For part of my leadership seminar class, I traveled to England and Wales. It sounds like part of my leadership seminar was a vacation, and parts of it did seem like that, but I learned a lot that could help with both of my majors.
I decided to take my leadership seminar through the English department because English is the subject I eventually hope to teach, and I wanted to become more immersed in my content area. Then, I found out that the English leadership seminar was traveling to England. As I heard that, I was in.
Our first few days were in Stratford, William Shakespeare’s hometown. Traveling to this town made the theater major in me incredibly happy; I got to see many important Shakespeare locations including Anne Hathaway’s cottage and the bard’s place of birth. Seeing the very town William Shakespeare grew up in was absolutely chilling because I am a major fan of his work and have acted in a couple of his shows. To top everything off, I saw Cymbeline at the Royal Shakespeare Company and met one of the actors afterwards.
The chance to see a Shakespeare play professionally produced was a great opportunity because it was one of the most polished shows I have ever seen, and it greatly inspired me as a theater artist.
After the show, I found many Shakespeare souvenirs at the gift shop. I found Shakespearean insult pins and Shakespeare manga comic books. I’ll put it this way: I found many items I will bring into my future classroom.
After seeing Stratford, we went to Swansea, Wales to see the Dylan Thomas Center. The Dylan Thomas center was important for me as an English Education major because I was able to learn about the life of the famous poet. This was not the main reason why I loved Wales. I loved Wales because I am about one quarter Welsh and being able to see a country of my heritage was simply amazing.
Throughout the trip, we visited many historic locations in the UK including Sally Lunn’s in Bath and Stonehenge.We finished off the trip with London.
One of the most exciting adventures in London was the Harry Potter Studio tour. That’s right; I got to set foot in Hogwarts.
The tour began with us watching a short five minute film about the making of Harry Potter, and while we were still in the “theater” where we watched it, the doors opened and there was the Great Hall of Hogwarts. I made sure to take a picture of my house’s table. I’m a Hufflepuff.
I got to see the potions room, Platform 9 3/4 and Dumbledore’s office, and I even got to visit the Ministry of Magic without traveling via toilet. One of the most interesting things I learned was that Hogwarts castle was a giant sculpture that was filmed, and the actors were edited into it.
The Harry Potter set was not the only tour I went on. I went on a Beatles tour where I saw many famous Beatles locations and crossed Abbey Road at the end.
In my last night in London, I saw “Taming of the Shrew” at the Globe Theater. The actors interacted with the audience members and it was absolutely hilarious, and will inspire any Shakespeare show I direct in the future.
My trip to England was not only one of the most memorable trips I went on, but one where I learned a lot that is applicable to my future career goals.