settling in

I know this post is a little late (okay, a week late), but I’ve been pretty busy with school!

Which is a weird sentence to write after a year-and-a-bit of being in the workforce.

I’ve been snapping photos all this week as a sort of photo diary of my first week as a student again, and my first “real” week of learning to be a Londoner. Scroll on!

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Last weekend, Kieran came to visit and we spent some time exploring the Museum of Natural History, having a Wagamama lunch (the vegan katsu is AMAZING), and having a pint at the Prince of Peckham. The pub that once stood here was damaged in the 2011 Tottenham Riots (though in the US we just knew them as “the London riots”) and a group of locals decided to rebuild the place and reopen it as a pub “for South London, by South London.” I love the story behind the place, and the vibe here is great. I’m eager to try some of their vegan dishes (their food menu is managed by a famous food truck called White Men Can’t Jerk, a rather fitting name in the wake of Jamie Oliver’s “Jerkgate”).

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On Tuesday I went to a morning yoga class with the Yoga Society! I’ve loved the classes I’ve taken with them so far and it’s great to connect with fellow yogis in a new place. It’s weirdly soothing that “take a vinyasa” means the same thing no matter where you are in the world.

Random aside, but I think I actually prefer riding the bus to riding the Tube. Exposure to daylight + people watching = happy commute. Though attempting to walk down the stairs from the top deck while the bus is still moving feels a bit like a Wipe Out challenge.

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I reviewed some reading in the cozy Student Union cafe. I really like that my programme makes up “readers” of articles and book chapters for students to purchase instead of making us buy a huge pile of textbooks. I can’t even count the number of times I had a buy a book for a Kenyon class and only got assigned to read 20 pages of it. Goldsmiths doesn’t even have a bookstore! Though there is a really cool independent bookstore, The Word, right around the corner.

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There’s a Visual Cultures student lounge. And it’s stocked with an industrial-size box of PG Tips. I’m in the right place. And yes, PG Tips in the UK 100000% taste different to the ones we get in the US. I will die on this hill.

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I love this peaceful little courtyard near the Richard Hoggart Building. It’s a nice place to get some fresh air before class, and brings back memories of Middle Path or taking my lunch break in Bryant Park while I was working. I really love that Goldsmiths is a proper campus uni, something that not a lot of other London schools offer.

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While most museums in the UK are free entry, most will have special exhibitions that require an admission fee, and quite a few historic homes, galleries, etc will charge for entry. So when I saw that Art Fund were offering their Student Art Pass for £5 (!!!!!) for a year of free entry and/or discounted exhibition entries around Britain (!!!!!!) I went for it. For reference, the regular individual membership for an Art Pass is £67 per year. I am definitely going to get my money’s worth with this!

Coming from a country where funding/supporting the arts is usually turned into a partisan battle, it’s refreshing to be in a place where there’s overall a belief that the arts are, y’know, important and worthy of celebrating.

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On Saturday I went to Tate Modern, one of my favourite museums in the city, to enjoy an afternoon of art on a very gloomy, rainy, English day.

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And you’re allowed to be a tourist. No one is watching. 😉

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And to start off my second week of classes, I sent in my absentee ballot! This past week has been really challenging and it can be easier to distance yourself from it if you’re living abroad–which can be good for your mental health but not necessarily good for campaigns. And though I can’t really organise or canvass when I’m an ocean away, I can do the most important thing any young American can do–vote. Go check your registration!

So this post has been really random! I guess it’s kind of a collection of observances more than anything else. And that’s okay for now, I guess.

 


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