Monday, March 4, 2013
Posted by Jessica Watson at 7:45AM
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Ryan Mutton, a Theatrical Production Arts major has sent in a post that details exactly what your typical day as an ICLC student would entail...
At 7:45AM my alarm goes off.
Sometime in the next few minutes I drag myself out of bed.
My roommate is still asleep. She doesn't have class until almost 2pm.
I share a room with a girl, it's casual. Two of my friends did it last semester as well. It isn't a big deal if you know them. We don't spend much time in the flat, let alone our tiny bedroom.
After a quick breakfast I start the commute to my work placement. The fact that I live in a city, not a small town or campus, is still a bigger shock to me than being in another country.
In my home town I can get anywhere I need to be in fifteen minutes. In Ithaca I can go from my bed to class in two minutes, I've learned that the hard way.
In London my commute is thirty-five minutes and three trains. It isn't challenging by any stretch of the imagination, it becomes rather automatic very quickly. It's just over an hour of my day that is hard to make useful.
I read the Metro, a free paper, on my way into work. There's no wi-fi or cell service on the tube, so no Facebook.
I make it to my work placement early and make myself a cup of hot chocolate, much to the chagrin of my boss. My British coworkers drink tea, a lot of tea. We banter, watercooler talk with more teasing, before getting to work.
I found my placement through a classmate who worked at the same company last year. I'm the fourth Ithaca student in four years to work there. While the London Center assigns you someone to help you find an internship they're not the only way to track one down. Ask your friends who have been to London about where they worked.
While eating lunch I grab some free wi-fi from work. It is 1PM in London, 8AM back home, and Facebook is slowly becoming interesting.
It's really easy to keep in touch with friends and family back home, but coordinating a Skype date can be challenging with the five hour time difference.
After lunch I commute to the London Center for my afternoon class.
This time its only two trains, but it's closer to 45 minutes. Class is three hours, but only meets once a week. It feels very much like grad school. There's not much testing, grading is primarily essay and discussion based.
After class I have one last commute, twenty minutes and one train, until I'm back in my flat. Feeling lazy I stay in for the evening. The biggest commute left for the night is the couch to my bed.
Friday, March 1, 2013
Posted by Jessica Watson at 6:51AM
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Paige Erlich, who majors in Intergrated Marketing Communications talks us through her weekend trip away to Barcelona.
We arrived Friday morning and headed straight to our hotel, where we dropped our bags and left to wander and find a place to eat lunch. After lunch (spanish omelete sandwich!) and a quick nap since we didn’t sleep much, Jen and I went to explore. We found the Arc De Triumf (not to get confused with the French one) and Parc de la Ciutadella, a beautiful park that also is home to the Catalunya Parliament. Later for dinner we ironically ate at a Mexican restaurant that was actually really good!
Saturday was our big touristy day. We did everything I had on my list that was compiled from various people and books. After breakfast at the hotel we headed to Parc Guell which has lots of architecture and design by Gaudi. It was INCREDIBLE. Everything was gorgeous, colorful, and unique, AND it was an amazing view. Next, we went to Montjuic, literally “mountain of jews”, where the 1992 Olympics were held and other things. It is a large park on top of a mountain with yet another gorgeous view of Barcelona (this time from the other side of the city!). Afterwards, we headed to Las Ramblas and the Boqueira Market to get lunch and walk around. There was a little hole in the wall sandwich shop that we found that is very famous apparently and had amazing sandwiches. We walked by the marina and through the Gothic Quarter which was all beautiful. Not to mention the weather was perfect! Later, we walked through an big shopping area called Plaza Catalunya and Passeig de Gracia before eating at a nice tapas restaurant for dinner.
The next day, we met with a friend of my father who lives in Barcelona. We visited his home and family and talked to him about living in Barcelona. It was really nice to get a local’s perspective and see a residential area! Then, we headed to La Sagrada Familia to get a tour of this breathtaking church designed by Gaudi. It is amazing on the outside, and inside too! After looking around the main area, we took an elevator to the very top of the towers, where we saw gorgeous views of Barcelona and then descended all the way down the long, narrow spiral stairway. After, we got some tapas for lunch andchurros with chocolate dipping sauce and eventually made it to the airport to go home!
Friday, March 1, 2013
Posted by Jessica Watson at 6:50AM
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So this is what happens when Jess goes home for the evening...
Hello! We are here to give you the inside scoop of what a work study student at the ICLC actually does when reporting for duty. Many people have asked us why we would spend our free time abroad working at the ICLC. For starters, every shift worked at the ICLC is the opportunity for another trip to Topshop. Besides that obvious reason, it really is a pretty great job.
During a typical work study shift, there are two possible things one might be doing. One person sits in the front office while the other goes down to the library. Office duty has a lot of important tasks. For starters, we’re the ones that unlock the door and buzz you in, so you probably want to stay on our good side. Other than that, the office person is responsible for answering the phones, making copies, signing for packages, and mostly keeping Jess company. On a day when the ICLC wasn’t particularly active, I had the task of completing this work of art. [see rubber band ball above]
The library is the more antisocial of the positions, but still very great. Do you need to check out a book? That’s our job. We also get the very special honor of holding the sacred key to the reserves cabinet!
Sometimes Jess gives us special tasks too (like writing this blog post). You might have seen our other special task a few weeks ago. No, cupid didn’t make this masterpiece, we did.
For those of you out there debating whether or not you should be a member of the work study team, we say GO FOR IT! Positives: you get to know the ICLC staff better than the other students, you get to use a computer when the internet might be down, evening shifts are slow so you have some time to catch up with the rest of the world, and day shifts are great cause you get to see the friends you might not have class with! Negatives: having a little extra cash in your pocket that you know will be gone in less than a week. And a little advice: weekend shifts are better than they seem, and make sure that Jess is working during your shift because shifts without her are just sad.[I didn't even pay them to say that]
Well, it’s time to lock up the ICLC (yea, it’s a big deal…). We normally leave about 5-10 minutes to do this, but since this is our 6th week or so, we are getting better each time. The only struggle we still seem to run into is the lack of breath we have when reaching the top of the stairs. Hope you have enjoyed this blog post as much as we enjoyed writing it… and documenting it (if Jess uploads our videos…). [coming soon...]
Glad to see some "real work" being done girls!
Friday, March 1, 2013
Posted by Jessica Watson at 6:49AM
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Bill finds a silver lining in the freezing February temperatures...
Last weekend, for the 82nd time [assuming there was a Stratford trip every term since fall 1972], the ICLC Shakespeare scholars participated in a ‘first’.. . No, we didn't go backstage and hang out with the director during the production; no, we didn't get a talk from Dame Helen Mirren on her days at the RSC; nor did we have lunch at the birthplace on Henley street; nor did we all go rowing on the Avon and play ‘bumping boats’ with a view to getting pneumonia; nor did we risk being cursed by moving the poet’s bones. We did all the usual things: see a play, staff dined at the oppo, students had a post theatre coca cola with the actors at the ‘Dirty Duck’, Dr Kidd gave his riverside talk, we visited the grave, we bought postcards, souvenirs and raffle items, Avery won the ‘brain of Stratford’ quiz and, with it, £25, etc.
Normalcy reigned except for two things – both coach drivers attended the production and were ‘over the moon’ with their experience, especially Peter. Here’s a clue to the big ‘first’: the play was ‘the winter’s tale’, a title that more than matched the weather. Normally we would go to Stratford in the early spring weather of March or April, but RSC scheduling forced a jump forward to February. It was so cold that (i) Dr Kidd abbreviated his lecture on the churchyard by about 15 minutes and (ii) some students gave the impression they had converted to a new religion.
Remember Pangloss’s wisdom, ‘all is for the best in the best possible world’. The ICLC brains thrust stole a half hour from the visit to Warwick and our wonderful coach drivers agreed to tour through the countryside around Stratford to visit 3 places, (i) Snitterfield, where Shakespeare’s grandfather, Richard, was a tenant farmer and his father, John, was born; (ii) Wilmscote, the farm and village of Mary Arden, Shakespeare’s mother, and (iii) Shottery, the farm house of the Hathaway’s, whose daughter married Shakespeare about 1582. This weather-inspired detour through the hinterland will probably form part of future trips to Stratford.
How did the students respond? Well, 100% liked being on a warm coach, but possibly only 50% took an interest in the guide’s stories about the area. We need better guides!
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Posted by Jessica Watson at 9:35AM
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A restaurant recommendation from your Programme Coordinator
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I think it’s the satisfaction in not having eaten for at least eight hours and the subsequent hunger that make whatever I eat to ‘break the fast’ even more enjoyable. I don’t think I could even tell you what my breakfast preference is as it depends on how I am feeling that morning and what day of the week it is. I love a good bowl of cereal during the week – more cereal than milk to avoid sogginess – but at the weekend when I have more time on my hands a croissant (ooh la la) or if I’m feeling ravenous, the famous English Breakfast is just what I need on a lazy Sunday morning. The bitter weather that we are experiencing right now has even introduced me to porridge, which warms my belly and keeps hunger at bay up until the next meal time comes around. Of course this all has to be washed down with a cup of tea.
So when I discovered The Breakfast Club (Soho, Spitalfields, Hoxton and Angel), a café that serves breakfast ALL DAY I knew I had to go. Take a look at the menu online and you’ll see what I mean and if you’re still not sure whether you should give it a try just read a few reviews and I promise you will be running to join the queue of people waiting to enter the small yellow café. Feeling hungry? Tuck into a full English or try the pancakes as I’ve heard the portion sizes are huge. Adventurous? How about some Huevos Rancheros or the Chorizo Hash Brown combo? Vegetarian? Not a problem as there are veggie options. Health freak? Why are you reading this? Well…there are real fruit smoothies to cleanse your system (and soul) plus fruit salad and muesli options too. The food choices seem endless and overeating is inevitable.
It was 3 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon and I had led some of my ‘Northern friends’ on a Politics and Royalties tour around London. We were frozen – I couldn’t feel my fingers…or legs… – and our energy levels were wearing thin. I had sent one of the girls the menu of this place a few days previously and we had agreed that it was a necessary stop on our tourist adventure. We jumped on the tube toward Tottenham Court Road and thanks to Google maps (gotta love smart phones) we found ourselves about five groups back in the queue for The Breakfast Club. I had read the reviews and was forewarned about the wait but little did we know that we would be stood for an hour and a half (!!!) to be seated. It was worth it. About an hour went by until we were in front of the yellow entrance door and by this point it was too late to admit defeat. In the words of one of my friends; “we needed to beat the establishment”.
I am ashamed to admit that we spent more time queuing than we did inside. Some brief persuasion from my friends assured me that ordering the All American (eggs, sausage, potatoes, bacon, pancakes and bottomless maple syrup) was “acceptable”. The waiter advised us all that we should eat the savoury foods first, all except the bacon and then cover our pancakes with maple syrup. It was heavenly. It may have been freezing outside but inside I was toasty. My belly was smiling. Naturally I accompanied my breakfast with a cup of tea. I think we all felt quite guilty at the feast we had just devoured and so each of us ordered a fruit smoothie to make us feel better. I had an apple, orange, carrot and ginger drink, which I am hoping counteracted the ‘heart attack’ I’d eaten. You could taste the goodness. I believe we walked out of The Breakfast Club glowing…or waddling…
I feel like I have just re-lived the experience. I write this blog post not only for my own self-indulgence but to recommend the all-day Breakfast Club to each and every one of you ICLC students. If you can endure a wait – start queuing before hunger strikes – once you are inside I promise the café will redeem itself. The waiters are attentive and friendly, the décor is uber-cool (too cool for Jess) and the food, as I think I have expressed quite clearly is literally to die for. So next time you are wondering where to go after staying up all night finishing a last minute essay or happen to be frequenting the ‘posh’ Primark at Tottenham Court Road I encourage you to try out The Breakfast Club. Just don’t go too often or you may find your pants feeling a little tighter and your cholesterol levels soaring.