May the Wind Be with You

“The Warrington shuttle leaves a 11:30 sharp.”

I stopped by Starbucks and grabbed my £1.69 Americano because I needed a jolt of caffeine. I walked to Small Hall with my hot cup ‘o joe. “Sorry, no food and drink allowed on the shuttle.”

I didn’t even get to take a sip. I thought about downing the Grande.

“Leave it here. We have to take off.” The shuttle took off precisely at 11:30. I popped in my earbuds and fought to remain awake as we sped through webs of roadwork and roundabouts. Construction along the highway bore “Work Force in Road Slow” signs, as opposed to the States’ “Men Working.”

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Treated Myself to a Bouquet of Flowers from Tesco

We arrived in Warrington at noon, which saved us from a £7.90 train ride. Our class didn’t start until 3, so we walked to Tucker Building and snuggled into lobby chairs. A few minutes later a porter walked toward the elevator (or lift) and yelled against the doors: “Are you all right? I’m going to try and open the lift.”

Our natural nosiness, or as we like to call it “Journalistic Instinct,” commanded our attention. We watched the whole event unfold. Two other men, presumably not porters, walked toward the lift with electrical equipment and a lever and began to pry the metal door open. It only moved an inch. One man began talking to the trapped students.

Someone from inside said: “She needs an ambulance.”

“We assure you, sir, she won’t suffocate.”

Four fireman arrived along with a medical team, stretcher and wheelchair. Ten officials hovered around the lift. Within 30 minutes, the door was ripped to the side and nine people filed out of the lift. A girl was carried out, transferred to a wheelchair and given oxygen.

At the expense of the students trapped inside, it made for an interesting Tuesday. The whole ordeal must have lasted an hour. Cass and I sat in the corner of the lobby. There wasn’t much we could do but take pictures and film the event.

Watch Out, Ireland, Here I Come!

It’s booked. Between Cass and me, we must have spent hours in the STA Travel office planning our trips. Our agent, Joanne, mentioned that I will have travelled more than she has. It’s that travel bug, I swear! STA offered amazing deals. How could I pass up a great opportunity?

Student Development Week (15/02/16 – 20/02/16): Manny, Cassidy and I will travel to Dublin, Ireland, to begin our Celtic Rocker tour through Shamrocker Adventures: Galway, Inis Mór or Connemara, The Burren, Ennis, Dingle Peninsula, Killarney and Blarney.

Spring/Easter Break (21/03/16 – 26/03/16): My solo journey to Edinburgh, Scotland, where I will begin the Highland Fling tour through HAGGiS Adventures: Oban, Isle of Skye and Loch Ness.

Semester’s End (14/06/16 – 23/06/16): Manny, Cassidy and I will embark on a 10-day expedition called European Horizon. We will travel from London to Amsterdam, Rhine Valley, Munich, Austrian Tyrol, Venice, Lucerne, Swiss Alps and Paris.

Needless to say, I’m ecstatic – butterflies and all!

Archaeology and Shakespeare

Despite being a journalism major, I love my Archaeology and the Irish Sea Province class. My love of history is a trait I acquired from my Papa and Mom. We get lost in the old tales.

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Cassidy Captures the Moment via Snapchat

The ancient history is much more fascinating than what I learned in high school. The lectures and seminars deal with Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and ancient Celtic and Christian religious and secular sites – it’s absolutely fascinating!

The class is comprised of only five other students (due to its narrow scope). My tutor Meggen (yup, it’s first-name basis) is originally from Maine. She has an oddly exotic accent: a blend of American and Irish. It’s beautiful, really. My fellow classmates are welcoming and highly educated. I look forward to our intriguing discussions every week.

Plus, there are two Scots in my class. I love listening to them speak!

Specific Author, the lecture before my Warrington class, deals with Shakespeare. We are reading Love’s Labour’s Lost. I never read much Shakespeare. After our Thursday class, Cass and I decided to do our laundry. It was a gorgeous day, and we couldn’t bear to be indoors. We found a relatively dry spot on the ground and read a few acts of the play aloud. It was intriguing – the horrendous amount of Shakespearian innuendos. We enunciated each word, gave our best actor portrayal and laughed as we read along.

Cod, Crumpets and Carbs

After three weeks my body is still adjusting to my new way of life in England. I was eating relatively healthy back at home – lean meats, veggies and fruit. Once I crossed international waters I started eating carbs! It’s not a British thing; it’s just a Sam thing. I’m beginning to change my eating habits from whatever is easy to a well-balanced diet.

Grosvenor Museum – A City with History

After SU Friday, a night involving some drinking, dancing and a little more drinking, we planned on going to a museum-hosted event Manny found in a local newspaper. We all slept in until noon, showered and walked roughly 20 minutes to the Grosvenor Museum. It probably took us a tad longer; there wasn’t much pep in our steps.

The Samurai armour showing began at 1:30. We arrived nearly ten minutes late, but the event was already packed. Who knew there was such a demand? Well, it was free. We walked through the Roman artifact sector of the museum to buy some time. Centuries-old building material, bones and pottery rested behind glass. It’s fascinating to think that we are exactly where all this took place, not an ocean away learning about the Romans.

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Grosvenor Museum Theatre

 

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Newstead Roman Gallery

Known for its well-preserved Roman walls, “Chester is arguably the richest city in Britain for archaeological and architectural treasures preserved to this day from the time of the Roman occupation.”

The replica of Chester during Roman times is fascinating! Everything is to scale, from the tiny farmers digging in the outlying fields to the Roman amphitheater.

After admiring the ground floor gallery, our stomaches began to rumble: it was time to find food and quickly. We walked up and down Bridge Street for ten minutes, popping in and out of packed restaurants without a seat to spare.

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Bridge Street Monument

Eventually we settled for £1 sandwiches. Manny and I bought a small chicken and bacon sandwich with one piece of bacon and half a chicken chunk and a boatload of mayonnaise. It leaves something to be desired, but it filled the hole. But what would you expect, it cost only £1.

We eventually made our way back to Grosvenor Museum at 3 for the 3:30 Samurai Exhibition Event. It was interesting, but I was expecting more action. I wanted to see a full-fledged Samurai fight with swords and all.

They should have called Chester “The Windy City.” The past week has been nothing but knock-you-on-your-ass gusts. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced wind this strong. The three of us walked down the sidewalk and practically performed a circus act, zigzagging along the street. On the plus side, my hair dried fast and I got that wind-blown look. It’s sexy. I could make that a thing.

There are moments when I’m walking down a cobblestone street and butterflies erupt in my stomach. I’m incredibly blessed to be here. Sometimes I’m sitting it class and I crack a shit-eating grin. It’s euphoric! While it seems like I was born and raised here, I remember my family back home and then it hits me – I’m in freaking England. I can guarantee you I annoyed my graduating class. I talked about traveling to England every second. My senior superlative was “Most likely to live in Scotland.” Well, guess what? I’m doing it. My dream has come true. Thank you to everyone who made it possible!

13 thoughts on “May the Wind Be with You

  1. I’m never disappointed!!! I find myself eagerly awaiting the “next chapter” of your journey. Your depictions combined with your spirit truly give justice to your shared moments.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful blog again as usual. I REALLY ENJOY READING THEM SO MUCH. I think that you are sending your wind back to us. One of the pine trees on the west side blew over on to the house.I was sitting at the kitchen table this morning when it hit. It sure woke me up. I am so glad that you are enjoying yourself. Be careful. I love you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sammy I really enjoyed reading this blog. You have such a talent and Papa and I are so proud of you. Keep up the fantastic work!!!!! Have a wonderful time which I know you are and follow those dreams. We love you.

    Liked by 1 person

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