Classes have been different so far in London. The lectures have not been as forgiving as they usually were back in the U.S. Reminders aren’t given regularly about assignments due, and lecture material is rarely gone over a second time. I’ve had some difficulty with comprehension in some of my courses because they have a rapid pace and so much information. But over time I’ve become accustomed to the different style of teaching. The fact that I share classes with my roommates has made the process much less difficult, since we often share similar concerns to each other and remind each other of assignments that are due soon.
I’m currently taking a London Museums class where each week we are out and about exploring the best museums in London. However, the amount of information that’s required to appreciate and understand some of the artworks/artifacts can be difficult to do from a quick 2-minute explanation. This has pushed me to be a more efficient note-taker, often with photographs and writing key points in order to remember what I’m learning. I’ve also found it necessary to engage myself with outside sources in order to better understand everything I’m learning.
I’ve taken this hurdle head-on and it feels like an important skill-building journey. One of my original goals coming here was to visit as many museums as possible, and so far, this skill has encouraged me to look deeper into my museum visits. I’m finding more than meets the eye in art and architecture that I’d normally only take a few glances at. When I’ve visited the likes of the British Museum, Tate Modern, and Natural History Museum in my free time, I’ve done more research and photography to find the hidden backstories.
The schoolwork so far has not pushed my work ethic, but it’s also pushed me to improve my communication skills. There are often more workshops, discussions and now presentations in these courses than I’ve had back at UCSC. This has pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and talk with more people in my classes than I usually do. Since our program’s student body is roughly around 50 students, there are many familiar faces and I’ve grown somewhat comfortable with speaking to many of them. However, it’s also definitely an area that I would like to improve in along with public speaking.
I have two presentations to complete within the next month in random groups of 5. We have communicated over a group text and I’m prepared to help co-ordinate how our presentation will go. I’m excited at the prospect of giving my thoughts/criticism on a particular museum to the class and an accomplished museum coordinator, however it will be a challenge. However, overcoming challenges has been a recurring theme both in London and throughout my academic journey. I’ll work to overcome and succeed because I know that the sense of accomplishment, along with the skills that will come from doing the presentations will be worth it.