Semester Abroad – PMC student in London


PMC Senior, Eileen Ramirez, blogging from the UK:

It's already been three weeks for me here in London and I feel like I have been here for months!

Week One: 

The day that we got there it was raining and foggy in true Britain fashion. We assembled into the AIFS study abroad students group and got whisked away to campus. As soon as we unloaded we got packets full of information useful for our stay here- like a map of London and our student I.D.'s. Right after getting bring our bags to our rooms we were taken on a walking tour of the area- Kensington. We visited the Mews, pubs like The Builder's Arms and Hyde Park as well as Kensington Gardens. Our final destination was the famous High Street Kensington, a street that has the most well dressed and stylish Londoners of the area. Fur coats, brimmed hats, tailored trousers and adidas trainers to sum up the overall trends. I soon came to realize that maybe it's not touristy to carry around an umbrella as there were many people using them.     

Week Two:​

The first week of classes! My first class of the week was Script Writing where, since the first day of classes, we were told that "Writers Block does not exist" by Dr. Landles, who is a brilliant professor. This quote has been something that has stuck with me. Next I had Video Production with Richard Brevan, a very interesting class indeed.

Wednesday in my Off the Wall art installation class my professor, Mary Roberts, took us to Trafalgar Square to hit up art exhibitions. We saw some beautiful art work, from Melvin Edwards (large scale sculptural installation made out of barbed wire), to the still life photographs of Hiroshi Sugimoto, to the neon structures that chronicle Joseph Kosuth's 50 year research into the role that language has in the meaning of art.

Thursday, my favorite day, I have Screen Acting Techniques, where right off the bat we were put in front of the camera to answer unsuspecting questions that Professor Murray threw at us.

On Friday I travelled to Richmond and had Beginning Directing with Professor Murray, who speaks with the most proper accent of them all. Saturday me and some friends visited Big Ben and rode on the London Eye, where you could see the whole of London.  

Week Three:

​Sunday we went on a day trip two hours away from the heart of London to the beautiful and spaciously green Bath. We learned how the city came to be because of Richard Nash, Ralph Allen and John Wood. The Roman Baths were found by accident and are now one of the most visited places in London. Saw the limestone golden sheen in the sunlight. We visited the Roman Baths and got to even drink the water, which was quite a distinct taste if I do say so myself. Before we had the chance to walk around and view the Royal Crescent that the socialites used to rent out back in the day. After finally getting used to the time difference and getting over jet-lagged- the travel to Bath set me right back where I started. 

The second week of classes I had the chance to realize that "writers block [definitely] does not exist," and began writing the synopsis to a play that I made on the spot during our class exercise to write. The blank page is not daunting knowing that whatever we may write in class is not being graded by the content but by the structure. I was very proud of myself for being able to just write. In my video production class we learned how to use tripods, shotgun mics and panasonic AG-AC90P which has full HD and amazing zoom capabilities. During that class I decided that I want to incorporate the use of a shot done on a glide cam, green screen, a steady cam, a dolly and a sound component.  So each of the film projects will have one of those methods used in them. By the end I want to be able to know how to use all the equipment that they have for us to utilize for our classes. I want to be able to apply this to projects in the future.

On friday, my commute to Richmond left me breathless. When I overlooked the bridge this time there was this fog settling over the river and it looked so peaceful.

There is a lot that has inspired me to create. The people, the food, the architecture, my amazing classes, my professors, and the rich history. Even though it has been a short amount of time I feel I have grown already; it has already reaped tremendous benefits and I cannot wait to see what more three whole months can bring.

Till Next Week,
Eileen Ramirez

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