Check your baggage (and heels) at the door

Alright Houston, we have fixed the problem and are now blazing full steam ahead.  After the setback that was the key to learning (classes), I am now back in the game!  (I am mixing too many metaphors already, aren’t I?)

I was told that my department wouldn’t be open until Thursday, so I of course didn’t listen and went in on Wednesday…what do you know, it was open!  So I signed up for classes like a big girl, decided that I wanted to adopt one of the department administrators as my London grandmother, and found out that I had class in just 2 hours.  And in true Kobi Penland fashion, I wasn’t showered or ready to be out in public as I didn’t anticipate doing anything constructive that day.  So I darted back to my tiny room, gathered my school supplies, and set out to my first grad school glass of all time.

I suppose this would be the time to tell the curious masses what classes I will be gaining knowledge in this year, eh?  Well, this term is really hard on me: I have class on Monday and Tuesday…and that’s it.  So this term will consist of: my graduate seminar in Holocaust studies, European Jewry and the Holocaust, and the Arab Israeli conflict.  I will have these next term as well, but will then add on a Thursday class where I will learn about the usage of film in the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich.  So, pretty much the most rockin’ schedule of all time.  I am still a little bit shocked that this all worked out as well as it did, and when I start to think that it’s too good to be true, I just think about the last 14 days and know that I have paid my penance.  And then I go back to dancing for joy.

So once I had finished my one and only class of the week, I combined productivity with exploration.  Yesterday morning Jenn and I set out for the Portobello Market with the sun dazzling from above.  I hadn’t realized how incredibly large/amazing/mouth watering this London trademark was!  We stumbled upon a little vendor who had antique lithographs, sketches, and maps that dated back to over 100 years ago.  And, according to the cheeky man who sold them to us, they were free of “Chinese rubbish and tourist crap.”  So after lightening up our pocketbooks a bit, I decided to introduce Jenn to two amazing bits of life that every human should know about: crepes and Nutella (you’re welcome).  From the market we decided that it would be a shame to not spend the rest of the day outside and grabbed lunch, books, and headed to Hyde Park.  Whose slogan, it would seem, should be: Where the Horny Things Roam.  In any given direction, you could watch couples laying on top of each other with their tongues shoved down the other’s throat.  Needless to say, I spent the whole time giggling and pointing, and didn’t get much homework done.  After Jenn decided that I was a reputation liability, we decided to pick up camp and see what else the park had to offer.  Among the sites were Queen Victoria’s memorial to her beloved Albert, and of course Kensington Palace.

Now this is one of the things I love most about London: you can go from watching people grope each other, to walking a short distance and bam! run smack-dab into one of the most touching displays of love you have ever laid eyes on.  Then a little further off is one of several beautifully manicured palaces which British royalty still call home within city limits.  It is so eclectic, modern and historical all at once-how could you ever get bored??

To wrap up the latest of posts, here are a couple of pictures from yesterday.  The first few are from Portobello Road (and no, I did not black out at the donut stand), then an example of the wildlife located in the park (Jenn’s impression of a walrus), and then Prince Albert’s memorial.  Oh, and then an exhibit I shall dub “The 18 year old’s guide to getting home on a Friday night: key not working?  Take off your boots!”  Don’t worry…that was Friday night, and they are still in the hallway…

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So there you have it, Mother Earth: just when you start to think that you aren’t in control of your life, the stars align and poof! everything works out better than you could have imagined.  Another humble reminder that my life is not that hard, and I need to appreciate the amazing opportunities that I have been given, instead of harping on about the few hardships that have come across my path.


It has come to my attention that the “18 year old’s guide to getting home on a Friday night” is lacking the necessary backstory to actually make any sense.  My bad, people.  The picture of the boots was taken straight out my door, with the hallway to the more annoying girls down the hall to the right, and the bathroom that the owner of the boots is in every 20-30 minutes is to the left.  ANYWAYS, she came home so drunk at 2:30 AM on Friday, that she could not quite close the deal between her key and the lock.  She gave it the ol’ college try for about 5 minutes (I had earplugs in, and was not motivated to get out of bed to get my stopwatch), gave up and plopped down on the ground to take off her boots instead.  Apparently this did the trick, because as soon as the boots were off, her key was in the door!  (yes, the walls are that thin, and she was so loud that I heard all of this with earplugs in…I may have had drunken moments in undergrad where I laid on the ground in front of my door until a friend was nice enough to open it for me, but I was quiet while I was lying there.  Not thrashing about like a fish out of water)

So there it is…the backstory to leaving your heels at the door.


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