We Made It: Day 1 in London

It has been a long, long day but we all made it safely to London and have begun our adventure.
Off we go!
We left BCC by van on Sunday afternoon. We ran into some traffic on the way to Newark but it didn’t really matter since our flight was delayed by about an hour anyway. The students took advantage of the extra time in the airport to get to know each other a bit better and to catch up on some Dickens.

Hmmm. Is that a “Great Expectations Cliff Notes” you are reading Erica?

Our flight was pretty uneventful but everyone was looking VERY tired as we picked up our bags on Monday morning.  It is 10 am in London but it sure feels earlier than that.

Maegan actually tried to get some sleep while standing at the baggage claim.  And yes Colin, we are going to The British Museum today.

The students were excited to finally board the tube and head for our apartments in Bloomsbury.

We enjoyed some time in Bloomsbury Square, London’s very first planned park, while we waited for Drs. Saraceno and Firenze to collect our keys. Bloomsbury Square (seen below) is just outside the student apartments.

Those who followed the blog during our May 2007 trip to London might remember that there were some issues with the amount of time it took for the keys to be sorted and handed out. This year things went a bit better, but really only because it was not raining. It almost seemed like Dr. Saraceno was a bit uncomfortable that the process was being documented via video this year. Perhaps he was just uncomfortable from getting whacked numerous times by Dr. Firenze’s ever-present crutches.

Although Drs. Saraceno and Firenze struggled a bit with key sorting, they both did a great job of helping the students to locate their apartments.

The students finally received keys and moved into their apartments.

After settling in to our flats, we headed over to the British museum for a private tour of The Enlightenment Wing. The British Museum is quite stunning and we all enjoyed the view of the museum upon entering through the main gates.

The British Museum, Front Steps

Once inside the museum, we had a quick look around.

Inside The British Museum

Inside The British Museum

Ruth, Margo and Caroline

Our host again this year was the pleasant and knowledgable, Mr. Robert Gwynne. Mr. Gwynne talked about the Enlightenment Period and gave us several examples of the shift from traditional knowledge to rational thought based on observation and science.

During a discussion of ancient sculpture, Caroline pointed out that this particular piece proves that fashion trends do keep coming around.

Who knew they had such a cute wedge in ancient Greece?

After finishing our tour of The Enlightenment Wing, everyone seemed to prefer a nap to more of The British Museum right now. Lucky for us, it is right down the street and admission is free!

After (or maybe during) some final discussion about our plans for tomorrow, which include a Darwin and Dickens Forum in Russell Square Park, The British Museum of Natural History and a very special London Walk called Charles Dickens’ London with our favorite London Walker, Dr. David Tucker, everyone was really ready for some food and some rest.

So, we walked, or in Dr. Firenze’s case, hobbled along, back towards our flats. Luckily for Dr. Firenze, his faithful colleague provided some much needed assistance during the last few blocks of the journey.

As we all went our separate ways, I could not help but over hear Dr. Saraceno quietly paraphrasing his Victorian hero, “God help us, every one.”


~ by Dr. Musa on May 19, 2008.

5 Responses to “We Made It: Day 1 in London”

  1. To the students: “People don’t take trips…trips take people.”
    (John Steinbeck) You are traveling with three of the best educators you will ever have so maximize and savor every minute of your experience.

    To the instructors: May the force be with you.

    To Dr. Firenze: “Barrooooo” with all the meaning that confers.

    Regarding the key sorting – glad you haven’t lost your touch.

    BREAKING NEWS: Tiny Tim has entered the Belmont. Will be wearing the black and blue colors of Cratchet Stables.


    Dr. Musa: Saw Ally and Olivia this afternoon and both are doing fine. I will pick up Ally tomorrow – no worries.

    Lisa: Rach said that Kevin is good also.

    Have a wonderful trip and I will keep you posted on the kids.

    p.s. Jen, you are doing a great job with the camera – love the Tiny Tim pic.

  3. Dear Mrs. Musa,
    We liked looking at the pictures. We thought that the museum looked like the Lincoln Memorial. We feel bad for the professor who has to walk on the crutches. What was the title of the book that the silly picture of him came from? Did you see London Bridge yet? Was it scary flying across the Atlantic Ocean. How long were you on the plane? We will miss you this week at centers. Have a fun trip!
    Mrs. Gabriel’s Class

  4. Dr. Saraceno,
    Sweet top hat. Is Dr. Firenze heavy?

  5. Dr. Firenze has managed to procure a mighty fine tan in England… at least on his face.

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