Monday, April 21, 2014

The rush before the fall

The last few months that I've been going to classes and getting advice from people to help me on my trip I've had amazing ups and downs about the whole event. I'm beyond excited to go, but I'm terrified I will forget something along the way, not have enough time and money to do as I want, and many other terrors like this have crossed my mind. Now I have three weeks left, in which I have finals to do and moving into a new house to deal with. Surprisingly enough I'm the most at ease I've been since I found out about the trip! I have my passport, packing lists, and everything I need (hopefully) to study abroad in London. Throughout this pre-trip process I have got to know classmates that I did not before and learned more about London than I would have ever thought. All of this will grow as we progress in the next three weeks of preparation and greatly when we all travel across the ocean to a place and culture many of us have never experienced before. Besides all of this I have learned how to not let the negatives get in my way of doing something I want to do and to enjoy those things without guilt or worry that someone else may not be having as good of a time or that I could be taking away something from another. My excitement to learn and achieve with this experience is overwhelming as I expect it to be. If it was not I may not be ready or in a sheer panic/excitement that keeps me on my toes. The amount of support and help I've received over the last few months is amazing and I plan to prove to those and others who did not support my choices that this class will benefit greatly to my education as well as make me a more diverse person. (: 

Monday, April 14, 2014

History That Created and Shaped America

To Americans Londoners are thought of as stuck up people who are proper and part of the royal family and live in a gloomy busy city. Yes, there are those people but Londoners have much more depth to them than just that. To me I see people who value history and art, living properly is not a bad thing. Europe is very modern in many ways yet still embrace their culture. I honestly wish Americans could be more like this rather than people thinking of "'Murica" as who we are. I am far from embarrassed to be an American, and will not hide who I am while in London. I do plan on trying to prove that I am not a "typical American." 
History and culture are very important in my life and being able to see how European's do this. Not only in an artistic kind of way, but in the Criminal Justice world. We have all known since the start of our classes that we have evolved our system from the British system. I am so excited to experience first hand the culture that we have come from and what shaped our country. You never hear in the news about London and their involvement in wars like you do America and that also draws me to their culture a lot. The UK seems to be a more pleasant place to live with a low crime rate. Though this may not be true, that was what truly interests me. I want to see what crimes are committed their and see how they go through the system before incrimination. Just like with any other society there is crime where there is people, but Europe has a completely different way to deal with their criminals.
I expect to come away from this trip a different person with knowledge that many people in the general public never get to obtain. Not only is it an experience I want by traveling to London and getting to see their culture but also getting to go to the events the school has lined up for us to be able to see the system for a different country. Every society has a slightly different criminal justice system and to get to be apart of the history that made America what it is today is an experience that is even more rare than just traveling.

Beforehand Thoughts

Before I head to London there is a few things I need to get done! Passport, check! Adapters, check! Many other little issues have been dealt with and many I will do directly. London is a very cultural place that I cannot wait to see and experience. I'm really interested to see the architecture of the buildings in person. Google can show me all the amazing buildings from centuries before myself, but to get to see them in person is a whole different world. Being a "typical American" I am nervous about being pushed around and treated differently while in London and everywhere else I may go, but the excitement to get to see how their culture differs from the American lifestyle and especially the part of their nation that deals with my major. We have learned in classes throughout how their criminal justice system works and how the English government is run, but being a hands on learner it will be much more rewarding to my academic standing to see how they run up close and personal. (: