Wednesday, March 14, 2012

School visits, clubs, American visitors and public transit

On Friday, I went out some of the Formula Student to Leamington Spa, a town about 4 miles away from Kenilworth.  It's bigger than Kenilworth and has a great deal of shops (I've been here for shopping a couple of times in the daytime) but never at night.  It was an interesting experience, and I went to my first European club, Smack.  I've not gone clubbing much.  In fact, I think I've only ever really gone one other time, when I visited Vancouver and Seattle in December of 2010.  The inside of the club was covered in a flooring with words (see picture).  We also went to another bar/pub where we were able to hang out in a booth and play video games on a PS3, which was also fun.  Overall, a fun experience and I finally got to try a for real Baby Guinness, which is Kahlua with Bailey's Irish Cream on top (a very tasty shot).  However, I think I still prefer my standard Friday evening at the Virgins and Castle in Kenilworth (which I have now renamed with my room mate, Aurelie, "K-Town!")
The floor of the club, Smack, in Leamington Spa

On Saturday, two of my friends from home, Leslie and Justin Mason came for a visit for a few days before heading to London on their honeymoon.  I took them to the Virgins and Castle with the guys that live in my house to give them a truly international experience.  It was a great time, drinking Guinness, talking politics and culture.  Sunday, we went to campus to catch an American football game for a bit and showed them around.  On Monday, I had to get some work done on campus, so Leslie and Justin explored Kenilworth.  Meanwhile, on my way to campus, the bus broke down halfway and I got to wait for a second bus to come.  I much prefer carpooling, when I can, from Kenilworth, but I am definitely saving up to get my own transportation soon (hopefully by summer!).
On Tuesday, Leslie, Justin and I caught a bus to Stratford-upon-Avon and walked around for a few hours.  I had been there over the summer and just a couple of weeks ago on a short motorcycle trip, but it was fun to go with them and walk around.  The weather wasn't great, but it still fun!
Today, I had to be in early to be the "adult" on a school visit for the Formula Student, eVGP and Robotics groups to give presentations to school children on projects they could get involved with in engineering.  I have been a part of outreach a lot back home (Fisiks is Phun at Ball State, some school visits at Toledo, MEAP at IUPUI) so it was interesting to see the difference between British children (middle school age:12-14).  I was amazed at the level of interest and the quality of questions the students were asking about the projects.  It was a very cool experience.
Anyway, I've got lots to do the rest of the week- got to go through my PMA one more time before I turn it in on Monday and I really want to finish up my primer for the Creo parametric design program I've been working on for PTC!  I've decided not to join Justin and Leslie in London for the weekend, but I'm sure they will have fun without me and it was awesome to see them!
Post again soon!


  1. I'll be curious to hear what it's like for getting transportation! Does your American license count over there, or will you need to test and get a British license?

  2. Hey Meghan! So my American license is good for one year after I arrive (so until next January). Then, I have to take their driver's test and get a British license. I was planning on taking a couple of driver's lessons, just to get used to driving on the wrong side of the road! Also, the signs here, and rules are slightly different. I will have to study. :/

    1. Crazy stuff! I imagine it'd be hard to drive on the other side. And it'll be like learning another language with the different signs. But you can do it =)