Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Formal Hall

Yesterday was special because we had our first Formal Hall at King's College. We got all fancied-up and had drinks--on the lawn! You're not allowed to walk on the grass at King's (and most of the University of Cambridge) unless you are a Fellow or you've been invited to walk on the grass with a Fellow. Except for Formal Halls. It was quite satisfying walking on the grass. They took a picture of all 285 of us (that's the number I heard) in front of the King's College Chapel. And they had orange juice to drink for the BYU students. :)

Here are some fun pictures of Formal Hall:

Lining up for the picture

Most of the BYU group

The dinner was really nice and really delicious. There was onion and thyme soup, chicken, and an amazing chocolate mousse cake for dessert. It was just a really long meal (we entered the Great Hall around 7:45 and didn't get out until 10:00), and really loud. It was hard to hear the people around me, which was a shame. But it was a really neat dinner; I enjoyed it. I also really enjoyed talking with my friends afterwards (when I could hear them). :)

Our Table

The Great Hall

Delicious dessert (yes, I took a picture).

So much to do here! Classes, exploring, making new friends . . . it's all very exciting for me. But I need to figure out a schedule soon. Fun times are coming up, though. We're going on a trip to Scotland on Friday!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cambridge! Is amazing. :) Part 2 (aka Food, Glorious Food!)

June 27th.

Today we had another orientation at the Cambridge Union Society. We are really priveleged to be able to meet in this building, because according to the Cambridge YSA reps, not many people every get to be a part of it. It was neat being in the lecture hall and thinking about how many important, famous people spoke in that room. Apparently 2 US presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, have spoken at the Cambridge Union Society. (On a tangential note, it's cool being in my room, as well, and to wonder who had the room I'm staying in . . . and if they were/are famous.)

After the orientation, I went to The Old Sweet Shoppe with some BYU girls. We call it the "Willa Wonka Store," though. It is in-cred-i-ble. Love it! Such a cute, cute shop. And they were even playing "The Candyman Can" song while we were in there. (I wonder if they heard us mention that it reminded us of Willa Wonka.)

Candy . . .

We signed up for a Library Induction time, and then on the way back from the Cambridge Union Society (CUS), we saw the most delightful sight on King's Square: Free cake samples. Oh yes. And not just any free cake samples--huge, delicious, creamy, fattening cake samples. The little girl in me just squealed a little inside.

Tee-hee. Do you see how happy I am? I'm eating cake in front of King's. Who wouldn't be happy?
Quintessential British Telephone Booth Shot

The Library Induction/Tour was good. It's a bit more confusing to me than the HBLL, but I suppose that's because I'm familiar with Harold. It is a beautiful library, though. (Again, it reminds me of Harry Potter. You're all going to get sick of that phrase, but it's the truth.)

Around 3 o' clock, I had my first Cambridge class! It's the Romanticism class, and it looks very interesting. I felt that I would be able to handle that class. It seems challenging, which is good, but also manageable. I think I will enjoy it. The professor, Dr. Rowan Boyson, is a young, VERY smart woman from northern England. She definitely knows her stuff, and I'm very excited to learn from her during the next four weeks.

We had FHE around 8 o' clock in the Cambridge Union Society. Almost all of the BYU students were there, and it was fun to socialize with them. I got to lead the opening hymn, which was "The Spirit of God." When everyone started singing, the Spirit touched me strongly, and I was struck by the strength of the people in the room and the beautiful message of the gospel.

Dr. Kerry's lesson was really good, too. He talked about how we are entering sacred ground when we endeavor to learn and aquire knowledge, and to basically reach out to others at Cambridge and essentially "seek after every good thing." I certainly plan to. I want to make the best of my experience here.

Cambridge! Is amazing. :) Part 1

Another really long post coming up. Sorry. Between classes, seminars, exploring Cambridge, making friends, and trying to figure out how to work a converter/adapter, it's been a bit hard to get on and blog. But here I go.

June 26th.

We headed off from the Youth Hostel and arrived at King's Cross, where we met up with a group of other BYU students. We were all able to sit close together on the train, so that was fun.

I've got a ticket to ride to Cambridge!

We're all really excited, for one reason or another.
The train ride went well; the English countryside is beautiful. It felt a lot like Harry Potter--again--going off to school, on a train, with our luggage. I fell asleep for part of the way, and when I woke up, I was in Cambridge! It was a really cool feeling, and I was really excited because I was finally there!
We decided to walk to the University--specifically to King's College, where we were staying. (It is the Pembroke-King's Programme, after all.) But, we took a wrong turn, so most of us ended up getting a taxi to get to King's instead of walking for thirty minutes with our luggage. It was so awe-inspiring to drive up to the Porter's Lodge at King's . . . even more awe-inspiring to see the King's College Chapel and the lawns and beautiful architecture of Cambridge.
In front of King's College Chapel
After registration, I checked into my room at Bodley's Court. It's in King's College, so not far from where we checked in. I love walking to breakfast every day and seeing the Chapel. Stunning. My room is really cool, too. It's very spacious. I have a living room area and a bedroom, with shelves in the closet . . . and a sink in the closet. It smells good, too.

Living Room Area

View from the Living Room area

The sink in my closet. Awesome.

After unpacking a bit, I went exploring around Cambridge with Sarah Smilanich, another BYU student. We saw people punting down the River Cam, we walked along the Backs and saw the King's Cows, and we took lots of pictures. We also went around the city and watched a bit of the England-Germany football game at an English pub, and saw a really cute street market that I really want to buy fruit from one of these days.
Me in front of King's College Chapel

English pub/store we watched part of the game from

Market Street

A King's Cow

Punting down the River Cam

After our exploration, we had an orientation. I honestly don't remember what was said, but that's typical of most orientations for me, actually. If they had sung the orientation, I probably would have remembered it. But that's not very Cambridge-y at all. Anywho. But I do remember the tour that three LDS YSA Cambridge students, Phil (I think that's his name :\), Victoria, and Brady. They showed us some good places to shop for supplies and groceries while we're here, and they gave us inside tours of some of the different colleges at Cambridge. We visited Darwin, Emmanuel, and Pembroke Colleges. I didn't fully realize how spread out Cambridge University is, or how the individual colleges mean more to the students than the University itself. That's different from BYU.

Well, I'll do another post soon. This post is too long as it is. I always write too much! :)

My favorite picture of our tour--Pembroke College.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lost in London

This will be a long post. Just thought I'd warn you.

I flew out of Salt Lake on Friday, with stops in Chicago O'Hare and Newark. I was traveling with another BYU student, Jared Holloway. The layovers weren't supposed to be long at all (about one hour max for each--just enough time to get to the next gate and take a short rest), but something happened to our plane in Newark, and so we had an unexpected delay of 3 hours to deal with plane maintenance. The layover augumented the correlation I make between the Newark Airport and layovers. The last time I was there, we had a layover for 7 hours. Not fun. But Jared and I decided that we need to think of something to do for the 6-hour layover we'll have in Houston on the way back. I wholeheartedly agree.

We were supposed to fly out of Newark around 8 pm, but we didn't end up leaving until about 11:30 pm. So, we got into London-Heathrow about 11:00 am. I really enjoyed looking out of the window at the English countryside below. Beautiful.

We went through Customs quite easily in Heathrow, but when we went to get baggage, Jared's suitcase wasn't there. We're all hoping that he'll be able to get it really soon. I had my first experience on the tube (the London Underground), so that was exciting. Jared got the directions to the Youth Hostel, but the Jubilee Line that we needed to take to get to the Canada Water station was down for the weekend.

We were lost (I was REALLY lost . . . Jared at least could figure out directions a lot better than I could), but we did eventually (after a lot of walking, sweating, taking a lot of buses, and calling the Youth Hostel for directions when we were lost again), we finally made it to the Youth Hostel. Hurray!

A picture that I took on the bus of the Tower of London

A residential area of London (in which the Youth Hostel was located, and which we got to know quite well from walking about so much. :)

Me, after almost 17 hours of flying, tube-riding, bus-riding, and walking. Anywho, the rest of the day was quite nice after getting to the hostel. We walked along the Thames, which was nice. I also got to see Platform 9 and 3/4, which was awesome. I was so excited that I got to do that. I'm Harry Potter geek, so it made me all happy inside. :) We also saw Hyde's Park (which is a lot bigger than I expected), and watched the ending of the USA-Ghana game in a pub.

Well, I need to get ready for my first Cambridge class. (!) I'll post more about getting to Cambridge and Cambridge itself later. By the way, it's absolutely beautiful here.

Along the Thames

Platform 9 and 3/4! :)

The funny "Please Litter" sign at King's Cross. There are no garbage cans at King's Cross.

Hyde Park

The Youth Hostel

Thursday, June 24, 2010


A lot of people have wanted me to keep them updated on my upcoming Study Abroad to Cambridge, England. I figure a blog is the best way for me to do this. Hopefully it will keep you all updated about my adventures, and hopefully I'll be able to get used to blogging!

Anyway, I am so excited for this opportunity. I feel--I am--incredibly blessed to be able to have this experience. In fact, I feel that it is a miracle that I am even going at all. I know that I need to make the best of my time there. I'm looking forward to the experiences and adventures that I will have during these 8 weeks!