Today was the day I had my class where I'm the only student. It was in the flat below mine instead of in the FSU building, which is really nice and convenient especially when it's just me. My professor is an awesome Canadian/Dutch woman who is so sweet and "really lovely" as Charlotte said. She kept commenting on how brave I was to stay enrolled in the class even though it's just me, but I really loved the dynamic from the start.
It's definitely different in a one-on-one setting, with all the attention on me. The class is Writing in the Public Sphere and we talked a lot about how I personally defined the "public" and how I think it has evolved over time, and we had a really good discussion about the distinctions between the public and private spheres. It was interesting with only my input, and not the ideas of other students to bounce off of, and it's going to take some getting used to. It went really well though, and she had lots of good feedback on what I was saying.
She asked me a lot about my personal interests and passions and I'm going to have a lot of say in shaping how the class goes. If there are outings I don't want to do or will be doing for another class, she gave me the total freedom to think of other things I want to do, and to think of ideas for how we can go about the class assignments as it's just me. I'm going to be writing a separate blog for that class to reflect on the outings, so I'm excited about that.
Our outing was a Bloomsbury walk, and I was really hoping it would be new sights and information, because we have done quite a few walks around the area already. It was focused on public, semi-public, and private spaces, so we stopped at all the squares (park areas) and learned their history and backgrounds, stopped at homes of various famous characters in history, saw many education sites (University of College London) and ended at the Wellcome Museum (a free museum totally open to the public with AWESOME body/health exhibits that we explored separately to look at museums that are free and what is associated with them).
At one point, we were stopped at one of the squares where there was bus bombing a few years ago and we were talking briefly about it when a man who worked nearby stopped to talk to us. He had been standing on the street when the bombing happened, and he was describing exactly what it had been like in those horrific moments. He has first aid training and was able to help right at the scene and it was incredible and devastating to hear his personal experience with something that seemed so far away from anything that could ever happen in the serenity and beauty of that square. It was incredible hearing his story and so unexpected. Londoners are awesome and have such cool stories when you can meet them and hear about them.
It will be such an awesome class and I'm really glad I stayed enrolled. It's going to be a really unique experience.
Amanda and I finally made it to Paperchase after I got back from class and had some lunch- it's an incredible three level store that has tons of journals and stationary as well as books and art supplies and gifts and home decor and a cafe, etc etc etc. I spent forever in there, even after Amanda left to get to her class. Such a cool place.
I took a much needed nap for a bit, am working on this blog, and tonight there's an optional group outing to Trafalgar Square for a showing of the Royal Opera that hopefully we will go to- weather permitting! I think it rained during my nap, but hopefully it's done for the day/night.
London is home already. It feels like this is where I live, 100%. Such an incredible, amazing, unforgettable experience, and it's only been a week since I left the US.