Thursday, April 29, 2010

My London Adventure: Days 5,6 & 7

Day 5: Tuesday 4-27-10

Today we went to the New York temple and it was sooo good. There were just the three of us (sarah, seth & me) in the baptistry & they had like 6 people in there treating us like kings and queens as we did about 10 baptisms each. And it was very beautiful. I'm glad we went.

Then we went back to central park and got caught in the rain! It was such a classic experience! and it took us forever to find the epic bridge we hid under--we were soaked by then, but it was still cool because this wicked saxophone player was jazzin' out & I threw some coins in his case. He was cool. Before we found the bridge we found this pretty trellis with plants on top of it, but it didn't offer up much protection from the rain, lol.
Then my camera started messin' w/ my head because it wouldn't switch out of internal memory. It was way sad. I figured it out later, but I didn't get anymore pics in central park. Except for one on my phone of this gorgeous little brooklet/mini waterfall. (;

Anyway we made our way out of central park and we got some lunch at the Shake Shack. It was expensive, but good. We ate it on the subway & again had barely a minute to spare in making it onto our train home! Those mad dashes are always so exciting! & we made every single one of them in NYC! (:

So we went back to Sarah's parents' house & finished packing and left around 5 for the airport. We got there 3 hours early, but it was really nice not to have to rush at all going through security & finding our gate & such. We had a nice dinner at Chili's (w/ cheesecake as a treat!) and then I talked to a couple people + my little bro BJ before my phone got cut off. That was a sad moment. Lol. But it's really a good thing it's made it so I'm not distracted from London & theatre & everything else. Being limited on what I can do with fb (b/c of my charger) is probably the same good blessing for now, even though it's terribly inconvenient.
But I think, sometimes, inconveniences are good for us. Life goes on and we can suck it up and deal. Enjoy it anyway.

So the flight was way good. Sarah & I slept a some, but it was hard. & That brings us to

Day 6: Wed. 4-28-10
Also known as yesterday.

Yesterday I woke up around 8, right after they brought the breakfast trays around. I looked on the little tracking screen and saw that we were flying over Ireland! How freaking sweet was that? Well, I thought it was way cool & got really excited--like bouncing off my seat excited b/c I was 30,000 ft above the UK. And I watched us go over Wales and London and Sarah was still asleep, but I wanted her to be awake, but I didn't want to be the one responsible for waking her up, so that was a delicate situation, so I compromised by leaning over & whispering, "please wake up! please wake up! please wake up!" But not too loudly, because I knew she needed as much sleep as she could get, but I also needed someone to rejoice with me. Ohhhhh I'm silly. (:

So she eventually woke up, and laughed at me & we watched us circle London for 20 minutes (so we wouldn't get fined by Heathrow for being early) and then we landed!!! (:
And we navigated through customs like two ditzy American girls would & collected our baggage & figured out the ATM, so I was able to get some money out in pounds. (:
Then we met up with Ariel Mitchell & found the Heathrow Express & I took a picture of the "Mind the Gap" & exposed our American-ness. And we wandered around Paddington until we figured out we needed to go downstairs to get our tube passes and we did such--it was comical with all our luggage--and we took the tube to Glouchester Road and realized we didn't know how to get to our flat, so I hailed my first cab! That was exciting and the driver was way nice.
It cost us five pounds together, but we ended up collectively giving him at least 8 pounds because I didn't realize that in London they have coins worth two pounds. I know things now...(many valuable things, that I hadn't known before...) So yeah, he got a pretty nice tip from us. (:

And we made it into our flats and were greeted ever-so nicely by Roger and Lance (I love that name, Lance. It's so dashing.) and they helped us carry our 50 lb suitcases up the 5 flights of stairs. That was so good of them. And Sarah & I went with Ariel and Rachel to go grocery shopping.
And aside from the little coin blunder I haven't had much problem at all switching from American money to pounds in my head. (It helped that Wells Fargo transcribed my bank balance when I withdrew my money, so I knew how much I had in pounds). And jet lag hasn't been too much of an issue either. Of course I'm super tired, but my mind took to the time here like that. *snap*

So we got our groceries together (I'm glad we stayed away from packaged products and got real food--unlike the majority of the other girls in or flat.) and we're both realizing how spoiled we were on campus with our $30 weekly meal plans. Here we don't have that kind of money to spend & so we're paying much closer attention to the little things we buy & only getting the necessities. We're doing a pretty good job of being responsible, I think. (:


And we had our group meeting and toured around our little neighborhood where we'll be living and learning for the next few weeks and that was fun! But we were all so tired. And we had a lot of reading due today, so we still ended up staying up until at least 11. lol

And sleep was nice, although more would have been even nicer.

Day 7:Thursday, 4-29-10

Today we had our first classes and they were absolutely great!
The conversations and discussions we had about shakespeare, Macbeth & theatre in general just blew my mind! There are some incredibly bright people here, and I know I'm going to love interacting and learning with/from them for the 6 weeks I'm here. Six weeks seems so short!!! Before it seemed long, but now looking at the syllabi & realizing it's almost May--(like two days) I'm like ohmygoodness!
And it's so cool to sit here & chill in my flat w/ my homies & hear the doubledeckers and little tiny cars drive by on the wrong side of the road from out my living room window and then walk out of my door right into London!

I had my first real taste of it today--we got back from class & had lunch (mmm..potatoes!) and then a group of us went out to see Big Ben & West Minster Abbey. (yes BJ, I saw you! =P)
But yeah, Big Ben was sweet & West Minster was very cool. If I may say so, I do prefer the temple to worship in, but still I really did appreciate everything about it. I appreciated the reverence of it, as well allllll of the history contained within its walls. It made me realize how ignorant I am & so I went & got an audio tour, & that helped a little. I got to see Queen Elizabeth's tomb, as well as her rival Mary's and sooo many others. And just the fact that this building was built in the late AD 900s and is still standing in all its majesty is quite remarkable. It was very beautiful, and well worth the 12 pounds and 3 hours we spent there.

And I came back and had a Great experience reading All My Sons by Arthur Miller. It really is a great play if you ever get the chance to read/watch it. Highly recommended. (:

So, something I noticed in class today. Our classes are held in the London LDS Geneology Centre and for me it was really a new experience to talk about Macbeth in a room with several pictures of the Savior & Joseph Smith & such. It seemed kind of out of place at first. But as the discussion progressed and the Savior stayed where he was on the wall, I realized that He knows what I'm doing. And that it's okay. More than okay. It's good. It's right. And that I was able to feel the Spirit so strongly while talking about Macbeth stabbing Duncan & Banquo sort of opened my eyes to the fact that the Lord's eyes are open. They're on me, on all of us. And the choices we make in theatre (and in life) He sees, and it's up to us whether they glorify Him or not.

I'm still trying to sort this theatre stuff out in my head. Yes, I've loved it in the past, but can I really commit myself to it for my entire lifetime? Is this what I want to do? I've had little conversion experiences before, but I still question this decision quite often. When I'm not immediately involved with a show or production I find myself asking, "Why am I here again?" but then I'm involved again and I'm like "Oh yeah, I do love this."
But I need to be more solidly converted if this is going to be my major. I need to have the passion burning in me All of the time. Not just some of the time, or else it won't work. And I know it. The random guy I met during Education week last August said it perfectly. He said, "The problem these days is that the teachers don't have passion. In order to be a great theatre teacher, you have to Love theatre." I think it's like that with all art.
And I realize that. And I also realize that if I can't love theatre all the time then I'm going to have to find something else to do with my life, because it'd be miserable, for me and the kids I teach.
But I feel myself being guided this way.
I'm not for sure yet. I talk like I am, but secretly I still look for other options that might fit, just in case. But between this experience in London, and my Workshop, and hopefully the CCT summer musical, and then my class this fall, I feel like when the time comes to make that final decision, I'll know whether or not this is right for me. And then I'll be sure.

So far I'm really loving it. And I think I will love it this whole time. But we'll see if what happens in London stays in London, or if this love is something that can really endure, for the rest of my life--for the rest of eternity.
Guess that's just how love works.

And in the meantime I'll enjoy every second of every day,
because that's what I was created for!
(2 Nephi 2:25)

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