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Scholar Highlights for Week Ending February 10, 2012

February 13, 2012

Kamille:

This week as usual has went by fast. New adventures and good times. I really believe a study abroad experience is great for every student in college.

Starting last Saturday, it snowed in ole’ London!! It was so pretty and peaceful. Well, it was pretty and peaceful when it is not smacking you in the face. It is surprising that the transportation system in London is just like the system in Atlanta. When it snows, the roads and public transit shuts down. Period. You would think that since it snows all the time they would have plans for snow days. Well the public transit was not down for long just one night so I commend London’s transit system.

With the snow, the piping system in the dorm is quite sensitive. Since I have been in London, the hot water has not worked four times. It is really annoying when you need to take a shower to go to class and have to suffer by taking a cold shower. Taking a cold shower in the early morning when it is 20 degrees outside is horrible in my opinion. Having hot water is crucial during the winter months.

School has become more hectic like Spelman. Even though I have only 3 mornings of classes, major projects are coming up so fast an research days leaves only a little time for studying. The projects are a major portion of my grade and requires time going to museums and galleries. The classes are interesting so I enjoy visiting these places for inspiration. Having a drama class is very insightful and sparks my “creative juices” in my brain. I have to write a narrative of the 19th century London in the theatre.

Besides school work, I have been preparing to take the MCAT. It is very helpful with the classes that I am currently taking. The study time is a bit stressful but I hope that it pays off and I receive the score that I would like to achieve. I would like to take this grueling test one time so that I can send in my applications ahead of time.

As for research, the lab has had a minor set back. The monomer that we are creating did not synthesize completely. Without a pure monomer the polymer cannot attach properly nor prove the hypothesis of the project. With

Shekiaya:

This week was mostly spent on intense study sessions, computing and research. I have my first quiz next Tuesday in Microeconomics, and my first exam in Differential and Integral Analysis the week after. So I have been trying to make sure I have everything in order before I make plans to do anything else. We do not have our exam timetables just yet, but I am hoping that most of them are in May so that I have some more free time later to explore the city.

As a result of the increasing intensity of my modules, it has been difficult to keep up with my research tasks this week. I was not able to complete some of the code I had written partly because I did not fully understand the task, and mostly because I did not have the time. Thankfully, my mentor was very understanding and did not see this as a catastrophic blow to our research plans and allowed me to take another week to complete the assignment. While I am enjoying my research topic, I was slightly worried that I may not have enough to write about for the research paper. However, after discussing this with my mentor, I am fairly convinced everything will work out.

In regards to campus life, I had a slightly hilarious, but mostly embarrassing, interaction with one of the vendors at “Market Thursday”. I call it Market Thursday because it reminds me of Market Friday, but there is really no official name for it. The biggest difference is that instead of a DJ and clothes vendors, there are only food vendors. So I can walk out of my dorm and buy bags of fruits and vegetables, homemade pesto or sweet mango bread from one of the dessert tables and much, much more. My interaction was with one of the vendors who sold sausage rolls. The menu list included a sausage roll and a bacon roll. Me being a foreigner, I had no idea what a bacon roll was. I never even thought of bacon in any form other than long, thin, and sliced. So, what I thought it meant was that you get sausage and bacon (slices) on a roll, but when I asked for clarification he kind of just looked at me very confused and said, “What do you mean, it’s a bacon roll”. At this point I am thinking, “Who would want bacon slices on a roll?” So naturally, I went with what I knew and got the sausage roll. As I was walking away, I realized that he had whole chunks of bacon, rather than strips so that it would fit into a roll just like a hamburger would. I sort of laughed to myself at this point because it was, again, something so small, but it became such an issue because I had no clue what was going on! So I think next time he comes I’m going to try the bacon roll J. This was probably my most interesting interaction during the week. Thankfully, this weekend looks very promising.

There is a thrift store about an 8-minute walk from campus that has been advertising a “fill-a-bag” jumbo sale. The store is called East End Thrift and has a deal where you fit all you can in a medium sized bag and only pay £10 for it no matter what is in it. Or, you fit all you can in a large bag and pay £20. So, naturally, we all decided to go this weekend. Considering the exchange rate, we are always looking for a bargain. I am really looking forward to going. I have never stepped foot into a thrift shop at all so this event will be very interesting and I’m almost certain I will have plenty stories to tell once it is all over.

I’m really enjoying my time here; I think it has definitely exceeded my expectations. Over the next few weeks, I am going to make it a goal to reach out more to the other students on campus. They warned us that it would be fairly difficult to blend in with groups that have been previously formed, but I would not reap the full benefits of being here without meeting as many people as I can. So hopefully, everything will go as planned and all of the work I have been doing will not be in vain come exam time.

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