Day 5 in London

Our fifth day in London dawned bright and sunny.  As a result, we once again met for our morning class and discussion in Russell Square at the cafe.  Everyone is getting better at navigating around the city and, for the first time, the students didn’t need the faculty to escort them to our meeting.  After taking some time to decide on a fancy pastry, we all settled down to business.  Dr. Saraceno expertly led our discussion which covered Darwinian themes in Othello and Great Expectations.  



We took a break and, after taking some time to choose another fancy pastry, we reconvened to continue our discussion into the early afternoon.  Drs. Firenze and Saraceno pointed out (perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not) that despite obvious differences in lifestyle and accomplishment, Darwin and Dickens were remarkably in tune with one another and shared a similar philosophy.  Consider the following quotes:

“It has been my greatest comfort to say hundreds of times to myself that I have worked as hard and as well as I could, and no man can do more than this.”

Charles Darwin

“My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest.”

Charles Dickens, David Copperfield


When our class session ended most of us headed to Westminster Abbey (burial place of Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens) to attend Evensong Choral Services.


Before entering the Abbey (while Dr. Firenze was getting an ice cream), Sean and Corey look for a way to get in early.  Luckily, no one was arrested as a result of this incident.


Evensong is a tradition of worship that has been offered daily at the Abbey for more than one thousand years.  We went early and had the priviledge of actually sitting in the choir boxes with The Choir of Westminster Abbey during the hour long choral service.  The choir was incredible and hearing this beautiful music in Westminster Abbey was an experience that we will not soon forget.


After the choral service, the Darwin and Dickens students posed for a group photo.  If you look closely, you can see the “Enough with the pictures already, Dr. Musa.” look in their eyes.

After this uplifting experience (the service, not the group photo), we split up for a night of fun and relaxation.  Some planned activities include a visit to the London Eye, Covent Garden, Picadilly Circus, the theater and, of course, maybe a pub or two.  

Up tomorrow, a private tour of Charles Dickens’s home 


~ by Dr. Musa on June 2, 2007.

5 Responses to “Day 5 in London”

  1. I’m still jealous, Erica. So….did you meet Prince Wills and give him my phone # yet? ^^ Glad to know ur having a blast!!! Whoever writes this…tell her i said hi and hope she BUYS ME A SOUVENIR!! LOL jk.

  2. Mary # 2 id you attempt not to sing along at Eventide? Just thought I’d let the class know that you are classically trained and you have a supreme vocal ability. Also, I love hearing you carol.

  3. BTW Mary, I miss you.

  4. Baroooooooo!
    Rick, Here’s a message from two of your good buddies.
    Hi Rick,
    We are over at Grandma and Grandpa’s house celebrating Grandpa’s birthday. He has now been officially declared an antique.
    Looks like you are having a lot of fun. Enjoy the rest of your trip.
    Riley and Liam
    As you can see, they are evolving into one of us.

  5. Hey, where’s all the rainy London weather? It rained here yesterday, and will today and tomorrow too. Got lots of flowers and 100 tomato plants in the ground before the rain though. We miss you Erica, and can’t wait to have a cup of real English tea together.

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