Adieu London

By Inji Kim

To compensate for the rather overwhelmingly cranky voice that dominated my previous article, I have decided to gush over the more glamorous moments we’ve experienced during the program. Sometimes the banality of everyday life eclipses the special moments we get to experience, and this certainly has been a case during my time here.  For example, today, I was on the treadmill, running my regular kilometers and blankly staring at the television screen. Then Jacob Rees-Mogg, the media-famous conservative Member of the Parliament, appeared on BBC, and it reminded me that I met Rees-Mogg in the Parliament just a few weeks ago. Alongside with Rees-Mogg, we were able to meet with different MPs in the Parliament and had the opportunity to discuss topics that ranged from the changing international trade laws to the Scottish referendum for independence.

Transferring from the Central Line to the Bakerloo Line in the tube, which I do at least two times a day during weekdays, I walk by a big advertisement for Oslo, the Tony award winning play that was sold out in the National Theatre. The production is now playing in the West End, and it reminds me of last night when I was captivated by three hours of exquisite performance brought by the actors and the actresses. On some Wednesdays, I roll out of bed and make myself a big cup of coffee and moan “Ugh, I don’t want to go to class today,” (a chronic symptom shared by all college students regardless of what part of the world they are currently in). But when our passionate, humorous and extremely knowledgeable British Literature professor Susie meets us at the Whitehall tube station to give us a walking tour of Alexander Barron’s The Lowlife as a part of the class, I can’t help to think how incredibly lucky I am to be in London.

What I’ve written in this article are merely tiny occasions in comparison to the oceans of people we’ve met to talk to, shows we’ve been to, exhibitions we’ve toured and walking tours our literature professor hosted. In fact, these three examples could comprise only half of what we do in a regular week. As I said before, these activities become part of our daily lives and oftentimes hinder us from fully appreciating the experience in the moment. It’s human nature; we tend to focus on and be overwhelmed by what is in front of our eyes, like the running treadmill, the busy tube or the languidness brought by Wednesday. However, amidst all of this, we are also encountering so many new things every single day, and it sometimes hits me to realize how extraordinary this semester is, and I will certainly miss the unique opportunities the program has been able to offer.

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