Richmond's Own (but unowned) Website

Note that the and is denoted 2 separate topics, and not 2 parts of one whole - just so you know!

Today’s academic session started at 10, so I took the much needed opportunity to sleep in and get a little extra sleep. Today’s session focused on inclusion and exclusion in regards to citizenship, specifically in regards to children’s rights and disabled persons (or people with disabilities in America – we had a whole discussion on the use of language in describing disabled persons). It was interesting, we talked about things like facilitators, what it means to be a citizen, stigmas and preconceptions people have with disabled persons, disability acts and accessibility, and probably most importantly the social model of disability, which states that society disables persons, not the individual incapacity. We also saw a video clip of an institution for people with learning disabilities subjected to horrible and I’d go as far to say inhumane treatment – it was pretty horrifying to watch.

But perhaps on a lighter note, author Lois Keith, herself disabled, came and spoke to us a little bit. We read an excerpt and she read an excerpt from her (fiction) book Out of Place, which takes place during and after the Holocaust, following a Jewish girl and a disabled girl (both who would have been persecuted), who escape to England, and try to overcome the struggles in their lives. The little I heard was very touching and I would definitely like to read the whole book – I’d suggest it too!

On a side note, I think I’m getting used to little things here in London – writing 1/7/11 for the date, “recognizes,” and “favours.” It’s pretty cool actually – now if I could just get working on that accent! In the afternoon, we had a little 2 week (I can’t believe we’re there already!) talk with Dave about what we liked/thought could be improved about the program. 

We also got our Oyster cards (transport cards) topped off (or it might be unlimited now actually), so more freedom moving about the city! That’ll be fun. Today was fish and chips day – both lunch and dinner. But since I had them for lunch (didn’t want to wait for stir fry today), I had the vegetable option at dinner, which was some fried eggplant cheese and other vegetables – but it was surprisingly very good – probably better than the fish, and was one of the better vegetarian dishes they’ve had here. They also had pineapple tonight which I took advantage of.

Wicked at the Apollo Victoria!
Love the stage
And tonight was our night to go watch Wicked in the West End! It was so much fun! Talah and Emma went with us, and we got our seats just in time. I’ve heard some of the songs, and heard good things about the musical, but it blew my mind away! It was very very good! Makes you look at the classic movie in a whole new (and not so innocent) light – almost like a Shakespearian tragedy now. With music. Speaking of music, there was a live orchestra pit! I couldn’t see it, but I could see the conductor, so that was really cool! And the set pieces were very technical, I enjoyed the visual complexity of the scenes.  A big thanks to Emma and Talah for coming with us, and to Roehampton for arranging this for us!
Just like Vermont!
Afterwards, we went on very crowded tubes – most of us went to Leicester Square which was even more crowded (to me at least!) – a lot of people there for the party scene, though we were there for ice cream. We got turned around a little, so Adam and I had to find a map before we ended up in Chinatown! We were planning to go to a Haagen Daz, but Ahren spotted a Ben & Jerry’s (Hello Vermont!) a few stores before, so we stopped there. I had some kind of chocolate and swirl with something with chocolate covered peanuts – they didn’t have the flavors listed! But it was quite good! We got back on a not quite as crowded tube, then a train from Waterloo – which was very slow, and delayed, stopping at several stations for a long time (but I got in a little nap!). We ended up walking back from Barnes, missed a couple busses – misjudged how often they ran. But Katie and I did some fun (if you can call it that) 20 second bursts to walk and try to catch up with the main group. But overall today was very fun and enjoyable – even got a little work done on some of my academic blogs!

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