In Thursday's class we looked closely at one object (a Virgin and Child statue) for almost an hour. At one point we were all squatting on the floor to get a sense of the angle it was intended to be viewed at when I felt yup, I'm an art historian. This is what we do. It's a great feeling to gain knowledge by looking that hard at something that I otherwise would have breezed by and never understood.
Monday night's 'pub quiz' provided some nice art history moments too. (The Renaissance sections have a weekly quiz section to make sure we have a broad base of visual images. This comes with wine, snacks, and teams, so it's much more fun than intimidating...so far.) Staring at two golden-haloed Madonnas I felt lucky to get to look and think and compare and analyze. And of course, hear what everyone else had to say as well.
So the program part has been going well, but Thursday was a pretty stellar day on the whole. I grabbed coffee at a cute, vaguely hipster-y place with a tree stump serving as their cream and sugar bar. (Ok, probably more than vaguely.) I trotted off to Euston/Bloomsbury to get my British Library reader card; glory of glories, I now have access to an incredible collection that I've been salivating over online for far too long. I didn't request anything that day, but am super excited to work there. I wandered around the exhibits before grabbing lunch at the Bloomsbury farmers market (Thursdays 9-2), and registering at the UCL library as well.
After early-afternoon class, I made a quick stop in the pub to chat with program people before heading to a friend's family's house for dinner. They were incredibly kind and welcoming. Coming back in the evening I took the scenic route home along the Embankment, and had yet another moment of "oh my God I LIVE here." And I would love to go on living here. The rest of my life after this is utterly up in the air, but that's ok because I get this experience. All in all, an excellent combination of productivity and exploration and socializing and dog time with the family's black lab.
This post makes things seem pretty idyllic, and they have absolutely been going well. But living here means dealing with the mundane and quotidian too. For example: IT issues, bank queues, waking up, sleeping in, running late, swipe card struggles, grocery shopping, and budgeting, to name a few. It's just more fun to write about the exciting parts. I also like that this blog forces me to keep in the habit of writing, and reminds me about the importance of editing, grammar, and audience. So if there's something you're more (or less) curious about, do let me know!