Today was our last educational day and tomorrow is our free day when most of us will be heading to London. I can’t believe how much we have done and seen in the past month. It is crazy to take a step back and reflect on everything I have learned and experienced throughout the duration of this course.
As I wrote in my blog post yesterday, I have learned a ton about cathedrals, specifically their architecture and history. I have to say that the cathedrals were more enjoyable for me because they have more artistic features and interesting histories, but visiting the castles gave me a real idea of what they are. It is hard to imagine castles as defensive structures rather than those out of a fairytale, but this class has definitely cleared that up and I have a much better understanding of their purpose and architecture.
The thing that I remember most out of the sites and that I will definitely follow up on and learn more about, is an exhibit called “Helmand’s Return” at the war museum in Edinburgh Castle. The exhibit includes very recent photographs of soldiers and the exhibit really portrays the emotions of the soldiers during training and surrounding the battles. I am excited to get home and on my computer to look into these photographs more in depth, because they are simply breathtaking and show raw emotion and moments.
I have to say that I will really miss seeing all the preserved and older buildings and structures because they have so much added character and are beautiful. I wish we were better at preserving things at home instead of constantly building new structures. I was a little nervous that the culture over here would clash with us Americans, but it was honestly great and I learned a ton of useful information from the locals.
I am, however, looking forward to being home and eating home-cooked meals, having constant internet access, being able to wear any of my clothes, having my car, seeing my family, and hanging out on my farm (I seriously miss my cows, horses, and dogs a lot).
The thing I will miss most about this course and trip are the people! I will miss Dr. L and can never thank her enough for this amazing experience and for the incredible planning she did to make our time here as great as possible. I will also miss all of my new friends! I knew very few of my classmates before coming here, but we are about to depart as a family. We have become so close during our time and adventures together that we all have one or more nicknames.
This trip will forever be a great memory and I definitely recommend visiting England, Scotland, and Wales because they are truly magnificent!