From Londonhua WIKI
Revision as of 14:23, 18 August 2017 by Cmtillotson
|Stonehenge, June 8th, 2017|
- 1 Christopher Tillotson
- 2 Overview
- 3 Milestone 1
- 4 Milestone 2
- 5 Milestone 3
- 6 Activity Journal
- 6.1 Activity #1 Westminster Abbey and Tower of London
- 6.2 Activity #2 St. Paul's Cathedral
- 6.3 Activity #3 Natural History Museum
- 6.4 Activity #4 National Gallery
- 6.5 Activity #5 British Museum
- 6.6 Activity #6 Museum of London
- 6.7 Activity #7 Churchill War Rooms
- 6.8 Activity #8 Tate Britain
- 6.9 Activity #9 Victoria and Albert Museum
- 6.10 Activity #10 Tate Modern
- 6.11 Activity # 10 Imperial War Museum
- 6.12 Activity #11 Horniman Museum
- 6.13 Activity #12 Hampton Court Palace
- 6.14 Activity #13 Museum of London Docklands
- 6.15 Activity #14 London Science Museum
- 6.16 Activity #15 Wallace Collection
- 6.17 Activity #16 Globe Theater
- 6.18 Activity #17 Stonehenge, Bath, and Lacock Village
- 6.19 Activity #18 Windsor Castle
- 6.20 Activity #19 St. Martin in the Fields
- 6.21 Activity #20 Evensong at Westminster Abbey
From May-June 2017 I attended WPI's London HUA program as an opportunity to complete my humanities requirements, and have a chance to explore England. Through my three milestones I had a chance to explore the history of three areas that I had great interest in. These three milestones consisted of Winston Churchill's World War II speeches, my ancestor John Tillotson who served as Archbishop of Canterbury in the late 1600's, and the origins of modern football in England. I leave London with a greater appreciation and knowledge of global history and with a wealth of project experience.
Impact of Winston Churchill's WWII Era Speeches
Objective: How did Winston Churchill's famous World War Two speeches impact the course of the war?
The following project focuses on the impact of Winston Churchill's World War II speeches delivered to the House of Commons during 1940. This was an important time in world history, and this project offers the opportunity for a better appreciation of the world we live in today. Over the last 80 years Churchill's speeches have been analyzed many times, but I choose to create an original video that provides background information necessary so that anyone can gain a better appreciation of these important historical events. I started with only a small knowledge base of this time period from a previous course at WPI "History of U.S. Foreign Relations". I began my research with first understanding Churchill and World War II. With this knowledge I selected speeches given at a time that I considered to be the most critical. I narrowed my focus to four main speeches, and dug deep into the background, content, and interpretation of each. With this information I created my video analysis of the impact Churchill's World War II speeches had.
When I began this milestone I had expected to find that Winston Churchill's impact on World War II would be but a drop in the bucket of a bustling history. Having had a prior knowledge of Chamberlains polices regarding Hitler I realized that Churchill was the catalyst that put Britain on a path to fight Hitler and the Nazis rather than surrender or come to an agreement. I came to understand that Churchill used his speeches in 1940 as a vehicle to not only introduce his policies regarding the Nazi threat but to encourage the people of Britain towards resistance, and later in the war victory. This call for bravery and willingness to fight by Churchill was the main theme that runs through all of the speeches I analyzed during this project. It is not certain what would have happened to Britain had Churchill not led Britain in this direction, but it can be assumed that the world might look very different than it does now. Through this milestone I came to a greater understanding of why Churchill's leadership during World War II is so long remembered. This project does not cover Churchill's later WWII speeches which could be another historical avenue of great merit to others wishing to learn more.
Milestone 2: John Tillotson a Post English Reformation Preacher
Objective: What role does John Tillotson play in English Catholic-Protestant tension in the Post English Reformation Era?
This milestone focused on the history of the English Reformation under the Tudors and the connection the Reformation shared with John Tillotson a clergyman of the Church of England who lived from 1630-1694. The milestone also explored points of tension between the Catholic and Protestant churches. The amount of writing about this time period is expansive, but my milestone is unique because it links the English Reformation to the periods that followed, specifically focusing on John Tillotson's role as a preacher. This project illuminates how the Church of England formed and the characteristics it has today. This project also highlights Protestant-Catholic tension, and that people were not always as religiously tolerant as they are today.
When I began this milestone I expected to find that John Tillotson wasn't as big of a deal as I would have liked. After studying Him in depth I came to realize that Tillotson was an important figure in historical context with famous connections. This milestone tells the muddled story of how the Tudors transformed England from a predominantly Catholic nation to a Protestant nation through the creation of "The Church of England". It also tells the story of the life of John Tillotson and how his life as a preacher was influenced by the Reformation, and how he continued to evolve history with his works and sermons. Tillotson's works show that he strongly believes in the Church of England and that he believes the Catholic Church to be fundamentally wrong. If I had more time I would love to explore the impact this time period has on current Catholic-Protestant churches, and if the tension continues today in any capacity. In addition to my historical findings about Tillotson I have also come to a greater sense of appreciation for my family history through this project.
Origins of Modern Football in England (Capstone)
Objective: How and when did modern football come into being in England?
This capstone focused on researching the following question: "How and when did modern football come into being in England?". I utilized skills for this capstone that I developed in previous WPI history courses and my previous two research projects. I identified relevant sources and analyzed them to build an understanding of football’s development in England. The main takeaway I had from this capstone was recognizing that the development of football in England was linked to the country's development.
When I began my research for this milestone I had a hunch that I would come to find that footballs development would have been derived from a need for entertainment and mere circumstance. After researching how football developed it's footings in England I began to realize that footballs development was a kind of barometer for England's industrial development, social structure, and educational systems. I came to this conclusion through reading older and more modern interpretations of footballing history in England. The industrial revolution brought different people together creating a need to unify the game under a single set of rules. Football was once separated by social class but now it is enjoyed in England by people of all backgrounds. Education drove the game as schools and universities created common sets of rules for it's students to play under. Footballs development was caused by many different factors in England, and I came to realize that this only enriches the historical story as well as England's claim to football as "their sport". Another avenue of research on this topic would be to continue the story line where I left off and see in what other ways England's issues and situations altered and continue to change the development of the football. I see this project as having been a worthwhile capstone because of the intricate historical narrative that football follows.
The activity journal represents an ongoing log of reflections gained through each and every project activity on the calendar.
Activity #1 Westminster Abbey and Tower of London
May 8th, 2017
First today we visited Westminster Abbey. Before I arrived at the Abbey I was mildly interested, but I left feeling like it was very worthwhile for me! The first thing that really caught my interest was the tomb of the unknown warrior. I had been to Arlington before, and was surprised to find out that Westminster had a similar memorial. It was moving to be reminded of the sacrifices of those brave men that fought for the betterment of the world. The second thing to catch my interest was seeing the tomb of Issac Newton. This was really cool to me because he is regarded as the father of modern physics, and being a WPI student I had learned all about his works. The fourth thing was the tomb of Bloody Mary, this is an interesting topic for me because I am a Catholic and it is always amazing how far we have come in the way of religious tolerance. I also was very moved by the painting of Saint Christopher because this is who my parents named me after because they loved to travel and he is the patron saint of travel. The only tie in to my milestones was the memorial to Winston Churchill in the Abbey, but it was more an indirect relation.
We also visited the Tower of London, which was also very cool. The one thing that I noticed was that a lot of the tower and surrounding vicinity was not original, however this only took away from the experience mildly. I enjoyed looking at the different weaponry that they had. The crown jewels were also very cool and I enjoyed looking at them. There was a video of the queen being crowned that I had not seen before. I did not find any major tie ins to my milestones, but there was some info on World War II, which relates to Winston Churchill of course.
Activity #2 St. Paul's Cathedral
May 9th, 2017
Today we arrived at St. Paul's Cathedral just before the opening at 8:30 AM. The outside of the Cathedral was quite stunning from the exterior due to both the shear size and intricacy. Once inside I was given a headset for the audio tour and begin to make my way through the building. First I looked around in the nave and begin to take in the combination of architecture, art, and religious symbolism. I learned about how Christopher Wren designed the Cathedral and the different religious and political reasons for why it was built the way they did. Going up to the whispering gallery and getting a view from above was beautiful.
Although I am not of the denomination St. Paul's is I was still moved by all the religious symbolism and art. I really liked "The Light of the World" painting, and I spent some time admiring it. The video display in the church of the man being buried, the woman hanging, the man sitting in fire, and the upside down man was very odd to see. I could see what the artist was trying for, but mostly I found it more distracting than moving. The memorial at the back reminded me how much the U.S. was involved in helping the UK during World War II. I thought the tribute was moving, and found it ironic that Richard Nixon was the one present at St. Paul's when it was presented.
The memorial to the members of the Antarctic expedition was also very cool, as I can remember learning about that in the past. Moving into the crypt was also a cool part of the church. I was looking for an ancestor of mine named John Tillotson who was the Archbishop of Canterbury and at one point and the dean of St. Paul's who died in 1694. I did manage to find a memorial to him in the crypt, but after some research I found he was buried in a nearby church. So I decided to take a walk to St. Lawrence Jewry in order to investigate. I found out that the church was firebombed in WWII, but that his vault survived and he is still buried there today. His original memorial still stands in the corner of the church where his vault is.
Activity #3 Natural History Museum
May 10th, 2017
Today my group took the tube to the Natural History Museum, and arrived around 10 AM when the doors opened. After making it through security we were greeted with the view of a large hall with an escalator going through the center of an earth sculpture. Before making our way up we walked around looking at portholes with different fossils and rocks inside. One of the most interesting was a moon rock encapsulated inside a large glass pyramid.
We then made our way up the escalator to an exhibit on volcanoes, tectonic plates, and earthquakes. The one thing I noticed early on in the museum was the amount of interactive exhibits that engage visitors in learning. After this we entered an exhibit dealing with geologic time and different ways the earth changes over long periods of time. After we spent some time in a geology exhibit looking at various materials and precious stones.
After a short lunch break we continued on through the exhibits. We saw a gallery of taxidermy creatures, and then another of large fossilized prehistoric creatures. We also looked through a exhibit dubbed "Creepy Crawlers" that had all kinds of spiders, crabs, and lobsters. My group particularly enjoyed an exhibit that illustrated how different spiders hunt prey. My favorite exhibit was marine invertebrates, because they had a life size giant squid (which happens to be my favorite animal). The last exhibit we visited was focused on dinosaurs, and then we left around 1PM to begin work on milestones and journals.
After seeing the both the U.S. Natural History Museum in D.C., and the British Natural History Museum I would say the collection in the U.S. Museum dwarfs the British Museum.
Activity #4 National Gallery
May 11th, 2017
Today my group walked to The National Gallery and arrived around 10 AM. I was never much of a fine art fan, but I decided to enter the museum with as little reservation as possible as to what the experience would hold. One of the first things I noticed when entering the gallery was that a majority of the paintings subjects were Christian in nature. I enjoyed these paintings the most. Many different painters had scenes of the nativity, the crucifixion of Jesus, and St. Jerome. These paintings I had no problem taking a few minutes and really looking into them and admiring the work of the artists.
One thing Peter and I noticed and discussed was the contrast of the christian and mythological paintings on display in the gallery. One room in particular had two large paintings one a picture of Christ, and one being a mythological scene. We also noticed the level of detail in specific paintings, and how the closer you got the more you could notice. I can only imagine how much time must have been spent on many of the works. We also are both James Bond fans and had to stop in the gallery that appeared in "Skyfall" to recreate the scene.
After looking at very detailed paintings is was hard to believe that some paintings in the gallery can be considered masterpieces. Specifically the Monet gallery left me underwhelmed. I understand the difference between realism and impressionist works, but I still wasn't that impressed. The one thing that did impress me was the way that painters with only dots could create a keen sense of depth in their work. Overall I enjoyed my time in the gallery, however, it wasn't my favorite attraction I have visited so far.
Nothing in the gallery related to my milestones, but this makes sense because the works there are not from the time periods my milestones cover.
Activity #5 British Museum
May 12th, 2017
Today my group and I walked to the British Museum and entered right around 10 AM. After the typical bag search we entered the museum to a large central room. We walked by a shop that caught our eye as it had numerous items for sale with a Rosetta stone print. We all had a laugh and thought some of the items were "over the top." Funny enough we decided first to stop at the ancient Egypt exhibit. As we walked through the door we were greeted by none other than the Rosetta stone itself. This was the one piece on display that I wanted to see the most. I have memories of writing a paper on the Rosetta stone at some point in my previous schooling. I know that it unlocked languages to historians that were previously thought dead and I understand the importance of a find like that. We continued to walk through the Egypt exhibit after stopping at the stone.
We then wandered into the Greece area of the museum, and I was impressed by the collection of items they had. Then I thought of the phrase "the sun never sets on the British Empire", and I really realized that by looking at all the different items they had. The British Empire was all over the globe at points concurring lands so it makes sense that they would have brought back and had access to so much global history. They even had items from North America, and this made perfect sense because I assume at least a portion of the items were sent back when the original colonies were still controlled by the crown.
We continued to walk through other exhibits including one on the enlightenment. I was very impressed by the collection of different artifacts they had. One thing I was really impressed by was the craftsmanship in miniature wood carvings. They held interesting designs including one of the last supper that was really well done. That was one theme I had when walking around the museum was the level of craftsmanship that all the different civilizations had around the world through history. I think today's world is more driven by technological advancements and craftsmanship today is less artistic and more practical. Overall I enjoyed my time in the British Museum admiring their large collection.
I didn't see any exhibits that relate to my milestones, but it is a large museum and I did not get a chance to see all of it.
Activity #6 Museum of London
May 15th, 2017
Today my group and I visited the Museum of London. I was excited to find out that this museum would be focused throughout all time periods in London and not one particular aspect. We arrived a few minutes early before the museum had opened so our group spent some time looking at a sculpture outside with a letter on it. We noticed that the letters were very unique in the way that the letter "s" often looked like an integral symbol and also sometimes looked like an f. We spent some time discussing why this might be until the museum doors opened at 10 AM. We decided it would be best to buy a museum map and booklet so we could identify the highlights we wanted to see.
The first room was one of my favorites, it was called "London before London". It detailed the history of the people who lived in London before it became officially settled. It had examples from the stone age and the bronze age. I always am astounded to learn about prehistoric people and be reminded that civilization as we know it today was not always here. They also had many examples of the animals, such as reindeer, that lived in the area before humans had a chance to tamper with the environment.
The next room was all about the Roman invasion of the area. I always have admired all that the Roman empire was able to accomplish. The next exhibit moved into medieval times and even had a example of a typical dwelling that could be found in the city at the time. I was very impressed by a model they had of the old St. Paul's that burned in the great fire of 1666. I wondered if the cathedral had not burned in that fire if it would still be around today, and I might have even been able to go inside of it on this trip. They also had a short video I watched talking about the "Black Death" that spread throughout Europe. It was simply astonishing to see how many people died and suffered as a result of this illness. I had also been very curious about the "Great Fire" of 1666 and was excited to explore and interactive exhibit detailing the events that took place.
I was really hoping that there would be some detail of Winston Churchill in the museum, but there was not. The museum overall dealt with events and places rather than people, and I think this is why he was not mentioned. The only other connection I have to another milestone is they listed the founding years of some of the famous London football clubs.
Activity #7 Churchill War Rooms
May 16th, 2017
Today I visited the Churchill War Rooms in order for me to gain more insight into my first milestone. I arrived around 10AM to the museum, and was really impressed from the moment I began the tour. The first room was the actual "War Cabinet" meeting room. I couldn't help but think about the discussions and decisions that took place in that room. I don't believe it to be an exaggeration, in my opinion, that decisions made in that room account for much of the world today.
As I continued the insight I gained towards my first milestone was invaluable. The exhibits supplemented my already solid knowledge of how Churchill influenced the world during World War II. There was also an expansive timeline of Churchill's life that really helped arrange my knowledge about him chronologically. He did so much in his 90 years and I have to say that I was really impressed and inspired by him. His contributions to the world are still remembered today, and rightfully so.
Seeing a place so entrenched in important world history was really an enjoyable experience. The museum allowed me to better understand the war as something that really happened, and not just events recorded in history books. In the gift shop I found a book about Churchill's speeches that I think will be a great asset for me going forward. I also took some pictures of the rooms for potential use in my deliverable. I spoke with a supervisor at the museum and got contact information in order to gain permission to use these pictures in my possible video. [Update: Imperial War Museum photos are in the public domain and available online].
Activity #8 Tate Britain
May 17th, 2017
Today my group and I visited Tate Britain. I knew it was a more recent art gallery so I really wasn't thrilled to go. However, as with everything I went in with an open mind to have a better experience. We took the tube there and MI6 caught our eye so we visited that first. It was really cool to see up close because of all the movies it appears in. After a brief stroll we entered the gallery around 10 AM.
The first thing that caught my eye was a light display in a main hallway. This was one of the few displays I actually enjoyed. As we continued through I could tell that all the art was made in a purposeful abstract way, but the meaning was often lost on me. There were however some simple photographs and sculptures that I enjoyed. I also noticed that this gallery as opposed to the national gallery was lacking religious art, but this makes sense given the modern time period.
After seeing all there was on the main floor we went downstairs where I found a bubble sculpture that I enjoyed the idea behind. The artist wanted a sculpture that would display invisible forces. I thought that concept was something worthwhile. Afterwards Kristy needed some pictures of Big Ben and the London Eye so we walked the river back to Westminster and than took the tube back to the flats to continue working.
Activity #9 Victoria and Albert Museum
May 18th, 2017
Today my group visited the Victoria and Albert Museum. We traveled by tube and arrived as usual around 10 AM. I didn't know much about the museum beforehand so I went in with no preconceived notions. As soon as I got in the door I was drawn to the Pink Floyd mixing table. I'm not a huge fan, but it was still cool to see the mixer for such an iconic album like "Dark Side of the Moon". We sat down with a map and decided which exhibits we would like to see. We started off with the "Space" exhibit and worked from there.
My favorite exhibit dealt with Britain fro the 1600's to the 1800's roughly. I was really impressed by all the intricate artwork as well as furniture. One piano in particular had to have been one of the most embellished items I had ever seen. I also enjoyed a section dedicated to hunting paintings, firearms, and crossbows. The items that they had on display were very unique, and that's what I enjoyed the most.
Another exhibit detailed the evolution of fashion as you walked around a circular track. It amazes me how what is thought of as "beautiful" changes so drastically as a function of time. Upon finishing up at the museum Kristy and I decided to check out Harrods just down the street, and I am really glad we did. It was such a unique department store with very expensive prices. We spent a considerable amount of time just exploring the store and I really enjoyed it.
Activity #10 Tate Modern
May 19th, 2017
Today my group visited Tate Modern. We left around 9:30 and walked across the Thames to arrive around 10 AM. The first thing I noticed about the building was how large it was from the outside, and I figured it would be chock full of exhibits, but this was not the case. I was surprised to find the main section of the building to be empty. We first wandered into an area known as the tanks. I had the chance to see a few different exhibits here that dealt with video and audio components. Modern art usually doesn't resonate with me, but one exhibit I felt like I grasped. It was titled the mother language in which three screens were displaying conversations with headphones to listen in. It didn't take me long to understand that there were three generations of women who could each understand their mother, but the grandmother couldn't understand the granddaughter. I thought of how I have had many experiences similar to this in my life.
We explored a few other exhibits on this lower level and then began to climb the floors. One exhibit that stood out detailed how the human body can be perceived in different ways. After seeing many exhibits we were anxious to check out the observation deck on the 10th floor. The views of the city and St. Paul's on the river were spectacular. I really enjoyed this part of the museum.
After leaving the museum we decided to grab lunch at the Borough Market as was suggested. I got to try the National winning fish and chips to which I was impressed. The market was a cool place with foods from all over Europe. I really enjoyed walking around the market. Afterwards we worked our way back to the flat via London Bridge then St. Paul's back to the flat. It was a nice walk to take in the city.
Activity # 10 Imperial War Museum
May 22nd, 2017
Today our group visited the Imperial War Museum. We arrived a little late due to a slight travel mishap, but we arrived a little after 10 AM and began our exploration of the museum. Immediately after walking through the door I could see fighter jets hanging from the ceiling and I was hooked. The amount of vehicles, War memorabilia, and weapons was astounding. One of the most interesting exhibits was the Family in Wartime exhibit. It really brought the war to a level that I could understand living in.
I find it ironic the contrast of how terrible war is to live in, but how enjoyable I find learning about war to be. War is terrible, but how important it is to preserve freedom. I had the thought while walking through the museum of how the world might look today if no one had ever fought back. I think there is something to be said about human nature and how it is resolved to resisting the will of those who are believed to be in the wrong.
One thing I found to be most annoying regarding the museum was the amount of Churchill literature available. I felt this way because I made a point to visit the Churchill war rooms early on while doing milestone 1 so that I could get books and was disappointed with what I found. However this museum, not focused on Churchill, had scores of books dedicated to Churchill.
I found my time at the war museum to be very enjoyable. Following leaving the museum I met up with my family to spend some time with them before heading back to the flat to continue work.
Activity #11 Horniman Museum
May 23rd, 2017
Today our group visited the Horniman Museum. I didn't have a chance to see what the museum was about so I went in with no prior knowledge. We took the bus from the flat to the museum which took the better portion of an hour. We arrived around 10:30 when the museum opened. This was the first activity that was far from London so it had a different feel to the experience. The first room we entered was the Natural History museum. I was impressed by the vast collection of animals they had on display, but it was quite apparent that they had been on display for a very long time.
In the upper portion of the museum they had a very ornate wooden clock that caught my eye. Upon reading the display I found that it was made in Germany in the 1800's. I thought it was oddly placed in the museum, but it was still an interesting piece. I take a great interest to odd antiques such as this one. After we finished in that portion of the museum we decided to take a walk around the nature trail. It was a refreshing change of pace from the city environment.
After exploring the museum a bit more we settled down in the cafe and began to work on articles and the journal reflection I am typing now. We will most likely work here a bit longer and then head back to the flat in London via bus.
Activity #12 Hampton Court Palace
May 24th, 2017
Today my group explored Hampton Court Palace. We arrived late due to some travel mishaps, but this didn't do much harm. We arrived and were really impressed by the beauty of the palace and the surrounding land. Once inside I was even more impressed the elaborate paintings and architecture was astonishing. I really enjoyed the short film that described the origins of the palace. It came as little surprise that Christopher Wren had a hand in it's creation. It's amazing how many famous buildings he designed or worked on.
My favorite part was the elaborate gardens outside. It was all beautifully kept and it really had a royal feel to it. We spent a fair amount of time taking pictures and sitting in the shade admiring the grounds. I really enjoyed the deer that I saw roaming about. I could imagine the royalty on the hunts that were talked about in the palace. After this we explored the maze on the property. I was surprised to find out it's certified as the worlds oldest surviving hedge maze.
We hurried back to the train station in order to make our train back to Waterloo station. I surprisingly enjoyed the views of the English suburbs. From there we found a cafe near the meeting Church and worked until it was time to go to the check-in meeting.
Activity #13 Museum of London Docklands
May 25th, 2017
Today our group visited the Museum of London Docklands. We left the flat around 9:30 and traveled via tube to arrive just past 10 AM. I have always been interested in nautical history, specifically trade so I knew I would most likely enjoy the experience. When we entered the first exhibit we were drawn to was one on the archaeology projects done when underground lines are created. I found this exhibit to be really cool. They detailed how they found many Roman era skeletons and other artifacts while digging. I thought this was so cool because we don't stop to think what is under our feet when we walk around a historical city like London. I can only imagine how many skeletons are passed every day via tube rides while the passengers have no idea.
Next we decided to visit the regular exhibits which started on floor three and worked it's way down. There was a lot of nautical history which was what I was most interested and to see. There was a lot about trade and some on piracy and other crime. In between the exhibits there were fake scenes that corresponded to the time period and I thought it was somewhere between the spectrum of cool and cheesy, but more towards the cool end. One of the most striking rooms dealt with slave trade. This is obviously a lamentable chapter in history, but an important one to be remembered. I really appreciate the time period I get to live in today. Today is not perfect, but it's better than it was.
This museum ties into my first milestone. I was drawn to a wall hanging about operation dynamo, but I think my understanding of the background is sufficient because I didn't learn anything new. There were also a few parts about the blitz, but again nothing new that I learned from that. The modern history in the museum past world war two was the least interesting. Of course the modern archaeology is cool, but that really ties back to the past. After exploring the museum for some time we left to head back towards the flat and grab some lunch.
Activity #14 London Science Museum
June 1st, 2017
Today our group visited the London Science Museum in South Kensington. We took the tube and arrived at the museum right around 10AM. After getting through the bag check we began to explore the museum. First we saw a large room devoted to the history of energy production. It featured many early steam engines that I found to be impressive as a mechanical engineer. One of the next rooms housed space exploration exhibits. My favorite of which was about Robert Godard who is the father of modern rocketry and attended WPI.
The next exhibit that our group spent some time at was called "Who are you?". The exhibit was highly interactive featuring many games focused at the purpose of self discovery. We had fun playing the different games and looking around the exhibit. The top floor had an exhibit that all WPI students can relate to, and that was called "Engineer your future". It was an exhibit focused on getting young people excited about engineering. I found it somewhat comical to walk through knowing this is the field I am currently pursuing.
After seeing a good portion of the museum we headed back towards the exit and quickly went through the gift shop looking at the science focused toys. Afterwards we grabbed lunch and ate in Hyde Park before finding a cafe to sit in and continue work.
Activity #15 Wallace Collection
June 2nd, 2017
Today our group visited the Wallace Collection. We left from the flat at 9:30 took the tube, and arrived around 10 AM. I had briefly looked at the website the night before and saw that it was a large collection of fine assorted pieces. After checking our bags we began to look around the home that now had been converted to house the collection as a museum. Everything was very ornate, and it didn't take long for me to realize that whoever Wallace was he must have come from considerable wealth to amass such a elaborate collection. I began on the ground floor and began to work my way around. I saw paintings from the 16th century, religious statues, and even pocket sundials with compasses so that they could be properly oriented. The variety of items was the most impressive thing about the collection. Items from all over the world were on display.
Then I got up on the second level and began to admire the artwork on display. There were lots of religious, British, and European scenes depicted. One group mate engaged a curator asking about the origins of the collection. She began to tell us the story of how a family began collecting the items on display today. The family passed the collection down for many generations until there was only an illegitimate heir. This man's last name was Wallace and he continued to collect until he died childless, and his wife set up the museum in his name after his passing. I thought this was a really captivating story and that it really brought more meaning to the museum. We thanked her for telling us the history and continued onward.
We then made it back down to the ground floor where the armory was held. This was my favorite of the displays in the museum. After seeing this armor up close I began to think of it's practical applications in battle. I can't even imagine trying to fight in armor against another armored soldier. I also enjoyed looking at the ornate firearms and thinking how rudimentary they are compared with modern arms. Once we had seen the entire collection we picked up our bags and left the museum. I traveled via tube to the British Library where I now intend to spend the rest of my day making significant milestone progress.
Activity #16 Globe Theater
June 6th, 2017
Today I worked during the morning and afternoon on my milestone 2 video. Then around 5:30PM my flat mates and I left for the Globe Theater. We arrived right after 6 because we thought that was the meeting time then realized we didn't need to be there until 7:15PM so we had some down time. We decided to take a walk down by the shore of the river Thames. We were startled at first when we began to find a great number of bones along the waters edge. A quick google search revealed that these were most likely animal remains as they are very common on the rivers edge. We admired all kinds of other cool finds along the water. I felt like I was sifting through over a thousand years of history.
Next we decided that we would grab something to eat as the show would be lengthy. We stopped in a barque restaurant until 7:10 and we walked over to the theater. It was ath this time it began to rain. I had been excited to see the reproduction theater for some time because I had learned about the original in freshman English class. The entry into the place was very easy and we spent little time getting inside. Once inside I began to look around and admire the different features I could recall. The first sign I found that lacked authenticity was the lighting that was hidden but visible. It was at this time that I noticed a pair of rockets strapped to the ceiling of the stage. I thought this to be very odd, and pointed it out to Sam and Peter. We questioned it but eventually gave up trying to figure it out.
The show began, and I was instantly baffled. I was under the assumption that I was going to be seeing a original rendition of Romeo and Juliet. What I saw was a mixture of music, shooting streamers, flashing lights, and costumes not from Shakespeare's age. It took me little time to realize we were seeing a modern rendition of the play with a comedic twist. I was still taken completely by surprise. The rain stayed heavy for the first 10 minutes then subsided. It took me awhile to settle into the mood of the production involving crude humor, actors in Goofy suits, and minimal clothing. Once I came to the realization of what was going on I began to enjoy the production immensely. It was funny and I was able to relate to it, and in hindsight I think it made it much more enjoyable. I couldn't help think the whole time 'What would Shakespeare think of this'. The production as a whole was enjoyable and I had no time with the length. I think it was very worthwhile. Upon the conclusion we headed back to the flat and arrived a little before 11PM.
Activity #17 Stonehenge, Bath, and Lacock Village
June 8th, 2017
Today we took a bus tour to Stonehenge, Bath, and Lacock Village. I had been looking forward to this trip ever since I had heard that it was part of the program. We left the flat around 8 to arrive with plenty of time to meet behind the London Eye. We all got on the coach bus, and I was worried about our tour guide at first. After a few minutes of hearing what he had to talk about and his humor I really began to enjoy the experience. He gave us a lot of background information on Stonehenge on the way there, and I felt like I knew enough about it to appreciate the place as our tour guide suggested. It is still hard to fathom how the structure was created at the time that it was. It would have been such a monumental undertaking that I am in wonder thinking about the determination these people must have had to bring these stones from so far away. Knowing that we will probably never know much about the site amazes me and has the potential to captivate imagination.
The next site we visited was Bath. I am fond of the Roman age so I was intrigued to learn more about the place. We stopped for lunch and then regrouped for the walking tour given by our guide. I had a good knowledge of the people and events he talked of because of my second milestone. I enjoyed taking in the sites, and just admired the place of great historical significance. I was somewhat saddened that I didn't get to see any baths, but I made up for this by looking at the pictures online when I got back to the flat.
The last site was also very cool. The Lacock Village reminded me of home in a way being small and quaint. I read all the Harry Potter books in the past so it was cool to see the places used in the films. The church was also very cool to see. Not often do you get to walk in a building with walls still standing from roughly one thousand years ago. Peter and I shared some conversation discussing the church with our background knowledge from our similar milestones. Once we had finished looking around the village we made our way back to the bus that took us back to London. The ride back was a little lengthy, but a few naps shorted the journey for me. Overall I really enjoyed the bus tour and thought it was really worthwhile.
Activity #18 Windsor Castle
June 12th, 2017
Today the entire London HUA visited Windsor Castle. After passing the castle on the bus tour I was excited knowing that we would be visiting. My flatmates and I traveled together leaving at 8:00AM taking the tube to Paddington Station taking a train and arriving in Windsor around 9:20AM. The first thing I noticed when I got off the train was the sheer amount of displays shops and tourists. This continued as we made our way towards the castle where we found the line to enter the castle. The gates opened at 9:30 and we entered easily.
The first specific thing I noticed about the castle was the size of the complex specifically the main tower. It was very well kept and the landscaping was fantastic. We walked towards the state apartments and looked inside. It really reminded me of Hampton Court Palace with the same types of rooms and even a similar pattern of how arms were displayed on the walls. It's amazing how ornate the furnishings looked decorated with metal inlay. I especially enjoyed looking at the portraits of the different historical figures I have learned about in this program and my milestones.
After leaving the apartments we made our way towards the chapel to check out the interior. Once inside we were greeted by a strange noise which we later found was a tuning of the organ. The inside was really beautiful and it reminded me of Westminster Abbey the way they had tombs on the floor. The coolest moment was walking over where Henry VIII was buried. I had no idea that he was buried there until I saw the stone on the floor. To stand on the tomb of a man with so much historical significance was very cool.
When we left the chapel we headed to watch the changing of the guards. It was quite the ceremonial exercise to witness, and it appeared to be the same process as the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. The scene of the band playing an English march with the soldiers in the traditional uniforms inside a castle was one of the most exclusively English feeling moments I've had on this trip. After watching the ceremony we headed back to the train station towards London.
Activity #19 St. Martin in the Fields
June 19th, 2017
Today Sam Johnson and I went to see a concert at St. Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square. The concert was scheduled to begin at 1 PM so we left from the flat at 12:30 to catch a bus to the concert. After the ride there we walked to the church. We were greeted and handed a pamphlet that had all the musicians names and what they would be performing. Once inside we took a seat and I began to look around. I was struck by the plain style of the church with gold embellishments. I was looking forward to enjoying some music and taking a break from milestone work. I read on the pamphlet that the performance would be put on by students of the Purcell School of Music.
The concert began with singing which I thought was nice, but I didn't recognize. The second musician played a cello, and I recognized one of the songs "Flight of the Bumblebee". This was probably my favorite piece of the concert. The next performer was a pianist with a song I didn't recognize, but it sounded very dark in nature. The second to last musician played a saxophone. The final piece was with a violin, and I think this was the perfect length because I was starting to loose concentration.
Overall I enjoyed the performance. I also enjoyed seeing the church as I came across it a few times in my second milestone research. The lack of statues or paintings really made it feel like an Anglican church. Afterwards we grabbed some lunch on the way back to the flat and then resumed work on the milestones.
Activity #20 Evensong at Westminster Abbey
June 20th, 2017
Today Peter, Dakota, Sam, and I attended Evensong at Westminster Abbey. The service began at 5PM so we left the flat a little after 4PM. We took the tube and arrived with time to spare. We entered into the Abbey, and had to wait a few minutes to be seated. We passed by the tomb of Charles Darwin which I thought was very cool. I was surprised to find how closely we were seated to where the choir would be. We arrived early so I just sat back and enjoyed looking at the Abbey from my seat.
I was very interested to see what the service would entail due to my work on Milestone 2. I assumed I would be able to pick out distinct Catholic-Protestant differences in the service, but I couldn't find any. The choir and clergy entered, and I was impressed by the sound produced. You could clearly distinguish the voices of the boys and the men, and yet there was a great harmony to the singing.
The service consisted of hymns and scripture readings some of which I recognized. One thing I noticed was that it appeared that there were many tourists at the service, and I started to wonder who was there for the sole purpose of worship. Regardless I enjoyed the service it was very nice. It lasted about 45 minutes I would say and then we exited the main part of the church. I was able to walk over the tomb of Issac Newton one last time, and I thought of this as a fitting goodbye to the Abbey as my time in London was winding to an end.