11 September, 2009

I have successfully made it through the first week of classes! All of my classes seem like they will be pretty interesting. I am used to learning about things from a Christian perspective, so it will be a new experience to take classes from a secular university. I think Comparative World Religions will be particularly interesting, seeing as our professor is a self-proclaimed "hippy" who, in our last class, was drinking a can of beer while teaching about the history of Christianity. This week in my History of London class, we took a walking tour of "The Square Mile" or "The City of London," which is the official financial district of London and the third biggest financial district in the world. We saw ruins that dated back to the first and second centuries, including the ancient city wall, the site of a Roman amphitheatre, and several buildings that were rebuilt after London's Great Fire of 1666. In my art class, Museums and Galleries of London, we went to two modern art galleries in East London. I liked some of the paintings and sketches, but some of the art was a little too "modern" for my tastes. One of the "works of art" at the second gallery, called the Brown Gallery, was a pile of pennies on the floor, which was meant to signify the constant change in value between the US dollar and the GB pound. It was interesting, to say the least, but wasn't exactly my cup of tea...

"The Drawing Wall" at The White Cube
(I got yelled at for taking this photo... woops...)

Earlier this week, Brittany and I discovered a coffee house and music venue that is within walking distance of our dorm. It's called the Troubadour and was established in 1954. It was popular in the British Folk Revival of the 50s and 60s and has hosted several famous musicians, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, and more recently, Paulo Nutini :) They have live music almost every night, so I'm sure I will be returning there often.

Brittany at the Troubadour

Last night, Brittany and I went to the National Portrait Gallery, which is home to thousands of portraits of famous British people. Afterward, we spent some time in Trafalgar Square where we met a crazy man named John Loughrey. He told us that he is the most famous Princess Diana fan in the entire world, and then proceeded to show us newspaper articles and photographs of himself with "Diana" painted on his forehead and "Dodi" on his cheeks. He also showed me a letter he received from Prince Harry. He was quite confident that everyone knows who he is and promised us that one day, his picture will be in the National Portrait Gallery or in Kensington Palace. He also assured us that there will be a movie made about him. He wants to get Tom Hanks to play his part, but asked if we had any better suggestions. After listening to him ramble for quite some time and promising to look him up online, we finally were able to tear ourselves away from him and catch the tube back to Kensington. Today, I typed his name into Google and, sure enough, there he was! He certainly is crazy, but it was fun talking to him and is something I will never forget! And who knows... maybe in a few years, we will see a movie about the world's most famous Princess Diana fan!

Trafalgar Square at night

The "famous" John Loughrey
John on the fourth plinth (skip to about 4:30)

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