LONDON – I was beginning to feel really tired on this last day before our presentations and had been up late working, only to be back at it again at 6 in the morning.
I was planning on meeting University of Central Oklahoma student Rebecca Dahl that morning, but we pushed our meeting off to later that day. Instead, it was full speed ahead on preparing our presentation.
After breakfast, we gathered at around 9 a.m. to begin working on the presentation. It was rather rough around the edges that morning, but we all came together to get the content in there.
I continually am reminded that grammar is not everybody’s strong suit. We worked on it until around 11:30 before heading off to a meeting at noon.
We were meeting with Alex Bushell, a community planner from the Camden government, to discuss the King’s Cross area.
We meet in the Camden Library where many of the Camden offices are located inside of the building designed for hundreds of businesses to use any floor they wish or table. It was a very open co-working space, but it was very loud.
He gave a great presentation about the area and how it had changed over the years and how development was slowly winding down.
It was very interesting to see the entire development from several floors above the ground. It put everything into perspective.
Once we finished we headed out to a private/public space where food trucks were located, and UCO Alumnus Leroy Coffman and I had grilled cheese sandwiches and sat out on the fake green grass.
The place was very busy with all of the nice weather and it has been beautiful our entire trip, besides two days of light rain.
I was exhausted at this point, so Coffman and I went back to the hotel where I got a 30-minute rest before breaking news came in from Edmond.
It was also right before everybody was about to go off to dinner, but I stayed behind and wrote away.
An elementary teaching assistant had been arrested on charges of drug possession at a school, so I was busy with that.
While interviewing I did have time to take a break and go pick up my overly priced scanned books, which was around $121 more than I would ever pay back home.
It was nice to finally get them, but while waiting for them to download I was working on the story pushing myself to get the story done. I finally did, but also while doing so I had a great conversation with workers.
The main lady who I had been working with loved my accent and said she had never heard anything like it. All I could do is invite her to Oklahoma, so we shall see.
Afterward, I went back to the hotel grabbed Coffman and we went to meet up with the gang at a Gandhi restaurant. It seemed more like Jamaican food to me and all I had was some spring rolls with Coffman.
I was tired, so we went back to the hotel afterward with UCO student Lance Cooter. Instead of sleeping I worked on the final presentation which needed a lot of work while the rest of the gang went out.
Time to present, day twelve
There must have been something in the air the night before, because many people had raspy voices and looked like they had gotten slammed with allergies that morning, but it could have been anything for all I knew.
It was a slow start for the business students, but after breakfast, we loaded up bags and went off to a new hotel, The Royal National, about two blocks away.
We all dropped our luggage off and then waited outside a coffee shop for more faculty and students to arrive from the states.
The arrived around 10:30 a.m. and got their stuff to the hotel and then we all headed off to Covent Gardens for lunch. Coffman and I had some sandwiches from a bistro. I was able to buy some beautiful art in the area.
After lunch, it was time to head off for presentations at the London University’s campus, which began at 1 p.m. in a conference room.
Everybody was ready to get their presentations over, including myself. Many members of the academic field also came in, including my uncle Joel Halcomb and aunt Helena Halcomb.
It was a great pleasure to have them come in to hear research being done by the students and they both enjoyed it. The two of them are historians.
The presentations took about four hours, with UCO students Kayla Leinneweber, Rachel Watson and Dahl doing an excellent job and keeping us all from going to sleep. The three of them will go very far in life.
Last, but not least, was our presentation. The nine of us got up there and did an excellent job.
Everybody was interested in our project and had so many questions that I had to keep cutting them off to keep from going all night. The presentation would not have happened without the great work of my colleagues.
Our research focused on the Stratford area and how the Olympics changed that area and some work on gentrification of the King’s Cross area.
Joel and Helena spoke highly of the students during dinner about them being able to present in front of a large group and strangers about their research. It made me proud to be a student at UCO.
For dinner Coffman, Joel, Helena and I went to an Iranian restaurant that was absolutely amazing. Not only do I love Iran’s culture, but now the food as well.
We had all types of dishes and I wish we had something similar in Oklahoma, but now have a mission to find one.
It was great to catch up on our lives and relax after a long week. Afterward, we all went out for desserts nearby and took it easy. I needed a slower night.
We said our goodbyes and hopefully, I will get to see them again before I leave.
Now after arriving back to a room by myself I believe that the pillow is calling my name. Tomorrow we begin the study tour portion.
Featured Image: Rebecca Dahl, UCO student, gives her presentation to other researchers and professors from universities across the United States and England.