(Hiya!) from London

Many things are left unsure for my time in London: the people I will meet, the events I will go to, the poems I will write. After being here for two months however, I have come to realize that one thing is certain, and that is these last 10 months are going to fly by. Adults always warn that older age makes you experience life faster. Now add a factor for traveling to a different country, another one for having a great time, and another one just for a contingency factor. Too much has happened in the last two months, and I feel like the whiplash of it all is starting to settle in.

I have class once a week (Wednesdays) that runs all day. This may sound quite lax, but actually I’m finding myself working on literature for most hours of my week. The weird part about it is it doesn’t really feel like work. I typically read until I get sick of reading, write until I get sick of writing, then do something around in London when I get sick of both. The time I’m spending in London has been split between typical tourist stuff, and specific events that local Londonites go to. The former has included Buckingham Palace (I paid a little extra to go inside as well as see the Queen’s gallery, I wish I had pictures but they don’t allow it), Westminster Abbey, St. Andrews Cathedral, etc. For the latter this included attending an all day mono-printing workshop where I was able to make about 12 prints to bring home, as well as a few Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC) talks and panels. There is actually the Palestinian Film Festival happening for the second half of this month which I am quite excited for. I’m also taking Arabic classes online through the Nassra Arabic Method which is a London based online program.

I am notorious for not taking many pictures (to my mother’s chagrin), but now that the whiplash of moving in is all over, I can try to remember to snap some pics for my mother and this journal! Ciao!

Essay season

Hello, everybody! It’s Charlie writing from Glasgow.

Having been here for nearly two months, I have started to finally settle in. School has become very busy but nevertheless extremely interesting. As a War Studies student, I have so far given presentations and written papers regarding topics like the Battle of Agincourt and the Battle of Yorktown, Human Security, Carl von Clausewitz, and, most recently, the Battle of Algiers. The vast differences between my studies here and my undergraduate degree have challenged me but I am finding myself to more often than not enjoy the reading, writing, and presenting.

Outside of class and studying, I have made time to explore Glasgow, meet people, and do some travelling around Scotland. Due to my love for the outdoors, I have been getting quite involved in climbing and mountaineering in the highlands. In addition, in a few weeks, once school is less busy, I am planning to go to Dublin to meet up with a few close friends.

The Roger M. Jones fellowship is proving to be one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The opportunity to be here and challenge myself to pursue a degree in the humanities is extraordinary and although I, at times, miss the States and family and friends, there is no place I would rather be.

Pictured here a couple of my friends during a recent trip we took to The Aonach Eagach–a ridge line traverse in the highlands. It was my first experience using crampons and an ice axe and it was only slightly terrifying.