"The World's Mine Oyster"

Wotcher! (I can officially start saying that, because I was greeted with it by a man at one of my shifts this week. It's not just Tonks! IT'S REAL LIFE!)

I feel like so much of my last week and a half is confidential, and so much more of it has been spent writing a paper. It's reading week now, which means the first wave of big assignments are due next week, so it was time I buckled down and finally started being a student. I had to forgo some adventures with my friends to stay in my room and read about how gender roles in Britain changed after 1945, which was really not fun. And a part of that is definitely because I've been spending so many hours volunteering. But it's absolutely worth it! More on the good Olympic-y stuff in a moment. :)

I had three shifts back-to-back-to-back last week -- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. It was AWESOME. I missed my daily nap on Wednesday, but ya know, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger! Hah. Some people were just doing their first shift on Thursday, so I got to be the knowledgeable one and help them out. That was a nice little feather in my cap! So volunteering was pretty much my day those days, though on Thursday I did come back to campus and Amanda had dinner waiting for me, which was exciting! Burritos, no matter how MacGyver-ed, are delicious.

Friday was spent being studious (coughprocrastinatingcough), and at night there was a candy/donut party at Draper's where we waited endlessly and fought for our lives for a single Krispy Kreme donut each.

On Saturday, Jen, Amanda and I went to Oxford! We took a bus and got there around noon. It's funny how unprepared we were, and how okay that ended up being. We had no idea where to get off the bus, and then we had no idea where to go when we did get off. But we ended up picking the right stop and being mere blocks from Christ Church College, our destination. We got to tour the chapel, which was very impressive, and climb the marble staircase used in Harry Potter, which was awesome, and walk through the Great Hall that was the inspiration for the one in Harry Potter. Quite excellent. A small part of me still wishes I could've studied abroad at Oxford -- it's just so beautiful!

That was all we'd planned in advance, so we meandered around town for a few hours. I loved not having to rush to be anywhere or worry about getting lost, and it's such a gorgeous place! We stopped in the Alice in Wonderland store, a candy shop, a games store, and a couple of bookstores, and wandered through the market. A delicious savory pie was split as a pre-dinner snack, and whoever says there's no good food in England is LYING! We ended up getting dinner in The Eagle and Child pub, where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien used to hang out. I finally got my fish and chips! It was expensive, but excellent!

Sunday was some more homework, plus a mall trip with Amanda. She needed to top up her phone, I needed face wash, and we wanted to find a crafts store, because we're making T-shirts for The Hunger Games premiere next month :). But apparently Brits don't do arts and crafts, because there was not a single Sharpie to be found in the largest mall in the country. I miss Michael's! But then we walked to Olympic Park, just because it was sunny and beautiful and we could. (The fact that we're close enough to walk there makes me love my life.)

Monday was spent with my paper. And that's really it.

But Tuesday was my birthday, and it was wonderful! I woke up to a new episode of Castle, picked up a volunteering shift, my friends made me pancakes for dinner, and it was an absolutely gorgeous day outside. I know people at home were expecting some crazy drunken stories and were disappointed by the lack of them, but I couldn't care less. I had a fantastic day. :)

It's funny -- I spent my 19th birthday watching the Vancouver Olympics, my 20th birthday preparing for my interview with Coach Amy Deem, and my 21st birthday volunteering for LOCOG. EVERYTHING IS OLYMPICS AND NOTHING HURTS!

Yesterday, the study abroad office took a bunch of us to Shakespeare's Globe Theater (Theatre?) for a tour and such. We walked around the exhibits, which would've been a ton more exciting if I was madly in love with Shakespeare like Amanda and Liz are. But then we got to go into the theatre itself, which was awesome. It's an almost exact replica of the original, and the cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream was onstage rehearsing while we were there. That's undeniably cool no matter what you think of ol' Billy Shakes! There was also a sword fighting demonstration, which made me very glad that never in my life will I have to duel. I would die in half a second. The actors doing the fighting were seriously talented!

Afterwards? More work. Noticing a pattern?

I'd volunteered to help out in the Ceremonies offices today, so I woke up early and headed back out to 3 Mills. You know you're an over achiever when the security guards stationed on the route from the tube station to the studio recognize you. Hah, it's fantastic!

I think I can actually talk about what I did today, though! OMG! I mean, they didn't tell me I couldn't...

I made photocopies. I filed things. And I Google mapped things.

Funnily enough, I think I learned more sensitive material today than I have during all of my actual shifts. So I won't tell you what I read, but I will say that it wasn't a terrible job. The thing is, I don't care how mundane a task is when I'm volunteering. As long as I'm being kept busy, I'm pretty happy. And everyone in this office was so nice, and so thankful that I was there to help. My final job was (and I can say it, 'cause it's been released to the press!) Google mapping routes from the studio to various schools in the area and back. Each route had three schools to go to, and there are two teams traveling on each day, and there were four days to route. I had to leave, though, so I was told to do as much as I could. I routed two days for each team, thinking it was super easy. When I gave the print-outs to the lady I was doing them for, she was SHOCKED and said that someone who worked in the office took half a day to do what I'd done in half an hour.

Don't worry, I didn't strain my shoulder patting myself on the back. ;)

I think my favorite part was when I was leaving; I passed one of the security guards that I see every time I'm there, and he looked at his watch and said "You're leaving already?!" Hahaha, I love being a familiar face!

Afterwards, I headed to Covent Garden to do an assignment for my Text, Art, and Performance class. I walked around the markets a bit -- DEFINITELY have to go back there! -- and went into the Royal Opera House. They actually have exhibits in there, which is pretty cool. The weather was absolutely perfect, so on my way to the Soane Museum, I stopped to eat my sandwich in Lincoln's Inn Fields. I love all the parks in London, and sitting in one on what felt like a beautiful spring day was complete perfection. The museum was pretty cool too. The guy was an artist and an architect, and the museum is his house, left almost exactly the way it was when he died. This is the second house/museum type thing we've been to for this class, and they're really neat. I love that whole stepping-back-into-history thing. And this one was free, so hey! Though the first one was better, but I'll take what I can get.

And that's pretty much where I'm at right now. Tomorrow, Liz, Amanda and I are going to Cardiff, Wales for the day, so that should be fun!

Before I go, though, I witnessed two awesome acts of humanity today and I thought I would share.

As I was heading to the LOCOG office, I was about to go up the stairs at the Bromley-by-Bow tube station. There was a woman there with a tote bag in one hand, and she was supporting herself with a cane in the other hand. A man, not young by any stretch of the imagination, offered to help her up the stairs. She thanked him but said she could manage, but he insisted on at least carrying her bag for her.

Later on in the day, I was walking down Mile End Road to Sainsbury's when I witnessed a minor accident involving a car and a biker. I'm not really sure what happened, but the car was turning into a parking lot, and it ended with the biker falling over. It wasn't serious, and he was up and walking by himself, but the reaction of everyone in the vicinity was amazing. Another biker leapt off his bike and abandoned it in the middle of the sidewalk to help the guy up; the car screeched to a halt and both people inside jumped out to help him; and even pedestrians rushed over to make sure he was okay.

Maybe it was something in the air, but everyone was sure feeling the love today. And it made me happy! :)

No comments :

Post a Comment