Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pictures!

My lovely family realaxing at the beach!


Spotted dick

:is a classic desert... I so had to order it :) It wasent the best desert that I have ever had...but so worth the giggle!




Often times I have thought that it would be so nice if someone came into my room when I was at work/school, tiddied up, hovered, and brought me a nice fresh towel. Well here my dream has come true... everyday someone come in and cleans up by dorm room... But there seems to be a downside to this... there is no way to request that you room is not tiddied up and on Friday when I retured to my room after my exam I found some very strange things in my room. From this picture can you guess what they were....? A knife (that I had never seen before) and a bottle of cleaning solution..... hummmmmmmmmm




My cousin and I before we went out onto the beach and cut up our feet!




Me all dressed up in my cranaval get up






This is the float I rode on. The girls sitting inside are the town's queen and pricess. The guy sitting up front is named Skip, and he is a town crier. He has been honored by the queen for his service to the community. Thats me sitting in the back as the footman!


Another shoot of me and my family at the beach




Yet another beach picture. Dont those rocks look sharp. This is after me and my cousin cut our feet up!


Weekend Hilights

This weekend was wonderful! Last week was just killer, I really needed a break. I’m so glad that that course is over! I did learn a whole lot, but I have had next to no time to enjoy being in London or meet new people. I really hope that this next course will allow some time for me to actually see a bit more than the inside of my dorm room.
So on Friday as soon as I got out of my final exam I met up with my family and spent the whole weekend with them. We had a lot of fun and I got to see the lovely English beaches twice in one weekend.
Beaches here are not much like I am used to back home. They are very pretty but painful! There is not much nice smooth sand, instead one finds very sharp rocks. I think I learned my lesson about going to the beach barefoot! The coolest part (and most painful thing to steep on) was all the oysters! They were all over the beach just waiting to be eaten :).
Who would have thought that coming to England would allow me to be in not one, but two carnival parades. On Saturday I filled in as a footman on the float from my aunt’s town in a carnival for another town. I was all dressed up and got to wear a very fun hat. My aunt was very right when she said that I am defiantly not getting the usual tourist experience! It was a lot of fun to spend the day getting to know some really great people!
Friday afternoon I went with my family to Burrow Market. That place was so incredible! There was so much food and tons of samples. There was a lot of really good cheese and meats and fresh produce. We wandered around for a while eating! I bought some fabulous chili chocolates! I think I am going to have to go back and take some pictures and eat some more great food!

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Term

I know that I have not updated in a few days… about a week.
Well for that last week there is not really that much to say, it was very boring.
My final was on Friday…
I did nothing fun and sat in my room studying day and night!

I am a little bit sad, I know that I did all that I possibly could do and that there was no more studying that could be done and I know that I did my best…
Sadly, this time I don’t think that my best was enough.
I won’t know the score for another week so I will leave my thoughts until then.

I did have a very very very nice weekend and I will put up another post later tonight full of stories and pictures!

Well today is the first day of classes in the second term.
The morning was very hectic, but I was able to sleep in later than I have been, this class starts later than my class last term.
My professor came in and talked about the syllabus, all the usual beginning of term stuff, then immediately launched into lecture.
She did not lecture for long before I realized that I could not follow the math in the lecture.
This was very disappointing to me, I thought I had the necessary prerequisites for this course but I don’t think that I have. My 400 level linear algebra course at UAB does not measure up. The big lesson from today: I DON’T KNOW LINEAR ALGEBRA.
I’m very worried now that I will not be able to handle this course. I don’t think that I am a quitter, and that I’m just afraid of failure or anything but I really don’t know if 3 weeks is enough time for me to learn linear algebra AND econometrics.
So after lecture this morning I went to find out if there are any other good courses offered this semester…
I found one: Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development…
This course sounds fabulous and right up my alley
I’m going to the afternoon class session for the econometrics course today to see how it goes…
Tomorrow I may be in the other class.

So today I just find myself very stressed and anxious.
I don’t want to be a quitter, but I guess I do have to know my limits…

I guess I will post some more tonight with my thoughts about econometrics and pictures from this weekend :-)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend (Pt. 3)

video

Concert in the park: Bath

video

Street Performer: Covenant Garden (yes... that is a real chainsaw in his hand...)

video

Tower Bridge comming down.

Weekend (Pt. 2)

(Sorry in advance)
The pics. are all out of order... I still can not figgure out how to make blogspot post photos in the order I want them posted!


The Roman Baths... in Bath...




More of the Roman bath... in Bath...





The bath as seen from outside... where strangely all the tourist have disappeared...




I'm not quite sure why, but there are pigs like this all over town (Bath)... all painted and decorated in different ways!





St. Paul's Cathedral










Me at the tippy top of St. Paul's Cathedral. If you look to the right you can see the London Eye!










St. Paul's again... but do you see that very very very large dome... and the little tinny thing on top of it... I totaly hiked all the way up there!










No idea what this was... they guys in the black suits said the information was classified... (but seriously... does anyone know of any movies involving spaceships crashing being filmed in London right now... I can't think of any other explanation)










View from the train as I was heading out to Bath.















Second Lecture in the lecture series. He is a very passionate speaker... and during the discussion afterwards person after person stood up and said that he was wrong and he offered no argument, only emotionally charged stories...


Graduation day at the LSE.









Me on the riverboat!










The O2 arena all lit up!










The London Eye as seen from the floating dance party!





Weekend (pt. 1)

I don’t know what it was, but I ate something on Friday that make me really sick! I had to miss class and office hours with my professor...
I started feeling better that evening after being sick for a bit and sleeping it off.
Friday night was the riverboat disco!
What is a riverboat disco you may ask...
Its exactly what it sounds like... a dance... on a riverboat...
I'm not much for dancing, tried to dance for a few min. but decided it was not my thing.
I spent most of the evening up on the decks watching the city go by. London is so pretty at night! I'll post some pictures in a little bit!

On Saturday I was a tourist all day and went sightseeing! I went with a girl I meet earlier this week, and we had a really nice time.

Our first stop was at St. Paul's cathedral. That place is amazing...
While I was there I climbed all the way to the tippy tippy top and had a fantastic view of the city! To get to the top you have to climb up some 500+ old old old stairs. At some points the stairway was only about 2 feet wide!

From there it was on to lunch and an attempt to go see the Tower of London (too expensive and too close to closing time for it to make any sense).

Next we headed to Tate Modern. I was really stocked about checking out the museum... but the girl I was with did not seem that into it. I think she only wanted to go so she could check it off of her "Things to do in London List" (I think she even said at one point she did not even like modern art..." I guess the whole time we were there I felt like I was holding her up...
I guess I just have to go back some other time... which I can totally do because I'm still in London for another month!

Sunday morning I did have plans to do anything...
I woke up, went down to breakfast (I don't know if I have mentioned the free breakfast we get here in the dorms but it is AWSOME! really good coffee too!)
and I started looking through my "Let's Go London" book and found the section full of day trips from London...
Opened it to the first page: "Bath"
So I decided to go... Why not?
Next thing I knew I was out of the door and on a train out there.

The weather was perfect... I really could not have asked for a nicer day... it was warm, the sun was shining and the sky was crystal clear and a deep blue

I went to the Roman Bath museum and that was really interesting... but full of tourist... I could hardly walk through the place.
There is a really really nice park in town and a band was playing down there, so I grabbed a sandwich and set in the park and had a picnic!
Next I went to the spa... The only place in town you can actually sit in the hot springs water. It was very expensive but TOTALY WORTH IT! They have this really great roof top pool where you can relax and look out over the city. They a lot have another pool and nice steam rooms.
After that I headed back into town... I didn't get in until after 10.
I was very surprised to find that when I got back nothing was open! I thought London was a 24 hour city! I guess not...

Well those are the weekend highlights... pics. and a few videos in the next post!

Midterms at the LSE

This last week has been pretty crazy. The midterm for my course was on Thursday, and I was terrified that I would not do well on it. I studied for most of the week, leaving little time to do anything fun .
The testing procedure here is very strict. We were told that if we were late to the exam we would be locked out and unable to take, or even make up the exam. We were instructed to leave any personal belongings along the wall and to silence our phones (if they rang we were told that would be considered CHEATING!). If we had to get up to go to the bathroom during the exam a proctor had to escort you to and from the bathroom. We were not allowed to write our names on the examination papers so that they could be graded anonymously. All of this just served to compound the usual pre-exam anxiety!
Another interesting thing…. The grading scale. Copied below is the grading scale that applies to the summer classes:
80+=A+
70-79=A
65-69=A-
60-64=B+
50-59=B
48-49=B-
42-47=C+
40-41=C
You have to score below a 40 to fail the course!
After seeing this I got a bit cocky… ohhh I only have to make a 65 to make an “A”…. no problem…
I still studied and did the best I could on the exam… I didn’t get that cocky…
When I walked out of the exam I was totally stocked! I was sure that I scored well enough to make an “A” by UAB standards…
I waited all weekend anxiously to see my score… sure it would be time to celebrate…
We were able to check out our scores today… and I got 32 points out of 50… aka about 64%! (B+ just one point off from an A!)
I’m a bit frustrated because I don’t know where I went wrong… and it is against policy to show us our exams!
Note: we were told the average was a little bit more than 30, and median was 31...
Before placing the list of scores out for the exam my professor spent aobut 10 min. lowering our expectations...
Ohh well... I figgure I will just kick ass on the final!