Thursday, June 30, 2011

Departure Day! Jackson to Dallas Ft. Worth

Well, It's the big day. I'm on my way to England!!
Mom and Dad dropped me off and I headed through security with no problems at all! The only issue now is that our flight to Dallas Ft. Worth is delayed by one hour. Hopefully that won't cause us any problems getting from our gate in Dallas to head onto London! I am still so nervous and excited!

I've met quite a few people already and everybody is great and excited to go as well!

I'm sitting at Jackson-Evers checking my email, my facebook, all the modern conveniences. ;)
I can't wait to board the plane! I just want to get to London already! :)

I'll do my best to keep you updated... Who knows when I'll have some time to sit with the laptop?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Queen Money!

I've got less than 2 days to go before I leave. I'm pretty much set now. I'm just going to enjoy my last few days at home before the hectic and fun days ahead.

As you can see, I'm pretty much set for LONDON! I've got my passport, my entry letter, my International Student Identity Card (ISIC) and 200 British pounds.

Look at lovely Queen Elizabeth gracing the 20 and 50 pound notes! I still can't get over how awesome the money looks!
This post is rather short, just wanted to show off my money. I'm pretty much just ready to go! I can't wait to leave on Thursday!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Errand-Running Time!

I'm almost completely packed. And I have almost two days to go! This is wonderful, because now I don't have to stress about getting everything together at the last minute!

Things I did today:
  • Went to the Bank and ordered some British Pounds(!!!)
  • Put some money into my checking account
  • Shopped for some remaining items to pack at Target and Big Lots
  • Ate at Newk's one last time before I leave
  • Planned my London budget
Pretty impressive for a Monday, after all.

Ah, the lovely suitcase. It's more organized than it looks, I promise.

My suitcase, carry-on, and purse all together. You can't see it, but there's a duffel bag scrunched in the suitcase. Perfect for my mini-break to Ireland.

I found some British souvenirs at Big Lots of all places. Some awesome Beatles pins and a double decker bus from Cars 2(even though I asked Laura who'd seen Cars 2 and she said there was no double decker bus to be seen at all)  Anyways, they are cute and I plan to show them off.

I cannot believe that I am leaving in TWO DAYS. After months of waiting, I am finally able to see LONDON! Oh, I can't wait!

Friday, June 24, 2011

I'll procrastinate tomorrow...

Well, It's down to the last days before I leave. I have thought about finishing up my packing, but I've been putting it off. The life of a procrastinator.

Anyways, I've got most of my clothes packed in my suitcase, I just need to add the extra items on my list. I've decided I'm just going to buy shampoo and other toiletries when I get there. Except my toothbrush and toothpaste. I'm going to need that for the plane ride.

Monday is the last minute items day for me. Mom and I are going to the bank and getting some foreign currency and double checking that my card is a-ok for use abroad. And any other things that I need to bring with me, we'll get on Monday. The last thing I want to do before I leave is hectically rushing around trying to get everything together.

I have a few assignments to get completed before I leave for my summer 5-week course that started at the end of May. Once I complete those, I will be all set for my big trip!

Just think, tomorrow will be 5 days to go until departure!
Until then, I am watching plenty of British TV shows and films-- especially some old episodes of A Bit of Fry and Laurie. That show is hilarious!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


8 days to go...

Wait? Is that right? 8 days until I leave for London. That's insane. The fact that I will be leaving for a month has not fully set in with me yet. I imagine I'll fully comprehend once I'm actually IN London.
To be honest, I'm rather nervous. Thankfully, I know some people going and I've been getting to know people that I firmly believe are my long-lost best friends. But, I still can't help feeling a bit anxious about all the uncertainty and newness of everything.

I know that I'll adjust the best I can, but it's still a scary thought.
This will be an experience of a lifetime, that much I know for certain. I just need to keep a positive outlook on my time in London and abroad, meeting new people, experiencing things that I've never even seen or heard of before.

There are a few things that I know I'll miss:

  1. Obviously, my family. It's going to be strange not seeing them every day!
  2. My cats. I know that sounds rather lame. But one gets used to a cat snuggling on the bed with you every day and night.
  3. My bed. There nothing like sleeping in your own bed.
  4. The familiarity of Hattiesburg
  5. Driving my car around
  6. My home church
Yet, there are plenty of things I am excited to experience:
  1. Pub Life
  2. West End Shows
  3. Walking around, getting "lost" in the city
  4. Talking to different people
  5. Exploring the history and culture of London
  7. Making my own way and enjoying the city on my terms
8 Days? Am I physically prepared? Well, I have tons to do and pack... But am I mentally prepared? That's the question. I guess we'll find out!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

LIS British Studies Schedule

British Libraries & Information Centers: Summer 2011 (tentative)
Friday                1 Arrive London
Saturday             2 Class Meeting, 9:30 a.m.; Orientation, 11 a.m.; London Alive, 2:30 p.m.
Sunday               3 St. Paul’s (optional) - 10:00 a.m., London Alive
Monday             4 St. Paul’s Cathedral Library
Tuesday             5 Barbican Library, Museum of London
                        Welcome Reception, KCL Chapel and Great Hall, 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday        6 British Museum
Thursday           7 British Library
Friday              8 Non-academic day (optional weekend trip)
Saturday          9 Non-academic day (optional day trip)
Sunday            10 Non-academic day (optional day trip)  
Monday            11 Greenwich Maritime Museum Library
Tuesday            12 London Library
Wednesday       13 Day Trip to Stratford-upon-Avon
Thursday           14 National Art Library, V&A Museum
Friday             15 Oxford, Bodleian Library
Saturday           16 Academic day (TBA)
Sunday            17 Depart London for Edinburgh
Monday            18 Central Library, Edinburgh in a.m.
                              National Archives of Scotland in p.m.
Tuesday            19 Dunfermline Carnegie Library
Wednesday         20 Independent Research Day
Thursday          21-25 Mini-Break
Tuesday            26 Academic Day (TBA)
Wednesday     27 Academic Day (TBA)
Thursday        28 Academic Day (TBA)
Friday            29 Research Symposium in evening
Saturday        30 FINAL EXAM (MORNING)
Sunday           31 DEPARTURE DAY

Above is my glorious schedule for my month in London. This should give an idea of where I might be that day. Of course, things are bound to change, but this is something to go by.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I've got my flight information!

10 Days to go!

I have some exciting news today--- I got my flight information! I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for my flight information to get to my email inbox and this morning it was there! I am flying out of Jackson, MS at 1:00 P.M. and landing at Dallas/Ft. Worth at 2:30 P.M.

Once I'm in Dallas, I have a layover of about 2 hours-- not too bad. Apparently, the majority of our British Studies participants are flying to London from Dallas/Ft. Worth! So I'll get the chance to hang out and meet up with some of the people I will be spending a month with before we actually land in London! EXCITING!

My flight from Dallas leaves at 4:50 P.M. It's a nine hour flight, so I am bringing something to help me sleep on the plane! Hopefully, the plane will be landing at 7:50 A.M. London Time.
London is 6 hours ahead of Hattiesburg, so it will be around 2 in the morning (Hattiesburg time) when I actually land in England.

I am slightly worried about jet lag... I may have to make sure that I'm caffeinated in order to stay awake, but I'm going to try my best to adjust to London time.
Anyways, as you can tell, I am just so thrilled that time is ticking away and it's getting closer to departure day!

For the tenth day post, I've found the video that our BSP leader, Jessica sent to us to introduce us to London.
Ten Things You Need to Know About London

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Doctor? Doctor Who?

Right. My Day 11 Post corresponds to one of Britain's "national treasures."
I'll give you three clues, and we'll see if you can guess what it is!

Clue 1: This program is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world, and as the "most successful" science fiction series of all time,

Clue 2: The program originally ran from 1963 to 1989, and then was re-launched in 2005 and has continued to run on air with gaining popularity.

Clue 3: The main character of the program is known for having "companions" along with him on adventures--40 of them, to be exact!

Alright. Do you think you know what I'm talking about?

The answer is the hit BBC television show, Doctor Who!

Having discovered Doctor Who last year, I've fallen in love with the story, the characters, basically everything!
This day 11 post corresponds to the current incarnation of the Doctor-- the 11th Doctor, played by Matt Smith.

One of most exciting things about visiting London next month is being able to go to the Doctor Who Experience-- an interactive museum/show all about Doctor Who!

For those of you wanting a better idea of what I'm talking about, check out the video. It gives a glimpse into the world of Doctor Who and the Experience!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

12 Facts...

So, yesterday was my birthday so I decided to focus on that, that is why there is no Day 13 post. However, I am back on track and I have another wonderful list of twelve things--- 12 Days to go!

12 Interesting Facts about London

1. There are more languages spoken in London than in any other city in the world. (I truly believe that after living in Shepherds Bush, English is a foreign language there).
2. Believe it or not, If London was a country it would be the 8th biggest in Europe.
3. Angel Tube Station, has Western Europe’s longest escalator with 318 steps, I suppose you could call it a tourist attraction. It does seem to go on forever.
4. It takes 61 seconds to open Tower Bridge, which opens about 1,000 times a year. Sometihng that I have to personally witness, but I will one of these days.
5. The well known landmark, Marble Arch was originally built as the entrance to Buckingham Palace, but was never used. There is actually a tiny office inside it, which use to be used as a police station.
6. The tallest building in London and the UK, is in Canary Wharf, which is part of the London Docklands. It is called the Canary Wharf Tower and stands at 244 metres or 800 feet high and was built in 1991.
7. The Houses of Parliament also known as the Palace of Westminster, has over 1,100 rooms, 100 staircases and 3 miles (5 km) of corridors, as well as 19 bars and restaurants, which I’m sure those robbing MP’s are never out of when they are actually there!
8. London is formed by two ancient cities – City of London and City of Westminster, both cities forming the region of Greater London
9. The London Underground, was built in 1863, which is known as the ‘Tube’, and was the first metro of the world. It is quite probably the most out of date, broken down and delayed metro system in the entire world.
10. Big Ben is not actually the name of the clock or the tower, it isn’t ? But the 13-ton bell inside the clock. The tower is known as St Stephens Tower, dam, I have been calling it Big Ben for all these years.
11. There are eight Royal Parks, in Greater London, which were once, as you can guess  lands that were once upon a time owned by the Royalty as playgrounds for themselves and their privileged friends. Bushy Park, 1,099 acres, The Green Park, 47 acres, Greenwich Park, 183 acres, Hyde Park, 350 acres, Kensington Gardens, 275 acres, The Regent’s Park, 410 acres, Richmond Park, 2360 acres,St. James’s Park, 58 acres. You see London is more than just a concrete, glass, steal and vehicle filled jungle.
12. There are twenty four bridges over the River Thames in London. The newest bridge is the Millennium Bridge, which opened in 2000 and the oldest one is London Bridge, which was originally made of wood and was built in 1209.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'm pretty sure everything in London is must-see, but...

In honor of 14 days left until I leave for London, I have a created a list. Enjoy.

14 Must-See Places in London

1.Buckingham Palace-- With all the Royal Wedding hoopla, it would be ridiculous for me to miss out on seeing where the Royals live while in London. Plus, I heard the changing of the guard is pretty awesome.

2.The Tower of London-- As a history lover, I would be ashamed to say that I missed seeing Byward and Wakefield Towers, Bloody Tower, The White Tower, The Jewel House, and the Tower Green. I'm pretty sure that by going here I can fill my history quota.

3.The British Museum-- There is SO much to see here and I know it might take me all day, but by George, I must visit! Plus, it's free.

4.The British Library-- Not only does the British Library have Shakespeare's first folio, but Mozart's marriage contract, one of the Gutenberg Bibles, and perhaps most important, Lewis Carroll's handwritten manuscript of Alice in Wonderland.  What can I say? I love Alice in Wonderland.

5.Hyde Park-- I have a feeling that I may need a break from all the hustle and bustle of London, and I think that Hyde Park may be a perfect place to chill for a while..

6.St. Paul's Cathedral-- Let's be honest. This building is gorgeous and I can't wait to see it in person.
7.Tower Bridge-- This is iconic London at it's finest. And Fergie wrote a song about it.

8.Shakespeare's Globe-- This re-creation of the original is showing the Bard's plays much like they did back in the day. I plan to see a show! Plus, they filmed an episode of Doctor Who here, so...

9.The London Eye-- Yes, it's touristy and expensive. I may not take a trip in the London Eye, but I plan to see it and take plenty of pictures of the newest London icon.

10.Trafalgar Square-- Three Words: Feed the Pigeons.

11.Westminster Abbey--- Like, OMG! Kate and William got married here! It's like, so , like, romantic!

12.National Portrait Gallery-- So many amazing portraits  in one place. I can't wait to see the extra large portrait of Paul McCartney! (Yes, they have that there.)

13.The Victoria and Albert Museum-- so many galleries, so little time.

14.The Monument-- At 202 feet tall, it stands in memory of the Great Fire of London. After working my legs, I'm sure I will appreciate the view at the top!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Movies, Movies, Movies!

I have decided to make a list of movies to watch before I leave for London. Below are 15 films, one for each day before I leave.
It might be a ridiculous task, but it's an fun way to prepare for London culture! :)

1.       Bedknobs and Broomsticks- "Portobello Road, Portobello Road..."  WATCHED 6/15/11
2.       Winning London-- It's so cheesy, but shows off London, for sure. WATCHED 6/20/11
3.       Love and Other Disasters--- Ok, so I LOVED this movie. So cute and clever! Plus, many great scenes of London! WATCHED 6/17/11
4.       Love Actually
5.       Mary Poppins
6.       Harry Potter-- Finally got around to seeing Deathly Hallows Part 1.. It was amazing!  WATCHED 6/23/11
7.       Finding Neverland
8.       An Education
9.       What a Girl Wants
10.   Driving Lessons
11.   Peter Pan-- How could I not watch Peter Pan? WATCHED 6/23/11
12.   Four Weddings and a Funeral-- Interesting! Glad to say that I've finally seen this one! WATCHED 6/18/11
13.   Notting Hill-- A perfect "in love in London" movie! WATCHED 6/26/11
14.   Bridget Jones' Diary-- I LOVE this movie. It never fails to make me laugh! WATCHED 6/19/11
15.   Oliver!-- This movie fueled my love for musical theater! I plan to see plenty of musicals in London! WATCHED 6/16/11

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


So, in preparation for London I have been reading books for one of my assignments:  two book reviews for my British Studies class. The books I chose were Longitude by Dava Sobel and The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester.

Longitude is all about John Harrison, the man who solved one of the major problems of the eighteenth century: determining longitude. Harrison's marine chronometer was able to determine longitude, a problem that both Galileo and Newton had failed to overcome. However, Harrison had some major struggles on his path to success and many times his methods were scoffed at, while other scientists volleyed for the 20, 000 pound prize money with other less reliable methods.
Overall, this book was so small and easy to read. The narrative is very enjoyable and I am excited to say that now I will have a better understanding of the importance of these marine clocks when I visit the Greenwich Maritime Museum while abroad!

The Professor and the Madman is a story about the creation of the most in-depth and lengthy reference material ever created-- the Oxford English Dictionary. The story weaves two characters-- a professor at Oxford as he searches for help in undertaking the massive project of working on the OED and a madman-- an American who was imprisoned for killing a man, all while under great delusions that he was being targeted by others. Oddly enough, these two are able to work together to aid in the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary, all the  while the professor having no clue as to the man assisting him is an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane.
I haven't finished the book yet, but I am so enjoying it! And I will be able to see where the dictionary began--- in Oxford!

All in all, if you are interested in history, I would highly recommend these books. They are thin, easy reads that are enjoyable and educational.

(Almost) 15 Days Until London!

As I write this, it will be one hour and thirty minutes until midnight, that means that by midnight, I will have 15 days until I leave for London! It almost doesn't seem real that I will be leaving for a month to go to London. The last time I was in Europe, I was fifteen and I spent a month in Norway with my grandmother. THAT was an adventure. But now, at 22 (23 on the 17th!) I still have those same nervous feelings that I got when I was preparing for my big trip. But let me go back and explain exactly why I'm going to London.
Currently, I am in the Library and Information Science Graduate program at Southern Miss. As I have never studied abroad, I investigated the British Studies Program that I had heard so much about when I started the program. The BSP has been around for years and people all over participate in a month-long trip to London for six-hours class credit. The classes vary; Photography, History, Journalism, English, Business are some of the other classes that are offered on the undergraduate and graduate level with BSP.
As soon as I could, I talked to Mom about the possiblity of me spending a month abroad. She told me to go for it! (After all, when will I be able to do this again?) Dad, however, took some convincing. But once I got the all-clear. I went ahead and signed up. I was so eager to get my name and information in; As soon as the program opened up, I signed up!
It's been six months since then and I am growing more and more excited as I think about my upcoming departure! All of the things I plan to do are swarming in my head, along with all the things I need to remember to pack and arrange before I leave!
Anyways, as part of my class grade, we have to create a blog and create posts that document our time and educational visits during the month. As you can tell, I am getting a jump on setting up my blog and I am documenting my experience prior to leaving.
I also plan to make this blog personal as well as devoted to class entries. I'd much rather have one blog than two separate blogs to fuss about; so my faithful readers will have to endure my class-oriented blogs as well. :)

I hope this entry was a good explanation to my upcoming trip. I can't wait to start packing and preparing for a month abroad. I know that it will be an amazing experience!