Dear followers of the United Kingdom Blog of WLC travelers,
This may be the last entry for our trip, but I will certainly post more pictures when we get back home and settled in.
Our final day in London happens to be Fathers Day in America, and since we all have or have had fathers, we acknowledge our appreciation to each and every one of them.
We began our day traveling by train and tube to the central city of London where we walked up the grand steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral and joined the Anglican worship service under that massive rotunda. It is the second-largest one in the world, St. Peter’s in Rome being slightly larger. (Score one for the Catholics over the Anglicans in dome sizes, anyway.) The boys choir was joined by an adult choir for this service, and I won’t even try to describe the sounds of music in that dome.
After church we headed north to Hampstead, a hillier area serviced by the tube and overland trains. However, as is often the case, the track fixing occurs on a Sunday when fewer passengers need the trains, so we were shuttled off the train onto a red bus for the final five miles or so. It took a long time to maneuver around on the city streets, but it gave a good view of local neighborhood stores and shops and dwellings. Once we reached Hampstead, we walked over the Heath (park) and ate our packed lunches. Then we heard another student presentation, the last of our ten, and this time it was about John Keats whose house we were about to visit. So the information was shared about how Keats composed “Ode to a Nightingale” under a mulberry bush on his property, and ten minutes later we were sitting near that very same (200 year old) mulberry bush. These are the kind of poignant and important lessons that I can share on British (or Scottish) soil, whereas the same lesson given from home (Milwaukee) would be less effective. Make sense, mates?
Truly, I love to travel and teach, and these kinds of contextual lessons are fun for me. However, these ten students have been outstanding in their behavior and cooperation and learning. I believe that each of them will have stories and lessons to share with you for many days and months to come. They have earned my respect, and they most certainly have earned their three credits for British Romanticism.
We will be getting up early tomorrow (4:30 a.m.) to begin our long day of travel back to Milwaukee. We will leave behind our train and tube riding and miles of hiking and sore feet, but we will take along many precious memories to last us all for a lifetime.
Thank you, students, for your polite and willing cooperation. Thank you, parents and friends, for your support of their learning on this trip. Thank you, readers, for you interest in our travels and learning experiences.
May God bless us all.
Your traveling professor,