ACM London and Florence: Arts in Context 2017 Travelogue. Day 0.5 – 1 (Jan 27-28)

Chicken or the Egg

Hello! I’m the Communications Assistant for ACM London and Florence: Arts in Context program this spring 2017. Basically I will be providing photos and stories about our adventures this coming semester! This blog is for anyone to read–prospective students for our program, students currently in the program, or anyone curious.

I was initially drawn to this program because it had a unique focus of studying two historic cultural centers as texts and comparing them. We’ll be studying abroad for 7 weeks in the UK, have a one week spring break, then spend the last 7 weeks of the semester in Italy. There is a London first-option (which I’m doing) and a Florence-first option. There are also extended options of arriving at either London or Florence earlier for a museum studies course or an extended Italian course. All these options contain amazing opportunities to look at culture in different ways through plenty of field-trip based classes to study theater, museums, and more. I think it is interesting to take note of these diversely configured journeys because it may prove interesting how student perspectives from each of these four paths may differ. How does what comes first affect someone’s personal experiences of “texts” ?

Day 0.5 – 1

I knew I was getting close to the UK when my complementary breakfast bar started talking to me on the plane in a British (?) accent. Or at least it’s wrapper was.

“The secret’s in the squidge

Squeeze me. Come on, don’t be shy. There. Feel that? That’s squidgy power, that is. Deliciously chewy fruitiness bursting with energy to help keep you fueled up and ready for action. But don’t take my squidginess to literary — I’m low in fat too.”

The journey here yesterday was tiring but fun. I’m not a good sleeper, so I didn’t sleep much the flight. Instead I watched plenty of movies! After touchdown I met a fellow student at the airport, and we traversed the London Tube (photo with our funny faces), hearing a variety of accents (not just British) and languages around us until we finally got to our new flats at Ability Towers. It was surreal, but in our first few hours we already got to see some real London!

Once everyone had arrived, we had an initial orientation meeting in our apartments, then some of us headed out into the wilderness to find some food.We all slept REALLY WELL last night, although most everyone I spoke to also woke up in the middle of the night feeling like it was already morning. Probably because our circadian rhythms are still ~6 hours ahead. See our first 36 hours!

I’m really excited to take on this journey. I think the squidginess is how I feel. But I need to sleep now. Stay tuned for tomorrow!

–Sunny (Yun) Zhao, Grinnell College Student


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