Monday, October 31

Start of Week 5

Sunday I stayed at school until around 18.30 studying with Susan. We took short breaks b/w going over the lectures so that's why it took so long. Plus neither of us had anything pressing to do that evening. Luckily we'd both turned out clocks back on Saturday so we were both on time, unlike others who were meeting for their study groups - lol!

After we finished studying chemokine receptors and inhibitors I decided to come home and have some dinner - stir fry, yum! I had made plans to watch the Patriots and Bills game with a friend who has a TV. Only problem was the game didn't start until 01.30 GMT, so I took a nap from 22.20 until the game started and that way I had energy for the game and didn't miss out on any sleep for classes today! Luckily for me, since I'd been giving everyone a hard time about the Pats kicking the Bills butt, the Pats pulled it off and won :) So around 03.30 I went to bed until 09.00 this morning when I got up and got ready for school.

Our first class today was, "problem solving" with John Raynes. We were given all the figures & graphs from a paper and we were suppose to try to figure out what the paper was about and if these figs & graphs proved the point. This might sound easy but it's not as simple as you'd think, especially since 99.9% of the time you have the journal article with the full details of the paper to help explain what was going on and why they did this, that, or the other.

This afternoon's lab was on chemotaxis - first lab I'd never done before, but it didn't work out, first time they've tried it and apparently we had a 100% failure rate - LOL!!!

This coming weekend, Rob is making us all his "Sunday Roast". You remember how good the Thai green chili was, so I'm really looking forward to this meal!! Just have to make it through this week :) Course this weekend is a big deal over here in England . . . does anyone know what the holiday is??? It's Guy Fawkes Day and I'm going to go see the fireworks at night. Friday night I think Louise and I (and who knows who else) are going to some pub that's not close to here but one that we've heard is really cool - keep ya posted on that one as well.

Next week we have the whole week off for reading week so we can catch up on studying etc - it means we're half way through the semester - wow time flies when you're having fun!!!! Some of the kids from my program and thinking of going on a 2 touristy trip - I think it would be awesome, I just have to wait and see when it is and how much it will cost then I'll decide if I'm in or not!!

Okay, gotta start on dinner.

Friday, October 28

TGIF again :)

Louise and I walked to school today - first time this week b/c I had blisters on my feet from last weekends adventures in new shoes! Don't know why I thought to wear something other than my trainers - what was I thinking?!?!?!

We had 1.5 hours of statistic practical followed by lunch at the refractory - carrot & coriander soup, bread, butter, fruit salad, and water. Quick check of our email and then onto Mol. Bio. Practical - again I could have taught the lab - we poured gels, loaded gels, prepared PCRs, and answered questions about what the buffer, Taq, and primers are for. Oh yeah and we did get to see the DNA sequencer.

Tonight Louise and I had tomato sandwiches (thanks to a brilliant person who taught me about them!) Now she's off to meet up some friends and I'm about to pop in a DVD and veg out on my couch. I'm thinking of watching Auntie Mame - it's a great flick! Plus I can't stay up late since I've got Louise arriving tomorrow at 08.45 for b'fast and walk into Camden Town for costume buying.

Tomorrow I've also got my study group from 10.00-12.00 and then will probably hit up one of the markets with my friend Tiffany (from Canada). Sunday I've again got study group from 14.00-16.00. Aside from that I've got nothing planned.

Thai green curry

Since my last post I've been been to the post office and got my package from my sister. Here's what was in it.

Well tonight was Thai Green Curry night at my flat, Louise and I napped on the couch while Rob cooked from scratch with no recipe!! The food was awesome and we laughed the whole way through dinner as we normally do. Lots of jokes on "my" president. Bush of course made front page news again today - he really is amazing at times (I don't mean that in a positive sense!!)
Off to bed now, class at half 9 tomorrow.

Thursday, October 27

Just for you, Peter

Just been going to school - not much else to report. Yesterday after work I went to get my rent money from Katie (since my bank account still isn't fully set up). I took Jim & Rob with me since they owed me dinner. We stopped at Maple Leaf for dinner, a Canadian pub near Charing Cross. Food was really good and I got to watch hockey. After that we went for a drink on the Queen Mary (boat on the Thames). Then back to KT for a game of Jenga (which I won).

Well it's a gorgeous day here in London - I'm going to have to change into a short sleeve shirt!!

New expressions for this week:
"Can't be asked" - I can't be bothered
"Dirty stop out" - someone who goes out and doesn't come home until the morning

Sunday, October 23

Missing the snow

So I just read on Pete's blog about the snow in SL and now I miss it!!!

Just noticed I forgot to tell you my new words that I've learned . . .

Bugger = darn
"bugger up" - screw up
"bugger off" - scram, get lost
"oh bugger me" - oh my goodness, wow

Mingin = gross Here is the context I heard it in, "Feet are just mingin"

Bloke = a guy, but can also have a negative connotation depending on how you use it in the sentence

Okay off to bed now . . . . Zzzzzzzzz

Shopping trip & weekend review

Again sorry I haven't had more time to write but I've just been on the go all week long with classes, study groups, my cousin visiting, and sleeping :) I learned some new expressions which I'll share with you as well!

Here is a quick synopsis of my weekend . . . Friday after classes Louise and I popped over to Oxford Street to get a shirt to wear out to our MBID pub meeting. We stopped into H&M and Topshop - both great stores with decent prices (for London) and more importantly student discounts!!! She got 2 shirts and I got 3 - how could I resist one of them was only 3.85#s!!!

I'm not sure if you can tell but the far left is not all shiny silver just has flowers in silver, the middle one is a double tank with the top layer has very thin silvery lines running through it and on the right there is just a floral design across the top.

After shopping we jumped onto the first train home, grabbed some dinner and back into the West End for pub meeting. I wore the shirt on the right and Louise had a similar shirt but in grey and black. We hung out at ULU's (University of London Union) pub for a few hours and then everyone went home.

Saturday Tim (my cousin who arrived on Wednesday night) and I had breakfast and he went off touring around London on his bike while I stayed at home studying. Last night we went out to dinner in Camden Town for Tim's birthday - we had Cantonese food - it was good!

This morning we got up, showered, had brunch and Tim went straight to Heathrow - now I'm home checking email and getting ready for a study group meeting at 15.30.

Saturday, October 22

So sorry

Just got in from meeting up with all the other MBID students - our first night out together. Late here so I'm not going to write much, plus not much to report, lectures, reading, sleeping, eating, lectures, reading, lectures, sleeping, reading, lectures, reading, sleeping, eating, etc.
Write more this weekend I hope!

Tuesday, October 18

Catch up post

I'm sorry for not posting yesterday but I had a LONG day and every time I sat down to do it something came up.

Lets see, what did I do . . . walked to school with my newest neighbor and classmate, Louise (from Scotland). Sat in lectures all day long, walked home with Louise and stopped at Sainsbury in Camden Town to pick up some dinner food. Louise wanted to cook peppered steak, boiled potatoes, and salad - which she did, it was brilliant, only hitch was we set off all my smoke detectors and had to open all my windows and have the fan on. Making my dining room a little chilly - LOL. After Louise left I was able to catch up with my mom, it's hard to chat with 8 hour time difference and the fact that she might be a convicted felon soon (jk)! Then off to bed.

Today got up and walked to school with Louise, sat through 2 lectures, went to lab (again almost teaching it - I actually had to show a PhD student about how to dilute our cells to the needed concentration to plate out - those of you who know me well know math is NOT my forte, luckily I remembered Paula's dilution notes in my head!!) At the end of lab Amanda, Susan, and I got out a little early, checked our emails and headed to College Arms for a drink before we all walked home. On my way home I picked up chicken to make chicken parm tonight for Louise since she cooked last night and we have left over salad and potatoes.

Not much else to tell you, aside from that my cousin Tim from NYC is arriving tomorrow at midnight and staying till Sunday. Off to do some laundry :)

Sunday, October 16

London Phoenix New Century Club

So I made it up to Hertford North (pronounced Heartford) today by 13.00 just in time to meet everyone for lunch. This was my first time ever meeting the London Phoenix New Century Club. There were about 12 people at the meeting - very laid back setting - in a pub of course, we are in England ;) Meeting took about 2.5 hours and they discussed lots of things from the recent earthquake to a pub crawl. Everyone seemed really friendly and I think I will join them at their next meeting in November, if my studying schedule allows!

Well not much else exciting to report, beautiful weekend weather wise with a little bit of rain and I hear the northern line is back in service with limited service. I think Louise and I will walk to school tomorrow unless it's pouring rain, then we'll try the tube or bus.

Going to hang up my laundry to dry and hit the hay. Oh learned a new word today, "knackered" will have to try to use it this week so I remember it!!

Dungeon Trip

Dungeon trip was great!!! It was expensive, 15#s but luckily the boys (Jim and Rob, Mark had to work) picked up that cost for me since they get in for free along with free travel and huge amounts of discounts everywhere else!! We did have to stand in the queue for about 1 hour, but luckily we (or should I say they) had lots to talk about - mainly about how I mispronounce words such as, coffee, water, Arkansas. They taught me some expressions that I was suppose to remember, but now of course I've forgotten them :(

The tour was about 2 hours long - pretty cool it's very dark so no photos allowed!! In our tour group was a birthday party of about 4 girls - they were the best for screaming and made all the adults laugh the whole time. You start out in a maze of mirrors, get on a boat in the pitch black - that spins you around and goes backwards, you get sprayed with water off and on when you least expect it, things jump out at you, characters sneak up behind you, and you walk through a totally dark room with only 1 strobe light every so many seconds - very creepy!! It is so dark and very damp - glad I never had to experience it in "real" life!!

When we finally did get out it was 5pm and they were hungry so we went to Assembly House for dinner and played Jenga. I'm good at that game, no matter what they tell you - hitting the table so it knocks the tower over on my turn is called cheating in the US I told them!! Rob replied in his Irish accent, "call your bloody president and try cryin' to him, no sympathy here, just admit you lost!"

Now I'm off to a Lions Club meeting up in North Hertford about 45 minutes north from Kings Cross Station, which I learned yesterday is the 214 bus. Well gotta run, want to make sure I leave enough time so I don't miss the bus or the train!!

Friday, October 14

Too tired to write tonight

Sorry but I'm really too tired to write and I know I'm going to have a lot of walking to do tomorrow so I think I'll keep it really short and fill in the details later this weekend.

Walked to school (stopped raining), statistics lecture (actually enjoyed it - don't call me weird!!), lunch, 2 molecular biology lectures, meet Immun. Course Advisor at school bar for start of the "pub crawl", got hungry and went for food, met up with the crawlers, left early to come home b/c I was so tired - bad night's sleep last night - the police/ambulance/fire sirens went all night last night :(

Planning on going to the Dungeon and Eye tomorrow - hope the weather is nice, I'll bring my camera and post the photos. Tube is still screwed up so I'm not exactly sure how we're planning on getting everywhere guess I better plan on wearing my trainers (sneakers).

Thursday, October 13

the long walk & an "ah ha" moment

Yesterday afternoon the Northern Line closed down - I had seen it online - so I planned on getting to the bus stop extra early since everyone would have to take it instead of the tube. 08.00 I arrive at the bus stop and proceed to stand there for 40 minutes and watch bus after bus just drive by, completely full of passengers. At this point I started to add in my head how long I thought it would take to walk to school. Kevin has once told me it took him 25 minutes to walk home - he lives about 20 minutes away from me, so if I left "now" I could make it with a few minutes to spare. I started to hoof it down Kentish Town Road. Normally this would not have been a big deal, but you have to understand it finally started to rain yesterday and so this morning it was still raining. I passed by Camden Town Stn, Mornington Crescent Stn, Warren St Stn, Goodge Street Stn and I turned onto Store Street did a quick time check, 09.20! I had been walking at a very fast pace since I wasn't really sure where in Camden Town Kevin lived and his stride is probably a lot longer than mine, so it might take me longer than my little calculation I started out with. All that really matters is I made it to class with 2 minutes to spare - my jeans and sweater were a little damp. With all that "fresh" London air in my lungs I was ready to start my morning of lectures :)

This morning's lectures were on complement. A professor from Imperial College named Marina ______ taught us. Her lecture was quite interesting and very complicated, but she was able to break it down to a level that we could understand, without all the biochemistry.

A friend of mine who's in the Medical Microbiology course was turning 21 today (ya know "really old" as he said to me the other day) so Louise, Katie, and I took him out to lunch. We all had 2 hours so it was a nice relaxing lunch with hot chocolate since it was cool and damp from all the rain.

At 14.00 we met up for our 3 hour "review" - we had no clue what that really meant, but learned soon enough! For the first 10 minutes we looked over our data from the phagocytosis lab - discovered there were some problems with the way the lab was set up, hence we all had bad results. Next was the "review" section. John explained we were going to break up into 3 groups and discuss everything we'd learned up to this point and how it all fit together. Sounded easy enough, right?!?!?! John asked us to, "Draw a diagram of what happens when a bacteria gets inside of you." Yeah this seems pretty easy until you put 5 people together who all have a different view of how the innate immune system works. The neutrophils are first, no the macrophages are first, INFgamma is secreted by MHC class I, no the MHC binds the APC to the T-cell, no the B-cells have MHCs. It went on like that for about 1.45 hours. I have to admit it was really good to do this b/c it made all the separate lectures sort of "fall into place" and some people were able to get their facts straight about which cell did what. I could see the light bulb ("ah ha") sort of going off in my head.

A few girls & I are going to form a little "study group" so we can help each other understand how all these processes work. Also each one of us will take 2 journal articles, read, and give an overview - so we don't all have to read 15 articles! We only have so much awake time :)

Oh one other funny story (well maybe only funny to Trudeau people) I forgot to tell on the first day of classes. Greg Bancroft started the lecture out by asking us, "so what do you already know about T cells and B cells" My poor little mind could answer was:

  • Fran talks about B cells and antibodies and they're from the bone marrow
  • Woody talks about the types of T cells and they're from the thymus.

It was almost hard for me to focus on what he was saying b/c I was laughing at myself for thinking of that answer.

Wednesday, October 12

Phagocytosis Practical & Dinner with Tiffany

Well this morning's lectures were on chemokines - wow there are a lot!!

During our lunch time we went to hear Greg Bancroft's lab talk - he spoke about what his lab has been doing and where they are hoping to go from here - very interesting talk!

This afternoon's lab was on phagocytosis. We got to go and see the confocal microscope and the FACS machine. They are up on the 6th floor with no lift - I can't imagine how they got all that equipment up there - the lift only goes to the 3rd floor. In England the first floor is the what in America we would consider the 2nd floor. Here it's LG (lower ground), G (ground), 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on. Either way you look at it from the 3rd floor you still have to go up 3 more flights of stairs to get to this room with all the important equipment - maybe they did it so if thieves ever came they'd get too tired walking up that they'd decide to skip the floors not serviced by the lift.

Took the tube home today - BIG mistake, it said severe delays but there wasn't a big crowd so I thought I'd try it, big, big, huge mistake. I was able to get on the first train that came by without major problems. We went northbound with no delay, until we reached Mornington Crescent - we waited here for 10 minutes - they were "spacing" the trains out. If it hadn't been pouring rain I would have walked from this point (probably only 30 minutes). Finally got to Camden Town and had to switch trains b/c they were only running Edgeware trains on the Charing Cross branch today. So I walked over to the High Barnet branch and joined the mass of people hoping to catch the next train. Luckily lots of people got off that train b/c they wanted the Edgeware line, so we were all able to get on. This time the train was really packed and when we stopped at Kentish Town - I had to push and shove my way across the carriage in order to get off. It's amazing how they don't want to let you get off - don't they realize if I get off they can have more room?!?!? So today that took me a little over an hour (compared to my normal 20 minutes!!)

Now off to dinner with my friend Tiffany - she's here for her MSc in Public Health & Nutrition, she was a public health nurse in Toronto before coming here.

photo taken with back to tube station

Okay back from dinner, Tiffany and I went to the Assembly House for dinner - we split the quesadillas for 4.50 and watched the England vs. Poland football game (soccer). When we left it was tied 1-1 the crowd was not happy with this. I'll have to read the paper on the way to school tomorrow to find out what the final out come was. It was nice to have dinner and compare notes about our different programs. She's always in huge lecture halls with about 100 or more people while I'm in a class of 17 (12 Immunology students, 4 Molecular students, 1 PhD student). She really liked my neighborhood too. She lives in the International Lutheran Student Dorms, sort of halfway between school and Kings Cross, if I understand her directions properly. She was excited to get out of the school area and see what else there was - I was happy to show off my flat and neighborhood! Everyone who's come to visit has loved it and is jealous!

Oh exciting news, for me at least, it rained for the first time today during the day!! I almost got to use my umbrella. Ended up stopping before I left Keppel St, but I did get to see dark clouds and lots of rain drops. Also I've had a confirmation about Saturday's plans. I will be picked up at the pub at 1pm and we're going to the London Dungeon and the Eye - two places I've yet to go to, so that's cool! Will have to remember my camera that day for sure!!!!

Tuesday, October 11

Day 2 Week 2

Well Dad got up early this morning in order to catch his flight back to the states. I got up to say good-bye but then went back to bed since we didn't start classes until 11.00 today!

This morning's first lecture was on inflammation. Let's see what I remember . . . E-selectins bind neutrophils, ICAM-1 binds monocytes and VCAM-1 binds Tcells, but that is a slow process, the neutrophils are very fast!

Second lecture was on host mediators of inflammation. Those are histamine, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, TNF, IL-1, chemokines, C5a (that's a complement), and platelet activating factor.

This afternoon's lecture was on acute phase response. We learned sickness behavior is induced by cytokines such as IL-1B induces fever and suppresses appetite, TNFalpha induces sleep, IL-2 inhibits spatial memory. We also learned about class I and II of APP's (acute phase proteins). Class I is IL-1 and IL-6, but class II is only IL-6. Okay that's enough for you to have to read about! Hope I got that all right, I did it from memory - don't want to check my notes yet, waiting till I'm finished with dinner.

We were done by 15.00, I came straight home to get some reading done and check emails.

Now it's 18.54 and I think I'll make myself some dinner, read, and then go to bed.

Sorry nothing exciting to report tonight :(

Monday, October 10

Assembly House

So my "cousin" Danielle called to say she was sick and couldn't come for dinner so Dad and I went 1 block away from my flat to the assembly House - we'd never been inside but pass if every day on our way to the tube station & bus stop. Our plan was to have a drink there before we went to find a place for dinner, but Dad liked the look of the menu, so we stayed for dinner.

Dad & I split the "Maryland Crab Cakes with American Coldslaw" for our appetizer. For main courses I had a "BBQ Chicken and Cheese Quesadilla" and dad had the "Babyback Pork Ribs with French Fries and American Coldslaw." (Maureen, I had to have it after we'd just spoken - reminded me of being at the Boathouse with you and Bob.) Also on the menu was "NY Strip Steak," "NY Cheesecake" and "New Orleans Cajun Salmon" - all of which made me laugh seeing as we are in a Pub in London!!

The food was fantastic - the best pub food I've had - of course it's not your typical pub food. During our meal I noticed an obviously drunk gentleman drinking at the bar who was in my opinion bothering the female bartender. I told Dad I didn't think I'd last a day as a bartender b/c I wouldn't be able to keep my cool with annoying drunk guys. As the meal progressed this guy made his way to the bar closest to our table. This time he was trying to chat up the 3 guys who'd been at the bar since before we arrived. When we were done eating Dad got up to wash the BBQ sauce off his hands and I was staring out the window looking at the people walking by. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed movement next to me - I assumed Dad was returning so I turned back to talk to him. To my surprise it was the drunk guy eating chips off Dad's plate. He muttered something about wishing he could join me but he had to run so he'd just take a few more chips and be on his way. I was totally caught off guard so I just sort of smiled and hoped he'd disappear just as fast as he had appeared. While staring at him, over his shoulder I could see the guys at the bar watching what was going on. After the guy had left, one of the guys at the bar came over to tell me next time to tell him to buzz off. I explained I wasn't about to start a fight with a drunk guy - I didn't know how the drunk guy would react. He explained I was fine b/c there were police in the bar and the barracks were across the street. Dad came back at this point and we explained not to eat any more of the chips etc. The guy offered to buy us a drink and apologized saying "Not all British are that rude, he was just a drunk bloke giving all of us a bad name." After a few more questions about where we were from, he showed us his police badge and smiled. We took him up on the free drinks and all 3 of them joined us at the table. We sat chatting with Jim, Mark, and Bob for about the next hour. They explained that we really need to go to the London Dungeon which I think they said is near Tower Bridge, but don't hold me to it. They offered to take us later this week, but dad explained he was leaving first thing tomorrow morning so he'd have to take a rain check on the offer. Jim said he would look at his schedule and call when he knew his weekend schedule. So I might get to go this weekend, which would be something cool to do!

Well I need to sign off so we can turn the lights off and Dad can get to bed. That is if he can take a break from reading Dry (Augusten Burroughs) - he loves it too!! I have a friend who's been recommending what I like to call my AW reading list. She is a fantastic book recommender!!!

(Anne W. - Just found Morality for Beautiful Girls hopefully I will be able to have time to read that (along with all my school reading) before I come home and get my next installment from the your library. Yesterday when I was in Oxford, Beth mentioned that she new Alexander McCall Smith, from when she was getting her masters at the same uni. with him, isn't that cool!!)

Day 1 week 2

Well thanks to my favorite little Yankees fan in Saranac Lake, I found out that today is Columbus Day. I completely forgot about that seeing as I'm in England that day isn't very important. As I told my lil Yankees, it was business as normal here in London, well mostly.

I arrived at Kentish Town tube stop at 8.25, plenty of time! Read the notice about "severe delays" but thought nothing of it since I had an hour to get there and it's normally only 17 minutes door to door. I was reading the free paper I'd picked up (The Metro) when the first train arrived - JAM packed full of people - the doors opened, nobody got out, a girl managed to smoosh herself into the already too full train and off it went. I thought, no problem, I'll catch the next one. Second train arrived - same exact thing!! Again, no problem I've got extra time . . . third train, same thing! At this point I decided I'd try the bus, so I got back up to ground level, walked 10 feet to the bus stop and with in 2 minutes was on the 134 heading to school. I arrived with 15 minutes to spare :)

Our first lecture was on innate recognition. We got a 30 minute coffee break and then the second lecture on innate vs. adaptive immunity. Lunch followed by our third & fourth lectures on phagocytosis I, ten minute break, phagocytosis II.

I came straight home after classes today since Dad and I are suppose to meet up with Danielle (my "cousin") for dinner. Will have to report on that either later tonight or tomorrow. Probably tomorrow since Dad has to wake up very early to catch his plane back to the states tomorrow!

Here are 2 photos looking out my back window this afternoon, just after all the local children had left for dinner, I imagine.

Not great shots, but again not a great angle for the photo with the tree right there.

NOTE: sunny and no rain puddles!! Still hasn't rained during the day and tomorrow I will have been here for one month!!

Sunday, October 9

Day in Oxford

Well dad and I just arrived back after a quick but informative visit to see a family friend in Oxford. One of my dad's friend's growing up has a sister, Beth who lives in Oxford with her husband, Terry.

Day started out a little iffy when we arrived at Kings Cross to switch lines in order to get to Paddington Station and the 3 lines we could have taken were all closed down for the day. After referring to the tube map we were able to reconfigure our trip by getting on the Piccadilly line. We had left extra travel time, luckily, so after getting our tickets we went for some coffee and croissant. While sitting waiting to see which track our train was departing from a little notice popped up, "delayed". Apparently this wasn't our best travel day. There were 2 trains going to Oxford so we got on the one that wasn't delayed, turned out to be the local train - took us about 45 minutes longer than normal.

We arrived safely in Oxford around 12.30pm. Beth & Terry were waiting for us, so after a quick introduction (I haven't seen Beth in about 10 years) we went to the car. From their they drove us over to Pembroke St. Terry dropped us off and went to park the car. Beth took us on a walking tour. We went out to St Aldates to see Christ Church. This is the view from the road.

Christ Church is one of the many colleges of Oxford University. It is beautiful! Inside of the "Christ Church Hall" was the dining-hall at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films - since school is now in session visitors are not allowed into the hall, but I did walk up the staircase and sort of got a glance inside, before the security guard asked us for ID. This dining hall is also famous for it's connections with Lewis Carroll's book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Carroll was an undergrad at Christ Church and apparently befriended Alice Liddell the dean's daughter. It was with his vivid imagination that he wrote the stories around her real life. Another example was the White Rabbit being based on Alice's father (the dean). He left dinner every night down a narrow spiral staircase behind the raised "high table" (hence the rabbit hole in the book). Yet another incident is a picture of the founder, King Henry VIII, who executed 2 of his wives - in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the Red Queen is always shouting, "off with her head".
From there we walked through the quad and into the cathedral.

View from the back of the room and a zoomed in image of the stainglass window above the alter.
This stain glass window has a story behind it. It is known as the St. Frideswide Window (1858). The lower half of the window tells the legend of St. Frideswide in 16 panels. The top round section shows a ship of souls transporting Frideswide to heaven and the middle flowerish looking window on the left is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil from the Book of Genesis. To the right is the Tree of Life from the Book of Revelation. The ledge behind St. Frideswide is that she fled into the woods in Oxford to escape a Prince who wanted to marry her. The Prince was blind and she saved his sight in return for her freedom and founded a religious house. In the 11th century her remains were placed in a shrine in the church at this site.

This is a view of Tom's Tower (the first pic was from the other side). This tower is famous b/c it has a tradition of tolling the hell 101 times (once for each scholar) at the curfew time of 21.05. This apparently still goes on today.
From here we walked to the High Street and then onto Catte Street to see Radcliffe Camera, I cut off the bottom part of this building b/c they are doing construction and it was covered in yellow caution tape (looked ugly to me). Radcliffe Camera was built to house a library devoted to sciences but is now a private reading room for the Bodleian. (Bodleian is a library)

Our walking tour ended a few feet away from Radcliffe Square at Hertford College's "Bridge of Sighs" - it spans across New College Lane - can you tell I was getting hungry and ready to stop sightseeing at this point??? It was about 13.45 and we had reservations at The Swan for 14.00, so we all piled into the car and drove to the restaurant/antique store.

At the Swan we had a delicious meal! Dad and I had traditional Sunday meal - roast beef, roasted potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding. Dad has sticky pudding for dessert, I had creme brulee. After eating we toured around the antique section - wonderful stuff but outrageous prices, if you ask me, even for someone not on a college budget ;)

Dad and I caught the 17.32 train back to Paddington, this time we got on the express train - BIG difference! From Paddington we took the Bakerloo line to Piccadilly Circus, walked through Leicester Sqaure - found out there was a premiere of some movie I've never heard of but Colin Firth was there (didn't see him, too huge of a crowd!)

Saturday, October 8

Controversial Issues in Australia

I found this on the Yahoo News Website - I'm not big on voicing my opinion about controversial issues, but this caught my eye. I looked the procedure up on the internet and pasted it at the bottom - I know there are always 2 sides to every story, I'm not defending the procedure just putting some facts in with the article.

Sheep lovers going naked at Australian embassies

Tue Sep 27, 2:54 PM ET

Animal rights activists will reportedly go naked outside five Australian embassies around the world in a bid to force Australian sheep farmers to stop a controversial farming practice.
The US-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said demonstrations would be held outside Australian missions in Washington, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, and Sao Paulo.
The action is aimed at stopping the practice of mulesing, in which slices of flesh are cut from the rear ends of lambs to prevent flystrike or the infestation of flesh-eating maggots.
"We don't mind showing a little of our behinds if it will save lambs from having chunks of flesh hacked off of theirs," US-based PETA campaigner Matt Rice told the Australian national news service AAP from the United States.
PETA suspended the campaign last month but is now resuming it after Australia's major wool producing groups did not agree to ban mulesing by 2010.
Rice said eight naked PETA protestors would appear at Canberra's Washington embassy on Tuesday painted in the colours of the Australian flag.
"We will take the protest around the world in an effort to alert the world to the cruelty that goes on Down Under," he said.
PETA's call to boycott Australian wool has won support from retailers such as Timberland and Abercrombie and Fitch, as well as rock star Chrissie Hynde and Hollywood's Alicia Silverstone.
One Australian industry group, the Australian Wool Growers' Association, has agreed to end mulesing by 2010 and will not be targeted by the PETA campaign.

Mulesing is the surgical removal of a strip of wool-bearing wrinkle skin from around the tail of a sheep. Mulesing is illegal in Britain but is common practice in Australia, where it is expected to be phased out by 2010. Method: The loose free skin is surgically removed, in a single cut, with no effect on underlying muscle tissue. The non-wooled skin which is around the anus (and vulva in ewes) is pulled out as the cut heals and results in a smooth area that does not get fouled by excreta or urine.
Lambs are normally mulesed a few weeks after birth. The operation takes one to two minutes. Because it is a skin snip, there is little blood loss from the cut other than a minor ooozing on the edges of the cut skin. Lambs rarely die or become ill after mulesing.

Camden Town Experience

I can hear everyone already, "where are the picture?" Well I woke up a little late due to the fact that I'd by accident hit the cancel button instead of the snooze button when it first alarmed at 7:17am. When I woke up again my friend Louise was sending me a text message to say she was just getting up but would still like to join Dad & me in Camden. I replied back that I was just getting up as well so not to worry.

Dad and I showered, had some tea and rushed off to walk down Kentish Town Road to the Camden Town Underground station (20 minutes). We then turned right and went up Camden High Street looking for the market. This is when I started to kick myself for not having my camera!! Both sides of the street were covered in people of all ages dressed in "Goth." When I say all ages, you first passed a little girl (maybe 14) in neon pink spider stockings with platform black boots, just beyond her was a grandmother aged woman with hot pink hair, dressed all in black with piercings in her ears, lip, eyebrow, and chin.

We, well more dad, were hungry so we wandered up the road looking for a place to eat. You would think this is an easy task, but we were surrounded by clothing & shoe shops. At the end of the block just before the canal there was a little cafe on the right. While we were sitting having breakfast, Louise had arrived in Camden Town and found us. At the end of our meal, we asked about boat trips on the canal - Dad was able to get a senior's discount while Louise & I signed up for the student discount on the 2.30pm boat (What a deal!!)

We decided to browse through the Camden Canal Market first. It is s huge - on both sides of the High Street. LOTS of Goth clothes, touristy t-shirts, food stalls, shoes, jewelry, bags, hairbands, scarves, pants, sweaters, skirts, face masks, tattoo & piercing parlors, but over all I'd say it was mostly Goth stores with stockings in all different colors and designs, make-up, boots, over the knee socks, etc. Louise pointed out a girl's outfit and giggled as she said, "we should buy you that get-up and you can wear it home on the plane for Matt to pick you up in" It would be very funny, but I'm not sure how I'd do with the airport security with all that metal on my face, ears, shoes, and clothes. Plus I wasn't sure if I could get my hair to stay spiked in a mohawk for that many hours on the plane and it would suck to get 1/2 way across the Atlantic and have the spikes start to fall apart, ya know?!?!?!?!!

After about 2 hours of browsing through all these stalls we went to Henry Bean's Pub for a late lunch. After that we had to run over the catch our 2.30 boat ride. I know, again where is my camera??? At home :( But I promise I will go back another day and take photos from the canal walkway. We rode the canal boat through 1 set of locks (rising 8ft) and down to Little Venice, near Edgeware Road, turned around, dropped off all but 6 passengers and we headed back - Louise and I were checking out the house boats, we think we need a "Sara Louise" to live in for the year. After hearing the price, we're going to look into just being house sitters for the rich "Arab Oil people" (as the tour guide called them) they're houses cost about 6 million pounds (that's about 12 million US dollars!!) We figure it will be easier than finding a house boat that we can afford on a student's budget.

When we reached the end of the boat trip we were all in need of a little sweet so we headed north looking for a little cafe to have some tea and cakes. This turned out to be a lot harder than we thought since most of the shops on this street were Goth clothing stores. We did finally find a Nando's (chain of Chicken rest.) we ordered hot chocolate and custard in pastry - it was small but hit the spot! It was getting close to 5.15pm, so after we were done eating we decided it was time to head home. We walked Louise back down through the sea of shoppers to the underground station. From there we headed north on Kentish Town Road. Dad & I stopped into Somerfields to grab a few things for dinner. We arrived back home around 6pm. Dad is now across the road drying his clothes at the Laundromat - apparently he doesn't like to use the free clothes dryer I have - line dry :)

Tomorrow morning we are off to visit a family friend in Oxford, her name is Beth.

Before I sign off for the day, I wanted to report the exciting news for England, especially after hearing about the tragic earthquake on the Pakistan-India border this morning. Those who weren't shopping at the markets this afternoon were glued to the "teles" in all the local pubs to watch . . . "MANCHESTER, England - David Beckham was sensationally ordered off but England hung on for a 1-0 win over Austria that keeps them in control of their own World Cup destiny. "

Friday, October 7

One week down, Nine more to go

Well I don't have much exciting school news to tell you about today - had our first "statistics" class, but the prof wants us to call it "epidemiology" since nobody likes statistics, well aside from Larry ;) That class was 1 hour of lecture followed by 1.5 hours of practical - groups of 5 trying to figure out SD, mean, %, histograms, bar graphs, box graphs, pie charts etc. It wasn't that bad, but the lecture part was too boring for a Friday morning!

My afternoon was an intro to molecular biology - we had to take a short exam to see what we knew - based on that you would know which classes you should attend and which you didn't have to worry about - I passed with flighing colors the section on "DNA & RNA" and "PCR" but the rest I think I will go to b/c the terms sounded familiar, but I couldn't remember everything about them, so I guess I'll have a few Friday afternoon off. Since I was good to go with the "DNA & RNA" lecture I went to meet my friend Katie for a look at borough Market.

Borough Market is AWESOME!! They have all sorts of food -stalls just for beef, chicken, fish, ostrich meat, cheeses, breads, pastries, fruit, veggies, wines, beers, plus a few organic stalls, all sorts of other prepared foods ("pasties") you could grab to eat on your way home - it was GREAT!! Katie and I bought a baguette, fresh cheese, and concord grapes and walked over to the river, grabbed 2 lemonades (which aren't lemonade like you're thinking, it's more like Sprite) and chowed down. Katie's boyfriend and a few co-workers joined up about an hour later. They of course were hungry and we'd finished our meal, so we sat at their dinner table while they had the carvery from The Anchor Pub, ear London Bridge tube stop.

The "carvery" is a wonderful thing! For about 6 pounds (at most places) you get 3 slices of meat (carved in front of you) the choices are normally: turkey, gammon, or beef. Then you get all you can eat of the following: cheesy cauliflower, carrots, roasted potatoes, boiled potatoes, brussel sprouts, gravy, Yorkshire puddings, spiced stuffing balls - to be honest, I'm not a fan of that part, so I normally grab 2 puddings :)

When dinner was done, they were off to a show at the Globe, but since my cold is still with me I decided to just headed back home. This turned out to be quite complicated! The Northern line was having "SEVERE DELAYS" due to signaling problems, which had been going on all day. I thought it might be easier to take a bus, but after 3 buses went by overloaded with people, I decided to risk the tube ride. I got through the que pretty quickly only to be slowed by a drunk girl who had gotten stuck some how on the escalator - I think it was due to her scarf getting caught up in the moving handrail, but I'm not totally sure. During the time they tried to get her unstuck, she passed out and then woke up just in time to puke all over the people trying to help her out. Nobody could get to the platforms since there was only 1 way to get down and she was blocking it all! Finally they got her free and she started to yell at them for ruining her new scarf with throw up - she apparently missed the part where she'd puked. When I finally did get to the northbound platform, there weren't really any delays that I could see, so I was able to take the first train that showed up, my faithful High Barnet branch.

Thursday, October 6

I know this isn't London, but it's a great shot,
taken by a wonderful friend in SL,
so I wanted to post it for everyone to see!

Meeting my tutor for General Immunology

I almost forgot to tell you about meeting my tutor on Wednesday. I have a tutor, Isabel, for my MBID course, but since I'm in the immunology course this term they gave me another tutor/mentor. His name is Gregory Bancroft, He was the prof who gave the first lecture on Monday morning.

Yesterday afternoon I decided to go and introduce myself, since there are 14 others in my class and I didn't want to assume he knew which one I was. When I turned up at his office door he said, "well well well, 4 years at Trudeau, and now here, culture shocked?" It made me laugh since I was finally starting to think I was over the hump of the shock stage.
We chatted for a bit about how this "tutor time" would be spent - mostly like a mini journal club. He said since I'd most likely been to a few at Trudeau, it wouldn't be compulsory for me, but I think I will go since he is going to find an article related to what we are talking about in lecture that week - I can always learn something I'm sure!

He asked about if I had ever worked in a category 3 lab before plus what sort of lab techniques I knew. I explained that I had worked in our TB Unit before and gave a quick overview what I knew in the lab. He said I was very lucky to have learned so much and to have experience in the "cat 3 lab." He also told me that after I graduate with my masters I will probably be able to get just about any job in a TB lab I want. He said it is rare that you find someone with cat 3 background and the scientific knowledge that I will have when I'm through. He smiled & winked while saying, if you want to stay at LSHTM when you're done, let me know.
So that was kinda cool :)

Easy, fast day

Our first class didn't start until 11am today - from talking with a others in the course, we all slept in instead of going to "private study" which is what our timetables told us to do.
On my way in I got a little excited thinking it might actually rain today - there was a very thick mist in the air and you could almost feel the mist on your face as you walked. Our 11am class was more of a review of the ELISA lab. First thing they tallied everyone's "final answer" (felt like we were on Millionaire) the numbers ranged from 1.6x10^6 all the way to 9.82x10^-7. My answer was 3.17x10^-6. I was about 95% sure I was correct, not to brag, but I have done lots of ELISAs in my time at Trudeau, so I didn't really think I'd skipped a well or skipped a step or drawn my graph incorrectly. I owe Larry credit here since he taught me how do the graph's by hand instead of having the computer figure it out. The plate reader we in the lab here is not nearly as sophisticated as the spec in Larry & Paula's lab!! After 30 minutes of explaining the correct way to solve all the equations and draw the graphs we came to a final answer of 3.2x10^-6, yipee I haven't lost my touch in the lab!! I was rewarded with "smarties" which over here is a chocolate candy made by Nestle - nothing like smarties in the US.

For lunch, Louise, Rita, Katie, Alan and I were all suppose to meet since our class schedule's are all very different. Katie, Alan and I found a cute little cafe down Goodge St - we called Rita and Louise. 15 minutes later neither has joined us - it's easy to get to, just 7 minute walk from school. Rita called to say she was lost - we asked her to name off landmarks. I finally realized she was all the way down by Tott Rd. tube station - she'd apparently walked the wrong direction for about 10 minutes, so we turned her around and gave her new directions back to where we were. Louise then called to say she was just getting out of lab and had class in 20 minutes so she'd have to take a rain check. Rita finally found us - she'd picked some food up along the way since she was worried she was running so late. Luckily she had enough time for a cup of coffee & question me about how we (Americans) pronounce words. Their first example was interesting. They wrote, "KANSAS" and asked me what it said. I said, "'kan-z&s". Then they added two letters in front, "ARKANSAS" and again asked me what it said. I replied, "'är-k&n-"so" and they asked why it wasn't "är-'kan-z&s" to which I had no good answer, aside, that's just the way it is!!
(side note: At this point it still hadn't rained and was a little brighter, but still had that could rain later look about it. )

My afternoon was spent learning how to use PubMed, LILAC, and a few other databases. It was not that exciting but passed the time. Katie and I got paired up on one of the computers so when it came time to "test out" PubMed we searched "Lyadova, I" and up popped our paper - it was cool to have the whole class turn around and look at me when they saw my name up on the screen :) I'm the only one in this class who isn't just out of uni! After 2 hours of search practice, the librarian deemed us qualified to find whatever we needed and we were allowed to go home.

I decided to try taking the bus home today, this could save me a lot of money if I didn't have to get the weekly tube, but instead the weekly bus travel card. It only took about 5 minutes longer and I actually got a seat instead of standing by the door on the tube. I will have to make a few more test runs before I make a final decision, but it's looking promising. BEST part is my bus is a 24hour bus, so I don't have to worry how to get home when the tube is not working or closed.

Well I'm sorry to say that is all I have to report for today - got home too late to take any photos of the neighborhood, but I should have some time this weekend. The only real plans I have are to go to the Globe on Friday night and take a train up to Oxford to see a "family friend" on Sunday - hoping there will be good photo opportunities there as well!!

Oh yeah by the way, it never rained :(

Wednesday, October 5

second half of the ELISA lab

So we're starting our second day in the lab (or as everyone here calls it "practical") Again it's an ELISA day and again I could have probably taught it, but I shouldn't complain b/c it's somewhat of a nice break from the lectures.

So as I think I mentioned yesterday, Kevin & I met up at half 5 yesterday and went to a bar just down the road from school. We had a good chat - swapped gossip we'd heard about Trudeau, both of us were a little disappointed in the lack of good gossip. My friend Louise came with us, but left early as she seems to have caught the cold that I had this past weekend. Mine is finally in the coughing stage and actually today I have not had an actual "coughing fit" like I've been having for the past 2 days. Kevin & I left the bar around 7, he walked home and I got the first train towards High Barnet :)

I can't think of much else to talk about at the moment, so I think I'll check my school email account and then get back into the lab.

Tuesday, October 4

First day with a lab

So I've only got 10 minutes left till my incubation is ready for the next step but I wanted to give you a quick update on my second day of classes.

This morning's lecture was given by John Raynes. It wasn't as interesting as yesterday's lecture, but not all days will be "fun" I'm sure. This afternoon's lab is on learning how to titrate across a 96 well plate & use a pipet. I feel like the class expert, as most of the students have never done "real" lab work. It's like I'm in a room full of SIP students (summer interns at Trudeau) - just this time they're not all asking me for advice - yeah!!

Today after school/work (5.30pm) Kevin & I are meeting up for coffee - he apparently saw me in the building last week during registration, but aside from that we've both been so busy we haven't been able to get together.

Gotta run, need to start the next step of my ELISA . . .

Monday, October 3


Views from the top of my loft stairs - please excuse the mess, I was still unpacking and trying to get settled in.


Here is my kitchen, as you can probably tell it's a one person kitchen, but I do have my own clothes washer, so I don't have to cart my laundry all over town.


Sorry for the two different angles, but it's a narrow hallway and that's the best I could do, note the beautiful shine :) in the left hand picture you can see the bottom corner of the window

Main Room of the flat

Above: view from the hallway into the "main" room
Right: view from far end of "main" room (under the lofted bed is the kitchen and opposite from that is the bathroom, on left behind fan are 2 closets with shelves and hanging rail)

  • Japanese Paper Lanterns - when I got here they were just hanging bulbs, dad found the lanterns and put them up for me - makes it look a lot more "homey"
  • Buddhist flags - given to me by one of mom's friends - makes the room colorful, seeing as I don't have any little things to put on the shelves.
  • Plants - I just had to buy a few plants, not nearly as many as I had in SL, but it will do for now.

1st day of lectures

So I've officially survived my first day of lectures at LSHTM :) We started at 9.30am with 2 hours on the lymphoid system with Gregory Bancroft followed by an hour break for lunch. After that we went to meet with our tutors, who just sort of reviewed this morning's talks and scheduled our future meetings.

I can't say it was all that exciting, but it was a nice start to the course. I really liked his teaching method - I found him easy to understand and was able to relate what he was talking about to real life situations. Tomorrow's lectures are with John Raynes. I have not met him yet, but one of my classmates pointed him out while we were walking to the computer lab.

We learned about Innate vs. Adaptive immunity, cells of the immune system, structural organization of lymphoid organs, myeloid vs. lymphoid lineages, 'when things go wrong' (immunodeficiency vs. infection), and clinical applications - stem cell transplantation and gene therapy. Not bad for just 2 hours of lecture!!

It's really funny to me that I'm having my afternoon "coffee break" and I think of all the people at Trudeau who are having their morning one. Of course mine is much less interesting seeing as I'm sitting alone in front of my computer instead of sitting in our "assigned" seats discussing religion, politics, and sports!

Nearly forgot to tell you I finished, Plainsong by Haruf. It was a very good read! It started off a little slow but by page 30 I couldn't put it down and finished the rest of it last night.
ALSO, I got a card reader today so I'm hoping to get all the photos of my flat downloaded either tonight or tomorrow, so keep an eye out for them!! Okay, I'm off to get another cup of tea and start reading about tomorrow's topic.

Sunday, October 2

Lazy Sunday afternoon

Dad arrived earlier and we went out for a bite to eat. I thought my cold was getting better but it still seems to be hanging on. I was suppose to go and pay my rent this afternoon, but dad offered to take it down for me so I could come straight home and rest. Aren't dad's great!!

It is another beautiful sunny day - I'm starting to think it only rains in London at night or at least that's the way it has been for the past 3 weeks! I'm a little upset that I can't be out enjoying the sites & sounds of the city, but know that if I don't rest now I will be in BIG trouble later this week.

I think I will make myself another cup of tea, take some vitamin C & zinc, and continue my lazy Sunday afternoon of reading. I'm reading Plainsong by Kent Haruf. I've just started reading so I don't have an opinion about it yet, but it came very highly recommended by a good friend of mine in CT :)

Let's play a sort of "Where's Waldo" game

For those of you who don't know where I'm living, here are a few maps,
Well start off with a map of England - can you find me?

here is a more detailed map from my section of London, can you find me? hint, I leave near the tube station (ignore the orange arrow, that's pointing to The Forum, live music concerts)

Here is the Underground (Tube) map - I ride the Northern Line (black) from Kentish Town to Goodge Street - can you see that on the map? Sorry the map is a little small, but was the best I could find.

Saturday, October 1

Rude awakening with happy endings

So I just realized that early today, around 10am or so I wrote a huge long blog entry, but apparently never "posted" it, now I will try to remember it for you. Of course this will not be easy since I've got a bit of a head cold - ya know sore throat, stuffy/runny nose, headache behind the eyes when you move them, and a darn good cough if I do say so myself!!

Okay here goes . . . I had a very rude awakening early this morning (even before my alarm, set for 9am). I woke up to this not so enjoyable, in my mind unpleasant noise.
I'm not sure if this is true all over London, but their door bell noise is not like your typical door bell sound in the states - I say this based on the fact that I grew up in approximately 7+ houses/apartments. I would say that the door bell noise in the states is a sort of "ding-dongish" noise. From what I can gather the London door bell noise is more of an abrupt deep buzz noise. I really can't explain it at all - maybe some of you have heard it and will know how to better describe it.

So back to the point of my story, when I finally realized what it was I climbed down from my lofted bed, threw a sweatshirt & shoes on, unlocked the door (making sure not to lock myself out), turned the corner to run down the stairs when I see mail coming through our mail slot. I'm guessing what was going on is that the mail person wasn't sure if the package would fit through the slot so (s)he rang the doorbell but then realized it would and just sort of shoved it in.
I flipped through the mail and discovered I had my first piece of mail that wasn't a bill - this made me very happy!! It was a note from a very cute boy in Saranac Lake, who's name will remain anonymous, but I will give you this much of a hint, he's a
HUGE Yankees fan and is probably watching them play the Red Sox, right now as I type, seeing as it is now 1.40 for you on EST.

Another happy note, for those of you who weren't aware of this already, my lovely Mother Mary is on the move again. Destination: Portland, Oregon. She, Henry (her dog), and friend Katie (who came along to help make the long drive from Las Cruces, NM to Portland) should be arriving momentarily, of course it is 10.40am so maybe not yet. She's found a place with a nice fenced in backyard. To be honest that is all I know about the place at the moment, but as soon as she gets settled in I'm sure she will be back online sending photos for all of us to see.

Well I think this morning's telling was much better, but this is the best I can do and better than nothing at all.

The rest of my day has been spent napping, reading and drinking tea :) I did get to chat with Matt who was on his way out the door to see the Yankees game at a friends house (fingers crossed they will win today!!) I'm off to make some more tea and maybe another nap!

Mostly family photos, better than nothing right?!?!?!?!

So here are some more photos, I'm so frustrated that I can't send you any photos from London yet . . . I promise to work on it this week!!

Ok, here is my Auntie Ann with her step great grandson, Travis J. Costa. Travis was born on Friday Sept 9,2005 (I think)

Here is my "lil sis" Patty on her 26th birthday last weekend sitting with her first CT roommate, James.

Here she is again tiara & all, but this time with her college roommates Kate (left) and Laura (right)

Here is the beautifully set table for Miss Patty's 26th Birthday extravaganza - wish I had been there!!

Laura, Patty, James, Emily at Pigs Eye in Hartford, CT
Patty and Matthew
Well those are all the photos I've got :( sorry!! I promise to work on getting London photos up here asap!!


I need to apologize to my "old" boss, Peter - I did not mean old as in age, but in the fact that he's not my boss anymore :( At school I keep saying, "my boss got his MSc here" and they all ask where I'm working - then I have to explain that I don't work anymore and they ask why I call him my boss - guess after 4 years it's just sort of automatic that I call him my boss.

If you'd like to see him visit, he's got some awesome (or should I say, "near dead brill" photos. "Near dead brill" is an expression we learned today from our friend Louise, she's from Aberdeen, Scotland. Not really sure why they say, near dead, but the brill part is short for brilliant.

Attended the director's party this evening - we had all the students crammed into the atrium of the new building - I'm not sure how "new" it is. The shape of the school use to be sort of like the letter "A" and they put a building in the courtyard area at the top of the A. There was some good food and free drinks, but the food went very fast!

Louise (Scotland), Katie (Belgium), Alan (Belgium), Rita (Portugal), Maria (Spain - I think), Leslie (China) and I decided we needed some more nourishment and since it was our last night out all together before classes started we went to the Thai restaurant on Store St, just a stone's throw away from school. The food was really really good - I had pumpkin & butternut squash curry with sticky rice and tap water. After dinner was finished we continued down Store St to Tottenham Court and headed into the Rising Sun (pub). We were able to grab a table for all of us to sit and chat. We discussed all sorts of things.

  • our different majors - medical micro, immun. of inf dis, & mol. bio of inf dis.
  • T cells & B cells
  • our different accents
  • expressions from different countries
  • our different schedules (or as they like to call them time tables)
  • how Leslie choose his name

It was very interesting. Katie and I will be having classes together starting on Monday b/c I choose to start off with General Immunology - we have classes M-F from half 9 to half 5 every day but Friday when it ends at 5. The medical micro & parasitology students have Wednesdays off and end every day at half 4.

Around 9.45 we decided it was time to head home so we all went our separate ways with plans of relaxing before our BIG start on Monday morning 9.30 sharp!!!