A MONTH-LONG JOURNEY TO PEOPLE, LOCALES, LIBRARIES, AND ARCHIVES!
CHARACTER– for the QUALITY of the people (including those met on buses, trains, streets, and in stores!), locales, libraries, and archives
TIME– for their PLACES IN HISTORY
BLOG– a PERFECT WAY TO REMEMBER THE EXPERIENCE and receive input and information!
LIS BRITISH STUDIES 2016 TOUCHED ALL THE SENSES. The people were kind and helpful if YOU bothered to be those things yourself. The weather was wet and sunny and temperate. The food was excellent (Bill’s, ChrisKitch, The Breakfast Club, The Old Bank of England Pub) in London – and more elsewhere!. The sites were thrilling. The archives were amazing, especially when you could touch as well as see. Getting lost was frustrating but a learning experience; and not getting lost was a success!
FIRST DAY(S) June 3 – 4, 2016
Leaving Atlanta with some trepidation and not too small amount of excitement, I had a four-hour-long stopover in Newark, New Jersey. The time went by handily and soon I was boarding United Airlines Flight 16 to Heathrow. Lugging a carryon bag and an oversize piece of luggage with items I intended to leave overseas that would SURELY allow enough space for the return flight to the United States, I felt I had packed well for the trip. Naturally, I had been collecting the right handbag that was thief-proof, United Kingdom electrical outlets, an anorak, and multiple other items for some time. I was PREPARED!
Not so, I soon discovered….
Arriving at Heathrow, professors and staff who had preceded us held up “USM” signs that led our large group of strangers to an awaiting coach which dropped some members off at the Marylebone dorm of the University of Westminster and then proceeded with the remains of us to the Hoxton Market Street dorm of the same university.
Signing in at the twenty-four hour (soon to be appreciated) Reception, we were provided a ring with a fob that opened the outer door and a key to the door of our rooms. The blue door became “home” for nearly a month and the assistance of Reception evidenced itself in a number of ways.
The first things that impressed me? Concern for the environment manifested by lights that a person’s approach triggered on and the paper-free hand dryers everywhere. It doesn’t take much to make me happy; recycling and waste reduction goes a long way!
To orient the BS participants to what was to come, a session was held in the early evening. We had been warned NOT TO SLEEP! I didn’t – the excitement of arrival pre-empted such a pastime, although, I must say, with no sleep the night before departure and lack of solid rest on the plane, a brief siesta WAS sort of alluring…..