This is part 2 of 3 of Bumble's summer! Here's part 1 if you missed it.
After SLAP, I had a day and a half to recover before a friend drove me up to Dulles Airport. From there, I boarded a plane with 18 other CNU students and two CNU professors, and we flew to Heathrow Airport.
Yeah, that’s in London.
I went to London.
It was awesome.
Okay, let me explain how this came to be. Early last semester, I was invited to apply to a Scholarship program that would, if I were accepted, give me the opportunity to Study Abroad at the University of Oxford (also just known as Oxford University) in England for two weeks. Well, long story short, I was accepted! The course title of our Study Abroad was ‘The Good Society’. The purpose was to investigate problems in today’s society, and to decide on such an issue that I was passionate about. I would then do extensive research in the amazing libraries of Oxford University on that topic, and write a comprehensive research paper on why it is a problem, what is currently being done about the issue, and what I propose should be done. In essence, I am to propose an action plan to help our society become more like the ‘good society’. In addition to our personal research, we had two other essays – one on socio-economics and the other on climate change and necessary government action.
However, this trip wasn’t only about the research. In addition to two days spent in London, we spent a lot of time wandering around Oxford, exploring and taking hundreds of pictures (I think my picture count is in the eight hundreds from these two weeks alone…). We toured the beautiful libraries (including the Bodleian Library, which is the second largest library in the UK. It is so special that one has to be sworn in as a Reader to have access to the books. We were. Oh yeah.), the giant churches, and ate a lot of things that we would later regret as we stepped on the scale – can you say chips and cheese? But, as we decided to use as our motto for the trip, #YOLO. As the days went on, we got more creative with that saying – we first came up with #YLOO - you live only once. We figured it was more scholarly. Then, #YOILO - you’re only in London once, and #YOAOO - you’re only at Oxford once. With each utterance of the phrases, we hated ourselves more. But, #YLOO.
Some other experiences that I had in the UK are due to the fact that you’re legal to drink at age 18. In other words, we were all legal (the trip was mostly college juniors and seniors, I was the baby as a rising sophomore.). We went to a lot of different pubs, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. I liked it a lot more than I would imagine liking a bar. I didn’t have more than one drink each time we went out, and even then I only had a drink about half of the time we went out. That stuff is expensive, man! I quickly realized that Malibu and Coke is probably my favorite drink, but Mojitos are also delicious. I just had a good time sitting and talking with everyone, even if I didn’t have a drink. A couple of times, our professors went with us or joined up with us at some of the more common pubs – our two favorites were The King’s Arms and Chequers. How many of you can say that you’ve had drinks with your professors? Not many, I’m guessing. On paper, it sounds like it would be awkward and weird, but it wasn’t at all. “Papa Redekop and Uncle Q” were the best, and they really made the trip what it was. I had the ABSOLUTE BEST time. But, all good things must come to an end. When our two weeks of being nerds in a foreign country ended, we flew back to Dulles together and bid each other adieu. The people on my trip were FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC, and I made some really great new friends that I look forward to pestering next semester. However, my summer traveling wasn’t done yet!
Stay tuned for part 3!