Pictures worth over a thousand words

I’ve dreamed, and I’ve read…

…But suddenly, he was at my window

And I had a chance to live in a story…

..Whether it was Pixie dust (or passports) that started it all…

…. a ship (or plane) that took me to….

….Neverland (or England)…

…Whether we lined up like Lost Boys (or giant stuffed bears)….

…or we were Mermaids (or tourists)…

….or we made friends with a Crocodile (or spider)…

…or we Marched through the jungle (or across Abbey Road)…

…or flew past Big Ben (or in front of Kensington Palace).

No matter how it happened, I will never grow up.

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Thank you London
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Miscellaneous

All throughout my high school career, miscellaneous teachers in miscellaneous classes have taught about miscellaneous painters and their miscellaneous portraits.

Let’s just say, I didn’t realize how many miscellaneous portraits and paintings I would recognize when we visited the National Portrait Gallery and the National Art Gallery in London the other day.

As we walked through the galleries, I think the first time I freaked out is when we accidentally walked past a portrait that had been on my Literature textbook since I was a sophomore in high school.

   
 After that, I became intrigued by other miscellaneous portraits that I really didn’t know much about. One portrait in particular is the portrait of Simon Weston.

  
He stands there holding himself up by a chair, almost saying “I don’t need to sit in your chair, I am strong enough to stand.” Although Weston is dressed in a casually professional way, he holds his medals and his beret is placed on the seat that he refuses to sit in. This led me to believe that he was a well respected military man, however he is not defined by that time in his life, but that is what this portrait is highlighting.

After puzzling over this portrait, and forming my own idea of the purpose behind it, I read the plaque to see if I was anywhere close to correct, I wasn’t completely off, however I had failed to even take notice of Weston’s slightly deformed facial features, yet that was the first thing that the plaque mentioned.

  
Weston joined the Welsh Guards in 1978 and suffered incredible burns and had to undergo many surgeries to reconstruct his face, yet he still stands tall.

This portrait took me by surprise at how much it stood for (literally) as long as I took just enough time to think about it myself. I didn’t walk into that gallery room and was captivated by it, I didn’t see a lot of other people looking at it because it captivated them, and I didn’t see anything other than a portrait – like all the others in the room – until I really looked at it.

Another portrait caught my attention though, and it was a portrait that calls attention to itself without hesitation. I don’t think anyone in the gallery that day was allowed to walk by it without the picture calling for the walker-bys full attention.

Needless to say, I was brought under it’s order and gawked, not just at how the picture was positioned, not how it was displayed, how it was taken, but rather how it made me feel.

The photographic portrait emitted dominance, and therefore made me feel subordinate, however, I also felt empowered, like standing by a powerful figure knowing that you represent them and that you are on the same side of this powerful figure.

It’s only fitting that the title of this portrait was “Power.” It is one in a series of portraits done by Simon Schama called “Face of Britain.”

  
Because of copyright, I was not able to take a picture of it, but online, there is the same series featuring a different subject for the “Power” portrait, however is still emits the same feelings.

The National Portrait Gallery was something I wouldn’t have put on my to-do list when coming to London, but I am sure glad that my class visited for miscellaneous reasons.

Thanks for the miscellaneous London.

 

My Last Night

This isn’t going to be a lot of things.

This is NOT going to be too lengthy.

Because my coach leaves at 5:30 in the morning tomorrow and right now it is already 9:40.

This is NOT going to be long.

Because, to be honest, I haven’t quite grasped that this is the last night that I will be in London for the CCSA London Winter Study Abroad 2015-2016. All the things I did tonight were not my final bow, although they were perfect like most people would want to leave things.

This is NOT going to be pretty.

Walking up the hallway tonight to my room, after having stepped out of the elevator with girls that I won’t see for another week and a half, and one girl that I will probably never see in person again, I felt like crying. But at the same time I was smiling.

This is NOT going to something I will do happily.

Right now, it even feels like I am doing this against my will. But most importantly….

… this is NOT the end.

I still have so many stories to tell, so many adventures that London has taken me on these past two weeks that I have to tell. Two weeks does not feel long enough, and although I will be leaving tomorrow against my desire, I have hope to be able to come back one day. And because of that, I might be just be able to roll out of bed at 4:30 in the morning, I might just be able to board the plane tomorrow, and I might just be able to be happy about it.

This adventure HAS been a lot of things.

But this is NOT goodbye.

My Window Is Always Open

When I first heard of this Study Abroad, my mind did wander to Harry Potter, Mary Poppins, The Beatles, and other iconic London stories and legends. However, none of them preoccupied my mind, excited my heart, or lit a smile across my face like Peter Pan did.

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If anyone knows me well enough, and knows about my love for Peter Pan (if you know the clothing I have with Peter Pan on it, you’re one of those people), you know how excited I truly was to go to London simply because of the fact the Peter Pan was here!

I have visited Big Ben, and only barely did I contain myself then, but now I have had the extreme privilege to visit the Peter Pan statue in Hyde park in Kingston gardens where Peter Pan flew from his nursery in the 1902 tale.

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Since I was a little girl, I have loved Peter Pan. I thought the only way that I would ever be a candidate for a lost boy (aside from being a boy, and a child) is by telling stories. I was determined to be just like Wendy Darling, telling stories and being overheard without knowing it.

I loved the stories that Wendy would tell and the adventures she would take her brothers on as she told them. I never understood who the true storyteller was until I was much older.

Wendy might have been the storyteller within the story, but really, it was J. M. Barrie who actually brought the story to life, and is the reason for the wonderful adventures and the incredible opportunity for children to never grow old, even if it is just in their imaginations. It is all thanks to him that I fell so deeply in love with a character who could keep me a child forever.

J.M. Barrie is not the only storyteller though when it comes to Peter Pan, there are many interpretations of the boy who never grows old. Everyone has different interpretations of Peter Pan because the media has allowed people to think of him in any way that they would like to.

One way is Peter Pan is actually the Angel of Death for children who die in their youth. No, not the creepy guy in the cloak, just a boy who leads children to heaven after they have died. It’s one of the more sad but hopeful interpretations.

There is also the more modern interpretation (be warned, spoiler-alert ahead). Thanks to Once Upon A Time, the ABC channel’s iconic twist on all fairy tales, Peter Pan is a bad guy…. Although I do like Once Upon A Time, I’m not too happy about them “villianizing” my childhood hero (or for making him a father for that matter).

Of course there is the Disney version of Peter Pan. The innocent boy only looking for adventure and fun with his group of lost boys to play with and pirates to outsmart and then finding himself a girl who can tell stories.

Then, Robin Williams became Peter Pan in the 1991 movie “Hook” where Peter was all grown up because he came back to Earth and had a family but has to return to Neverland with the help of Tink to save the island from those nasty pirates once again. This might be one of my favorite Robbin Williams movies of all time, or maybe it’s just the reason I love Robin Williams.

And all over social media, there are stories about the Peter Pan in Disneyland who finds girls who are victims of self-harm and he scolds the “rotten pirates” for the marks left on their arms. All the girls that Peter Pan has talked to have been motivated to stop harming themselves.

Because of the media, Peter Pan is an innocent boy, a hero in the 21st century, a villain in Storybrook, a grown up gone back to Neverland, and the Angel of Death.

But for me, Perter Pan will always be my childhood. He will always be one of the reasons I tell stories. He will always be the little boy I dreamed about coming to my window at night and taking me on an adventure. He will always be the reason season 3 of Once Upon a Time is my favorite (even though it’s not exactly how I wanted it to be). He will always bring a smile to my face when I think of the stories I’ve heard of him. He will always be the reason I first loved Robin WIlliams. Peter Pan will forever be the boy who never grows up.

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And I’ll always keep my window open.

Don’t Hate Tate

Modern art is not something most people consider art, and that’s okay, everyone sees something else, but today, I too saw something else.

Tate modern does a very good job at bring England into the modern art era. I have been all around London this past week and a half, and “modern art” isn’t really what I would say London is known for, however Tate does a very good job at bringing modern art to London.

All the displays were carefully laid out and presented in a dramatic way that really lets viewers relate to the circumstances and the events that were taking place when the artist was making them. For instance, the Spanish civil war paintings and sculptures were all collected in one dimly lit room that really helps the viewer feel the horrible atmosphere that the painter or sculptor portrays in their work.

Each masterpiece, although it might be unclear to tell, had a symbolic meaning and purpose behind it. There was one that had a canvas nearly as long as the wall with what seemed to be strips of fabric across it. Upon further examination though, the canvas was covered in strips of high-pressure hoses and was made during the 1960s in America.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t get that at first, and I don’t think a lot of people give it the second glance like I did, but just this single piece alone sends a big message.

That message could be a bad message to some people though, and that is where Public Relations comes in. Each piece of art in Tate is sponsored by someone, and recently, the big controversy is BP sponsoring some of these pieces.

Although some of these pieces, like the ones mentioned above, involve social conflict, many works were concerned about natural causes, and human interaction. Mainly, they were centered around the idea that human interactions are disturbing natural forces.

BP does not exactly have the “cleanest” name when it comes to nature. However, by sponsoring displays, both Tate and BP benefit. The name BP and oil spills goes hand in hand, and is often the first thing we think of when we think of either of those two things, however, by sponsoring these displays, BP is trying to put up more than man-made disasters with it’s reputation by supporting art that says human interaction with nature is harmful. As for Tate, because of BP, they are able to bring more modern art to London.

Now, what if BP was bringing modern art to Los Angeles or New York? In those cities, modern art is not a rarity, therefore I do not believe it would get as much attention, but protests would still be made because BP sponsored it (I think that would happen anywhere.)

Knowing about these protest, and thinking about what it might be like in other cities didn’t really take a toll on my experience at the museum. I thought it might, and I even tried to think about it as I walked through the rooms and the halls, but my mind wouldn’t stay on that.

I didn’t walk through Tate thinking about the controversies with sponsors, instead, I thought about the controversies within the work. Each piece told a story, told history, told of motivation. Yet no one protesting is angered by those things, but instead by who allowed the piece to get there.

I looked at masterpieces today, and not a lot of people get to say that. I got to be confused by plants in triangular-shaped beds. I was able to be again puzzled by Joan Miro because despite studying him in Spanish IV, I still do not understand him. I looked a bloody flag on a pole and was moved. I watched an entire short film of blind people painting what they saw in their mind. And I was amazed.

I don’t know who else can say that who wasn’t at Tate today, and especially not anyone complaining about sponsorship of the artwork.

Keep modernizing London, soon, people will get it.

 

Where has Bailey Been the Past 24 Hours?

I know I didn’t post anything yesterday (I know, sorry dad) but that is only simply because I have been doing CRAZY things all around London (no, not that crazy dad) I mean crazy things like…..

… pretending to be Barbie

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#twinstatus

 

….. eating a sweet potato fry the size of my hand!

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That is my hand, and that is the sweet potato fry… CRAZY

…watching Bend it like Beckham!

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Just go and see it, it’s amazing

 

…. smuggling other (smaller) sweet potato fries into the theater via new traveling coffee mug!

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shhh, don’t tell anyone

 

…Walking across the Millennium Bridge!

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No Death Eaters, but still CRAZY

…watching this dude levitate or something

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#stillamazed

…and watching a really cute guy sing really well

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He sang “Landslide” and I almost cried

….Flying with Peter Pan!

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I BELIEVE!

… and getting attacked by killer pigeons.

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They look harmless… but they attacked me

So maybe the last one wasn’t really that fun (and yes, it did happen) but it was still CRAZY!

Thanks for the crazy stuff London!

The BBC

After my dread-filled morning compiled of shopping and designer clothes, it was a relief to go the BBC headquarters.

Seeing a live newsroom and set at the level that BBC is at with global broadcasting and the incredible amount of people that tune in, I had chills looking down on the many journalists and reporters in the newsroom.

I’m not going to lie, I did picture myself sitting at one of those desks.

Now, I have always looked up to news studios such as BBC, however, as I mentioned being at BBC to my sister, and her knowing nothing about the BBC, I realized that maybe not everyone really knows what I am talking about.

In the simplest terms for my family and anyone else confused already: the BBC is the British version of CNN.

Having never visited or toured a CNN studio, I can’t compare the two in a non-bias way. However, I will say that from the tour and further readings, the BBC has my vote for the most reliable news source.

The BBC is the largest broadcasting network in the world, and they have been around a lot longer than CNN. With so many people watching, and being such a big name, the BBC has to be reliable and trustworthy. However, some might argue that the same terms apply to CNN, however, it was something on our tour that our guide said that really sold me.

“The BBC is more concerned with getting it right than getting it first.”

It might have just been my imagination, but I think she was hinting towards CNN with that remark. She then backed up her statement with examples about how the BBC checks, double-checks, and triple-checks sources to prove their accuracy.

Again, I have never toured a CNN studio, (but oh, how I would love to) but the obvious difference between the two sources are the different global settings. although any major event happening in the world affects everyone and deserves equal attention, the BBC is only naturally more focused on European events and anything in the eastern hemisphere, while CNN is more focused on anything concerning America.

Despite their differences, the CNN and the BBC are healthy competition to keep opposing views and anything happening in the news un-biased for viewers.

Gawking at the newsroom is not the only thing that I did while at the BBC however I probably would have be happily satisfied with just that, we toured studios, looked at a huge sidewalk leading up to the studio that was actually an incredible work of art, we hosted our own broadcast, and even had dinner at a vampire’s mansion (don’t ask).

Who knows, maybe one day I’ll end up back in London on the BBC!