Dana-P1010635-sm.jpgThe leaves from the little tree in the park fading from light yellow to a deep red are the only way I know for sure that I have indeed already been here for a week.

It has been quite a week full of the ups and downs of any transition. Reality hit me at quite the same moments as the immigration agent put the big black smeared stamp on my beautiful and previously immaculate student visa. But, the bags arrived without issue, and so the year begins.

It is at one time both exactly as I imagined it to be: schoolchildren clad in matching uniforms walking straight out of the Harry Potter books and the pasties as questionable and delicious as fried pie dough and meat can be, and yet London already surprises me.

I am stunned at the extent of the diversity that I wanted so badly back in Dallas. Within two sessions of the orientation I have sat next to students from at least four countries and befriended a girl from Norway as we jointly attempted to find our way in and out of the confusing queues.

I walk by an Iraqi restaurant almost daily and wonder how far removed from the global reality my life back at home really is. The restaurant allows me to think of an Iraq different than the war stories that flash across the tv screen.

The city and the university seem to be the closest thing to an accurate representation of the global population that I have ever confronted. I am excited to begin classes this week.