Sunday, February 27, 2011

A short Bath

A short Bath

On Wednesday and Thursday, I went to Bath, home of the famous Roman baths.

I also lost the Olin challenge. Read on!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Freedom of speech and beer

Here’s what my itinerary has looked like in the past few days:
  • S: London: Speaker’s Corner, British Library, church
  • M: Walking around London, say bye to Rebecca Leung; train to Nottingham: meet Katrina Marshall, go to hockey game, go to music pub
  • T: Attend classes, walk around castle, go to oldest pub in England
  • W: Go take a Bath*
*Bath is a city. More on that next post

Speakers' corner

This is where the British come to exercise their right to free speech. It’s a corner of Hyde Park where people gather to debate about anything they want. Yes, you can yell anything you want. You just can’t attack (physically) the other person.

The guy who's standing above everyone else is the speaker

Since it was a cold day, many speakers didn’t come. Many of the ones who did were religious, preaching some (sometimes very distorted) Christian message. This guy (I call him “the Texan” was reasonable though, but he did say "shut-up" too much. Several observers I talked to said they were atheists, but liked this guy because he was responsive and listened to the audience.

A little excerpt. Note the mocker with the speakerphone to the right

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pip pip cheerio, London!

Salut from Luhnduhn. It’s terribly nice here. I’m having just a spendid time!*

*Sorry, British friends, for my attempt at a Bri-ish accent

Rebecca and I left Paris for London on Thursday, 17 Feb. Here’s our itinerary:
  • Thursday: Took train from Paris to London. Went to Victoria and Albert Museum. Walked around. Saw Totem (Cirque du Soleil show)
  • Friday: Tower of London. Church service @ Westminster Abbey. Ate dinner in the crypt of a church (more on that later)
  • Saturday: Changing of the guards @ Buckingham. Walked around. Went to a pub. Went to British museum. Met interesting people on the street.

The British Museum is a great place to ponder and think....

I’m going to write mainly about the people I met and the interesting observations I had. A quick overview of all the standard tourist stuff will come at the end.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Guest post from Rebecca, who's seen more of Paris than me

Salut everyone. I'm writing this from London, where my friend Rebecca Leung (Olin '12) and I are visiting.

Rebecca came to visit me in Paris last Thursday. We left for London this Thursday. She'll be leaving from London to Israel, where she is studying away, Monday. I will then continue exploring England by visiting Nottingham, Bath, and Oxford.

You might ask "how do  you have time to travel so much?". Answer: "It's spring break already for me!*"

*technically it's the "vacances d'hiver"

For this post, I'll simply cross post Rebecca's post from her blog here.

Read on to find out about ice skating on the Eiffel Tower (no joke!)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stone soup

I’m going to try to post more often now, so here’s a relatively short post for you.

My romance with France is over*

After the conference last week, I’m beginning to suffer from “study away novelty wearoff”. A friend who was studying at Babson from Austria told me about it a month into his study away experience. He was beginning to miss his home, and even though he really liked Babson, the novelty was beginning to wear off.

The cycle of study away

That’s probably where I’m was at earlier this week. No longer is it exciting just to talk and meet new people. All the sites in Paris just seem like another tourist destination. People are friendly but of course aren’t as close as friends at home.

However, a good dose of sickness and physics got me over that slump this weekend. I studied semiconductor physics for 4 days straight (while resting from being sick). Now ready to visit England the next week and a half for winter vacation and finish (already!) off my last month at Polytechnique
*My choice of wording was solely based on the rhyme

Read on about Stone soup!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Volunteering for a conference of 1000 students

Where is Steven? (this is part of the list of volunteers)

TThis is my first post in over a week! What’s happened since then?
·        I passed the 1 month mark at Polytechnique
·        It’s the new Lunar New Year. Rabbit for the Chinese, and as I learned, Cat for the Vietnamese. 新年快乐。
·        I volunteered for the Rencontre Nationale des Chrétien en Grande Ecole (see below)
First some random observations to get you warmed up.