Day 3, London

by arjamatkalla

It would be an understatement to say I was too optimistic when it comes to blogging in London. It seems there’s either no time or no wi-fi for blogging or then I’m just too exhausted to struggle with loading the photos or writing anything here, – at least it appears like that at the moment. My apologies for not writing earlier but I’m determined to continue this project anyway, so here are some first insights into my London visit.

The daily lessons are intensive and teaching excellent. In addition to the general language lessons we Finns, all journalists, have a priviledge to learn about the British media on a daily basis after lunch break which means we have six lessons a day. After many hours of studying I feel rather tired and prefer a break in the café or a walk to our dormitory to leave heavy backpacks there before the night out.

Although it’s only been three days since we arrived, it feels like we’ve been here for a week already. Yesterday evening we went to Foyles to explore its magic with all kinds of literature in the bookshelves. We were quite fortunate as my course mate and I were given a special David Bowie bag for free by a gentle fellow there: no need to say we were very happy to have got it since we were not sure at that point if we could talk us into the sold-out exhibition at V&A at all. However, today after the media class we headed towards the museum and were lucky enough to get in an hour before the museum closed. I must say that I was overwhelmed by the works of both David Bowie and the exhibition architects: the exhibition really was worth experiencing. In my opinion it captured very well the renaissance personality of Bowie. What a chameleon and multitalented artist he is!

Tomorrow we are going to visit The Daily Telegraph as part of our media programme. I’m reading yesterday’s paper now in order to get a glimpse of this particular newspaper’s view of the world. (In Britain the newspapers can be – and are – politically oriented, which is most often not the case in Finland. The Daily Telegraph supports openly the right-wing party ie. the Conservative party, which means it’s not too critical about the present government’s actions as The Guardian for example would be.)

Anyhow, while reading the newspaper I noticed that the weather in London is going to be unsettled until the end of May! So we are likely to carry our umbrellas throughout our stay here; on Sunday and yesterday it was pretty sunny all day but harsh wind as well and today it was raining all day. I heard that the weather in Finland is great now but obviously I don’t mind since I get to be in London.

As to weather The Daily Telegraph cites an old proverb which advises you not to remove a piece of clothing until May is out. “Ne’er cast a clout till May be out.” Citing an old proverb is nice and it stands for the view of the world of the Daily Telegraph: it is hard to imagine a left-wing newspaper would refer to an old proverb when forecasting weather. By now you have noticed that I really do my homework and apply in real life what I’m taught. It is a great priviledge to be here, to get excellent education and really immerse yourself in the culture in so many ways.

By the way there are interactive whiteboards in every classroom and teachers really use them, which is nice. The learning is based on interactive methods in every way; teachers do teach but most of the teaching happens in interaction either between the teacher and the class or in small groups by dialogue and discussion. I used to prefer lectures instead of group work and croudsourcing but it seems that the latter works for me as well if the teacher is qualified enough to control the class’ discussions and lead them into the right direction. We have an excellent Senior Teacher Andy who really makes the classes work. We also had a new teacher today (Claire) who seems to be very good as well. In Andy’s class we use a textbook as one part of the learning but Claire teaches us without a book. Different Advanced groups have different textbooks, since the teacher can choose himself which book is the best: I’m very satisfied with the book choice of Andy.

Well, here was the first news from London. I’m resting now in my dormitory room because of a severe headache that I had earlier today. I still haven’t done my homework for tomorrow so I better call it a day and start doing the exercises now.

To be continued (soon I hope)…