So backing up to last week Wednesday… the inhabitants of London woke up to the middle of a tube strike. Lovely, ain’t it? All in all, it really didn’t affect me at all. I was still able to get to both work and up to Harrow for class, but several of the stops along the way to Queen’s Park (where I work) were out of commission. This is one of my favorite things to watch. While we’re stopped at a station, an unsuspecting person who didn’t bother to look up what stops the tube strike is effecting will be sitting all calmly until the conductor person gets on the intercom and says something to the effect of, “heads up, this train isn’t stopping at the next two stops so you should get off now so you won’t be screwed” and the person will jump out of their seat and run out the doors. Haha, they always run! And I’m always surprised as to how many people are unaware of what’s going on around them. Tisk tisk.
When I got to work however, part of me wished that I hadn’t come. I like to blame a lovely sister of mine known as Monica for everyone at work thinking I’m crazy. Thanks a lot Mon, I owe you one. Allow me to explain. During the summers when Monica and I were old enough to be left alone without a babysitter, but Monica was kinda ‘in charge’ we spent our days under a schedule. Well, Monica’s schedule really. For the most part, I didn’t really care, I got to do things I wanted, even though it wasn’t necessarily in the order I wanted to do them in, but truly, who didn’t love the 12 o’clock block? During this time we would usually either take turns picking a movie to watch with lunch or we would settle on something to watch on TV. I say ‘settle’ because it would usually be ‘which one of these TV shows that Monica wants to watch can you take the longest?’ and usually, I would pick Unsolved Mysteries. Other shinning examples of TV that Monica likes to watch are: Trauma, Life in the E.R, and Impact, Stories of Survival or my personal favorite, I Shouldn’t Be Alive! With the wonderful creation of the Discovery Health Channel, other miraculous TV shows, such as Mystery Diagnosis have found their way into her TV watching pleasure. I still don’t understand what you get out of shows like these Monica, but I HATE THEM. I do not like to watch TV about the girl who fell out of a window and got impaled on a fence outside her dorm, or the girl whose friend smashed her head in with a golf club on accident, but wow, guess what? They both survived! This is not good TV to me!! In fact, it really creeps me out. I don’t know how to explain it other than it makes me feel sick. I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach and I start to feel panicky and nauseous. But guess who’s decided to develop a show that deals within this very same nature? Yay Eyeworks, I hate you.
What part did I get to play in the development of such a wonderful show? Why I got to look up all the shows out there that had similar approaches. Thankfully, I knew a bunch of them without even having to touch a computer, but sadly, this meant coming up with appropriate clips as well. That sucked. When I stumbled upon the clip from I Shouldn’t be Alive! which dealt with the yacht and the sharks, I had to go outside for a while. It was freaking me out all over again. So while everyone is doing just fine and dandy in their own little desk, I’m sitting there flinching, covering my eyes and making noises at mine. This gathered some unwanted looks of attention. I felt bad for Sarah who sat the closest to me and who was going through her own personal crisis that day. The day before, Sarah was complaining of her back teeth hurting and we all assumed that her wisdom teeth were making their appearance. Turns out, she had this weird thing where she had ulcers in between every single one of her teeth! Talk about painful. Poor Sarah had spent the morning at the dentist getting them all popped and was on antibiotics, painkillers and looked like she needed to go to bed. I’m sure she enjoyed listening to me squirm while she was in much more discomfort. Ouccch.
Thursday we went to the Museum of London for class. This is the most interactive museum I’ve been in since the Whitney, which probably explains why there were so many children there. This was a rather odd visit since Peter, our main professor disappeared in the middle. Usually we get an hour lecture and then meet up half an hour later at whatever location was specified, but this week Peter disappeared somewhere between the lecture and the museum. This left the bald man who knows nothing about art in charge. Greattt. I had no idea what to do while he was there, he took us to a section of the museam and then just kinda stood there. Are we supposed to look around now? Is there a speech first? He just looked at his little paper to make sure we were in the right room for about 2 min before letting us look around. Peter eventually showed up, literally out of nowhere. Here I am looking at an old map of London, and I look up and wham! Peter’s there. But yay, here he is full of great advice! Sure enough he starts talking about the design of the museum and what exhibits to check out and ideas about different way to think about them. I love this man. I wish he could be my tour guide on all my museum visits.
The nice thing about this visit, was that we were somewhat free to travel at our own speeds and play with whatever we wanted to. Like I said, it’s very interactive, so they have an old jail cell that you can actually go in and see old ‘graffiti’ (shout out to Su), maps that you can turn a handle and see different routes for different trades, random things with little flaps hiding things to look at and actual artifact you get to touch, and all these interactive screens to play with. This one screen has all these little symbols floating around like the little bathroom sign people, a British phone booth, Olympic rings and you have to grab the object while it’s in this circle.
Then it prompts you with a question affecting that object and London’s future. Like, “Even though most of them aren’t really wired anymore, what should we do with the iconic red phone booths? A.) Keep them the way they are, they’re iconic! B.)Get rid of them or C.) keep them, but turn them into something else, like a mini shop.” Interesting way of doing a poll, no? The kids loved it, they got to bang on a giant screen. (I know this for a fact, as they kept interrupting my poll taking.) There was also one that allowed you play a game to see what skill/trade you would have been best at during the Industrial Revolution and one that tested your knowledge about the water pollution fiasco in British history. Yeah, I knew nothing about that. Apparently there was some huge issue about clean water when sewage was being dumped into the Thames in like the 17 or 18th century? And there was a ton of stuff on the great fire of London, complete with a video and interactive model that lights ‘on fire’. It was all very dramatic.
The other wonderful thing about this museum was that it goes all the way to present day, which means that yup, tools that we use today are in the museum. I saw this and got a kick out of it, and I can just hear what you’d say all about it in relation to culture memory Jules. It’s a freaking blackberry! I don’t think we’ve come that far that it needs to be in a museum just yet! And yes, it's right next to some necklace that's 100s of years old.
On to theatre class I went. Only problem was that week, the class was not being taught by our original professor, but by the Module leader, and she is not nice! I very much dislike and disapprove of the lady, and I didn’t really stop myself from making that obvious. Her teaching style is very much like a fill in the blank lecture, except you have no idea what the blanks are supposed to be and she gets very agitated if you don’t guess correctly. We were discussing the ballet performance Jeni and I saw weeks ago and she has some rather strong opinions for someone who’s never danced before. I’m not saying that I have. I mean I took a class a year ago, but that does not qualify me as a dancing expert by any means. But this lady had a very strong opinion on the performances like, “it was boring.” You’re a professor! I mean I could do better. When I disagreed, she looked at me with these little beady eyes and went “hmmm interesting, I completely disagree, but hmmm.” She also had a knack for asking condescending questions and then getting mad when we refused to answer them. She ended the class an hour and a half early saying “get up, you’re impossible to teach today, we’re going to the Victorian and Albert Museum to look at the ballet exhibit.” Woa, like hell I am! Pump the breaks lady, I’ve already been to that museum, I’d much rather go home, watch TV and eat chocolate than go with you to spoil yet something else I enjoy.
So Jeni and bailed and did exactly that. We ended up buying chocolate and going back to watch Modern Family in my room. Poor Jen had just started watching season one for about a week and was completely hooked. And how could I pass up watching Modern Family with someone else? I ended up getting her to the end of season one before J was ready to go out (Tom was meeting us later that night). We ended up having a very fun evening in the Tree House again where Jeni was a big hit with all the 40+ year old men. It was really funny, but she was threatening to kick someone in the shin and blame it on me so I’d have to talk to them, so I tried my best to stop laughing. Haha!