SMU-in-London 2008

This summer 48 SMU students are traveling to London to study communication courses, including international media, free speech, creative advertising, British cinema and the global civil society. Some students also are interning with international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Pants to Poverty, and Save the Children, to name a few.

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The day the air-conditioning turned on

grace.jpgGrace, a senior art history and CCPA major, is working this summer at WOMANKIND Worldwide in the communications and fundraising department.

I remember it so clearly – I was sitting at my desk in the office of Womankind. Prepared for one of our hottest days yet, I was wearing a sleeveless shirt. Suddenly I heard that familiar thumping sound. Not wanting to be too optimistic, I brushed it off and continued my work. A few minutes passed since I heard that sound, and suddenly my arms began to cover with goosebumps. I looked around the room, somewhat disoriented, to see if anyone else noticed. Finally, I asked my co-worker Rebecca, “Is there air-conditioning?”

Indeed, the air-conditioning was on. More important, the air-conditioning was on, it was one of the hottest days yet in London, and I think I would have preferred it off because I was freezing! This is coming from a girl who likes to keep the temperature at a frigid and inefficient 68 degrees. As I was pondering this sudden change of heart, it hit me how much I am going to miss my new home.

If this city can reform my air-conditioning habits in just six week, it clearly has a hold on me. My last week of work was bittersweet. Leaving means that I get to go back to the States and see my family and friends, but it also means leaving behind my new family and friends.

This past week has been chock-full of activities – as usual. On Monday, I visited my favorite Lebanese restaurant in Bayswater. On Wednesday all of the interns gave a presentation to the rest of the students about our experience working for an INGO and celebrated with a Chinese feast accompanied by our favorite SMU professors, then continued on for a night on the town with our new friends, the Cricket players. On Thursday we treated ourselves to some nachos at the Texas Embassy. Which brings me to Friday – today.

I am writing this on my last full day in the city. In both mourning and celebration I headed out to see the National Gallery. For those of you reading this who are planning a trip to London, this is a must-see. Wandering through the galleries I realized I had clearly saved the best for last. I was welcomed by paintings of the masters from a variety of time periods. One room brought me Titian, the next Delacroix, a few doors down I was greeted by an entire room of Monets, Van Goghs, Seurats, and Renoirs. As an art history major I couldn’t have been happier with the way my trip has ended.

Left on the agenda for today is to pack and head out to an evening showing of Romeo and Juliet in the open-air theatre of Regents Park. Oh, what I life.

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    One Response to The day the air-conditioning turned on

    1. Nina Flournoy says:

      The perfect way to end an incredible summer in London. So glad they’re finally getting around to air conditioning. Now if we could sell them on the idea of ice.

      Safe trip home!

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