Bittersweet Goodbyes

Bittersweet Goodbyes

Alright, I'll admit it: I had a countdown of the days until I came home while in London. I know, I know -- I was in one of the most amazing cities in the world, in a fantastic program, had a great internship, and was there with great friends, but I still was beyond excited to come home. I had a love-hate relationship with London throughout, and especially after coming down with a serious stomach bug, I just couldn't shake the feeling of homesickness. However, my last week in the U.K. was surprisingly emotional, and more than anything I saw or experienced, I will miss the wonderful people I got a chance to know while there.

 

The first goodbye that I had to face was bidding farewell to my CAPA professors. One in particular, Dr. Richard Maguire, was really difficult to leave. He taught our British Life and Culture class that met once during the week for lecture, and then again to take a field trip around the city that related to the lecture topic earlier in the week. As a Londoner, Richard was able to show us a side of London that we would never have been able to get from any tour book or tourist information center. We went to museums, took tours of street art in the city, visited neighborhoods known for cultural migration, saw a show at the Globe Theatre, and much, much more. I will really miss the off-beat, personal approach he took to course topics, as well as his effort to integrate our personal interests in the course.

 

Another goodbye I really had a tough time with was saying goodbye to my friend Hetty. She worked in the same office that I did, but for another company, and although I absolutely loved my internship, talking and laughing with her always made the days go extra fast. Raised in England, she was a few years older than I was, and taught me so much about what it was like to grow up in the culture that I was growing to love more by the day. We traded stories about what it was like to be college students in England and the States, joked about the perceptions that we held about both countries, and always took our lunch break together. From our conversations and lunch dates, I was able to get an insider's view on what it is like to have the Olympics hosted in your city. (Hetty lived right next door to the park in which the equestrian events were going to be held, and her street will be blocked off for almost 24 hours a day. She will be unable to commute to work between the barricades and the packs of tourists, so she is working at home for 3 weeks -- crazy!). One of my goals before leaving was to get to know British culture through personal relationships, and my friendship with Hetty gave me insight into London life like nothing else really did.

 

My last goodbye, two days before I left, was to my supervisor at my internship. I interned at James Media (which owns James Publishing) for James Dunford Wood, the owner of the company. I grew to really respect and admire him, and would consider myself one lucky girl if I was able to work underneath someone like him again. As a father, he was always more than willing to help me figure out safe and reliable travel plans, he would tell me stories of his young daughters that were hilarious, and was always encouraging and supportive of me as an intern. He was communicative and appreciative of the work that I did for him, which made my overall internship experience a pleasure. We met for coffee in Hammersmith, reviewed my work for the last time, and he assured me that he would be happy to write my any letters of recommendation I may need in the future. My internship experience was a major part of my time spent in London, and the main reason why I enjoyed it so much was because I got a chance to work for James.

 

Please stay tuned for my next -- and last -- post. I'll be reflecting on my trip as a whole, and discussing exactly how well my two week stay in D.C. helped with my transition to London. Until then, cheers!

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