I’ve found that I really enjoy traveling by myself. I’ve been going out alone in my spare time, and have enjoyed Westminster Abbey, Soho, Buckingham Palace, and Kingston. There’s something that feels more special about going by myself. However, I am still making good progress towards forming new social circles! Traveling alone gives me the chance to meet new people, and I am actually going bowling tonight with someone I met on the bus. Over the past week I’ve been drifting away from the “American bubble” but I know I can still tag along with others at any time if I want!
I’ve joined a weekly Yoga class which is free to Kingston students. The sessions are an hour long, and between all of my walking and carrying my heavy backpack, my body really needs something to loosen up. I’m looking into more activities or clubs to get involved on campus.
This week I have also gotten a better feel for my classes. Kingston is very different from what I am used to in the US. Instead of having a constant stream of assignments to turn in, there is just one or two assignments to determine your entire grade. The teacher assigns tasks, but they are not to be turned in. This system is great for my work style, as I am very self motivated. Without the pressure to turn in everything, I feel I am able to relax and not get caught up in annotating or memorizing what I read. I am currently working on a paper about the ravens in the Tower of London, and soon I will start researching illustration and animation used as World War II propaganda. One of my papers will be about Cadbury chocolate, and it has inspired me to plan a day trip to Birmingham, where the company was founded!
Between all of my work and exploring the city, I still have a lot of free time. I have started volunteering with Light Project Pro International, which is an after school type program located in North London. They will have me working from home, and occasionally coming in person if it works with my schedule. My job is to plan art lessons for the students. I really enjoy the lesson planning process, so I was thrilled when I was asked to do this! Light Project also functions as a food bank, so I may help with that in the future as well.
(Images: Soho, London. View of the Thames from Kingston Bridge.)