Ft. Worth in Texas. The odd stop over location is the price we had to pay for a flight with a group booking as large as ours. Anyway, we cleared customs in Dallas instead of Atlanta, and I am sure that was a great thing. The lines at DFW were relatively short and fast. Then all that was left was to wait about an hour to get on the plane from Dallas to Atlanta.

Ah ha! My string of lucky travelling DID have a cost. I was stuck in a middle seat from Dallas to Atlanta. I get claustrophobic in middle seats on a plane. Further, I was sandwiched between a type-A personality business type who kept elbowing be in the ribs as he thrashed around in his seat and a high school girl returning from a summer in Guatamala who apparently thought that talking non-stop about her experiences and her future academic plans to an absolute stranger on a plane would be a great way to pass the time. All I wanted to do was sleep, but that didn't really happen.

Finally, we arrived at Atlanta. It was 6:30pm EST. That meant I had been awake 20 straight hours by the time we landed. Oh, there had been a few cat naps on the flights, but nothing very effective at all. The luggage took about 40 minutes to get from the plane to baggage claim carousel. That seemed excessive, especially as all I wanted to do was to sleep, and not listen to all of the passengers greet their friends and families across the waiting area at full voice. My positive karma returned briefly when my suitcase was one of the first to come off the carousel. I grabbed it, wished a safe journey home to all of those around me within earshot of a quiet voice, and made a bee-line dash to the exit.

I spent my three hour drive from Atlanta to Tifton trying not ot fall asleep behind the wheel. I was successful. I arrived home, exhausted, 26 hours after I had woken up in London. The trip was over.

My cats greeted me when I got to the door. They both purred loudly from the moment I walked in, through a quick round of cat treats, and while I got ready for bed. By the time I fell asleep, our routine had been reestablished. I truly felt HOME from the five weeks of the London Study Abroad program.

Friday was a day to unpack, get some work done with end of summer term grades, share a few stories with colleagues at work, and rest with a good book for much of the afternoon.

I still have a few pictures to download from the camera and to post here, but that will have to wait until later this weekend.   

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

London, wrapping up - Tuesday 7/26

Tuesday was our last real academic day in London. After a morning of fielding issues with students planning their final day (Wed.) in and around London, I met with my class for the final time. They filled out class evaluations and took the final exam.

After the final exam, the faculty gathered one last time to have dinner. We took a our boat down the Thames to Greenwich. Once there, we shared a pint at the Trafalgar. It's a pub named for the famous and decisive sea battle won by the British national hero, Admiral, Lord Horatio Nelson, over teh combined French and Spanish forces of the Napoleonic Wars in 1805. After sharing some time there, we went to a great little restaurant in Greenwich. It's called Inside. We had a splendid meal and enjoyable conversation. 

I have to admit that I have really liked this summer, and especially my class. I have been impressed with what they have been able to glean from their reading and our discussions. I just hope that their final exams reflect that, too. The field trips have been a lot of fun, and judging from the general reactions each week, the students enjoyed them almost as much as I did.

This summer, as a co-site director, I have also had to be involved in the assistance and discipline roles with some of the students. I know that it is a necessary part of the program, and I am always happy to assist when there are problems. However, I think the discipline side of things - and we had some relatively serious issues with out-of-control behavior on occasion - is the part I like least. I won't say anything more about it here, because I don't want to spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on what is essentially the negative side of study abroad.

I hope this blog has been of interest. It has been a good way to journal about the experiences I have had on this trip with the class readings and in the non-academic times. Wednesday 7/27 will be a flurry of activity with packing, last minute issues, and a very short night. We leave our dorms at 5:30 am to get to the airport to leave London at 9:30 am. Consequently, this will be my last blog entry from London, but I will write a wrap up blog entry after I return to Georgia. I will also go back and add in some pictures here and there across the 5 weeks worth of entries as I get a chance to go through my downloads more carefully. 

I have had a great time, and I hope you have been able to share in it a little bit.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Last day of class - Monday 7/25

Well, Monday was the last day of regular class meetings for my class. We discussed the field trip to Oxford. Most of the students seemed to have really enjoyed it. We also talked about the upcoming final exam so they could start to prepare for it properly. Then we turned our attentions to the readings for the day. I had assigned three poems, or selections from poems, written by a contemporary English author, Geoffrey Hill. I want to give credit where it's due, so I want to thank Dr. Jeff Newberry for introducing me to his writing. The three poems I assigned were "Requiem for Plantagenet Kings," selections "from Mercian Hymns," and "Tenebrae."

These are different poems from what we had worked with previously. Hill's writing is very difficult to read. He intends it to be though. His syntax is very complex, and he uses a variety of traditional forms with modernist methods. One of his stylistic choices is to mingle English and European historical events with modern elements to create his intended effects. The class was focused on seeing how to "unpack" his syntax in several cases in order to understand what the poem was saying. In other cases, we had to review the historical events that he alludes to in order to understand the context of the ideas that the poem addresses on a larger scale. It was an interesting class, essentially a workshop.

After class, we had a meeting with all of the students to give information about our departure plans. We also took a group picture.

After the meeting, several of us went to dinner on Brick Lane. I love Indian food, and I had a wonderful meal. This trip's dining has convinced me to learn how to make some for myself.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The beginning of the end - Sunday 7/24

On Sunday, the realization that we are entering our final week here finally hit me like a ton of bricks. I don't feel at all ready to leave yet, but at the same time I am entirely ready to be back home. I miss my cats, my bed, and my friends, but I still have a lot that I want to do here in and around London.

Anyway, I took advantage of the free time I had, while I wasn't preparing for the final two class meetings of my class, to try and finish up my souvenir shopping. I didn't quite finish as it turned out, but I did have a pretty good time walking through the markets.

I started out by going back up to Camden Market. It was even more corwded than the first time I was there on this trip. I looked around, bought a few things, and then I stumbled upon the same seller of windspinners that I had purchased mine from the previous week. Since I didn't take a picture on that occasion, I did this time. Here it is.

the windspinner shop at Camden Market in London
Those of you who know will realize that bright shiny objects rate high on my "like-o-meter." I bought one like the sun-shaped one near the center of this picture.
After Camden Market, I went to Oxford Road. This is another major shopping district in London. I had been looking to purchase a tie or two, and after I stopped, I had, in fact, purchased nine ties! Again, as any one who knows me will understand, I like ties and wear a different one each day of each semester. This batch will be added to this fall's collection.
my new ties - purchased in London
After my shopping, I had a sandwich in my dorm, and started contemplating the packing challenges that are ahead of me.

Shopping Day - Saturday 7/23

Saturday was a day to hang around London and get some souvenir shopping done. Several of us got up early and went to Portobello Market, a large outdoor market that stretches about 2 miles along Portobello Road that has a wide variety of shops and stalls/booths with some very interesting items. For example, one had an eclectic mix of doorknobs, tin boxes, and porcelain floor tiles (historical and modern).

Portobello Market - London

me at Portobello Market

The best part was the people watching. Actually, that may have been the second best part. The best part was the strawberry and clotted creme crepe that was made at a booth along the street. I don't normally eat food from street vendors, but this was so tempting that I could not resist. I would have had a picture of it, but it disappeared too quickly!

On the way back from Portobello Market, I stopped off and had a pint at a wonderful little quiet pub. It was like sitting at a cozy countryside pub, but it was right near the heart of the city.

a quiet little pub just a block away from Euston Train Station

After the pint, I had dinner along Drummond Street. The second highest concentration of Indian restaurants in London is along Drummond Street. The most concentrated area is along Brick Lane in east London. That place is truly wonderful. Just walking down the road there must be fattening with all of the luscious smells wafting and mingling in the air.

The rest of the day was spent recovering from my overeating.

Catch-up Friday - Friday 7/22

Friday was a day to get caught up on my school work, reading, and resting. In the evening, several of the faculty went out to dinner. Next year's Program Director came to London to help get everyone ready to go back to Georgia next week. As a way to let her meet the the faculty who are here this year, we went to a very nice Italian restaurant, Strada, in Canary Wharf.

Canary Wharf is an area of London that used to be all docks and warehouses. In the last couple of decades, the area has been renovated into an upscale housing area and business district. It was a very enjoyable evening with good company and terrific food.

A wonderful dinner of lamb and vegetables cooked to perfection and crusted with rosemary
On the way back to the dorm, we stopped by the Westminster area of London. It is always an interesting sight to see the buildings lit up as dusk falls over the city.

Big Ben at night

Friday, July 22, 2011

Final class field trip - Oxford - 7/21

For the final field trip for the British Literature II class, I thought a trip to Oxford would be a good experience. We would have the opportunity to see several sites associated with our readings from this week.

My initial hope had been to get a group picture, before we left London, at the site set up in King's Cross station for Platform 9 3/4. However, when we got there, the station is being refurbished, and access to the site was blocked by construction area walls.

We took a train to Oxford, where it was overcast and drizzling like it had been in London when we left. It was going to be a dreary day weather-wise, but it wasn't going to be in terms of anything else. In fact, it seemed that after our bad luck at King's Cross station, we had only good luck. When we lined up to go someplace, we would only have to wait a short time, but within ten minutes of our arrival at any given place, there were large crowds formed with much longer waits.

Our first stop was for lunch at the Eagle & Child pub. This was the location where a group of writers in eearly 20th century would meet. They referred to themselves as t Inklings, and they included notable writers such as J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and others. They would meet to discuss and share ideas, and to act as a sort of sounding board for specific ideas as they worked on their own writing. We were able to have lunch there, and it was very good.

The sign for the Eagle & Child
part of the British Literature II class at the Eagle & Child pub in Oxford, England - L to R: Robin Padick, Kellie Patterson, Dr. Ray, Cassie Wooten, Brittany Wade, Rebekah Huffmaster, Kassie Bettis

the rest of the British Literature II class at the Eagle & Child pub in Oxford, England - L to R: Heather Ness, Kasey Mangum, Courtney Jess, Christy Prewett
After lunch, we strolled past a few other places in Oxford associated with the University of Oxford.

A plaque marking the location of the palace of Henry II

the Sheldonian Theater - a building designed by Christopher Wren

a bridge built on the design of the Rialto (Bridge of Sighs) in Venice
We then visited the public areas of the Bodleian Library, and took a few pictures there.

door to the original School of Music library

door to the School of Languages (Hebrew and Greek) and the School of Geometry and Arithmatic
After our all too brief visit to the Bodleian, we went to Christ Church College. It's one of 38 colleges that make up the University of Oxford. It's also one of the places, with its long history and large number of medieval buildings that influenced set design choices for the Harry Potter movies.

First view of Christ Church College, Oxford University from the visitor's entrance 

a quad at Christ Church College in front of the cathedral

interior of Christ Church Cathedral, Christ Church College, Oxford University 

Great Hall - dining hall - Christ Church College - Oxford University - inspired the design of the Great Hall in the Harry Potter movies

dining table in the Great Hall, Christ Church College, Oxford University
Our field trip to Oxford included a little time to shop at the stores along Broad Street since most of the students wanted something with the University of Oxford logo on it as a souvenir and/or a gift. As we made our way back toward the train station, we stopped briefly at the remains of the medieval castle at Oxford. Since it was still rainy and all of us were tired, we did not take the tour.

It's onward we go as we enter our final week in England.


Sir Harry Potter - Wednesday 7/20

Wednesday proved to be another interesting day. After the entertaining events of Tuesday, it had the potential to be a somewhat down day. However, it was far from that. In the afternoon, the British Literature II class met again. The discussion topic for the class was a selection  of readings from the Harry Potter books. I know that a lot of English professors think that the Harry Portter phenomenon is a lark, and that teaching the material of the novels is also a lark, despite the fact (or perhaps as a result of the fact) that Harry Potter based readings are the foundations of entire courses at major U.S. universities, particularly Ivy League schools.

My take on the Harry Potter books is that despite their reputation as "kids' books" they have value in terms of their Legendarium, to borrow Tolkien's word. There is a mythos that is created over the course of the seven novels that compares (not on an equal literary footing perhaps) with the mythos at the heart of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings stories. Many of the elements that are in the Harry Potter stories mirrors the elements in Tolkien's stories, and they mirror the stories of the Arthurian literature as well. They are human ideals, dreams, desires, and myths that span the whole human condition in many ways, and most specifically the western traditions we live under in both Britain and the U.S. If those ideals and ideas (such as loyalty, honor, duty, and nationalism) can be made accessible to young readers, I'm all for it. I don't always agree with many 20th and 21st century colleagues who seem to embrace a somewhat more cynical view that the ideas carried in these stories are too idealistic and naive for a modern world. 

Our in class discussions focused on specific Arthurian parallels between the selections drawn from the Harry Potter books and the tales of King Arthur. It also looked at the deeper parallels in terms of concepts and myth/story elements.

After class, I had another opportunity to take in a play. This time, I went to the Globe Theatre for a second time. This was the trip to see Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing. It was a fabulous experience, even though it was raining. The actors just worked it into the performance without breaking character, and no one (not even those standing in the yard in rain gear) seemed to really notice it. The staging was very visually engaging, including the large Morris Dance puppets that passed through the standing audience on one occasion. The acting was strong with an excellent cast all the way to the supporting roles. The high comedy was witty and the low comedy raucous. Dogberry (a character in the play) was particularly fun to watch. It is really hard to beat a Shakespeare comedy for true humor on every level - engaging both the intellect and the visceral. Though there is no photography allowed during the performance, I did take a couple of pictures before it began.
This is the stage area as it was set up for the play, from my seat in the front row on the third tier of seating.

Here is a view of te seating area including the yard, where the audience has to stand throughout the performance.

the stage at the Globe Theatre

me before the performance - this stoic look was very soon to be broken into laughing and smiling at the play

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

That's Entertainment! (apologies to MGM) - Tuesday 7/19

Tuesday held several wonderful events in store for me. The students and other faculty members were away on their Tuesday field trips, and I had an odd mix of experiences to encounter.

In the morning, I had the responsibility of holding office hours for the program. That means I was available for about two hours spanning the time period over which the field trips were scheduled to leave. The reason for that was to be available should any students need to stop by or contact me because they were too ill to participate in hteir field trips (which are mandatory). I had one student come in who was suffering from cold symptoms and exhaustion. Those are common ailments, especially as we get toward the end of the trip. Students tend to try to overdo things a little bit, and they don't eat well and they don't sleep well. That leaves them vulnerable to feeling sick. Anyway, this student mainly needed to get a little sleep and now is doing well. The make up fieldtrip on her own may be a bit challenging to work in, but that's one of the challenges of study abroad.

My day took an interesting turn for the better in the afternoon. Despite some more rain, I was pleased with my lunch at an Indian restaurant nearby. Then it was off to the movie theater. I had my ticket to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 - finally. This was also going to be my first experience with British movie theaters. Judging from the cost to get in, it may well be my last. Movies here cost more than than what they do in the U.S. To see this movie in 3D during the low-cost matinee, it cost me the equivalent of a little more than $20 - and that's with no popcorn or anything! I guess it was worth it. I really enjoyed the movie, and it completes Hollywood's treatment of a very interesting set of books. I am teaching parts of the series while I am here htis summer, and I think my students really are looking forward to our discussions of the story. There are an intriguing number of Arthurian parallels with the story of Harry Potter. it makes for an interesting literary discussion.

After the movie, I met with some of the faculty members from the program. We had a very unique opportunity. One of them has a daughter who is in London with her own group of students, and she had purchased a set of group tickets to a musical. Some of her students decided not to go, so she made the tickets available to us. Boy, were we lucky. The musical is Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - the Musical. I had a great time. The musical is based on the movie, and it follows the basic story very closely. All in all, this story of three drag queens travelling across the Australian outback in a borken down, pink bus called Priscilla is a campy riot to enjoy. The songs were rollicking. The costuming way over the top in extravagance. The set was very intriguing and effective. The performances were high-energy and engaging. In many ways, like my experience earlier this summer in New York with Sister Act on Broadway, and with A Beggar's Opera here in London, I laughed a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Regrettably, photos aren't allowed in the theatre, so I have none. I don't even have a picture of the theatre sign or the play title sign - but I will. When I do get them, I will add them here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Legendarium day! - Monday 7/18

Monday was a day given over to The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. That was the text for the class meeting today. More specifically, I asked my students to focus on the first of the books, The Fellowship of the Ring. This book is one of my favorites, just as Tolkien is one of my favorite authors. His concept of myths containing the "fundamental truths" of a culture rings so true to me, especially as I consider myself an Arthurian (the material about King Arthur is one of my main academic areas of study). That's the idea that he created the label of "Legendarium" to convey. This was probably one of the most spirited classroom discussions thus far this summer. I think that the shift to this genre of "high fantasy" from the somewhat depressing and dark literature of the first and second world wars was a welcome relief to my students.

We are winding down here in London. This is our last full week here. We have two more class meetings after this one, and then a final exam. It has been intense, especially for the students, who have to cram an entire semester's worth of reading and academics into only five weeks. However, the fact that it is all taking place in London does make it an incredibly rewarding experience. The work is paying off. The opportunities to explore the field trip sites is paying off. The additional sight seeing and cultural immersion is paying off.

There have been bumps along the road, with some sickness, some relatively minor troubles caused by too much partying (but what college student doesn't go through that!), too little sleep at times, and a crash course in balancing budgets (for some, especially as we get close to the end). Still, I don't think there is a student or a faculty member here who would say it isn't worth it.

Now, before I start to sound like it is all over today, I need to remind you that there is still a little over a week left before we come home, so continue to watch for the postings. There's still a lot to do yet!

Rainy resting day - Sunday 7/17

Sunday was a rainy day in London. I decided to just rest a while and catch up on some class preparation and reading. All in all, I ended up not going out except to pick up some groceries for a light meal in my room.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Another day trip - Saturday 7/16

Saturday was set for a planned trip to Bath, England. There were twelve students, another faculty member, and me on the trip. The trip went along fairly smoothly. In fact, the only drawback was that it was rainy and overcast for much of the first part of the trip. That made it chilly, and a little too uncomfortable for some of the students who forgot to bring jackets.

Bath is a very fascinating site. It has a natural spring of hot mineral water that bubbles up naturally from the ground. It has done that since ancient times. The Celtic tribes who lived in the area before the coming of the Romans in the first century AD knew of the site and worshipped around the spring and attributed the natural phenomenon to the goddess, Sulis. When the Romans came, they saw the value of the hot spring mineral waters and built a large bath complex over the site, using the natural hot water both in their bath houses and in a religious temple. They saw the healing power of the Celtic goddess, Sulis, as most closely matching their own goddess, Minerva, and built their temple to Sulis Minerva. The Roman town that arose around the site was called Aquae Sulis.

Other than the wonderful archaelogical finds that have been found around the area, the most important part of the Roman baths is that they still work the same way they did 2000 years ago. The baths are still in place, though the buildings they were in were taken down or collapsed long ago. When hte springs were found again in the Middle Ages, they were used by local monks to heal the sick. Then again, in the 17th and 18th centuries they were once again made into a spa for health and recreation. Bath was a very popular spot with t rich and famous of those times. Writers, musicians, foreign heads of state, and even English royalty were often seen in and around the city of Bath. One notable writer with a conenction to Bath is Jane Austen.

I guess that's enough history for this blog entry. I will now include some of the pictures I took of the sites in Bath.

The abbey church dominates the downtown area. The abbey itself was torn down back when Henry VIII dissolved the religious monastic houses in the 16th century, but the Abbey church itself still serves as a church for the town of Bath.
The impressive front of Bath Abbey
We were primarily interested in seeing the Roman baths: the ruins left over from the time when Bath was a major Roman city.
EC students  and faculty waiting in the rain to see the Roman baths
the tour includes a model of what the Roman bath complex and temple site would have looked like
this is the frieze from the temple - with a gorgan head in the middle
though the structures above the pool were added in later stages of building (15th-18th century), this pool is still the same sacred pool that the Romans built in the first century - the water still bubbles up into this pool like it has since ancient times
this is the overflow system for the sacred pool - this water flows through the original Roman tunnels, channels, and sluices that the Romans put in - the arch was built in the 1st century AD! 
this is the main hot bathing pool - it still has the original Roman lead lining, and it is still water tight - the water is green because sunlight promotes algae growth in the warm water - the Romans had a huge arched roof over this room - the pedestals for the Roman roof supports can be seen on the far side
a couple of EC London 2011 students by the main pool

me next to the main pool
In addition to the Roman baths, we looked at a few other places, such as the Jane Austen Center.
one of the EC London 2011 students outside the Jane Austen Center in Bath, England
During the train ride back to London, we had the opportunity to see this white horse carved into the hillside near Westbury, England. It calls to mind the prehistoric chalk horse near Uffington, but this one only dates from the end of the 1700s. Still, it is supposed to be on the site of one that dates to much further back in history.
chalk White Horse on a hillside overlooking the town of Westbury in the county of Wiltshire in England

Saturday, July 16, 2011

An adventure with an adventure - Friday 7/14

"I'm sorry for any inconvenience this causes." I must have heard that statement more than two dozen times on Friday. I went to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace and final home of William Shakespeare. The trip is almost a pilgrimage for me. Anyway, I had a couple of students accompany me. Since they had stayed up late the night before to take in the midnight showing of the new Harry Potter film, we started out a little later than usual. The train trip to Stratford is a long one since it is quite a distance from London. We arrived about lunch time, had a quick lunch, and set right out to see what remains of the city that dates back to Shakespeare's time. In fact, the house where he was born and raised is still standing and has been preserved as a museum.

Shakespeare's birthplace
Here is the blogger standing outside the entrance to Shakespeare's birthplace.

some of the colorful flowers in the garden of the Shakespeare birthplace
Of course, Stratford is also the place where Shakespeare died in 1616. He is buried in Trinity Church in Stratford.
Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon
Shakespeare's grave site near the altar in Trinity Church - Stratford-upon-Avon
The memorial for Shakespeare on the wall of the church overlooking his grave
Stratford-upon-Avon includes the name of the river that flows through it in order to distinguish it from other Stratfords in England. Here is an image of the river from Trinity Church.
River Avon from Trinity Church - Stratford-upon-Avon
Some other sites from Stratford:

The city public library housed in an (a least partially) original Tudor style building with half-timber construction

The Stratford-upon-Avon Market Cross - as a county market town, Stratford would have been the site to which farmers from surrounding areas and merchants from the town would have come on occasion to sell their goods, buy what they needed, and gather news of the day. We arrived during a modern version of a market day. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Museum field trip - Thursday 7/14

This was an interesting day. The class field trip was to a couple of museums in London. Our readings this week have been focused on the two major wars of the twentieth century: World War I and World War II. In order to assist the students in understanding the context of the two wars, I took them to the Imperial War Museum, with its great displays on those wars, and to te Museum of London, to get a London specific view of the Blitz (the air war over London in World War II). Both of these visits were very useful in getting the students visual elements to match with the ideas raised in the poetry. In fact, at te Imperial War Museum, they even had the opportunity to get some experiential opportunites. The museum has a mock up of a trench from World War I, and it has a mock up of the bunker experience during the World War II air war. All in all, I think the day can be best summed up by the words of the student who turned to me near the end of the field trip and told that she thought this class was potentially the most traumatizing class she would ever take. The intensity of the poetry and the intensity of the exhibits really seemed to bring home to her, and all of the others, the ideas that expressed in the poetry and a little bit of the reality those ideas reflect.

These are a few of the pictures that I took. Sadly, most of my interior pictures did not turn out oo well, especially at the Imperial War Museum. I guess if you want to see the inside you'll just have to go on a study abroad trip of your own.
The Imperial War Museum - London

 This is the British Literature II class at the Imperial War Museum

Robin Padick, and ABAC student, standing next to a segment of the torn down Berlin Wall on display at the Imperial War Museum

Here are some of the Brit Lit II students at lunch
At the museum of London, our focus was on the World War II exhibits and a brief film made about the Blitz in London. The film used clips from interviews with actual Blitz survivors recalling their experiences. It was very powerful. I then looked around hte rest of the museum, and took some pictures of my favorite sections. One of which is the section covering the Roman period in Britain from about 56AD through the middle 400s AD. 
This is a miniature diorama of what the riverfront in London might have looked like in Roman times - Museum of London

this is a full size mock up of what a typical Roman Room might look like in Romanized England - Museum of London
This next picture was taken while we were traveling between hte museums. In itself, it is a rare thing to come across, at least in my experience.
A rarity - an empty tube station