Thanks to the "convince financial aid to send Lionel to England for free" spell that Chief Witch Troseth so expertly wielded, I was honestly blessed with this opportunity to get abroad with some great people. Interestingly, I have actually been on an England Harry Potter trip before, so this was a great chance to compare my experience at 10 and at 20. While not everything was new to me, the experience was so different that it may as well have been.
I enjoyed my chance to lead a discussion on Wind in the Willows, and was glad to get a primer on such a range of classic literature. I don't get to read fiction as much as I like, so this was a nice change of pace.
While it's hard to imagine that I was alone in this, The Eagle and Child was a real highlight for me. It feels like the US tends to rope off any building over 100 years old, while England's landmarks are instead still used for their original function. I guess it would be impossible to just rope off every building.
A major development in my life, as well as in the timeline of global photography, is the creation and implementation of the Meta-Selfie. While the debate rages, I have come to the expert conclusion that a selfie with multiple people should be called an "usie", while a picture of one person taken by another should be a "yousie". A picture of multiple people taken by another should be named the "y'allsie".
While my normal cantankerous self would not have stopped to take a photo, the groups decision to sojourn made my participation unavoidable. As such, I was left with no option but to school all of the haters, which I believe that I did. While I did not buy the professional print, the gift shop attendant did compliment my form, which of course means a lot to me.
If I may for a moment be a bit more serious, the American cemetery in Cambridge was quite the somber experience. It was, from the grandioseness of the statues to the religious pervasiveness, a great stimulus for reflection into what the military means in American society. It was also the first time that I got to have a great conversation with Dr. Troseth, which I really relish.
While the issue was probably my expectations, I am thrilled that our London trip was able to blow even my wildest ideas out of the water. I made a number of great friends that I will continue to value, and I was able to revisit some wonderful sites. I would love to thank Drs. Troseth and Pendergrass for such a tremendous trip, as well as our TA's.