Thursday, January 27, 2011

Walking tour of London, classes, clubs, Cambridge and theatre, oh my!

Again, this is going to be a very long post so at the end of each section I will have my “Sparknotes” version of what was the most important thing from that section!  It’s a cheat sheet called New Things I Learned!
Pubs and Clubs!
They are crazy here.  I have been to two so far and I now realize why all the British girls that go to Viterbo get so bored with our down town bars.  The first club I went to here is called Oceana and I went on a Monday, which is a big night for Uni students, (university students) to go out here.  This club has multiple rooms for dancing with different music in each but I was only in the 80’s room and the ballroom, which is the biggest room with the hot music of right now.  I have to admit that this place was a little overwhelming to me since I don’t really go to clubs at all.  There were so many different rooms that when I was leaving I got lost trying to find the coat check.  It’s a place I wouldn’t mind going back to but I much preferred the other club.  
<Ballroom at Oceana

McClusky’s is the big club to go to for Saint Mary’s students on Wednesday nights.  It only has one room and a pretty big bar area as well.  It was a little more laid back there and there was more room to dance without bumping into people.  I will for sure be going back there again, but I know I don’t have the cash or the motivation to do it every week.
There is also a pub on campus that is owned by the school that is fun.  They have events almost every night and it is really relaxed and had a fun atmosphere.  Not a lot of people go but the international students go a lot and I’ve had a lot of good laughs there so far, especially on karaoke night!
New Things I Learned-
*I like smaller clubs better, and I really enjoy pubs to clubs.
*I have such a bad sense of direction I can get lost in a big club, even though I was not even drunk.
*The people dancing the most suggestively in the clubs were the Americans; I didn’t even see that many British people grinding which surprised me because in the States that is what a lot of people dance like in the clubs.
Walking Tour of London
Amazing, just amazing!  The only thing is I saw so much, and learned so much in such a short period of time I don’t think I retained a lot from this day.  We did the Westminster Walking Tour, and I’ll just type out the description of the day as listed in the pamphlet:
[St Mary’s and Proscenium welcome you with an introductory tour of London that includes all the best sites in the West End, including Westminster Abby, Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, and Trafalgar Square. ]   The tour guide gave so much information that I can’t even remember it all.  I know I need to go back during another day and really take my time with all these places and go into them, well not go into all of them because I would get in a lot of trouble if I just tried to walk into Buckingham Palace!  This was a fun day and there was so much to see it was mind blowing.  I want to get to know this area very well!  The history of London is so alluring to me, and I can’t wait to find out more.

<Big Ben/Houses of Parliament

<me with one of the fake staute guys

<Houses of Parliament
<Buckingham palace
New Things I Learned-
·         That there is so much History within a few square blocks here it will blow your mind.
·         I learned about so royal family drama!
·         That big ben is the name of the actual bell inside the clock tower, and that noncitizens can’t even go see it, only high up there people like Michelle Obama get to see it.
·         That the guards black fuzzy hats they wear are made out of female bear fur!
Talk about beautiful!  This was a great place to see and I would highly recommend it as a stop for others if they get the chance!  There was so much medieval architecture that was stunning.  There are actually 31 colleges that make up Cambridge University which I didn’t know.  Some of the most famous of campus are Trinity and King’s College.  I went to the Round Church here which is one of three left in England.  I also went into The King’s College Chapel which was so beautiful it took my breath away.  It was this huge church with amazing architecture and lots of stain glass windows.  The ceiling was even gorgeous.  There is a video of both of these churches on my facebook, and the King’s College Chapel one turned out pretty well.   I also went punting while I was at Cambridge which was really fun.  You go in this punt boat since the university is right on the River Cam.  It was a fun way to get another look at the campus.  I was surprised that Cambridge Univeristy has this whole mini village around it; there was a street market and everything.  There were a lot of cute little shops and a lot to do.  The last thing we did was go into the Cambridge museum of Zoology which had a section devoted to Charles Darwin since he went to Cambridge.  We even got to see the real finches that Darwin collected in the Galapagos, along with other things he collected there.  
<Punting tour, that is the guy that drove the boat standing up

<-King's College Chapel

If this video works it will be the one of King's College Chapel!

New Things I Learned-
·         Cambridge is made out of 31 different colleges.
·         King’s College Chapel is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen

Classes are run a lot differently here.  I switched out of my theatre theory class and decided to take one nontheatre class.  So I only have class on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I am in class a lot more often than I thought I would be!  The theatre classes I’m taking are practical theatre classes which means they are performance based.  On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I have theatre classes from 10am-4pm with an hour break for lunch.  Then on Thursday I have a two hour lecture from 4-6 that is an English class gender and society in the 19th century novel. 
I really love my theatre classes but they really wipe me out.  Two of them are going into being in a show because the class is the rehearsal for the show.  This is really nice because you are automatically in the show and then you don’t have extra rehearsal in the evening on top of your classes!  I am really exhausted at the end of these classes because it takes a lot of effort to always be putting yourself out there with new people.  I always make sure I volunteer to be used for theatre exercise and always offer to demonstrate what I did during different acting challenges but it is starting to wear me out.  It has been really fun and I’m learning a lot but I’m a little mentally drained after class because it is so much more effort to learn when the classes are so different and new. 
The biggest difference in the theatre department here is that it is a lot more student run.  The professors are there more as a guide and they really let you make your own mistakes.  They don’t give as much of a direction at all because they see it as more beneficial for you to fall and have to pick yourself back up and figure it out.  It is really good and frustrating in a way because sometimes you can feel something you are trying going really badly and I’m used to the professor stepping in at this point and telling me how to fix it and here you just have struggle a bit more.  The time it is the hardest is when you are working with a group and I’m used to the professor being the mediator when something the group is doing is not working but here we usually don’t get any direction till the final showing.  They want us to feel like part of a mini company more than a professor and student relationship.  Two of the classes I’m taking are going into touring a production of The Canterbury tale.  The class is adapting the stories and we are writing a modern version we can do as a play.  We are doing everything for this so for the most part which is a lot different from Viterbo.  I’m used to auditioning for an already set show, being cast in a part I know is mine, and then working under the directors guidance.  I suppose I usually have a more traditional theatre experience of getting cast and here it is more like we are our own company.   Both situations have their pros and cons so I’m thankful I’ll get to experience both while I’m doing my undergraduate. 
New Things I Have Learned-
*Putting yourself out there with new people is freakin exhausting. 
*Even in London it is nice to have one muggle (nontheatre) class for a break from the theatre lifestyle.
*Even though I’m doing  a lot of the same acting games I’m doing them with different people and a different teacher which means I’m getting a lot out of them.
*Theatre people at all schools are a little more out there then the rest of the students, it does not matter where you go.
*Even though I love this school I really do miss my Viterbo people and my theatre classes back home!  Though that does not mean I wish I was there right now, I wouldn’t trade this chance for anything!
I’ve been to two shows here so far at professional theatres, and two shows done by Saint Mary’s students but I will talk about that next time.  Right now it’s time to cram a bunch of international students into one dorm room to watch 500 days of summer on somebody’s computer.

1 comment:

  1. Alyssa! Thanks for the blog posts. I'm glad you are enjoying classes. We miss you too!