Monday, August 6, 2012

Hughes Hall -- Week 6 (July 30 - August 5)

After a hectic and exciting week of travel it was time to get back to business at Hughes Hall. It was a regular week by all accounts -- we had two class periods on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday as well as an excursion to London on Wednesday.

The travel week accounts have been slowly coming in yet I am waiting for a few more so I can publish everybody's travel week accounts on one posting. We had a busy academic week with a paper regarding the Shrewsbury trip and we are also beginning to prepare for the final papers or exams in our remaining two classes so reminiscing about their epic weeks was (understandably) not everybody's top priority. Since we have only one small assignment due this week that focuses on the picture project we completed during travel week, I will be more persistent in asking people to get their summaries in. Translation: I will be more annoying than a confused fly that can't find it's way out of a Hughes Hall dormitory.

On Wednesday we caught the earliest train to London in order to be on time to visit Matt Thomas at Barclay's. Although we visited Barclay's John Winter earlier in the program, the visit with Thomas was quite different. First, we got Krispy Kreme (remember those?) doughnuts for breakfast along with the usual coffee or tea. More importantly, we were also able to listen to Thomas as he discussed his experience in financial research. Thomas, who is relatively new at Barclay's since he's only been at the company for six weeks, specializes in the Russian energy market. Along with learning the ins and outs of financial research, it was also cool to listen to how Thomas and his associates took a meandering path into the financial industry. For example, out of Carleton Thomas was really interested in eastern culture so he began taking Russian language classes before moving out there during the time when the Soviet Union was collapsing. In short, opportunities came and the ability to learn-on-the-fly helped immensely as Matt finds himself with a job he enjoys today.

In the afternoon we went on a tour of Parliament. Unfortunately we could not take pictures once we were in the venue but we were able to see the House of Commons and House of Lords. Although I do not have photographic evidence, the tour had fantastic sights and it is worthwhile to see. 

We had to catch the 6am train ride to London. For a large group of us, this meant waking up at 5:45 and running to the train station. As soon as we got on the train we decided to scrap our dignity for the sake of not smelling like body odor for the next twelve hours and let our dress shirts (and ourselves) air out before we got into London. Needless to say, our train car was not popular with the regular commuters. 
Lauren Linde ('14), Travis Norgaard ('13) and Andrew Tiano ('13) pose stylistically outside Barclay's at Canary Wharf.  

Checking out the personalized ID cards handed out at Parliament.

Walking into the beginning of the Parliament tour, Big Ben is in the upper left. 

Another interesting aspect of the trip was to see London for the first time after the Olympics had started. If you recall, we started the program in London for three days. Along with the beefed up security and Olympic officials seemingly at every street corner, the city is also much cleaner than it was only a couple months ago. The tube system, which was feared to be log-jammed with spectators throughout the entire span of the Olympics was not bad at all. They even replaced most of the trains though the design is not complimentary to anybody over 6'2''. 

This past weekend (along with the weekend upcoming) many members of our program will take advantage of being only a short train ride away from the Summer Olympics. Events that have been attended include men's basketball, football (soccer), beach volleyball, judo, volleyball, and table tennis. 

Hopefully the travel accounts will come in soon but until then, have a great week.

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