Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Picnic time!

I am refusing to give way to the threat of fall/winter-like weather. Yesterday I picked up takeaway from my favourite Thai joint near King's Cross and took it to mates at King's. We wandered to the Victoria Embankment Gardens and luncheoned outside...with only a wee bit of shivering. 
The sky is not even pretending to be blue today, though. Our outdoor days may be coming to a quick and decisive end. 
Sadly, October in the UK does not mean the riot of colour it does in Michigan. At least not in London! Facebook is becoming a graphic fix for me. Pumpkins and leaves and ghosts, oh my!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Oxford Pop

My stint in London semi-permanently didn't last very long.
I'm pulling into Oxford via coach now...and will be here for a whopping three hours. Nothing like Sunday morning business meetings to make the weekend!
The 2014 Class of Marshall Scholars have elected their secretary. Since the 2011, 2013, and 2014 secretaries are all based in Oxford, I lose on the location game and it makes lots of sense to come to them. So here I be. 
Conveniently, I've arranged a meeting to plan the Jerusalem Youth Chorus' activities in Oxford during their tour as well. Making the trip a wee bit more worthwhile! Not that the coach ride to Oxford isn't worth it in and of itself...ha!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ahh, London

It is slowly sinking in that I actually live in London. 
For the first six-plus weeks, I was in and out of town so much - trotting off to Edinburgh, Norwich, Oxford, Cambridge - that I'm not sure my brain actually grasped the basic reality that I was living in London, instead of that being just another of the cities I was visiting. 
But the morning routine, and this particular neighbourhood, and meetings at uni are all starting to become properly normal. And I think, perhaps, I can now say with no small amount of shame/hesitation/irony...I'm an adopted Londoner. 

Oh glory. 

Monday, October 13, 2014


I am now in London for a whopping ten days! Very exciting. 
Less exciting, I am once again doing battle with this chest cold that refuses to die properly. Much of this week may be spent attempting to consume as much tea as possible in order to kill the sucker. 
This afternoon, I'm heading to the Launch of Project Earth Rock, a new curriculum using music to teach environmental science. I'm rather looking forward to pretending to be a British primary school teacher for a few hours. ;)
I've a few more 1-1s with new Marshalls this week, and lots of PhD reading to do!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Anglias!

Last weekend was Oxford. So, naturally, this weekend is Cambridge. 

But who just pops to Cambridge for the weekend without nipping up to Norwich?

I'm on a train this morning to Cambridge, and then I'm instantly jumping on a train to Norwich, where I have my first official business as a UEA Visiting Fellow! (It is not giving some epic lecture. I have to take in a hard copy of my new visa for their records in order to properly activate me in the system. Thrilling, I know.) I will also be meeting the new MSc a Water Security students and some faculty whilst there. And then back to Cambridge I wander!

I'll be having 1-1s with the new Cambridge Marshalls, as well as two in Manchester who are conveniently visiting this weekend. I'm also meeting up with a few other Cambridge folk I know through various US faculty and work in Norfolk (one of the folks who helps teach at Holt Hall with me is just starting uni there!). 

It shall be a very grand weekend. And maybe when I come back, I will actually begin real work. ;)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"Home" by the Jerusalem Youth Chorus

am happy to announce the launch of a very special music video featuring the work of an organisation incredibly near and dear to my heart, the Jerusalem Youth Chorus. The YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus is a choral and dialogue programme for Israeli and Palestinian students from East and West Jerusalem. A beloved friend of mine, Micah Hendler, graduated from Yale after being in the Whiffenpoofs and took his love for singing, his passion for peace, and his determination to Jerusalem where he is using his talents to empower high schoolers.  I visited the Chorus this summer and had an absolutely amazing time with the students. More about the Chorus can be found online at

The Chorus has made an amazing music video featuring YouTube star Sam Tsui. The video is a cover of Phillip Phillips' "Home". “Home” is a video about the realities of growing up in Jerusalem as Israeli and Palestinian youth and how the YMCA Jerusalem Youth Chorus is able to create a home for all despite the divisions that surround it. We hope that the community of equality, empathy, inclusiveness, and love that we share in this video can be an inspiration to create a Jerusalem that can uphold these values for all.

I am asking for your help and support in watching and sharing the YouTube video - with friends, family, and colleagues and via any media you can! We are truly hoping to make the video go viral.

For those based in the UK, I am also thrilled to announce that the Jerusalem Youth Chorus will be touring in London and Oxford 3-8 December 2014, including a major concert in central London Sunday evening 7 December. Ticket information is coming soon; please let me know if you would like to receive more details as the tour is arranged. I am helping with tour logistics, so I am able to help with large groups at the concert and potential partnerships/sponsorships if you are interested. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any ideas, suggestions, or requests.

In the meantime - please do watch and share!

Yours in song,

Friday, October 3, 2014


As part of my devious plan to meet all of the 2014 Marshall Scholars properly, I am traveling to their main stomping grounds. This morning found me on a very early train to Oxford (from the ever delightful Paddington Station, which makes it difficult to be grumpy even about 6am travel). I have lots of back-to-back coffee and meal dates with various folks in an attempt to manage one-on-ones with everyone. The weekend is thus going to involve a rather excessive amount of eating as I go from breakfast to brunch to lunch to tea to dinner...but what's a girl supposed to do?
As luck would have it, I am also coming in as the 2014 Rhodes arrive. We have a joint picnic this afternoon, so I'll have the chance to meet a bunch of them as well.  
Too many people, too little time. :)