Archive for February, 2013

Today, is a sad day.

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

My mummy has left London. She was here for 11 wonderful day and we made sure to make the most of them! We ate our way through the city, saw all the museums I could stand, and slept on clouds (in comparison to my bed).  I am very sad to see her leave but it will be a trip remembered for years to come. I will be very busy these next few weeks with school work but I will try my hardest to post about Honest Burger. Rob, Ruth, Mummy, and I had a great time on Mummy’s last day, stay tuned. I am very sad to see her leave but it will be a trip remembered for years to come! 

(here is the only other picture mummzie and i took together.)

Today, is a sad day.

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

My mummy has left London. She was here for 11 wonderful day and we made sure to make the most of them! We ate our way through the city, saw all the museums I could stand, and slept on clouds (in comparison to my bed).  I am very sad to see her leave but it will be a trip remembered for years to come. I will be very busy these next few weeks with school work but I will try my hardest to post about Honest Burger. Rob, Ruth, Mummy, and I had a great time on Mummy’s last day, stay tuned. I am very sad to see her leave but it will be a trip remembered for years to come! 

(here is the only other picture mummzie and i took together.)

Proofs on Proofs on Proofs

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Math is the universal language,  but in the UK, it is taught a wee bit differently. The basic process hasn’t changed: 1. Theorem  2. Proof  3. Example(s)  4. Move on. It is around step 2 that I’ve noticed the difference between math taught in the States and math taught in the UK.

The emphasis on proofs is more intense in the the classes I am taking at the University of Edinburgh than at home. Here, every theorem a professor puts on the board is instinctively proven for the students in a mandatory fashion. I’ve noticed through previous classes that the proofs, though important, don’t always help with homework or seem useful at all. My professors have acknowledged this in the past and have catered to this, leaving out long extensive proofs during valuable lecture time. I know when I skim through notes I naturally pass over the proofs, but it seems very different here. My Pure and Applied Analysis  class, for instance, consists of only theorems and proofs that can easily fill an entire lecture period, leaving maybe a minute for a quick example (if we’re lucky).

This leaves me worried for two reasons. 1. I am quite inexperienced with learning directly from theorems and their proofs  and usually rely on examples, replication, and experimentation. Using raw theorems to construct solution and deriving proofs on my own will be a whole new level of examination that is a bit nerve-racking. And 2.  The exams for my math classes count for 80% or more of my final grade, meaning if I don’t figure out how to translate this style of teaching into a format I can understand, May finals are going to be a little more stressful than I had previously imagined.

Overall, this ins’t a bad thing. I believe in challenging one’s self and pushing personal limits. I came to the University of Edinburgh not only to explore another country and culture, but to explore a brand new educational environment. To go from

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The true test comes in May, and let’s hope my posts don’t sound too hysterical then.


Mummy come to town

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

And we hit the ground running.  After Manda let me sleep for two hours, we ran to get me an Oyster card and took the tube to Piccadilly Circus.  The Queen aka Helen Mirren was waiting for us.  

We were lucky to have scored two beautiful tickets to the second preview performance of “The Audience.”  In case anyone was worried that Ms. Mirren needs to make films in order to showcase her acting skills – stop worrying.  She shone for a full 2:45 minutes.  She rarely left the stage – and while her co-star Prime Ministers were all laudable, she carries the show.  Changing her voice from a higher pitched young Queen Elizabeth at 25 the slower pace and more matronly figure of an octogenarian Queen – we were mesmerized.  Surely, an afternoon we will never forget.  And throughout, Sir John Gielgud watched over us, ensuring it was remarkable.  

Next – dinner.  Jamie Oliver’s Italian awaited in Covent Garden.  Flowers, pretty shops, Seven Dials and an impromptu invitation to a lingerie fashion show for Fashion Week ensured it was a busy day.

Sunday started at a reasonable hour as Cat (Catherine) Kellogg joined us for the day.  We explored, we ate at Bill’s in Covent Garden, shopped at Harvey Nicks, Harrods, and Liberty – where we bought nil. Manda and I ended the evening at a local little eatery – Muriel’s Kitchen.  Yes, Shepherd’s Pie is still lovely.

The next day Manda worked and I headed off to the V & A.  It missed me.  South Kensington was my home during my London Study Abroad and while all the shops and restaurants are oh, so trendy, and tres chic, it is still my favorite neighborhood.  While disappointed that all the costume exhibits had ended, I did love all the iron work, had a picture perfect lunch, and Manda and I had a wonderful dinner at Flat Iron, a recommendation from her lovely boss, Louise.  And then there were doughnuts – hot, dusted with sugar and filled with rhubarb cream.  

 Have I mentioned how brilliant our hotel, The Ampersand is?  I have not – shame on me.  Decorative, in every nook and cranny.  Luxury at a very affordable price and a half block from the South Ken tube station.  I will definitely go back there.Whilst Manda went back to London and Partners I strolled through the van Gogh, Constable, Gainsborough, Renoir, Degas … you get the idea.  Good thing one of my daughters is an art history major so I felt rather at home – and every school child in England was also in the same gallery as was I.  Not quiet – “Please Mummy … can we go home now?”  I vote for that.  I did Trafalgar Square, decided against a matinee of Billy Elliott, and met Manda for pizza and pasta at Da Mario on Kensington.  Great pizza – lovely pasta and an early night in.

We headed off to Windsor and the Castle the next day.  Spent the day with the masses touring the castle and the town.  Not nice clerks at Barbour so Manda and I found another place to spend our pounds.  I always love looking at the Queen Mary Dollhouse and the semi-private state rooms were open – as was an exhibit of paintings and photographs of Queen Elizabeth – some of then glorious – and some not very flattering.  You have to admire a woman who allows unflattering paintings of herself to be exhibited in hr home.  Notting Hill and Portobello Road – dozens of cheap shops with clothing, hats, and memorabilia.  Dinner at Harrad’s Rotisserie and apple pie to takeaway (no “to go” the term is “takeaway.”)  Oh, and the Biebs (aka Justin Bieber) leaving Harrods in a white limo.  

 

 We weren’t done with galleries and museums yet – much to Manda’s dismay.  We went to the Tate Modern, although not my favorite, we did want to see the Lichtensteins.  We did.  They were great – and Manda, who has the same bootleg photo skills as her Monet photo stealing sister, Madison, got a few pics and one of a Kandinsky for Maddy.  Gotta love Kandinsky. 

But we still haven’t seen “The Swing.”  The only reason Manda came to study in London was simply because this painting was here and not in Paris.  We found it!  A small collection in a beautiful mansion – The Wallace Collection is amazing.  I walked by the Fragonard twice but found a Rembrandt I’d only seen in books and a Hals Maddy had pointed out to me.  These paintings are always smaller than I imagine – except for Gainsborough.  They’re huge.  Turners. Awesome.  And the walls were covered with paintings – sometimes four high.  It makes it so overwhelming and hard to concentrate on the beauty of one.  Oh, well.

 Salted Beef Sandwiches at Borough Market made up for it – and then off to Kensington Palace to have tea with Kate.  The Orangery was lovely and white, as always, and the Palace is totally under renovation.  Other than the Victoria exhibit, we probably could have skipped Kensington.  The park is lovely, but it was freezing outside.  We caught a bus, headed back for a few hours, and then off to see the magical Matilda.  Those children are so talented, the set was amazing, the use of the fly space and the traps was incredible and just as an aside – pay those children more!  Sixty pounds a week simply isn’t enough.  

Friday morning we headed off to York and spent a lovely weekend with Rob, Ruth, and our new best friend, Georgie!  We were treated to the kind hospitality of the Jones’, Barry and Jenny, as well as Trevor and Joy.  Yes, we saw the Minster, Betty’s, and found all the shops, but we also stopped at Barley Hall.  Mr. Darcy’s outfit as well as Lady Mary’s dress from Downton and the outfits from “The King’s Speech” were in York all the time.  I finally got my costume exhibit!  Busy train back after an all too short visit and only one more day to go.  

It’s been a lovely holiday, never long enough.  Thanks Manda for letting Mummy blog – and yes, Maddy, gifts are all packed in Mummy’s bag – things for Harrison and Rowan – and their mummies – oh, and even something for John!  See you soon, USA.  

(the only picture we got together.. we are taking one together tomorrow. DO NOT WORRY)

This has been a Manda&Mummy Production. 

Mummy come to town

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

And we hit the ground running.  After Manda let me sleep for two hours, we ran to get me an Oyster card and took the tube to Piccadilly Circus.  The Queen aka Helen Mirren was waiting for us.  

We were lucky to have scored two beautiful tickets to the second preview performance of “The Audience.”  In case anyone was worried that Ms. Mirren needs to make films in order to showcase her acting skills — stop worrying.  She shone for a full 2:45 minutes.  She rarely left the stage — and while her co-star Prime Ministers were all laudable, she carries the show.  Changing her voice from a higher pitched young Queen Elizabeth at 25 the slower pace and more matronly figure of an octogenarian Queen — we were mesmerized.  Surely, an afternoon we will never forget.  And throughout, Sir John Gielgud watched over us, ensuring it was remarkable.  

Next — dinner.  Jamie Oliver’s Italian awaited in Covent Garden.  Flowers, pretty shops, Seven Dials and an impromptu invitation to a lingerie fashion show for Fashion Week ensured it was a busy day.

Sunday started at a reasonable hour as Cat (Catherine) Kellogg joined us for the day.  We explored, we ate at Bill’s in Covent Garden, shopped at Harvey Nicks, Harrods, and Liberty — where we bought nil. Manda and I ended the evening at a local little eatery — Muriel’s Kitchen.  Yes, Shepherd’s Pie is still lovely.

The next day Manda worked and I headed off to the V & A.  It missed me.  South Kensington was my home during my London Study Abroad and while all the shops and restaurants are oh, so trendy, and tres chic, it is still my favorite neighborhood.  While disappointed that all the costume exhibits had ended, I did love all the iron work, had a picture perfect lunch, and Manda and I had a wonderful dinner at Flat Iron, a recommendation from her lovely boss, Louise.  And then there were doughnuts — hot, dusted with sugar and filled with rhubarb cream.  

 Have I mentioned how brilliant our hotel, The Ampersand is?  I have not — shame on me.  Decorative, in every nook and cranny.  Luxury at a very affordable price and a half block from the South Ken tube station.  I will definitely go back there.Whilst Manda went back to London and Partners I strolled through the van Gogh, Constable, Gainsborough, Renoir, Degas … you get the idea.  Good thing one of my daughters is an art history major so I felt rather at home — and every school child in England was also in the same gallery as was I.  Not quiet — “Please Mummy … can we go home now?”  I vote for that.  I did Trafalgar Square, decided against a matinee of Billy Elliott, and met Manda for pizza and pasta at Da Mario on Kensington.  Great pizza — lovely pasta and an early night in.

We headed off to Windsor and the Castle the next day.  Spent the day with the masses touring the castle and the town.  Not nice clerks at Barbour so Manda and I found another place to spend our pounds.  I always love looking at the Queen Mary Dollhouse and the semi-private state rooms were open — as was an exhibit of paintings and photographs of Queen Elizabeth — some of then glorious — and some not very flattering.  You have to admire a woman who allows unflattering paintings of herself to be exhibited in hr home.  Notting Hill and Portobello Road — dozens of cheap shops with clothing, hats, and memorabilia.  Dinner at Harrad’s Rotisserie and apple pie to takeaway (no “to go” the term is “takeaway.”)  Oh, and the Biebs (aka Justin Bieber) leaving Harrods in a white limo.  

 

 We weren’t done with galleries and museums yet — much to Manda’s dismay.  We went to the Tate Modern, although not my favorite, we did want to see the Lichtensteins.  We did.  They were great — and Manda, who has the same bootleg photo skills as her Monet photo stealing sister, Madison, got a few pics and one of a Kandinsky for Maddy.  Gotta love Kandinsky. 

But we still haven’t seen “The Swing.”  The only reason Manda came to study in London was simply because this painting was here and not in Paris.  We found it!  A small collection in a beautiful mansion — The Wallace Collection is amazing.  I walked by the Fragonard twice but found a Rembrandt I’d only seen in books and a Hals Maddy had pointed out to me.  These paintings are always smaller than I imagine — except for Gainsborough.  They’re huge.  Turners. Awesome.  And the walls were covered with paintings — sometimes four high.  It makes it so overwhelming and hard to concentrate on the beauty of one.  Oh, well.

 Salted Beef Sandwiches at Borough Market made up for it — and then off to Kensington Palace to have tea with Kate.  The Orangery was lovely and white, as always, and the Palace is totally under renovation.  Other than the Victoria exhibit, we probably could have skipped Kensington.  The park is lovely, but it was freezing outside.  We caught a bus, headed back for a few hours, and then off to see the magical Matilda.  Those children are so talented, the set was amazing, the use of the fly space and the traps was incredible and just as an aside — pay those children more!  Sixty pounds a week simply isn’t enough.  

Friday morning we headed off to York and spent a lovely weekend with Rob, Ruth, and our new best friend, Georgie!  We were treated to the kind hospitality of the Jones’, Barry and Jenny, as well as Trevor and Joy.  Yes, we saw the Minster, Betty’s, and found all the shops, but we also stopped at Barley Hall.  Mr. Darcy’s outfit as well as Lady Mary’s dress from Downton and the outfits from “The King’s Speech” were in York all the time.  I finally got my costume exhibit!  Busy train back after an all too short visit and only one more day to go.  

It’s been a lovely holiday, never long enough.  Thanks Manda for letting Mummy blog — and yes, Maddy, gifts are all packed in Mummy’s bag — things for Harrison and Rowan — and their mummies — oh, and even something for John!  See you soon, USA.  

(the only picture we got together.. we are taking one together tomorrow. DO NOT WORRY)

This has been a Manda&Mummy Production. 

Week 7

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

This week was pretty slow and boring.  We actually had no classes this week, just as part of the schedule here.  While this sounds like it was to be a lot of fun, I really spent the whole week writing essays and working on projects that I hadn’t quite gotten around to in the previous weeks that I have been here.  I ended up writing a 2,500 word essay, along with completing a sports development project with my partner and working on another business proposal project with another group.  I also spent plenty of time in contact with my bank trying to finish taking care of the fees I have to pay to Westminster here.  On Friday night though, I met up with some of my friends, one of which brought us to his new flat in Queensway, another nice part of the city.  Afterwards, we all headed to Leicester Square and went to a club for a few hours.  On Saturday a few of us met up again, where we  got pizza in a nice Italian restaurant in Leicester Square again and ended up going to a couple of pubs in Camden afterwards.

A Saturday in Stonehenge and Bath!

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Yesterday was absolutely fabulous! I went to Stonehenge and Bath with the Social Programme. We had to meet the bus down at the Embankment stop at 8:30am. It’s about a 2 hour drive to Stonehenge which is where we went first. It is really cool to see in person and I got some awesome photos!

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It was freezing cold and I was so glad to have my hat!! Also, there is a little  coffee hut near the entrance so everyone was grabbing a hot drink and a bite to eat before we hopped on the bus to head over to Bath!! 

Bath was by far one of the favorite places I have been so far. I was unaware that it was an entire town area and it just beautiful. We only had two hours there which is not nearly enough time so my flatmate and I are talking about heading back over on a weekend. 

The first thing we did was actually go see the Roman Bath which has numerous parts. First we were given a token to get in:

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and lalala you’re waiting for entry:

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First thing you get to see is the main bath from the top:

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Then you get to go down into the basement and temple area that was just discovered and repaired in the 80s:

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And then back out to the main bath from the bottom:

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How cool is this picture? This is where the water rushes into the main bath and you can walk across it. 

After we explored the Roman bath we had some time to grab lunch and explore the town. It was such a pretty town with main stream shops as well as personal shops..you could spend all day there, it was upsetting to only get one hour! So we HAVE to go back.

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My Nana knit me a hat!

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

My Nana knit me a hat and sent it to me in the mail! Apparently she saw that all my friends had one except me and was worried about me being cold. The hat is so cute! I absolutely love it and it’s just in time for my trip to Stonehenge tomorrow! image

Porta Sempione

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

“Porta Sempione” translates into English as “Simplon Gate” and is the city gate of Milan, Italy. The gate is marked by a huge arch called “Arco della Pace” which translates into “Arch of Peace.” The arch is in the center of the city of Milan and is adjacent to the Simplon Park. Both the gate and the park are absolutely gorgeous and are right down the street from my apartment. When I run throughout Milan, I always make sure that I pass the gate and run inside the park. The gate has Corinthian style columns and the arch in whole includes bits of bronze, marble and even wood. The small little area around the gate acts almost as a park itself. You can find people studying, reading, tanning and even drinking alcohol as they relax and enjoy the great view and beautiful weather. DSC00100

Piccolo Teatro

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

The Piccolo Teatro was the first permanent theater in Italy. It was founded by six men after World War II in 1947 and was named “The Little Theater of the City of Milan” (Piccolo Teatro). The theater underwent a restoration and was finished in 2009. It now seats 488 people.

Upon the first night arriving here, mentioned in the Duomo post, my roommates and I toured the streets around our apartment. We ventured down a small alley way and stumbled among this historic theater. It seemed as if it was almost hidden from the public. I wanted to try to venture inside but the gates had been locked and I was unable to do so.

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