Saturday, May 23, 2015

Simmun' It Up

It's been two weeks?
I have enjoyed my time here, so many emotions.

The past week we have been able to see the military practice the tradition of Trooping the Colour escorted again by Constable Watson. He sure hooked us up!! What an amazing guy!
Such a cool thing to watch! I was very impressed.

On Tuesday we were taken on a London Legal Walk, we learned so much about the differences with their system and ours. For example we have lawyers, defense and prosecuting. They have solicitors and barristers, solicitors are limited to cases within the lower two level of courts and cannot do appeals. Barristers are the ones who work on appeals and more serious cases such as murders and terrorism. Something I found extremely interesting was after their first 3 years of school they apply for law school which is only a year long!
We also visited their Supreme Court and learned that there are some major differences between their's and ours. For example their supreme court cases are open to the public, that is brilliant in my opinion. Also our supreme court every member has to agree, an all or nothing decision. Here they usually have a group of 9 or something 5 people making decisions and it is not anonymous, decisions are based on majority, so 7 out of 9 or 3 out of 5. However they do deal with similar cases, such as a bed and breakfast not catering to a gay couple because of personal beliefs..discrimination or not? Or based on religion wearing or not wearing a school uniform. The building was amazing and I will never forget their colorful carpet! hahah
We learned that the death penalty has been abolished for years and gay marriage is legal everywhere. Those are some major differences that in my opinion make this country more advanced than ours and so incredible. Something we learned that stood out to me was the maximum sentence even for murder is only about 24 years and most don't serve their full sentence and are let out on parole for good behavior, that might be something maybe the only thing I don't really agree with. Still it's an incredibly organized system.

On Wednesday we went on a tour of the Tower of London, which holds the crown jewels MY GOODNESS the crowns are GORGEOUS! The diamond on Queen Elisabeth's crown is 530 carrots. HUGE! And I was inches from the glass it was held in. Absolutely amazing!!
Later that night we went to The Lion King at the Lyceum Theater, I cried. It was an incredible performance of my most favorite movie as a child. That was also a once in a life experience I will never forget!

Friday we took a day trip to Oxford, we were able to see all the prestigious colleges. We learned they are looking for "clever" minds and it is hard to be accepted. Only 12,000 students are attending these 38 some colleges. It is very different from Chadron State. They basically don't have mandatory classes, instead they are taught by what they call a tutor most of the time one on one. What I thought was really cool was the tutor is often the person who wrote the book they are studying. The colleges have carried traditions of having formal dinner's with the principal and president's at the head of the room every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights that are mandatory. Very different from our education system. Instead of being graded all semester long they have a final test at the end of each "term" and there are three terms here, Summer, Winter and Spring. Another major difference is they have something similar to dorms but they call them "halls" and they are individual rooms, they don't have to share. I cannot stress enough how "clever" and "creative" you must be to attend these colleges, we learned they don't want you to memorize information, instead form your own opinion of things going on.

Later that day we traveled to Stratford-upon-Avon, which is the birthplace of William Shakespeare! I saw the house he was born in!! How cool right?!
We also went to Warwick Castle which dates back to the 11th century. We had the opportunity to explore the state rooms, the DUNGEON ( my favorite part), "ghost towers" and the gardens. It was one instead of formal we got to play in! Still learning so much about the rich history of this country.

Because of these visits my whole perspective on things is more worldly! I am so much more open-minded being introduced to things I have never imagined. Learning so much, so so much! It has helped me understand how far we have come and how much farther we can go. I've been introduced to the differing ways of living. The impact of these visits has truly made me a better and wiser person.  

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